Famous People From Kentucky

The Commonwealth of Kentucky or simply Kentucky is one of the four states declared as a commonwealth and is located in east south-central section of the United States of America. Commonly known as the ‘bluegrass state’, Kentucky enjoys a humid, subtropical climate and a Southern culture. Kentucky was originally a part of Virginia, before it branched out to be a separate state. Its largest city is Louisville and Frankfort is its capital of the state. It is internationally renowned for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), horse racing, bluegrass music, coal and college basketball. Many world-famous individuals were born and brought up in the state of Kentucky. From the ravishing George Clooney to the bold Johnny Depp, many promising celebrities were born and raised in Kentucky, who have made it huge in different walks of life be it film, politics, music or academics. Jennifer Lawrence, Billy Ray Cyrus and Conrad Bachmann were born in the state of Kentucky. You will be surprised as to how many distinguished personalities have hailed from this state, keep reading to find out.
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 1 
Johnny Depp
(Actor and Producer Best Known for His Role in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Film Series)
Johnny Depp
451
Birthdate: June 9, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini

Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile and successful actors in Hollywood today. He wanted to become a musician and became actor by chance.  The star of Pirates of the Caribbean film series is known for selecting challenging roles that have the potential to amaze both audience and critics.

 2 
Muhammad Ali
(The Greatest Heavyweight Boxer of All Time)
Muhammad Ali
210
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: January 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: June 3, 2016

Widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali was a major figure of the 20th century. He was an inspirational figure for African-Americans during the civil rights movement. Because of his opposition to Vietnam War and his refusal to be drafted into military, Muhammad Ali became an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

 3 
Abraham Lincoln
(16th President of the United States (1861-1865))
Abraham Lincoln
345
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: April 15, 1865

A self-educated lawyer, Abraham Lincoln rose from modest background to become one of the greatest presidents of America. The 16th president of the country, who is also known as Honest Abe and the Great Emancipator, played a crucial role in establishing a truly democratic government, abolished slavery, modernised economy and led the country during the American Civil War.

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 4 
Jennifer Lawrence
203
Birthdate: August 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo

One of the extremely talented and successful actresses of Hollywood, Jennifer Lawrence is known for her performances in movies like Silver Linings Playbook, Hunger Games and Joy. The acclaimed actress, who supports numerous charitable causes, made her debut as a teenage actor in television and soon gained recognition with series, The Bill Engvall Show, and the movie, The Poker House.

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 5 
George Clooney
(Actor Best Known for His TV Series 'ER' and Films: 'Syriana' and 'Ocean's Eleven' Trilogy)
George Clooney
114
Birthdate: May 6, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Multiple award winning actor, producer, writer and director, George Clooney rose to fame with a medical drama ER and has since then established himself as a bigtime star with movies like Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck and Ocean's Eleven trilogy. The living legend is also known for his humanitarian work and support to numerous social and political causes.
 6 
Loretta Lynn
(Country Singer-Songwriter Known for Her Hits ‘You Ain't Woman Enough' and 'Fist City')
Loretta Lynn
54
Birthdate: April 14, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: October 4, 2022

Loretta Lynn is an American singer known for her groundbreaking contribution to country music. In a career spanning six decades, she has released multiple gold albums and has won Grammy Award thrice. Apart from being the most decorated female country singer, Loretta is also the only female Academy of Country Music (ACM) Artist of the Decade (the 1970s).

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 7 
Hunter S. Thompson
(Journalist, Author and Founder of the Gonzo Journalism Movement)
Hunter S. Thompson
64
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: February 20, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson was an American author and journalist. He is credited with creating his own subgenre of New Journalism called the gonzo journalism. The author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was later adapted into a film, Thompson was famous for his lifelong use of drugs and alcohol. His books have had a major impact on counterculture.

 8 
Jack Harlow
(Rapper)
Jack Harlow
113
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 13, 1998
Sun Sign: Pisces
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 9 
Christopher Stapleton
(Named ‘Artist-Songwriter Of the Decade’ by ACM)
Christopher Stapleton
39
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: April 15, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries

Five-time Grammy-winning country artist Chris Stapleton is best known for hits such as Parachute. He has also co-written tracks such as Kenny Chesney's Never Wanted Nothing More. Before going solo, he was part of the bands The SteelDrivers and The Jompson Brothers. His music blends country with bluegrass and soul.

