Famous American Entertainers

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They are everywhere — on your television, in cinemas, on runways and ramps, and even in magazine pages. They are the ones who make you laugh, cry, and emote hard to all kinds of situations. They raise attendances in parties, functions, and charity events, earn millions of dollars every year, and run the most competitive industry in the world. They are the men of the showbiz. They are entertainers. America has been the hotbed of entertainers forever. We have had entertainers like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Kanye West, Howard Stern, Charlie Hunnam, Jimmy Kimmel, Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon, Robin Thicke, and Bryan Cranston entertaining the world with their sheer ingenuity and talent. From rocking the stage to wowing us on screens, these stackers of entertainment won the world with their appeal, acclaim, popularity, and originality. Let us acquaint ourselves with some of America's most famous entertainers as we explore their timelines, trivia, and facts in the biographies below.
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 1 
Diana Ross
(Lead Singer of 'the Supremes', the Best-Charting Female Group in History)
Diana Ross
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

With several prestigious honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, under her belt, Diana Ross is one of the most popular and influential singers of all time. In 1976, Billboard named her the Female Entertainer of the Century. She has influenced popular artists like Madonna, Beyoncé, and Michael Jackson.

 2 
Bob Barker
(Television Game Show Host)
Bob Barker
6
Birthdate: December 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Darrington, Washington, United States

Bob Barker is a retired TV game show host. Barker is credited with making CBS's The Price Is Right the longest-running daytime game show in the history of North American television, hosting the show from 1972 to 2007. Also an animal rights activist, Barker has supported groups like the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the United Activists for Animal Rights.

 3 
Evel Knievel
(American Stunt Performer Known for His Motorcycle Kumps)
Evel Knievel
6
Birthdate: October 17, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Butte, Montana, United States
Died: November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel was an entertainer and stunt performer. He attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps in his career, a feat that gained him much popularity. In 1999, he was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. He was known to be a man of values and actively preached anti-drug messages to youngsters. He also campaigned for motorcycle helmet safety. 

 4 
Chang Bunker
(Showmen)
Chang Bunker
6
Birthdate: May 11, 1811
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Meklong, Thailand
Died: January 17, 1874

Chang Bunker was a Siamese-American man and one-half of the popular conjoined twin brothers. Chang and his conjoined twin Eng were two of the most studied human beings during the 19th century. They toured the United States and Europe as part of their freak shows, gaining financial success and fame. They are credited with coining the colloquial term Siamese twins.

 5 
Ed Sullivan
(Legendary Host of the TV Variety Show 'The Ed Sullivan Show')
Ed Sullivan
8
Birthdate: September 28, 1901
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: October 13, 1974
Sports reporter and TV personality Ed Sullivan is best remembered as the host and creator of the variety show named The Toast of the Town, later renamed The Ed Sullivan Show. One of TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time, he was also a skilled columnist.
 6 
Chris Pontius
(Actor, Television actor)
Chris Pontius
6
Birthdate: July 16, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pasadena

Chris Pontius is an American actor and stunt performer. After appearing in the popular reality slapstick comedy TV series Jackass, Pontius went on to contribute as a writer for the comedy film Jackass: The Movie, a continuation of the series. He then went on to contribute as a writer for the subsequent Jackass movies, including Jackass 3D and Jackass Forever.

 7 
Don Ameche
(Actor and Comedian Best Known for His Leading Man Roles in 1930's and 40's)
Don Ameche
5
Birthdate: May 31, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
Died: December 6, 1993
Don Ameche started as a comedian and vaudeville performer. He later gained fame on radio, too, appearing in the sketch comedy The Bickersons. He also earned a 20th Century Fox contract, appeared in movies such as Trading Places, and won an Academy Award for his role in Cocoon.
 8 
Gypsy Rose Lee
(One of the First Burlesque Artists to Imbue a Striptease With Grace and Style)
Gypsy Rose Lee
4
Birthdate: January 8, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States
Died: April 26, 1970

Gypsy Rose Lee was an American vedette and burlesque entertainer best remembered for her striptease act. She was also an actress, playwright, and author whose memoir inspired the 1959 stage musical, Gypsy. Lee's life inspired several works of art, including a song titled Gypsy Rose Lee by The Distillers. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 9 
General Tom Thumb
(American Dwarf Who Achieved Great Fame as a Performer Under Circus Pioneer P. T. Barnum)
General Tom Thumb
6
Birthdate: January 4, 1838
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Died: July 15, 1883

General Tom Thumb was a dwarf best remembered as a performer in P. T. Barnum's circus. He achieved significant fame as a performer and has been portrayed by several actors in films, such as The Mighty Barnum and Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon. In the 2017 movie The Greatest Showman, General Tom Thumb was played by Sam Humphrey.

