5 Famous Actors You Didn’t Realize Were Texan

Jamie Foxx at Comic Con 2013 | © Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Jamie Foxx at Comic Con 2013 | © Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Many of Hollywood’s biggest stars grew up in the Lone Star State. Did you know these five famous actors and actresses are originally from Texas?

Jamie Foxx

A man of many talents, Jamie Foxx, born Eric Marlon Bishop, is a natural when it comes to performing. Hailing from Terrell, Texas, Jamie started his career as a stand-up comedian and eventually branched out into both singing and acting. He is the first black performer to be nominated for two Golden Globes awards in the same year, for lead actor in his emotional performance in Ray (2004) and for supporting actor in Collateral (2004). More recently, Jamie has played prominent roles in films Django Unchained (2012), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), and Annie (2014).

Jamie Foxx at Comic Con 2013 © Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Eva Longoria

Born and raised on a ranch just outside of Corpus Christi, Eva Longoria did not enter the acting world until after graduating from Texas A&M-Kingsville, when she was discovered in a talent contest that brought her to Los Angeles. Before gaining worldwide recognition from her role as Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives (2004), Eva had roles in General Hospital, Beverly Hills, 90210, and The Young and the Restless. Eva is a major advocate for education, especially for young Latinas, and formed The Eva Longoria Foundation in order to help Latinas build better futures for themselves through entrepreneurship and education.

Eva Longoria © Web Summit / Flickr

Patrick Swayze

While it is no secret that heartthrob Patrick Swayze knew how to burn up the dance floor, it may come as a surprise that he grew up in Houston, where he was a student at his mother’s dance studio. He had several small supporting roles in TV shows and movies up until he hit it big with his breakthrough role as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing (1987). Just a few years later, he kept up his success with his role of Sam Wheat in the blockbuster Ghost (1990), which was the highest-grossing film of that year. He struggled to find much success after those two films and eventually ended up back on Broadway working on the musical, Chicago.

Patrick Swayze © Alan Light / Wikimedia Commons

Debbie Reynolds

El Paso has claiming rights to iconic classic Hollywood star Debbie Reynolds. At a young age, Debbie found her niche in musicals, leading to outstanding performances in Singin’ in the Rain (1952) and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). Other noteworthy performances by Debbie include her titular role in Tammy and the Bachelor (1957) and as the voice of Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web (1973). Known for her boundless energy, Debbie had a successful 50-year acting career and will continue to be a household name for years to come.

Debbie Reynolds © Allan Warren / Wikimedia Commons

Renée Zellweger

Renée Zellweger’s first major film role was somehow fitting for the Katy, Texas-raised actress: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994). She followed up with her critically-acclaimed role in Empire Records (1995) and box office hit Jerry Maguire (1996). She is best known for her lead role in the romantic comedy Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), which earned her nominations for both the Academy and BAFTA awards for Best Actress. She won two Best Actress Golden Globes for Nurse Betty (2000) and Chicago (2002), opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.

Renee Zellweger © David Shankbone / Flickr