Famous People From Illinois

Illinois has always been famous for being one of the most progressive states in the whole of America. Known for its abundance in natural resources, agriculture and small scale industries, Illinois has been a favorite among American citizens and immigrants alike. Many eminent personalities, who are popular globally, are born in the state of Illinois. Former American presidents Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama are natives of Illinois. Several chapters have been written in history books about the glorious life of Abraham Lincoln. His journey from a humble environment to the White House has not just inspired millions of people around the world, but also has been the subject of a biopic. Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, has been praised for being a great orator and initiatives such as ‘ObamaCare’. Acclaimed rapper and singer Kanye West as well as singer R. Kelly, are a few other famous people who belong to this American state. Several chapters have been written about the legendary Abraham Lincoln’s life. Here are other famous celebrities who hail from the state of Illinois.
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 1 
Robin Williams
(Actor & Comedian Best Known for His Roles in 'Mork & Mindy ', 'Popeye' and 'Good Will Hunting')
Robin Williams
195
Birthdate: July 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: August 11, 2014

One of the finest comedians of all time, Robin Williams began his career as a stand-up comedian and soon moved to act in television and films. Though widely recognised for his comedic skills, the immensely talented Williams proved his versatility by taking up and successfully performing more serious roles in films like Good Will Hunting and The Fisher King.

 2 
Ronald Reagan
(40th President of the United States (1981-1989))
Ronald Reagan
131
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 6, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: June 5, 2004

An actor turned union leader turned politician, Ronald Wilson Reagan served as the 40th president of America. Hailed for his public speaking and communication skills, Reagan is one of the most popular Presidents of USA, mainly due to his ‘America First’ economic policies which led to a decrease in inflation and unemployment rates during his tenure.

 3 
Betty White
(Referred the 'First Lady of Television', She Holds the Record for the ‘Longest TV Career by a Female’)
Betty White
142
Birthdate: January 17, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: December 31, 2021

Betty White, American actress and comedian, is considered as the pioneer of television and has had the longest television career of any entertainer, straddling more than 80 years. She’s known for her award-winning performances in shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland

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 4 
Juice WRLD
(Rapper)
Juice WRLD
373
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 2, 1998
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: December 8, 2019
Rapper Juice Wrld is best remembered for his tracks Lucid Dreams and All Girls Are the Same. He was also part of the collective Internet Money. He died due to a drug-induced seizure at the age of 21. His posthumous album Legends Never Die topped the Billboard 200 chart.
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 5 
Harrison Ford
(One of The Highest-Grossing Actors in North America)
Harrison Ford
115
Birthdate: July 13, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer

With an extensive career spanning six decades, veteran actor Harrison Ford is a major figure in Hollywood. The recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, he is one of the highest-grossing domestic box office stars of all time. Besides acting, he is a licensed pilot of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

 6 
Walt Disney
(Pioneer of the American Animation Industry)
Walt Disney
110
Birthdate: December 5, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: December 15, 1966

Walt Disney is considered to be the forerunner of the American animation industry. He has won 22 Oscars and holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual as a film producer. His The Walt Disney Company‍ has produced many successful animation films. He later established amusement theme park, Disneyland, in 1955, which has since grown manifold.

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 7 
Bill Murray
(Actor & Comedian Known for His Deadpan Delivery)
Bill Murray
49
Birthdate: September 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo

Famous American actor, Bill Murray, began as a comedic performer and gained fame with the variety show, Saturday Night Live, and movies, Caddyshack and Ghostbusters. Later, his seriocomic roles in movies like Rushmore, Lost in Translation and St. Vincent earned him rave reviews. The actor has also lent his voice to many animation movies like Garfield and The Jungle Book.

 8 
Ernest Hemingway
(American Literary Icon Who Was Known for His Straightforward Prose & Use of Understatement)
Ernest Hemingway
87
Birthdate: July 21, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: July 2, 1961

Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist and short-story writer who had a strong impact on 20th-century fiction. He published seven novels and six short-story collections and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea are some of his classic works. He ended his own life in July 1961.

