Kansas City, MO

6 of the Most Famous Celebrities From Kansas City, MO

James Logie

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Many famous people have called Kansas City home over the years. From athletes to artists and musicians; the city has produced a lot of talent.

This is a quick look at some of the celebrities who hail from Kansas City. Some may not have been born here, but the city was an instrumental part of them becoming who they are.

With a brief list like this, it's impossible to include everyone. This is just to give you a quick sample of the talent connected to Kansas City. Any favorites that are left off are unintentional, and this list is in no particular order.

Ginger Rogers

Ginger Rogers was an actress, dancer, and singer and emerged during the Golden Age of Hollywood. She was born in Independence, Missouri in 1911, but moved to Kansas City in 1915 to live with her Grandparents.

Rogers worked in Vaudeville, and on Broadway before getting involved in the early days of film. Some of her most notable roles involved sharing the screen with the legendary Fred Astaire.

She has won an Academy Award and was recognized by the Kennedy Center Honors in 1992.

Ed Asner

Ed Asner had a long and impressive career. He was born in Kansas City in 1929. He started out working in journalism, but since there was such little money in it, he switched to acting.

Asner performed roles on Broadway and even appeared in Second City in Chicago. One of his first big roles would be playing Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Not only was he great in comedic roles, but he won an Emmy for his dramatic role in Roots. You may now know him best as playing Santa Claus in the movie Elf.

Walter Cronkite

For many people, Walter Cronkite was part of their daily lives. Cronkite was the lead anchor of the CBS Evening News for an astounding 19 seasons.

Since he was in everyone's living rooms each night, he became known as "the most trusted man in America." He covered important events such as the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the Moon Landing.

Cronkite was the voice describing some of the most important moments of the 20th century and was watched each night by tens of millions of people.

Don Cheadle

Don Cheadle has done a lot of impressive work over his career. He was born in Kansas City in 1964. His younger days took him to many states including Nebraska and Colorado.

Cheadle studied theater at the California Institute of Fine Arts. Some of his first acting roles include appearances on Night Court and Hill Street Blues.

Some of his big movie roles include:

  • Hamburger Hill
  • Boogie Nights
  • Devil in a Blue Dress
  • Hotel Rwanda (where he was nominated for best actor)

Cheadle has also won an Emmy and Golden Globe. One of his most famous roles is playing James Rhodes aka War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ernest Hemingway

In truth, the legendary Ernest Hemingway has been everywhere: but one of those stops included Kansas City. He was born in Illinois in 1899 and his life has taken him to places like Chicago, Toronto, Paris, the Caribbean, and Cuba just to name a few.

His connection to Kansas City is when he came to work for the Kansas City Star as a reporter. It was just after he left high school. This is when his legendary life took him to Italy in World War 1 where he was an ambulance driver.

Hemingway's time in Kansas City helped with his writing. He would go on to become one of the most important writers in American history penning such classics as "For Whom the Bell Tolls," and "The Old Man and the Sea."

Walt Disney

It's hard to imagine someone more famous than Walt Disney. When a person's name becomes more associated with a brand and company, you realize what an impact they have had.

Walt Disney was born in Chicago in 1901 but moved to Kansas City in 1911. As a kid, Disney attended Benton Grammar School and delivered the Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times newspapers.

Disney worked for the Red Cross as an ambulance driver but would spend most of his time drawing cartoons. In 1919, he worked for a commercial art studio in Kansas City. It was then that Disney became interested in animation.

Disney took a leap and moved to Hollywood when he was 21. While there, he and his brother Roy formed The Walt Disney Company. They made various cartoons until Disney created a character based on a pet mouse he supposedly had.

The original name of the character was Mortimer Mouse until he changed it to Mickey. Mickey Mouse would first appear in a cartoon called "Steamboat Willie," and would begin a movement in animation that would end up changing the world.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned, in a brief list like this, it's impossible to include everyone. Feel free to share some of your personal favorites, but this is just a quick sampling to show you the wide range of talent that has called Kansas City home.

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Personal trainer, podcaster, Amazon best-selling author. Writing about some health, a little marketing, and a whole lot of 1980s.

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