 10 
Josh Hutcherson
(Actor and Producer)
Josh Hutcherson
86
Birthdate: October 12, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra

Josh Hutcherson is best known as Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games series of films, a role that earned him multiple Teen Choice Awards and MTV Movie Awards. Two of his other notable films are Bridge to Terabithia and Zathura: A Space Adventure. He is a prominent LGBT ally.

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 11 
Billy Ray Cyrus
(American singer-songwriter)
Billy Ray Cyrus
56
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 25, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo

Billy Ray Cyrus’s song Achy Breaky Heart was the first triple-platinum single in Australia. Its music video made the line dance a trend. Billy has eight top-10 Billboard Hot Country charters. His debut album, Some Gave All, spent the longest time by any debut artist on Billboard 200.

 12 
Chrishell Stause
27
Birthdate: July 21, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer

Chrishell Stause is an American actress who made her debut with the television show, All My Children and won over the hearts of people with her brilliant portrayal of Amanda Dillon. Later on, her performance in the NBC soap opera, Days of Our Lives, was also highly appreciated.  She is also a real estate agent and her work was showcased in the Netflix show, Selling Sunset.

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 13 
Michael Shannon
30
Birthdate: August 7, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo

American actor Michael Shannon was born into a family of academicians and then decided not to follow in the footsteps of his parents due to his passion for acting. Also a musician, Michael Shannon is credited with forming an indie rock band called Corporal.

 14 
Rajon Rondo
(American Basketball Player Who Plays at the Point Guard Position)
Rajon Rondo
33
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 22, 1986
Sun Sign: Pisces

Rajon Rondo is a popular American professional basketball player who helped Boston Celtics win an NBA championship in 2008. He was an important player for the Boston Celtics, ranking fourth and third in assists and steals, respectively, in the team's history. Currently, an important member of Los Angeles Lakers, Rajon Rondo helped his team win an NBA title in 2020.

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 15 
Rosemary Clooney
(Actress and Singer)
Rosemary Clooney
30
Birthdate: May 23, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: June 29, 2002
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Rosemary Clooney, aunt of George Clooney, was known for her roles in movies such as White Christmas and for her hit jazz/pop tracks such as This Ole House. She chaired a foundation for the brain-injured, in memory of her sister, and also authored two autobiographies. 
 16 
Jefferson Davis
(Former President of the Confederate States (1862 - 1865))
Jefferson Davis
57
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 3, 1808
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: December 6, 1889

Jefferson Davis was the president of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865. He was also the U.S. secretary of war and had fought in the Mexican–American War earlier. He was against secession. He wrote an autobiography named The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

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 17 
Boyd Holbrook
(Actor and Fashion Model Known for His Netflix Series ‘Narcos’ and TV Series ‘The Sandman’)
Boyd Holbrook
18
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: September 1, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Boyd Holbrook is best known as Steve Murphy from the Netflix series Narcos and as "Cap" Hatfield from Hatfields & McCoys. He has also appeared in movies such as Milk and Gone Girl. A skilled photographer and sculptor, he has exhibited his art work at New York’s Rare Gallery.
 18 
Jennifer Carpenter
36
Birthdate: December 7, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Jennifer Carpenter is best known for her Saturn Award-winning performance as Debra Morgan in the series Dexter. She also won hearts with her MTV Movie Award-winning portrayal of Emily Rose in The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Her other notable projects are the series Limitless and The Enemy Within.
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 19 
Chris Hardwick
(Actor and Comedian Known for His TV Series ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Fear the Walking Dead’)
Chris Hardwick
13
Birthdate: November 23, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Chris Hardwick is best known for hosting shows such as Talking Dead, Talking Bad, and Talking with Chris Hardwick. He appeared as Stacee Jaxx in the musical Rock of Ages and also gained fame with his Emmy-winning game show @midnight with Chris Hardwick. He later launched The Nerdist Podcast.
 20 
Rob Riggle
(Actor)
Rob Riggle
26
Birthdate: April 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
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 21 
Keith Whitley
(Country Music Singer and Songwriter.)
Keith Whitley
22
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: May 9, 1989

Keith Whitley was an American singer whose career was cut short by his sudden death at the age of 34. Before his death, due to alcohol intoxication, Whitley recorded two albums, which spawned 12 chart-busting singles. His third and final studio album was released posthumously.