 10 
Debra Paget
(Actress)
Debra Paget
3
Birthdate: August 19, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
 11 
Jaina Lee Ortiz
5
Birthdate: November 20, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fort Ord National Monument, California, United States
 12 
George M. Cohan
(Entertainer, Playwright and Composer Who is Considered to be ‘The Father of American Musical Comedy’)
George M. Cohan
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1878
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Died: November 5, 1942
 13 
Phil Silvers
(Actor, Stage actor, Television actor)
Phil Silvers
3
Birthdate: May 11, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 1, 1985

Phil Silvers was an American comedian and entertainer. Dubbed the King of Chutzpah, Silvers won two Primetime Emmy Awards and two Tony Awards during his illustrious career that spanned almost six decades. In 1996, he was ranked 31st on TV Guide's list of 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time. Silvers’ work has inspired other comedians like Dick Van Dyke.

 14 
James A. Bailey
(American Owner and Manager of Several 19th-Century Circuses)
James A. Bailey
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1847
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: April 11, 1906

James A. Bailey was an American impresario and circus ringmaster. He is credited with co-founding one of the greatest circus companies of all time, Barnum and Bailey's Circus. A year after his death, his widow sold the circus to the Ringling brothers, resulting in the formation of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

 15 
Lisa Joyner
(TV Host, Entertainer)
Lisa Joyner
5
Birthdate: December 31, 1966
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States
 16 
Sahara Davenport
(Drag Queen)
Sahara Davenport
6
Birthdate: December 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States
Died: October 1, 2012

Sahara Davenport was an American reality television personality, drag queen, singer, and classically trained dancer. She came into prominence after appearing in the popular reality competition TV series RuPaul's Drag Race in 2010. Davenport, who struggled with drug addiction throughout her life, died of heart failure, at the age of 27.

 17 
Adrian Cronauer
(Lawyer, Radio personality)
Adrian Cronauer
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1938
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh

Adrian Joseph Cronauer, a United States Air Force Radio and Television Broadcasting Specialist, posted in Vietnam during 1965-1966, opened his show, the Dawn Buster, with "Goooooood morning Vietnam!", an experience that later inspired the 1987 film, Good Morning, Vietnam. In later years, he practiced law, specializing in information and communications law, concurrently continuing to remain involved with radio and television.

 18 
Emo Philips
(Actor, Comedian known for album E=mo², recorded live at Caroline's in Manhattan, New York City, won the 1985 New Music Award for best comedy album)
Emo Philips
3
Birthdate: February 7, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

An American actor and stand-up comedian, Emo Philips is famous as much for his unique look as for his on-stage antics, appearing as a highly intelligent, but restless and nervous individual.  That apart, he has also been featured in numerous film and television roles and has recorded three comedy albums, the first of which won the 1985 New Music Award.

 19 
Don Ho
(Best known for theme song Tiny Bubbles)
Don Ho
3
Birthdate: August 13, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kaka'ako, Hawaii, United States
Died: April 14, 2007
 20 
Frank Lentini
(Entertainer)
Frank Lentini
3
Birthdate: May 18, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rosolini, Italy
Died: September 21, 1966

Frank Lentini was a Sicilian-American sideshow performer who was featured in several circuses including the famous Barnum and Bailey circus. Lentini gained popularity as he was born with a parasitic twin, which resulted in a third leg. In a career spanning more than four decades Lentini worked with every major circus in the US.

