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Downtown Orlando, Florida, skyline.
Downtown Orlando, Florida, skyline. | © BradyP / Pixabay
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15 People You Didn’t Know Were From Orlando, Florida

Picture of Melissa Sherrard
Updated: 22 January 2018
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and the rest of the Disney cast aren’t the only celebrities that are originally from “The City Beautiful” or have at least called it home. Here, we present a list of 15 people you probably didn’t know were from Orlando, Florida.

AJ McLean

Born in West Palm Beach, Florida, Alexander James “AJ” McLean moved to Orlando as a teenager in 1990 with his grandmother and mother to pursue his singing and acting career. He became one of five members of the famous vocal group the Backstreet Boys, and he is now working on his solo career.

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AJ McLean performing at the Backstreet Boys concert at the Hovet, Stockholm, Sweden, in December 2009 | © Meany / WikiCommons

Wesley Snipes

World-famous actor, author, martial artist, and producer Wesley Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida. Snipes is best known for his roles in New Jack City (1991), White Men Can’t Jump (1992), and the Blade film trilogy (1998–2004).

Jack Kerouac

Though born in Massachusetts, you probably didn’t know that Jack Kerouac, an American poet and novelist, spent part of his life in Orlando. He wrote his famous work The Dharma Bums while living in a house in the College Park neighborhood of the city.

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Naval Reserve Enlistment photograph of Jack Kerouac | © USGov / WikiCommons

Jonathan Jackson

American actor, author, and musician Jonathan Jackson was born in Orlando. He is best known for his work in the film Tuck Everlasting (2002) and television shows General Hospital and Nashville.

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Jonathan Jackson at the PaleyFest 2013 | © iDominick / WikiCommons

Warren Sapp

Former National Football League (NFL) defensive tackle/lineman Warren Sapp was born in Orlando, though he grew up in Plymouth, Florida, with his mother. Sapp is a Hall of Famer, Pro Bowl alum, and 2002 Super Bowl champion who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders from 1995–2007.

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Warren Sapp on NFL Network at the Pro Bowl 2010 | © Anthony Quintano / WikiCommons

Daniel Tosh

Daniel Tosh is a famous comedian and host of Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, but you may not have known that he spent time living in Orlando. Tosh was born in Germany but grew up in Florida, and he attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Mandy Moore

Amanda Leigh “Mandy” Moore was born in New Hampshire. However, when the actress-songstress was just two months old, her family moved to a neighborhood just outside of Orlando where she grew up and launched her career.

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Mandy Moore at the 83rd Academy Awards | © Mingle MediaTV / WikiCommons

Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady was born in Columbus, Georgia, but was raised in Orlando by his aunt and grandmother. Brady got his start at the Orlando SAK Comedy Lab and is best known for his work hosting the game show Let’s Make a Deal and as an improv actor on the comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?

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Wayne Brady performing with The Immediate Gratification Players in 2011 | © SMSpivey / WikiCommons

Traylor Howard

Actress Traylor Howard, who is best known for her television roles in Two Guys and a Girl and Monk, was born and raised in Orlando.

Charlotte McKinney

American model and actress Charlotte McKinney was born in Orlando, and she is well-known for her appearance in the 2015 Carl’s Jr. Super Bowl commercial.

@vulkanmag by @marlowphoto @drtn @karolina_hmu @jordan_grossman

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John David Anderson

Country musician John Anderson was born and raised in Apopka, an outer suburb of Orlando.

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John Anderson performing at the 2008 Pike County Fair | © eagle102 / WikiCommons

Kirsten Storms

Kirsten Storms, a famous actress and voice actress, was born in Orlando. She is best known for her roles in television soap operas and as Zenon Kar in the Zenon trilogy.

Marshall Warren Nirenberg

Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and geneticist Marshall Warren Nirenberg was born in New York City, but his family moved to Orlando after a teenage Marshall developed rheumatic fever.

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Marshall Warren Nirenberg 1968 | © National Institutes of Health / WikiCommons

Howie Dorough

Howie Dorough is another member of the Backstreet Boys who is originally from Orlando.

Ericka Dunlap

Beauty queen Ericka Dunlap was born and raised in Orlando before going on to win the Miss Florida 2003 pageant and being crowned Miss America 2004.

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Miss America 2004, Ericka Dunlap | © Del Ihle / WikiCommons