Over 180 celebrity sightings of one nature or another are listed on this page.  For our purposes, it is not enough for a celebrity to have merely visited the state, say to perform in concert or to play in some sporting event.  We require a bit more.  Being born here--like Rex Allen, Lynda "Wonder Woman" Carter, Andy Devine, Barbara "I Dream of Genie" Eden, Stevie Nicks, and Linda Ronstadt--is sufficient.  Living here, as did Steve Allen, Amanda Blake, Glen Campbell, Dick Van Dyke, Loretta Young and others, also warrants inclusion.  Sufficient credit for a listing will be earned by going to school here--Ted Danson, Greg Kinnear, Don Knotts, Nick Nolte, Geraldo Rivera, and Steven Spielberg all received some part of their education in the state.

Dying in the state, whether by suicide--Charles Boyer, Will Rogers, Jr. and Walter Winchell--or natural causes--Don Ameche, Waylon Jennings, Ben Johnson, Linda McCartney--automatically qualifies a celebrity for a listing.  The misfortune of suffering a violent death in our peaceful state, like Bob Crane and Tom Mix, will probably result in an even larger listing.

A few celebrities were just passing through but managed to do such interesting things that we had to list them.  How could we possibly omit Pamela Anderson, who was hauled into the police station for improper dress along Route 66, or Patrick Swayze, who crash landed his plane in a quiet neighborhood.  A few qualified for their listing by being arrested--Danny Bonaduce for punching out a transvestite hooker, Diana Ross for drunk driving, and Jim Morrison and Axl Rose for behaving like rock stars.

Newest additions to this celebrity page include cartoonist Bil Keane, hockey great Wayne Gretzky, singing cowboys Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, the full figure girl Jane Russell, and Richard M. Nixon's partner in crime, John D. Ehrlichman. In October, 2003, Rush Limbaugh joined our Sierra Tucson alumni Julie Andrews, Michael Douglas, Robert Downey Jr., Martin Lawrence and Patrick Swayze, by seeking treatment for addiction in Tucson.

If you would like to nominate a celebrity for inclusion or if you have any comments about those listed, please Email our webmaster.  The address is on the menu bar at the top of each page.  Since we include only listings corroborated by publications of at least minimal merit, our Webmaster would be most appreciative if you include reference to some source material.

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Aldrin, Buzz

Trained at Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Sunset Crater &  Lowell Observatory

Married in Phoenix

(Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., 1930.01.20-    )  NASA Astronaut, second person to walk on the moon, Ph. D, Colonel, USAF Ret.

In preparation for exploration of the moon, Buzz Aldrin and the other Apollo astronauts received hands-on geography instruction which included field trips to the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, and Sunset Crater in Arizona.  They visited the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff where they got their first close-up view of the moon through the telescope purchased by its founder Percival Lowell in 1896. 

Ali, Muhammad

Purchased home in Paradise Valley

(Cassius Marcellus Clay, 1942.01.17-    )  "The Greatest" professional boxer.

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali when he was Cassius Clay, 1967.

In July 2005, Muhammad Ali and his wife, Yolonda, purchased a $1.6 million dollar, six bedroom home in Paradise Valley.  The comparatively modest home for Paradise Valley--just $200,000 more than the median price of homes there--is in a gated community south of Camelback Golf Club, and just 2 miles from heavyweight champion Mike Tyson's home.

In 1997 the Barrow Neurological Center in Phoenix named the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center for Ali, who has visited the center frequently.  Ali has been treated for Parkinson's since 1982.

Allen, Rex

Born in Wilcox

Died in Tucson

(Rex Elvie Allen, 1922.12.31-1999.12.17)  Singing movie cowboy.

Rex Allen was the singing cowboy that replaced Roy Rogers at Republic Pictures.  In the title role for his first movie, The Arizona Cowboy (1950), he foiled a scheme to wreck an irrigation project and take farmer's land so that the villains could drill for the oil only they knew was there. 

Allen, Steve

Lived in Phoenix

Graduate of Phoenix Union High; Attended ASU

On-air personality on KOY Phoenix

(Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen, 1921.12.26-2000.10.30)  Author, composer, host, musician, poet, playwright, performer.

Born on the day after Christmas in New York City, Steve Allen came to Arizona when he transferred to Phoenix Union High School from Hyde Park in Chicago.  In spite of a late start he still received credit in the yearbook for the Annual Staff, Journal Staff, Mor Follies, Entertainment Committee, and Scribble and Blot.  His trademark glasses are missing from his senior picture. 

