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Famous People from Portland, Oregon

Famous People From Portland, Oregon

Portland is famous for many things: food, sights, sounds, and more. It’s a wonderful city with a unique environment that’s responsible for molding some of our most beloved celebrities. That’s right! Some of your favorite celebrities are from Portland.

Want to find out who? Read on.

Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk is the literary genius that brought us Fight Club, the cult classic with some of the best performances from Edward Norton and Brad Pitt. I’d tell you more about Fight Club, but the first rule of Fight Club is don’t talk about Fight Club.

But I can tell you that Palahniuk wrote Fight Club in 1996, after which it was made into the famous movie that it now is. After Fight Club, Palahniuk wrote other famous books, such as Choke, Invisible Monsters, Survivor, Haunted, and more. Some were made into movies, but none have so far achieved the same level of box-office success as Fight Club.

Matt Groening

The Simpsons, Futurama, and Disenchanted wouldn’t exist without this genius. Matt Groening was born in 1954 in Portland and spent his early life there before moving to Olympia, WA, to attend college.

While Groening has done great work on many other TV shows, his most famous creation is The Simpsons, an animated sitcom that’s been on since 1989. The show has a global fan base and is a huge franchise.

James Beard

Where would American cuisine be without the influence of James Beard?

One of Portland’s greatest prides, James Beard was born in the city in 1903 and grew up to be one of the most famous chefs in the US. He’s also a world-famous food author.

He’s fondly remembered as the “the Dean of American cookery” thanks to his many outstanding achievements in the culinary world. There’s also a James Beard Foundation, which delivers awards and scholarships to talented young chefs with big dreams and other actors in the culinary world.

Aside from his foundation, the influence of James Beard touches many of food trucks in Portland, as well as restaurants.

Courtney Love

Courtney Love in her own right is a famous singer from the ‘90s. But she’s most famous for being married to Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana. Love spent a lot of her formative years in Portland and other parts of Oregon.

Gus Van Sant

Good Will Hunting was an amazing movie that won several awards. The performances of Matt Damon and Robin Williams were key to the movie’s success, but Gus Van Sant’s directing is what brought it all together.

Aside from Good Will Hunting, other famous movies from Director Gus Van Sant include My Own Private Idaho, Drugstore Cowboy, Milk, and Paranoid Park, some of which was shot in Portland.

Elliot Smith

A talented, award-winning artist who died at the young age of 34, Elliot Smith was a versatile songwriter and musician. His song, Miss Misery, won an Oscar after appearing in the movie Good Will Hunting.

Smith was proud of his Portland heritage and mentioned his city a lot in his songs.

Beverly Cleary

She wasn’t born in Portland, but Beverly Cleary is still celebrated as one of the city’s icons. She wrote several young adult novels that went on to be bestsellers, especially her books with Ramona as the protagonist.

Beverly Cleary School is named in her honor and multiple events are held every year to celebrate her legacy.

Carrie Brownstein

Famous for her role on the hit TV series Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein is one of Portland’s talented actresses, musicians, and writers.
Do you know any other famous people from Portland? Share with us in the comments.

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