 21 
Dolores Hope
(Singer)
Dolores Hope
7
Birthdate: May 27, 1909
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: September 19, 2011

Born Dolores L. DeFina, she became Dolores Hope after her marriage to actor and comedian, Bob Hope.  A fine singer and a woman of words, she entertained American overseas soldiers for fifty years, recording her first CD, Dolores Hope: Now and Then, at the age of eighty-three. e.

 22 
Wavy Gravy
(Comedian, Street artist, Circus performer, Writer)
Wavy Gravy
5
Birthdate: May 15, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Greenbush

Wavy Gravy is an American peace activist and entertainer best known for his countercultural beliefs and hippie persona. He is credited with founding or co-founding many organizations, such as the Hog Farm, Seva Foundation, and Camp Winnarainbow. During the 1960s, he founded a secret society called the Phurst Church of Phun which aimed at opposing the Vietnam War.

 23 
Rick Dees
(Best Known for His Internationally Syndicated Radio Show 'The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown')
Rick Dees
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States

Rick Dees is an American comedian, entertainer, radio personality, voice artist, and actor. He is credited with co-founding Fine Living which was later renamed Cooking Channel. He is also credited with creating an internationally syndicated radio program named Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown. He has been inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame.

 24 
Earl Nightingale
(Motivational speaker, Author, Actor, Writer, Radio personality)
Earl Nightingale
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles
Died: March 25, 1989

Earl Nightingale was an American author and radio speaker best remembered for his motivational speeches. His book The Strangest Secret is regarded as one of the best motivational books of all time. During his career, Nightingale received prestigious awards, such as the Golden Gavel Award. In 1985, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. 

 25 
Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf
(Won a People Magazine Online Poll Asking the Public to Vote for the Most Beautiful Person in the World)
Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf
5
Birthdate: April 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 4, 2001

Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf was an American entertainer who achieved popularity by appearing on The Howard Stern Show as part of the show's Wack Pack. He gained national attention in 1998 when he won an online poll conducted by People magazine to determine the Most Beautiful People as part of the run-up promotion for People's 50 Most Beautiful People issue.

 26 
Justin Willman
(Stage magician)
Justin Willman
3
Birthdate: July 11, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: St. Louis

Justin Willman is an American comedian, television personality, magician, and producer. He is credited with creating the popular reality television show, Magic for Humans. Justin Willman is also known for his philanthropic efforts; he serves on the board of directors for MagicAid, a non-profit organization that uses magic tricks to improve the hospitalization experience for children.

 27 
Michu Meszaros
(Best remembered as a performer with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus)
Michu Meszaros
2
Birthdate: October 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: June 12, 2016

Known for his 2’9” frame, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros initially gained fame in the Hungarian National Circus and later as part of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He is best remembered for his portrayal of an alien, wearing a full-body costume, in the NBC series ALF.

 28 
Louise Mandrell
(Singer, Songwriter)
Louise Mandrell
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Corpus Christi

Louise Mandrell is an American singer who achieved popularity during the 1970s and 1980s by recording a string of country songs, such as Put It On Me and I Thought You'd Never Ask. She is also renowned for her comedy skills as well as her ability to play multiple instruments.

 29 
Bert Williams
(Actor, Screenwriter, Stage actor)
Bert Williams
2
Birthdate: November 12, 1874
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nassau
Died: March 4, 1922

Bert Williams was an American entertainer and comedian. One of the greatest entertainers of the Vaudeville era, Bert Williams was also regarded as one of the most famous comedians of his time. In 1914, he was cast to play the leading role in Darktown Jubilee, making him the first Black man to play the main role in a film.

The Doll Family
2
Birthplace: Germany

The Doll Family was an American quartet that performed in sideshows and circuses from the mid-1910s to 1958. The group comprised siblings with dwarfism; three sisters and a brother. Apart from performing in shows, the siblings also appeared in films. They became well-known after appearing in the 1939 musical fantasy film The Wizard of Oz.

 31 
Manny Puig
(Entertainer)
Manny Puig
4
Birthdate: January 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cuba

Cuba-born American wildlife entertainer Manny Puig became interested in animals while growing up near Florida Keys. Famed for his direct dealings with animals, such as sharks, black bears and American alligators, he is frequently seen in various animal centric television shows, documentaries and films. A great admirer of the Indian-Americans, he also loves to handcraft medieval weapons and hunting tools.