Ameche, Don

Lived in Scottsdale

Died in Scottsdale

(Dominic Felix Amici, 1908.05.31-1993.12.06)  Actor.

Don Amechde
Don Ameche in Ragtime, 1938.

Like his brother Jim, Don started in New York radio, but traveled west to Hollywood to become a dapper leading man in movies of the 1930's and 40's. His most memorable role may be John Bickerson whose constant verbal sparing with his loud mouthed wife, Blanche, was heard on radio and a series of albums.

He retired to Scottsdale, but made a movie comeback in the 1980's with roles in Trading Places (1983) and Cocoon (1985). For his performance in Cocoon, he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He continued acting until days before his death of prostate cancer.

Ameche, Jim

Died in Tucson

(Dominic Felix Amici, 1915.08.06-1983.02.04)  Actor.

Jim Ameche was original Jack Armstrong in radio's Jack Armstrong, the All American Boy. Although the program ran from 1933 to 1951, he bowed out in 1938. He remained in New York working in radio while his brother Don went on to movies, taking over his brother's position of host and announcer for The Chase and Sanborn Hour.

In the 1957 film The Story of Mankind, he portrayed Alexander Graham Bell.  His brother portrayed Bell in the 1939 biography, The Story of Alexander Graham Bell.

He was 67 when died of lung cancer in Tucson.

Anderson, Pamela

Almost arrested on Route 66

Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson in 2009. Photo by Glenn Francis, PacificProDigital.com .

(Pamela Denise Anderson, 1967.07.01-    )  Actor.

Born on Vancouver Island, Canada, Pamela gained media attention while attending a British Columbia Lions football game.  Cameramen spotted her taut Labatt's Beer T-shirt in the stands and broadcast her image on the stadium's wide screen.  Fans cheered, and she was taken to the 50-yard line to be introduced to the crowd.  Labatt's signed her to a commercial contract as the company's "Blue Zone" girl. 

Andrews, Julie

Treated in Tucson

Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, 1964.

(Julia Elizabeth Wells, 1935.10.01-    )  Actor, singer.

The May 25, 1999 issue of the Globe claimed she was there because she was addicted to prescription drugs.  Her lawyers, threatening suit against the tabloid, say she was there to get counseling for ''problems with her singing voice as a result of throat surgery almost two years ago'' and ''the death of a beloved aunt who played a pivotal role in her childhood and professional development.''  She says that she simply wanted to help with "emotional issues surrounding my grief."  (The Globe later recanted and apologized for its story.)

Everyone can agree at least on one thing:  Julie Andrews was a guest at Tucson's exclusive Sierra Tucson clinic in 1999.

Arpaio, Sheriff Joe

Lives in Fountain Hills

(1932.06.14-    )  Maricopa County Sheriff.

Joseph Arpaio was elected sheriff of Maricopa County in 1992.  Things haven't been the same in the county jail since.  A champion of self promotion, the sheriff quickly became known as as "America's toughest sheriff."

Asner, Jules

Born in Tempe

Lived in Tempe

Graduated from McClintock High School in Tempe

Jules Asner
Jules Asner in 2009.  Photo by Nicolas Genin .

(Julie Ann White, 1968-    )  Model.

After graduating from McClintock High School in Tempe, Arizona in 1986, Jules went on to modeling and marriage. She married Edward Asner's son Matthew in 1992.  She divorced him four years later, but kept his name.

She was the original host of E!'s Wild On from 1997 to 1999. Her short movie resume (playing herself in two movies) may grow, since she married producer and director Steven Soderbergh (1963-    ) in 2003.

Astaire, Adele

Died in Tucson

(1896.09.10-1981.01.25)  Dancer, singer.

Adele Astair
Adele Astaire in 1919.

The younger sister and original dance partner of Fred Astaire (1899-1987) had a stroke and died in Tucson at the age of 84, or 83, or 82--her bios seem to have been some dancing around her birth date.

A lady erring on her age could be attributed to vanity, but keeping a dancing kid act viable for vaudeville is equally plausible. And the Astaire kids had quite a successful run in vaudeville.

Adele had been the bigger star, both on the vaudeville stage and when they transformed their act into a successful adult dance team on Broadway and the London stage.  She was a particular favorite of Great Britain's royals.