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 9 
Dwyane Wade
(Former Professional Basketball Player Who Played as a Shooting Guard)
Dwyane Wade
69
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 17, 1982
Sun Sign: Capricorn

With an Olympic gold medal and three NBA championships, Dwyane Wade is one of the most decorated former American basketball players of the 21st century. Also a well-known philanthropist, Dwyane Wade founded The Wade's World Foundation in 2003; the foundation helps community-based organizations promote education and social skills for children. He also supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

 10 
Richard Pryor
(Greatest Stand-Up Comedian of All-Time)
Richard Pryor
29
Birthdate: December 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: December 10, 2005

Considered one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, Richard Pryor entertained his audience and influenced generations of stand-up comedians with his pointed observations and skilful art of storytelling. He began by performing at clubs and gained immense fame with his third comedy album, That Nigger’s Crazy. He also became an acclaimed actor and an award winning writer.

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 11 
Quincy Jones
(Musician and Second Most Oscar-Nominated African American)
Quincy Jones
45
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: March 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces

Regarded as one of the most popular and influential jazz musicians of the previous century, Quincy Jones is known for his work with other legendary artists like Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra. As the first African-American to find success at the Academy Awards ceremony, Quincy has influenced a host of black musicians and songwriters.

 12 
Ray Kroc
(CEO of McDonald's (1967-1973))
Ray Kroc
55
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: October 5, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: January 14, 1984

Ray Kroc was the man who helped expand McDonald's into a global franchise, eventually turning it into the most successful fast food corporation. Not surprisingly, he was mentioned in Time magazine's Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century list. He was also the owner of the popular baseball team San Diego Padres.

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 13 
John Mulaney
(Stand-Up Comedian and Writer for the TV Show ‘Saturday Night Live’)
John Mulaney
69
Birthdate: August 26, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Former SNL writer John Mulaney is best known for his Comedy Central special New in Town and his Fox series Mulaney. The Emmy Award-winning stand-up comedian plays George St. Geegland in a comedy duo. He has also voiced Peter Porker/Spider-Ham in the Oscar-winning movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
 14 
Bobby Fischer
(American Chess Grandmaster and the Eleventh World Chess Champion)
Bobby Fischer
70
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 9, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: January 17, 2008

Bobby Fischer began as a chess prodigy in his teens and went on to become the youngest "grandmaster," at 15. His participation in a politically controversial match in Yugoslavia led to the revocation of his U.S. passport and his arrest. He spent the final years of his life in Iceland.

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 15 
CM Punk
(American Professional Wrestler and Retired Mixed Martial Artist)
CM Punk
56
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 26, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio

CM Punk is an American retired professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. CM Punk is one of the first independent wrestlers to have achieved tremendous success in WWE; his success served as a precedent for other independent wrestlers. Over the years, CM Punk has influenced and inspired popular wrestlers like Seth Rollins, Adam Cole, and Rhea Ripley.

 16 
Cindy Crawford
(One of the Most Popular Supermodels During the 1980s and 1990s and a Ubiquitous Presence on Magazine Covers)
Cindy Crawford
33
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: February 20, 1966
Sun Sign: Pisces
Supermodel Cindy Crawford ruled the fashion industry in the 1990s. Her trademark mole and the red Versace dress she wore at the Oscars set fashion trends. She has endorsed scores of products, appeared in all top-notch magazines, hosted a TV show, and owns a make-up line and a furniture line. 
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 17 
Ludacris
(Rapper & Actor Known for His Album ‘Incognegro’ and His Role in 'Fast & Furious' Series)
Ludacris
53
Birthdate: September 11, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Three-time Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris soared to fame with his second album, Back for the First Time. Fans also loved him as Tej Parker in The Fast and the Furious franchise. He owns a label, a line of headphones, and a restaurant. His Ludacris Foundation is associated with many youth initiatives. 
 18 
Sam Shepard
17
Birthdate: November 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: July 27, 2017
Ten-time Obie Award-winning playwright, author, director, and actor Samuel Shepard had also won a Pulitzer Prize for the play Buried Child. He was also the drummer of the rock band The Holy Modal Rounders. Fans remember him for his Academy Award-nominated performance as Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff.
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 19 
Charlton Heston
(Actor and Political Activist )
Charlton Heston
39
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: October 4, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: April 5, 2008

Charlton Heston was an American actor whose cinematic legacy became the subject of an 11-film retrospective titled Cinematic Atlas: The Triumphs of Charlton Heston. Also a political activist, Charlton Heston was one of the few Hollywood actors to criticize racism in the 1950s and 1960s; he was also a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement.