 22 
Tinashe Kachingwe
(Her Single "2 On" featuring 'Schoolboy Q' Reached Number One on The Rhythmic Airplay Chart)
Tinashe Kachingwe
60
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: February 6, 1993
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Tinashe started as a child actor, appearing as a motion-capture model in The Polar Express and as Robin Wheeler in Out of Jimmy's Head. She later began performing with The Stunners. She has delivered Billboard-charting hits such as 2 On and has collaborated with the likes of Britney Spears.
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 23 
D'Angelo Russell
(Basketball player)
D'Angelo Russell
31
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 23, 1996
Sun Sign: Pisces
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
 24 
Jim Varney
(Actor and Comedian Best Known for His Broadly Comedic Role as ‘Ernest P. Worrell’)
Jim Varney
31
Birthdate: June 15, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: February 10, 2000
Jim Varney is best known for playing the iconic character Ernest Worrell in countless commercials, and later in a movie franchise, and a series named Hey, Vern, It's Ernest!, which earned him an Emmy. He also appeared in The Beverly Hillbillies and voiced Slinky Dog in the Toy Story films.
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 25 
Harry Dean Stanton
(Actor, Musician and Singer Known for His Films: ‘Cool Hand Luke’, ‘Kelly's Heroes’ and ‘Dillinger’)
Harry Dean Stanton
27
Birthdate: July 14, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: September 15, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton was an American musician, singer, and actor. A self-made man, Stanton established himself as an actor by playing supporting roles in popular films, such as The Godfather Part II and Alien. A lovable person, Harry Dean Stanton was celebrated by singer Deborah Harry and the music band Pop Will Eat Itself.

 26 
Dwight Yoakam
(Singer-Songwriter, Actor and Director)
Dwight Yoakam
13
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 23, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra

Dwight Yoakam is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and actor. He is credited with popularizing honky tonk music, which he pioneered. In 2014, his song Guitars, Cadillacs was named in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 greatest country songs list. Yoakam has also starred in several films, such as Sling Blade, Panic Room, and The Minus Man.

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 27 
Maggie Lawson
(Best Known for Her Role as Detective ‘Juliet O'Hara’ in the TV Series ‘Psych’)
Maggie Lawson
24
Birthdate: August 12, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo

Maggie Lawson is an American actress best known for portraying Head Detective Juliet Lynn "Jules" O'Hara in the popular detective comedy-drama TV series Psych. Apart from contributing immensely to the success of Psych, Maggie Lawson has also played key roles in the success of other TV series, such as Party of Five, Inside Schwartz, and Lethal Weapon.  

 28 
Sean Young
(American actress)
Sean Young
26
Birthdate: November 20, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio

Sean Young is an American actress known for playing important roles in films like No Way Out and Wall Street. Young, who has had an interesting career so far, stirred controversy in 2018 when she was caught on a surveillance video removing laptops from a production office in Astoria, Queens. The laptops were eventually returned and no charges were filed.

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 29 
Naomi Judd
(American Actress and Singer Best Remembered as One-Half of the Country Music Duo 'The Judds')
Naomi Judd
13
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 11, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn

Naomi Judd was an American actress and singer. She is best remembered as one-half of the country music duo, The Judds, which won nine Country Music Association awards and five Grammy Awards between 1980 and 1991. Naomi Judd stopped performing in 1991 due to health reasons. In 2022, she was made an inductee of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

 30 
Mary Travers
(Singer-Songwriter and Member of the Folk Music Group ‘Peter, Paul and Mary’)
Mary Travers
13
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 9, 1936
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: September 16, 2009

Mary Travers was an American singer and songwriter. She was part of Peter, Paul and Mary, one of the most successful and popular folk music groups of the 1960s. Apart from working with the music group, Travers released five solo albums. In 1999, she was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as part of the group.

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 31 
Wynonna Judd
(One of the Best-Selling Country Artists of All Time)
Wynonna Judd
15
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 30, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini

Wynonna Judd is an American country music singer. One of the most decorated female country singers of her generation, Judd was honored with a star on the Music City Walk of Fame for her contribution to music. Also a philanthropist, Judd joined hands with Habitat for Humanity and helped raise more than $90 million to aid victims of natural disasters.

 32 
Crystal Gayle
(Country Singer-Songwriter Best Known for Her 1977 Hit Single 'Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue')
Crystal Gayle
28
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 9, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Country-pop crossover singer Crystal Gayle is best known for her Billboard-topping track Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue and her Hot 100-charting single Talking in Your Sleep. She also gained fame for her signature floor-length hair and was named to Country Music Television’s 40 Greatest Women of Country Music.
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 33 
Josh Dallas
16
Birthdate: December 18, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius

Josh Dallas is an American actor known for playing important roles in popular TV series, such as Once Upon a Time and Manifest. Despite being a virtually unknown actor back in 2011, Josh Dallas landed the important role of Fandral in the superhero film Thor and has not looked back since.

