Albany, NY

A Look at Five Famous People From Albany, NY

James Logie
Photo by Roger Lipera on Unsplash

Whether they were born here, moved here, or just passed through for a little while, Albany has been home to many famous people.

This will just be a quick look at some of those people. With a brief list like this, not everyone could be included, so anyone missing is unintentional.

This is also in no particular order but is just to give you a sampling of some of the people who have called Albany home at some point.

Dion Lewis

Dion Lewis is a running back who played in the NFL for 10 seasons. He was born in Albany in 1990.

Lewis attended Albany High School, transferred to Albany Academy, and then to Blair Academy. He also lettered in Track & Field.

Lewis was offered several scholarships including ones to Tulane but went to the University of Pittsburgh. During the 2009 season, he scored 17 touchdowns and rushed for over 1,600 yards.

He set the Big Ten freshman rushing record and was ranked third nationally in rushing yards. After his amazing freshman season, he was named Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News.

Lewis would forgo his junior and senior season to enter the NFL draft where he was chosen by The Philadelphia Eagles.

Lewis would play for several teams and won a Super Bowl in 2017 with the New England Patriots.

Martha Quinn

If you grew up during the 1980s, you probably remember Martha Quinn. She was one of the very first "video Jockeys," or "VJs" for a new all-music television channel called MTV.

MTV would catch on like wildfire and change the pop culture landscape. it changed the way we consumed music and made music videos just as important as the song.

Quinn was born in Albany in 1959. She was an intern at WNBC before getting the opportunity to audition for the new music network.

Quinn obviously got the job and the new Music Television became a massive hit.

Alexander Hamilton

There was a time when most people were only vaguely familiar with Alexander Hamilton. The smash Broadway hit changed all that.

Alexander Hamilton did spend some time in Albany. One of his first trips here was in 1777 when he was aide-de-camp to George Washington.

It was while in Albany that Hamilton met Elizabeth Schuyler who he would eventually marry. After Hamilton stepped away from military life, he returned to Albany for a while.

Thanks to the musical, many more people are familiar with the life of Alexander Hamilton. But during his life, Albany served as a second home for him.

Charlayne Woodard

If you grew up in the 90s, you probably saw Charlayne Woodard in some of your favorite TV shows.

She was born in Albany in 1953. She started in the entertainment world by appearing on Broadway. Woodard was one of the original cast members of "Ain't Misbehavin" which won a Tony Award.

Film-wise, Woodard appeared in movies such as Twister, the Meteor Man, and The Crucible. She also has appeared in Unbreakable, and Glass.

TV-wise, she has appeared on Roseanne, ER, Frasier, Chicago Hope, and Law and Order: SVU.

You may also remember her as Janice, one of Will's aunts, on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

William Devane

Devane was born in Albany in 1939. He's an actor who has appeared in a lot of TV shows and movies. At some point, you have probably seen him in something you've watched.

He started his acting career at the New York Shakespeare Festival. He also appeared in some off-Broadway plays, too.

Movie-wise, he's been in many including roles in Interstellar, Space Cowboys, Alfred Hitchcock's Marathon Man, Payback, and The Dark Knight Rises.

Television-wise, he has done a lot. Here are just some of the shows he's appeared in:

  • From Here to Eternity
  • The X-Files
  • The West Wing
  • 24
  • King of the Hill
  • NCIS
  • Judging Amy

Wrapping it Up

As mentioned, this is just a small sampling of the people who have called Albany home. You may have your favorites, but this is just to show you the wide range of talent from the area.

This list provides names of people who have had an impact on their city, the country, and even around the world.

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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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