 20 
Eddie Vedder
(Musician, Songwriter, Lead Vocalist and Guitarist of the Rock Band ‘Pearl Jam’)
Eddie Vedder
25
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 23, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Pearl Jam lead singer and guitarist Eddie Vedder went from being a hotel security guard to being ranked 7 on Rolling Stone’s list of the Best Lead Singers of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has been a vocal supporter of environmental initiatives and abortion rights.
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 21 
Anthony Davis
(American Professional Basketball Player Who Plays as the Power Forward and Centre Positions)
Anthony Davis
36
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 11, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces

American professional basketball player, Anthony Davis plays, for the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers. He is the youngest player to score at least 59 points in a NBA game. He was a member of the US men’s national basketball team which participated in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The team was undefeated in London and won the gold medal.

 22 
Pat Sajak
( Host of the American Television Game Show 'Wheel of Fortune')
Pat Sajak
35
Birthdate: October 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Pat Sajak went from being a weatherman to the host of the cult game show Wheel of Fortune. His long stint on the show fetched him three Emmy Awards. He has also hosted The Pat Sajak Show and The Price Is Right, and has written columns for Human Events.
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 23 
Common
(Rapper)
Common
40
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: March 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 24 
Melissa McCarthy
(One of the Highest-Paid Actresses in the World)
Melissa McCarthy
81
Birthdate: August 26, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo

American actress, Melissa McCarthy, became famous when she starred in the television series, Gilmore Girls, which ran from 2000 to 2007. The sitcom, Mike & Molly, which ran from 2010 to 2016, further brought her accolades. She has also been part of films like This is 40, Identity Thief, The Heat, The Boss, Bridesmaids, Tammy, Spy and Can You Ever Forgive Me.

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 25 
Chaka Khan
(Singer)
Chaka Khan
22
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Ten-time Grammy-winning funk/R&B/disco artist Chaka Khan, or the Queen of Funk, soared to fame as the frontwoman of the band Rufus. Known for her hit track I Feel for You, Khan has sold 70 million records and has ranked 17th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll list.
 26 
Gillian Anderson
(Actress)
Gillian Anderson
76
Birthdate: August 9, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
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 27 
Michelle Obama
(First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017)
Michelle Obama
331
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 17, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn

Wife of the former U.S President, Barack Obama, and one of the most popular First Ladies of the United States, Michelle Obama is a celebrity in her own right. She is still very popular and is a sought-after speaker around the globe and often lends her voice to issues like poverty awareness, education, nutrition, women’s rights, immigration and racism.

 28 
William Holden
(One of the Greatest Male Stars of Classical Hollywood Cinema)
William Holden
13
Birthdate: April 17, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: November 12, 1981

William Holden is best known for his Academy Award-winning performance in Stalag 17 and his Emmy-winning role in the TV film The Blue Knight. He also appeared in the films Sunset Boulevard and The Bridge on the River Kwai, and on Lux Radio Theatre. He was also a wildlife conservationist.

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Michael Clarke Duncan
34
Birthdate: December 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: September 3, 2012

Michael Clarke Duncan was one of the most popular actors best known for his portrayal of John Coffey in the fantasy drama film The Green Mile. Apart from acting in films and TV series, he was also featured in several video games, such as SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, and The Suffering: Ties That Bind.

 30 
John Belushi
(Comedian, Actor and One of the Seven Original Cast Members of the Comedy Show 'Saturday Night Live')
John Belushi
36
Birthdate: January 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: March 5, 1982

One of the original cast members of the popular TV show Saturday Night Live, John Belushi was known for his great comic skills. Unfortunately, he struggled in his personal life with drug addiction and eventually died of combined drug intoxication at the age of 33. He posthumously received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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 31 
Frances McDormand
(Actress and Producer Best Known for Her Films: ‘Fargo’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’)
Frances McDormand
36
Birthdate: June 23, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer

Frances McDormand has earned the "Triple Crown of Acting," with two Academy Awards, a Tony, and two Primetime Emmys. She is best known for her roles of headstrong women in Coen brothers’ films, such as Fargo. She has also been vocal about the Me Too and Time's Up movements.