Adele retired from performing at the conclusion of their smash 1931 run in a revue on Broadway.  Adele got married and moved to Ireland taking up residence in Lismore Castle as Lady Charles Cavendish.  Fred went west to become Hollywood royalty. 

Astor, Mary

Married in Yuma

Mary Astor
Mary Astor in 1941.

(Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, 1906.05.03-1987.09.25)  Actor.

When Mary Astor had appeared in about two-thirds of the 123 motion pictures she would eventually make, she flew to Yuma to marry the third of her four husbands.  There, on February 18, 1936, the 30-year-old actress married the 24-year-old Mexican sports figure Manuel del Campo.  Mary flew back to Los Angeles where at first she denied the marriage, and Manuel flew to his home in Mexico where he continued to deny the marriage.  They were divorced in 1941.

Autry, Gene

Owned ranches in Florence and Winslow, and TV stations KOOL in Phoenix and KOLD in Tucson

Gene Autry
Gene Autry c. 1940.

(Orvon Gene Autry, 1907.09.29-1998.10.02)   Singing movie cowboy.

Gene Autry was the nation's most popular movie cowboy in the 1930's.  In 1942, against the opposition of his studio and facing the loss of a civilian income in the range of $600,000 a year, the 35 year old Autry enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps.  He was assigned to Special Service at Luke Field, west of Phoenix. 

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Baldwin, Stephen

Lives in Tucson

Stephen Baldwin
Stephen Baldwin, 2010.  Photo by Gage Skidmore .

(1966.05.12-    )  Actor.

The youngest of the four acting Baldwin brothers (the others being Alec, William, and Daniel) lives on a ranch in Tucson.  Clicks Billiards claims Stephen as a longtime regular visitor at their Tucson location at 3325 N. First Avenue.  In the late 1990's he partnered with businessman Anthony Martino to open Anthony's Cigar Emporium in Tucson. 

Balsam, Talia

Attended the Treehaven School in Tucson

(1960-    )  Actor.

The daughter of Martin Balsam (1914-1996) and Joyce Van Patten (1934-    ) attended boarding school at the Treehaven School in Tucson from approximately 1971 to 1974. She was married to George Clooney (1961-    ) from 1989 to 1993. She married actor John Slattery (1963-    ) in 1998.

Barger, "Sonny"

Imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Institution,  Phoenix

Lives in New River

(Ralph Barger, Jr., c. 1939-    )  Hells Angel icon, author, entrepreneur.

Sonny Barger is the world's most famous Hells Angel.  He is the founding member and President of the Oakland chapter who is credited with pulling the disparate clubs together in the 1960's and unleashing the club on a worldwide expansion drive.

In the late 1980's his biking career was interrupted for him to spend some quality time in the Arizona sun.  The four year hiatus wasn't exactly voluntary.  He was a guest at the federal prison in Arizona for conspiring to blow up the clubhouse of the Outlaws, a rival biker gang. 

Barrymore, John

Married in Yuma

(John Sidney Blyth, 1882.02.14-1942.05.29)  Actor, grandfather of Drew Barrymore.

On November 8, 1936, 54-year-old John Barrymore boarded a chartered plane in Los Angeles with his 21-year-old protégé Elaine Berrie.  When the plane landed in Yuma, the couple headed for the Justice of the Peace where they were married just after midnight.  The bride's parents arrived in Los Angeles from New York by plane the day before, and accompanied the couple on the Yuma trip where they acted as witnesses to the ceremony.  Almost immediately, the wedding party returned to Los Angeles by train.

At the time of the Yuma marriage, the ink was barely dry on the final divorce decree from Barrymore's third wife, Dolores Costello.  Dolores was a mere 21 years younger than Barrymore, and would become Drew Barrymore's grandmother.  His second wife, Blanche Oelrichs, and his first wife, Katherine Corri Harris,  were within a decade of his age.  He and Elaine divorced in 1940, but she would be the only of his three living ex's to attend his funeral.  Elaine was the first of his wives to use the Barrymore stage name and the first Barrymore to undress on stage.

Bauer, Jaime Lyn

Born in Phoenix

Born in Phoenix

Graduated from Phoenix Junior College

(Norma Marvhne Bauer, 1949.03.09-    )  Actor.