 34 
Demetrious Johnson
(The Only UFC Fighter to Record Over 10 Takedowns in Three Different Fights)
Demetrious Johnson
13
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 13, 1986
Sun Sign: Leo
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 35 
Mary Todd Lincoln
(Wife of Former US President Abraham Lincoln and the First Lady of the United States (1861 - 1865))
Mary Todd Lincoln
16
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 13, 1818
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: July 16, 1882

Mary Todd Lincoln was the wife of Abraham Lincoln. She played an important role during the American Civil War as she worked hard to keep the morale of the country high throughout the war. Mary invariably finds a place in stories and biographies written about Abraham Lincoln as she was seated next to him when he was killed.

 36 
Francis Gary Powers
(American Military Officer)
Francis Gary Powers
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 17, 1929
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: August 1, 1977

Francis Gary Powers was an American pilot. His Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) U-2 spy plane was shot down in what came to be known as the 1960 U-2 incident. He was performing photographic aerial reconnaissance deep inside Soviet territory when the incident occurred. He survived and later worked as a helicopter pilot for KNBC in Los Angeles.

 37 
Patricia Neal
(A major star of the 1950s and 60s, she was the recipient of an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and two British Academy Film Awards)
Patricia Neal
11
Birthdate: January 20, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: August 8, 2010
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 38 
Rebecca Gayheart
(Model)
Rebecca Gayheart
14
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: August 12, 1971
Sun Sign: Leo
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 39 
Miles Heizer
37
Birthdate: May 16, 1994
Sun Sign: Taurus
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 40 
Ned Beatty
(Actor)
Ned Beatty
13
Birthdate: July 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: June 13, 2021

Ned Beatty was an American actor who appeared in over 160 films during an illustrious career that spanned 50 years. Over the course of his career, Ned Beatty was nominated for several prestigious awards such as the Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Golden Globe Award.

 41 
Nicky Hayden
(American Professional Motorcycle Racer)
Nicky Hayden
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 30, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: May 22, 2017

Nicky Hayden was an American motorcycle racer best remembered for winning the 2006 MotoGP World Championship by breaking Valentino Rossi's five-year streak. Hayden met with an accident while riding his bicycle in 2017 in Italy and died of traumatic brain injury at the age of 35. In 2018, he was inducted posthumously into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

 42 
Don Everly
(Singer)
Don Everly
9
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 1, 1937
Sun Sign: Aquarius
 43 
Molly Sims
(Model)
Molly Sims
16
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: May 25, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 44 
Tyson Gay
(American Track and Field Sprinter)
Tyson Gay
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 9, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo

Born into an athletic family, Tyson Gay naturally developed an interest in sports. One of the fastest sprinters in both the 100m and the 200m categories, he was part of the 2016 Olympic relay team that was stripped of its medal for breaking game rules.

 45 
Wes Unseld
(Basketball Player)
Wes Unseld
13
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: June 2, 2020
Height: 6'7" (201 cm)
 46 
D. W. Griffith
(American Director Who is One of the Most Influential Figures in the History of the Motion Picture)
D. W. Griffith
7
Birthdate: January 22, 1875
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: July 23, 1948
 47 
Melissa McBride
(Actress)
Melissa McBride
23
Birthdate: May 23, 1965
Sun Sign: Gemini
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 48 
Sturgill Simpson
(Country Singer-songwriter Known for His Albums 'High Top Mountain' and 'Metamodern Sounds in Country Music')
Sturgill Simpson
16
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: June 8, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini

Sturgill Simpson is an American actor and country music singer-songwriter. Often compared to Waylon Jennings, Simpson has recorded some critically-acclaimed albums, such as Metamodern Sounds in Country Music and A Sailor's Guide to Earth. Sturgill Simpson's journey from being a drug peddler, who experimented with LSD during high school, to becoming a famous musician is quite inspiring.

 49 
Diane Sawyer
(Broadcast Journalist Known for Anchoring News Shows 'ABC World News Tonight' and 'Good Morning America')
Diane Sawyer
16
Birthdate: December 22, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
The first female corrrespondant on 60 Minutes, a trailblazer for female journalists, a former co-host of Good Morning America and an aid to President Richard Nixon where she assisted in post-presidency memoirs, Diane Sawyer has many feathers in her cap. She bagged in a Daytime Emmy Award and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
 50 
Kevin Richardson
(American Singer and Actor)
Kevin Richardson
12
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: October 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)