7 Famous Personalities with NH Roots
Have you ever wondered where famous people come from? It’s often strange to think about the famous or even the infamous for that matter, as people. We often see them as characters on the screen and forget they were children just like us, had difficulties growing up and adventures along the way to stardom. Let’s face it, David Schwimmer will always be Ross from friends, maybe the Giraffe from Madagascar, but that’s more for the folks reading this who have children.
When we picture movie stars on the silver screen or musicians filling stadiums to the roar of thousands, we don’t think of the bumbling kid making his way through school or trying stand-up comedy for the first time, we just assume they started that way and for many of us, probably never gave a second thought to where the grew up.
New Hampshire is best known for its spectacular landscapes, clear streams, outstanding skiing and the most bold motto of all 50 states, but did you also know it’s the starting point of many notable personalities? We’d heard Adam Sandler was from New Hampshire and after a little research found the Granite State has fostered the development of many a notable personality. Here are 7 of our favorites.
Skiing wunderkind. He is an Olympic and World Championship gold medalist, a two-time overall World Cup champion in 2005 and 2008, and the most successful male American alpine ski racer of all time. He is also considered one of the greatest World Cup racers of all time with 33 victories – one of five men to win World Cup events in all five disciplines.
Ties to New Hampshire: Born in Easton, New Hampshire, grew up in Franconia, a small community in the heart of New Hampshire’s ski region that borders the Cannon Mountain Ski Area.
Author of thriller fiction who is best known for the 2003 bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. His books have been translated into 52 languages, and as of 2012, sold over 200 million copies. Two of them, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, have been adapted into films.
Ties to New Hampshire: Dan Brown was born and raised in Exeter, New Hampshire. He grew up on the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy, where his father Richard G. Brown was a teacher of mathematics.
Actor, comedian, screenwriter, entrepreneur, film producer, and musician. After becoming a Saturday Night Livecast member, Sandler went on to star in many Hollywood feature films that combined have grossed over $2 billion at the box office. He is best known for his comedic roles, such as in the films Billy Madison (1995), Happy Gilmore (1996), The Wedding Singer (1998), The Waterboy (1998), Big Daddy (1999), and Mr. Deeds (2002)
Ties to New Hampshire: Moving to New Hampshire when he was 5, Adam Sandler grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire and attended Central High School. At 17, he took his first step toward becoming a stand-up comedian when he spontaneously took the stage at a Boston comedy club.
Sarah Silverman is an stand-up comedian, writer, and actress. Her satirical comedy addresses social taboos and controversial topics such as racism, sexism, and religion by having her comic character endorse them in an ironic fashion.
Ties to New Hampshire: Silverman was born in Bedford, New Hampshire and raised in Manchester.
Singer-songwriter. LaMontagne has released five studio albums, Trouble, Till the Sun Turns Black, Gossip in the Grain, God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise and Supernova. He was born in New Hampshire and was inspired to create music after hearing an album by Stephen Stills. Critics have compared LaMontagne’s music to that of Otis Redding, The Band, Van Morrison, Nick Drake and Tim Buckley.
Ties to New Hampshire: LaMontagne was born in Nashua, New Hampshire in 1973, one of six children raised by his mother. In his early teens he lived in Morgan, Utah and was more interested in drawing images of Dungeons & Dragons than in his school work. After graduating from high school, LaMontagne moved to Lewiston, Maine and found work in a shoe factory.
Professional poker player and author. She holds a World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet from 2004 and is the leading money winner among women in WSOP history. Duke won the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions and the National Heads-Up Poker Championship in 2010.
Ties to New Hampshire: Duke, born as Anne LaBarr Lederer, grew up in Concord, New Hampshire. Her brother Howard Lederer is a professional poker player as well.
Kamen is best known for inventing the product that eventually became known as the Segway PT, an electric, self-balancing human transporter with a computer-controlled gyroscopic stabilization and control system.
Ties to New Hampshire: His residence is a hexagonal, shed style mansion he dubbed Westwind,located in Bedford, New Hampshire.