 32 
Roscoe Orman
(Television actor, Film actor, Actor, Writer, Singer, Children's writer)
Roscoe Orman
4
Birthdate: June 11, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: The Bronx

Roscoe Orman is an American actor, artist, writer, and child advocate. He is credited with co-founding the New Lafayette Theatre in New York City, where he directed and acted in many plays by playwright Ed Bullins. A respected figure in New York's theatre circuit, Orman has won two Audelco Theatre Awards among many other prestigious awards and honors.

 33 
Georgia Frontiere
(Businesswoman)
Georgia Frontiere
2
Birthdate: November 21, 1927
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: January 18, 2008

The first active female majority owner of any NFL franchise, Georgia Frontiere faced immense harassment for trying to enter what was until then a male's bastion. Holder of 70% ownership stake in the Los Angeles Rams, later renamed as St. Louis Rams, she eventually succeeded in establishing herself as a successful franchise owner, concurrently devoting herself to different philanthropic causes.

 34 
Jilly Rizzo
(Restaurateur, Actor)
Jilly Rizzo
2
Birthdate: May 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mexicano
Died: May 6, 1992

Jilly Rizzo was an American entertainer and restaurateur. He is credited with establishing a lounge named Jilly's Saloon which was a famous celebrity hangout during the 1960s. Many celebrities including Frank Sinatra frequented Jilly's Saloon. As a result, Jilly Rizzo became friends with Frank Sinatra and went on to become one of Sinatra's chief aides.

 35 
Dan Emmett
(American Songwriter, Entertainer and Founder of the First Troupe of the 'Blackface')
Dan Emmett
2
Birthdate: October 29, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, Ohio, United States
Died: June 28, 1904

Daniel Decatur Emmett was an American entertainer and songwriter best remembered for composing the popular song, Dixie. Daniel Decatur Emmett is credited with founding the famous 19th-century group of entertainers called the Virginia Minstrels. The group helped invent an entertainment form that came to be known as the minstrel show. His life and career inspired a biographical film titled Dixie.

 36 
Clyde Beatty
(American Wild Animal Trainer Known for His 'Fighting Act')
Clyde Beatty
1
Birthdate: June 10, 1903
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bainbridge, Ohio, United States
Died: July 19, 1965

Clyde Beatty was an American circus mogul, zoo owner, and animal trainer. After beginning his career as a cage boy in Howe's Great London Circus, Beatty went on to become one of the most famous animal trainers and circus performers in the world. He also established or owned many circuses including the popular Clyde Beatty Circus.

 37 
Peter Lind Hayes
(American Entertainer, Actor and TV Show Host )
Peter Lind Hayes
1
Birthdate: June 25, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: April 21, 1998
Peter Lind Hayes was an American actor, vaudeville entertainer, and songwriter. Hayes had an impressive TV career in the 1950s during which he worked closely with the legendary Arthur Godfrey. Peter Lind Hayes also played an important role during the Second World War, appearing in a play titled Winged Victory which raised money for the Army Emergency Relief Fund.
 38 
Jennifer Miller
(circus performer, writer)
Jennifer Miller
2
Birthdate: 1961 AD

Jennifer Miller is an American writer, circus entertainer, and professor at Pratt Institute. In an illustrious career as a circus entertainer, which has spanned more than two decades, Miller has performed predominantly as a fire eater and juggler. She is credited with founding the popular political performance troupe, Circus Amok. Her life and career inspired Tami Gold's documentary Juggling Gender.

 39 
Lotta Crabtree
(American Actress, Entertainer, Comedian, and Philanthropist)
Lotta Crabtree
1
Birthdate: November 7, 1847
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 25, 1924

Lotta Crabtree was an entertainer, actress, and comedian who became one of the most beloved and wealthiest American entertainers during the late-19th century. She was also a well-known philanthropist; she left an estate worth $4 million for a charitable trust as part of her will. Dubbed The Nation's Darling, Lotta Crabtree's life and career inspired the 1951 film Golden Girl. 

