Top 15 Most Famous Celebrities From Virginia: Famous People From VA (2023)
Virginians were four of the first five United States presidents, and over the country’s history a total of eight men from the commonwealth have led the nation. So it is with distinction that Virginia has produced its share of celebrities. However, transitioning from the celebrity of politics to the spotlight of entertainment, the arts and sports, Virginia continues to shine.
BetVirginia.com, home to all things Virginia sports betting, took a hyper-localized approach to determine which celebrities, who were raised in the commonwealth and were also being discussed widely in the past year, could be considered the most well-known Virginia celebrities of the moment.
In arriving at the list below, BetVirginia.com utilized a weighted system that included AhRefs.com Keywords Explorer and Google Trends to determine the most-searched Virginia celebrities over the past 12 months (November 2022 to November 2023).
Once finding both statistics, the celebrity candidates’ scores were averaged to determine the Top 15. A Virginia celebrity was defined as a person who resided in Virginia in their formative childhood or teenage years for over five years. Celebrities here are defined as living actors/actresses, singers/songwriters, athletes, TV personalities, comedians, dancers, and social media influencers.
These celebrities vary across several professions, one of which had previously worked with an operator that offered Virginia sports betting promos, while others range from athletes to singers.
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Ranking the 15 Most Popular Virginia Celebrities
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Sandra Bullock Takes Spot as Most Famous Celebrity From Virginia
1. Sandra Bullock, Actress, Arlington County. Search volume: 2.0M. Bullock has starred in a range of films from romantic comedies to thrillers to science fiction. Among her many movies are A Time to Kill, Gravity, Miss Congeniality, While You Were Sleeping and The Blind Side. It was her role in The Blind Side that garnered her the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2009. She has also survived both an airplane crash and a head-on automobile collision.
2. Chris Brown, Musician, Tappahannock. Search volume: 1.1M. Brown is known by his peers as the “King of R&B”. He went to Essex High School and drew his musical inspiration from Michael Jackson. An innovative vocalist, dancer, and actor, among his many achievements is reported to have sold over 217 million records worldwide. If that wasn’t enough to earn celebrity, he has had a turbulent personal and professional relationship with fellow mega-star Rihanna. Brown’s notoriety also extends to well-chronicled legal and addiction issues.
3. Mark Hamill, Actor, Annandale. Search volume: 508K. Hamill, who attended Annandale High School, draws his film immortality from his role as the young Jedi Luke Skywalker in the Stars Wars saga. Conversely, Hamill, while continuing to work regularly as an actor, including as a voice actor (as the comic villain The Joker), has probably been held back professionally by the close association with the Skywalker character.
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Other Well-Known Virginia Celebrities
4. Rob Lowe, Actor, Charlottesville. Search volume: 418K. A Virginia native, Lowe actually went to high school in Southern California and met fellow actor Charlie Sheen. Lowe’s prolific acting career has spanned movies and TV. Among his early movie credits was St. Elmo’s Fire and on TV, he was a regular on The West Wing and Parks and Recreation.
5. Rhea Seehorn, Actress, Norfolk. Search volume: 415K. Born in Norfolk, Seehorn moved around the country with her family but went to college at George Mason University. Seehorn has appeared on the big screen as well as television and is probably best known for her role as Kim Wexler in Better Call Saul.
6. Lauren Graham, Actress, McLean. Search volume: 392K. Born in Hawaii, Graham attended Langley High School in McLean. Her numerus acting credits include Gilmore Girls and Parenthood.
7. David Arquette, Actor, Bentonville. Search volume: 327K. Along with acting, Arquette is a former professional wrestler. His four siblings are also actors, including Rosanna Arquette. His credits include movies (the Scream franchise), TV, music videos and video games.
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Other Top Virginia Celebrities to Make List
8. Patrick Wilson, Actor, Norfolk. Search volume: 320K. Wilson has appeared on stage, screen, and TV. He even has sung “God Bless America” before a MLB game. Critically acclaimed TV shows he starred in were Angels in America and Fargo.
T-9. Grant Gustin, Actor/Singer. Search volume: 312K. Gustin graduated from Granby High School in Norfolk. Gustin is probably best known for his roles as superhero, The Flash, having appeared in 184 episodes in the TV show and as the same character in other shows.
T-9. Pharrell Williams, Musician/Producer, Virginia Beach. Search volume: 312K. Williams attended Princess Anne High School in Norfolk. Often known as simply Pharrell, Williams is a songwriter, record producer, rapper, and singer. He has won 13 Grammy Awards and twice has been nominated for an Academy Award.
11. Patton Oswalt, Actor/Comedian, Portsmouth, Search volume 287K. Oswalt, the lead voice in the beloved Pixar film Ratatouille, was born in Portsmouth and ended up graduating from the College of William & Mary.
12. Allen Iverson, Basketball Hall of Famer, Hampton, Search volume 264K. Iverson was an 11-time NBA All-Star and won league MVP in 2001, the same year he led the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals. Interestingly, the long-retired Iverson is still the most popular athlete from the state.
13. Christopher Meloni, Actor, Alexandria, Search volume 213K. Meloni has had a long career on the screen and stage, but is most famous for his run on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
14. Shirley MacLaine, Actress, Richmond, Search volume 206K. The Oscar winner was born in Richmond and discovered her love for acting in plays at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington.
15. Danny McBride, Actor, Spotsylvania County, Search volume 189K. The HBO funny man has delivered several hit shows with Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals and The Righteous Gemstones.
Honorable mentions: Actress Beth Behrs; Actor Warren Beatty; Musician Missy Elliott; Actor Dermot Mulroney; Musician Dave Matthews; Comedian Wanda Sykes.
If you enjoyed this piece, make time for some of our other lifestyle pieces, such as: Best Movies Shot in Virginia.
Most Famous Celebrities From Virginia FAQ
Sandra Bullock and Chris Brown are the two most famous people from Virginia, according to research done by the BetVirginia.com staff. Mark Hamill, Rob Lowe and Rhea Seehorn round out the top five, ahead of others like Pharrell Williams and Allen Iverson.
Yes, Rob Lowe is from Virginia. The Parks and Rec actor was born in Charlottesville before taking his talents to Hollywood.
Allen Iverson is from Hampton, Virginia. The former NBA MVP led the Philadelphia 76ers to the league finals in 2001.
Yes, Danny McBride was raised in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.