 32 
Raquel Welch
(Actress)
Raquel Welch
23
Birthdate: September 5, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: February 15, 2023
Raquel Welch is best known for appearing in a trendsetting bikini in One Million Years B.C. She also delivered a Golden Globe-winning performance in The Three Musketeers. A trained ballerina, she later launched her beauty and fitness book and videos, and her own line of wigs, jewelry, and skincare products. 
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 33 
Wyatt Earp
(American Lawman and Gambler Best Known for His Involvement in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral)
Wyatt Earp
31
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: March 19, 1848
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: January 13, 1929

A policeman and a gunfighter, Wyatt Earp is most known for his role in one of the most famous gunfights in the American West history - the Gunfight at O.K. Corral against a group of cowboys. The incident inspired numerous films and books that elevated his heroic status. During his life, he also worked as a truck driver and saloonkeeper. 

 34 
Bob Odenkirk
(Actor and Comedian Best Known for His Portrayal of ‘Saul Goodman’ in the Series ‘Breaking Bad’ and its Spin-Off, ‘Better Call Saul’)
Bob Odenkirk
33
Birthdate: October 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra

Bob Odenkirk began his career as an SNL writer but shot to fame only after starring as Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and its spin-off, Better Call Saul. He has also been part of critically acclaimed movies such as Nebraska and The Post, and has directed and produced several shows.

 35 
John Cusack
(Actor Known for His Unconventional Roles)
John Cusack
23
Birthdate: June 28, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer

John Cusack started his career as a teen actor. He is known for his unconventional choice of films. Grosse Pointe Blank, Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity, The Raven and The Grifters are some of his notable films. He is also known as an activist and has often taken a strong stand on issues like war, drone usage, civil liberties, press freedom and whistleblowers.

 36 
Karlie Kloss
(American Fashion Model and Former Victoria's Secret Angel)
Karlie Kloss
26
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: August 3, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Former Victoria's Secret Angel Karlie Kloss was declared one of the top 30 models of the 2000s by Vogue Paris. Known as “the panther,” for her signature style of catwalk, Kloss has also hosted Project Runway. She supports STEM education through Kode with Klossy and also aids underprivileged children.
 37 
Chance the Rapper
(Rapper Known for His Mixtapes "Acid Rap," "10 Day" and "Coloring Book")
Chance the Rapper
26
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: April 16, 1993
Sun Sign: Aries
Chance the Rapper is best known for his Billboard-charting mixtape Coloring Book, which was the first streaming-only album to earn a Grammy. An avid social activist in Chicago, he owns the non-profit SocialWorks. He is known for his signature style of wearing a cap with the number "3" on it.
 38 
Shel Silverstein
57
Birthdate: September 25, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: May 10, 1999

Shel Silverstein was an American writer, playwright, songwriter, and cartoonist. Renowned for his children's books, songs, and cartoons, Silverstein's works have been translated into over 30 languages. The recipient of many prestigious awards, such as Grammy Awards, Shel Silverstein was posthumously inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

 39 
Derrick Rose
(American Professional Basketball Player)
Derrick Rose
35
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 4, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra

Derrick Rose is a basketball player who became the youngest player to receive the NBA Most Valuable Player Award; he received it at the age 22. Despite struggling with knee injuries throughout his career, Rose has managed to stay focused and is currently playing for the Detroit Pistons. In 2018, he came up with a scholarship program called The Rose Scholars to help students.