 40 
Gunther Gebel-Williams
(American Animal Trainer)
Gunther Gebel-Williams
1
Birthdate: September 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Schweidnitz, Poland
Died: July 19, 2001
Gunther Gebel-Williams was an animal trainer who worked at the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus between 1968 and 1990. He achieved immense popularity during the early days of TV, appearing on shows like The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Ed Sullivan Show. 
 41 
Elisabeth Welch
1
Birthdate: February 27, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey, United States
Died: July 15, 2003

Elisabeth Welch was an American actress, singer, and entertainer who came up with popular songs like Far Away in Shanty Town, Love for Sale, and Stormy Weather during an illustrious career spanning more than 70 years. In February 2012, she was posthumously honored by Bonnie Greer who unveiled a blue plaque at Ovington Court where Welch lived during the mid-30s.

 42 
Jackie Gerlich
(Actor and circus entertainer most notable for his appearance in the 1939 American film The Wizard of Oz)
Jackie Gerlich
1
Birthdate: September 21, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 27, 1960

Viennese actor Jackie Gerlich is best remembered for playing a member of the Lollipop Guild in The Wizard of Oz, a role his dwarfism helped him attain. He was posthumously honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He had arrived in America on an ocean liner in 1936.

 43 
Arlene Tur
(Actress, Beach volleyball player)
Arlene Tur
0
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
 44 
Lillian Smith
(Sport shooter)
Lillian Smith
1
Birthdate: August 4, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Coleville, California, United States
Died: February 3, 1930

Lillian Smith was a trick rider and trick shooter who became part of the popular Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show when she was just 15 years old. Dubbed the champion California huntress, Smith was Annie Oakley's arch-rival in the show. During her illustrious career, Smith also performed in other shows like the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show.

 45 
Bil Baird
(American Puppeteer)
Bil Baird
1
Birthdate: August 15, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Grand Island, Nebraska, United States
Died: March 18, 1987

Bil Baird was an American puppeteer who performed for millions of children and adults during an illustrious career that spanned more than six decades. Bil Baird received several honors and awards, such as the Medal of Achievement from the Lotos Club of New York.

 46 
David Brudnoy
(Talk Radio Host)
David Brudnoy
1
Birthdate: June 5, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Died: December 9, 2004

David Brudnoy was a radio host whose show was aired on WBZ radio. Brudnoy was a respected figure as he was very knowledgeable about contemporary political issues which he discussed on his show in a courteous manner. Although he knew that he was gay throughout his life, Brudnoy came out publicly in 1994 when he was 54 years old. 

 47 
Robert Orben
(Stage Magician, Writer)
Robert Orben
1
Birthdate: March 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: United States of America

Robert Orben is an American comedy writer and magician. Over the years Orben has written several books on comedy as part of his popular newsletter Orben's Current Comedy. He has also written many books for magicians. A multi-talented personality, Robert Orben served as the head speechwriter to politician and then-Vice President Gerald R. Ford in 1973.

 48 
Frank DeCaro
(American Writer, Performer and Talk Radio Host Best Known for His Work on 'The Daily Show')
Frank DeCaro
1
Birthdate: November 6, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Frank DeCaro is an American writer, talk radio host, and performer. From 1996 to 2003, DeCaro contributed immensely to the success of the popular late-night talk show, The Daily Show. DeCaro, who has written a book about the history of drag queens, has been a long-time supporter of gay rights.

 49 
Dan Rice
(American Clown)
Dan Rice
1
Birthdate: January 23, 1823
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 22, 1900

Dan Rice was an American entertainer best remembered for his famous act as a clown. A multi-talented personality, Rice was considered the greatest entertainer before the American Civil War. An innovator, Rice is credited with coining terms, such as Greatest Show and One Horse Show. An important figure in the new American pop culture, Rice popularized the barrel-style French cuff.  

 50 
Roy Horn
(Magician)
Roy Horn
4
Birthdate: October 3, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rosenheim, Gau Munich-Upper Bavaria, German Reich
Died: May 8, 2020

Roy Horn was a German-American entertainer and magician. He was one half of the magician duo Siegfried & Roy. Horn and Siegfried were famous for appearing alongside tigers and lions. From 1990 to 2003, their show performed at The Mirage was considered the most-visited show in Las Vegas. Their act inspired the biographical movie Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box.