Top 5: Actors You Didn’t Know Lived In Cleveland!


CLEVELAND, OH (TM216) —  Northern Ohio is a long ways away from Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t played home town to our fair share of A-Listers!

Ferris Buellers Day off… A daytime talk show host… and yes… Tom Hanks.

We are That’s My 216… and this is our top five actors you didn’t know lived here in Cleveland.

PSSST… by the way, take a second to click here to get the best of our homegrown Cleveland content sent to your email once per week! Just click those blue words!

5.) Molly Shannon

Lets start with a Saturday Night Live favorite…. should we say… Superstar?

Molly Shannon is well known for spending more than a half decade on the stages of SNL, but her rise to stardom began right here in the Cleveland.

On September 16th, 1964, Molly was born in Shaker Heights, OH. Growing up, Molly attended St. Dominic School and Hawken School. After graduation, it was off to the Big Apple for New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

4.) Dr. Oz

Though his time living in Cleveland was short lived, Dr. Oz was indeed born in Cleveland.

His national spotlight began with appearances on the Oprah Winfrey, and Larry King shows… before eventually being given his own self titled show in 2009.

That said, the Cleveland connections live on. One of the medical experts for the Dr. Oz Show, Michael Roizen, is also the Chief Wellness Officer for the Cleveland Clinic.

3.) John Lithgow:

It would take far too long to every acheivment in his illustrius career, so lets just do some highlights: He has won Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, hollywood walk of fame,.

John Lithgow is an institution in american acting you recognize him from 3rd rock from the son, dexter, twilight zone, footloose, or even his voice from Shrek!

But before the bright lights of hollywood, came Akron Ohio and Lakewood Ohio!

Lithgow attended Simon Perkins Junior High, and Bucthel High School back in the 1960’s. 

2.) Alan Ruck:

He played one of the most iconic sidekick’s of the 1980s. Now, the next time you watch Cameron sending his father’s Ferrari careening through a glass window take a second to ponder… could that have been in Ohio?

On July 1st 1956, Alan Ruck was born right here in the home of Rock and Roll. His mother was a teacher, his father in pharmaceuticals.

Growing up, Ruck was intrigued by the arts, and would often visit the Cleveland Museum of Art with his father. By the time that Ruck hit the theatrical stage as a student at Parma Senior High School, he had already caught the acting bug.

From there he would enroll at the University of Illinois, travel to Chicago for acting rolls, and the rest is history. Check out Alan pondering some art with the Cleveland Museum:

1.) Tom Hanks:

If you were involved in the Cleveland film scene in 1977 and 1978 there is a good chance you may have crossed paths with this future oscar winner. During college, Hanks interned at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.

So how did he get there? Well. He had just been passed on for a role in his college’s theatre production earlier year and wound up in community theatre with the great lakes shakespeare festival’s artistic director, Vincent Dowling. After an invite to intern at the festival, Hanks journeyed to Cleveland to launch one of most iconic acting careers of generation.

Speaking of stars in Cleveland, did you see which global rockstar just took a selfie with a teen from Mentor? Check that out  by clicking here.

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It was in Cleveland that Hanks earned his Actors Equity Card, and he now boasts about the many afternoons spent watching the Indian’s playing live over at Municiple Stadium. His pride in the Tribe is one that Stephen Colbert recently learned of first hand:

So there you have it, did you know of all of those? Did we miss one? Leave your comments below. 

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