The city of Hartford, Connecticut, has had its fair share of famous people. Whether they were born here, moved here, or just passed through for a short time: It's been home to some remarkable talent.
This will just be a quick look at some of those famous people. In a short article like this, it's impossible to cover everyone, so some of your favorites may unintentionally be left off.
This will be in no particular order but will provide you with a quick snapshot of the talent who have called Hartford home.
Charles Nelson Reilly
Charles Nelson Reilly was born in the Bronx in 1931 but was in Hartford as a teenager. He is an actor, comedian, and director.
Charles Nelson Reilly had some big roles on Broadway including Bye Bye Birdie, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Hello, Dolly!
He regularly appeared in some big TV shows, including The Dean Martin Show, The Love Boat, Here's Lucy, and Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.
Nelson Reilly also appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson over 100 times. He still stayed around in the 90s and appeared on shows like Family Matters, The X Files, and had a stage show based on him called The Life of Reilly.
If you grew up in the 1980s, you probably remember Linda Evans best from the hugely popular show, Dynasty.
Evans was born in Hartford in 1942. When she was young, the family moved to North Hollywood where she attended Hollywood High School.
Evans was a very shy kid and took drama classes as a way to cure it. She soon got into TV and appeared on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
She would appear in several other shows before landing the role of Krystle Carrington on Dynasty. Dynasty was ABC's answer to another gigantic show: Dallas.
Throughout her career, Evans would win a Golden Globe for this role and was nominated every year from 1982 to 1985. She also won a People's Choice Award and has been nominated for Emmys.
There are many elite athletes from Hartford, and Marcus Camby is a great example. He was born in Hartford in 1974.
Camby's basketball career would begin in West Hartford at Conard High School. In his senior year, he averaged 27 points per game and was named Connecticut's Player of the Year by Gatorade.
For college, Camby played for the UMass Minutemen, where he had an incredible career. In his freshmen year, he was named freshman of the year for the Atlantic 10.
In the 1995-96 season, Camby was named the Naismith College Player of the Year. Camby helped lead UMass to several number one rankings and Final Four appearances.
Camby passed on his senior year to enter the NBA draft, where he was chosen second overall by the Toronto Raptors. He was named Defensive Player of the Year in the 2006-2007 season and has played for several teams, including the Knicks, Clippers, Nuggets, and TrailBlazers.
If you grew up in the 1970s or 80s, you probably watched a show created by Norman Lear.
Lear was born in New Haven, CT, in 1922. He would attend high school in Hartford, where he went to Weaver High School. After high school, Lear served in the Air Force.
After the Second World War, Lear worked in public relations. He moved to California to grow his career in publicity. It was there where Lear would move into entertainment, writing comedy sketches.
He then got into writing full TV shows. This would lead to directing and his involvement in creating many TV shows. Here are just a few of the TV shows Norman Lear was involved with:
- All in the Family
- One Day at a Time
- Sanford and Son
- Good Times
- The Jeffersons
Lear was also involved in film production and his entertainment company helped bring us such classics as Stand by Me and The Princess Bride.
Last, but not least, one of the greatest actresses of all time was actually born in Hartford. It's hard to do justice to her legendary career in a few brief paragraphs, but here's a quick look at her accomplishments.
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was born in Hartford in 1907. She started out on Broadway before appearing in Hollywood in the 1930s. In just her third film—1933's "Morning Glory"—she won an Academy Award for best actress.
Hepburn instantly became a leading lady--a title that would span for over 60 years. Some of her other big roles include The African Queen, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Lion Winter, and On Golden Pond.
Those last three movies earned her three more Oscars. Hepburn would also have a vast TV career. Her work has included comedies to Shakespeare.
Hepburn's list of awards, nominations, accolades, and achievements are too many to mention, but she remains one of the most important people in the history of entertainment.
Wrapping it Up
As mentioned, in a short list like this, it's hard to cover all the talent that comes from Hartford. This is just to give you a quick sampling of some of the remarkable talents who have called the city home.
There's a wide range of diverse talent who have come from Hartford, and each of them has had a major impact and influence on the world.