Anyone who knows anything about Springfield knows Brad Pitt grew up here. Almost as many people know John Goodman is a Missouri boy and went to Missouri State University. Both of them have had illustrious Hollywood careers. While they may be the two most well known actors from Springfield, they’re not the only ones to hit the big screen from the Queen City. Let’s take a look at ten actors from Springfield who have appeared on both the big screen and the little one.
Although she wasn’t born in Springfield, she did live here during her college years. She studied under the same theater professors as Goodman at Missouri State University before hitting it big in 1981 with Body Heat. After her starring role in that film, she had a streak of huge hits and became one of the biggest stars of the 1980s.
Harper is another alumnus of the Missouri State Theater department, studying alongside Goodman and Turner before making it big in Hollywood. Harper is perhaps best known for her recent role in the cult TV show BReaking Bad as Jesse’s strict mother. Her other credits include Ed Tom Bell’s wife in No Country For Old Men and a slew of other roles from the early 1980s until today.
This Hillcrest High School alum has been on fire lately, racking up credits on some of the hottest shows on TV. She plays fellow Missouri native Eric Stonestreet’s sister on Modern Family and has appeared in The Good Place, Black-ish, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Veep, 2 Broke Girls and Bob’s Burgers to name a few. A few years back, she appeared on Jeff Houghton’s Mystery Hour and had a feature in 417 Mag. She’s SGF through and through!
Spaeny is another Springfield native who is ascending in Hollywood right now. She had roles in Pacific Rim: Uprising, Bad Times at the El Royale, The Academy-Award Winning Vice, and the story of Ruth Bader-Ginsburg On the Basis of Sex all in 2018. Next year she’ll be featured in a new series called Devs alongside Parks and Rec star Nick Offerman and created by Ex Machina Director Alex Garland. She’ll also be featured in a remake of 1996’s The Craft alongside David Duchovny and Michelle Monaghan. She got her start at our very own Springfield Little Theater! So cool to see her soaring!
Kickapoo High School’s soap opera super star, Jay Kenneth Johnson also attended Missouri state for a few years before taking a shot on the west coast. He was only there for a few months before he landed a recurring role on Days of Our Lives as Philip Kiriakis.
Two days after Adrienne Wilkinson graduated from Kickapoo High School, she moved to LA to pursue acting. She landed her first major role on Xena: Warrior Princess in a dual role as Xena’s daughter. She went on to rack up 80 credits as an actress in TV, movies, video games and more. She’s also produced 12 titles and has some interesting projects coming up!
The immensely talented Grabeel is yet another alum from Kickapoo High School, but before that he went to Logan-Rogersville, where he also starred in plays and performed in choirs. Grabeel’s star rose when he landed a lead role in High School Musical. He was a key figure in the soundtrack of the film that went Gold. He also registered 3 of the top ten downloads on iTunes during that time. Since then, he’s lent his voice to Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy among many other animated shows. He also appeared in the Academy Award winning film Milk, starring Sean Penn.
Mariann Mayberry was an illustrious stage actor in Chicago with the Steppenwolf Theater Company. She passed away in 2017 and left a legacy for Springfield actors that will inspire future actors for many years to come. She appeared in many of the most popular plays in Chicago during her time there, winning a Joseph Jefferson award for best performance by and actress in 2013’s Good People, and was nominated for three other performances. She also appeared alongside Tom Cruise in Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds.
Melissa Hutchinson is a well-decorated voice actress originally from Springfield. She was named Spike TV’s Voice Actress of the Year in 2013 for her best known performance as Clementine in TellTale games smash hit series based on the TV show The Walking Dead. The game won scores of awards and Hutchinson also netted a BAFTA for best female performer in a video game. She’s also got a big title coming up soon with Fairy Tale Forest, which co-stars Mel Brooks, Jane Lynch and Whoopi Goldberg.
Hey Rick and Morty fans, did you know that the voice of Ethan is from Springfield?! That’s right Dan Benson was born right here in the Queen City. He was also featured in the Disney Channel’s The Wizards of Waverly Place, where he helped develop an unnamed character into a recurring role. He’s also worked with big name actors like Luke Perry, Kathy Bates and Holly Hunter.