 40 
Ray Bradbury
(One of the Most Celebrated 20th-Century American Writers Known for His Novel 'Fahrenheit 451')
Ray Bradbury
15
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: June 5, 2012
Ray Bradbury is best remembered for his writings in the science-fiction, mystery, and horror genres, the most notable being the short story anthology Martian Chronicles and the novel Fahrenheit 451. He also contributed to the screenplays of various series and films, and won an Emmy for writing The Halloween Tree.
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 41 
Mr. T
(Actor)
Mr. T
28
Birthdate: May 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Mr. T is best known as A. Baracus from The A-Team and Clubber Lang from Rocky III. Fans love his signature hairstyle and his gold jewelry, which he stopped wearing after Hurricane Katrina. His catchphrase “I pity the fool!" inspired a reality show. He has previously been a celebrity bodyguard.
 42 
Denise Richards
(Actress & Television Personality Known for Her Films: 'Starship Troopers' & 'Bond Girl' in 'The World Is Not Enough')
Denise Richards
33
Birthdate: February 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius

Denise Richards is an actress, television personality and a former fashion model. Some of her well known films are Starship Troopers, Wild Things, The World Is Not Enough and Love Actually. She’s also worked in many television sitcoms and has made it to top 50 and top 100 ‘Sexiest Women’ list of several magazines. She supports numerous charities.

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 43 
Bob Fosse
(American Choreographer and Director Known for His Works ‘The Pajama Game’ and ‘Damn Yankees’)
Bob Fosse
16
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: June 23, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: September 23, 1987
Legendary dancer, choreographer, and director Bob Fosse is best remembered for his Academy Award-winning direction in the musical film Cabaret. Renowned for his signature “jazz hands” style, he also earned the Palme D'Or for All That Jazz and nine Tony Awards for various stage productions, eight of them for choreography. 
 44 
Jennifer Hudson
(Singer & Actress Known for Her Role in the Musical 'Dreamgirls')
Jennifer Hudson
42
Birthdate: September 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Jennifer Hudson shot to fame after reaching the finals of the third season of American Idol. She is known for her Academy Award-winning role of Effie White in Dreamgirls. She also won the Grammy twice, one for her self-titled debut album and the other for the musical The Color Purple
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 45 
Keke Palmer
(Best Known for Her Role in the Film ‘Akeelah and the Bee’ and the Sitcom 'True Jackson, VP')
Keke Palmer
44
Birthdate: August 26, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo

Keke Palmer is an American actress, television personality, and singer. In 2019, she was recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 celebrities who are shaping the future of health, entertainment, business, politics, and more. Palmer, who has been open about her struggle with depression and anxiety, supports movements, such as Black Lives Matter.

 46 
Nick Offerman
(Actor, Comedian)
Nick Offerman
16
Birthdate: June 26, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer

Nick Offerman, best known for his award-winning performance as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation, is also a professional wood craftsman. He has voiced characters in films such as Hotel Transylvania 2 and Ice Age: Collision Course, hosted a Netflix documentary and a reality series, and written three semi-autobiographical books.

 47 
Philip K. Dick
(American Science Fiction Writer)
Philip K. Dick
12
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: December 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: March 2, 1982

Philip K. Dick was an American writer who was known for his work that explores varied social and philosophical themes. Dick's novels have inspired films like Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau. In 2005, his novel Ubik was included in Time magazine's list of 100 greatest novels published in English since 1923.

 48 
Miles Davis
(Trumpeter and one of the Most Prominent Figures in the History of Jazz)
Miles Davis
21
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 26, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: September 28, 1991
Jazz trumpeter and composer Miles Davis was a pioneer in the bepop and jazz fusion genres. His work also had electronic, African, and Spanish influences. His album Kind of Blue sold 5 million copies in the U.S. and was termed a national treasure by the House of Representatives, years later. 
 49 
Kathryn Hahn
(Best Known for Her Role as 'Lily Lebowski' in the NBC Crime Drama Series 'Crossing Jordan')
Kathryn Hahn
38
Birthdate: July 23, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 50 
Gina Rodriguez
(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Jane Villanueva’ in the TV Series ‘Jane the Virgin’)
Gina Rodriguez
34
Birthdate: July 30, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo

American actress Gina Rodriguez, who portrayed Jane Villanueva in the popular TV series Jane the Virgin, is also known for her involvement with charities and philanthropic efforts; in 2016, she was named in Oprah Winfrey's SuperSoul 100, a list of influential leaders and visionaries. Rodriguez also serves as an inspiration to several young Latina actresses.