The former Miss Phoenix and runner-up in the Miss Arizona Pageant left town to become a soap maven. She was Lauralee Brooks on The Young and Restless (1973) from the start of the series until 1983, and reprieved the role in 1984 and 2002. She was the fifth embodiment of Laura Spencer Horton in Days of Our Lives (1965) from 1993 to 1999 and again in 2003.

Bayne, Beverly

Died in Scottsdale

Beverly Bayne
Beverly Bayne in 1916.

(Pearl Von Name, 1929.02.20-1989.08.16)  Actor.

As a silent movie star, Beverly appeared in 155 movies between 1912 and 1924. She married silent move heartthrob Francis X. Bushman (1883-1966) in 1918, but was divorced seven years later.

 She died in Scottsdale from a heart attack.

Beck, Glenn

Lived in Phoenix area

Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck in 2010. Photo by David Shankbone .

(Glenn Edward Lee Beck, 1964.02.10-    )  Right wing entertainer.

Months after Beck was terminated from Louisville radio station WRKA in 1987, he was hired by Phoenix Top-40 radio station KOY-FM.  There he co-hosted the "morning zoo" program with Arizona native Tim Hattrick.

Beck promoted himself and his program through a rivalry with competing pop music station KZZP and their morning host Bruce Kelly.  The high (or low) point in the rivalry was reached when Beck called Kelly's on-the-air wife and mocked her recent miscarriage. 

Beck left KOY and Arizona in 1989.

Benét, Eric

Treated in Wickenburg

(Eric Benét Jordan, 1970.10.15-    )  R & B singer, musician, composer.

Eric Benét
Eric Benét, 2008.  Photo by Ed Kavishe .

Eric Benét was treated for sexual addiction at The Meadows in Wickenburg in June, 2002, at the behest of his wife of just over a year, Halle Berry (1968-    ).  Halle first learned of Eric's infidelity just days after she won the Best Actress Oscar for Monster's Ball (2001), when he confessed to two affairs.

With the trust broken, Halle hired a private detective and learned that there were at least 10 affairs. Eric then confessed to a "sexual addiction" which started just six months after their marriage.  Reportedly, he did not initially feel that he was cheating since his first indiscretions were limited to oral encounters which, of course, would not be included in the Clinton definition of sex.

Still in love and forgiving but not forgetting, Halle suspended divorced action on the condition that Eric get treatment.  After release Eric was reported to be transformed into a dutiful house husband in an arrangement akin to house arrest.

Bennett, Michael

Died in Tucson

(Michael Bennett DiFiglia, 1943.04.08-1987.07.02)  Director, choreographer, author.

The director, co-producer, co-author and co-choreographer of the long running "A Chorus Line" died in Tucson of AIDS-related lymphoma.

Berlin, Irving

Composed at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix

(1888.05.11-1989.09.22)  Composer, lyricist.

Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin in 1919.

One of this country's most popular, prolific and important composers, Berlin is reported by the Arizona Biltmore to have written White Christmas [published May 6, 1942] while sitting poolside at the hotel.

 Others are less certain but think that it might have been composed during a visit to the hotel--or in New York--or maybe a bit at both places.

Berlin was a repeat visitor to the hotel, writing scores for the movies Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938) and Carefree (1938) on a November 1937 stay, and for Second Fiddle (working title "When Winter Comes" 1939) on a return visit in January 1939.

Of the hotel, Berlin said, "It's great here.  My only wonder is that it isn't even more popular than it is."

Bernhard, Sandra

Graduate of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale

Sandra Bernhard
Sandra Bernhard, 2008.  Photo by Slomotion777 at en.wikipedia .

(1955.06.06-    )  Comic, actor.

Sandra spent her early years in the Midwest as the daughter of a proctologist and an abstract artist. When she was 10, the family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona.  In her comedy act she has been known to describe her youth as a "Jewess" in a sea of "blonde WASPs," which might not an inaccurate description of Scottsdale. 

After graduating from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Sandra went to a kibbutz in Israel, and then to Hollywood where she was a manicurist in Beverly Hills by day, and a stand up comic by night. She parlayed her routine into television appearances and specials, and even the occasional movie.

Biehn, Michael

Lived in Lake Havasu City

Attended U of A

(1956.07.31-    )  Actor.

Michael Biehn
Michael Biehn, 2008.  Photo by Bree Bailey .

The Biehn family moved to Lake Havasu when Michael was 14. He won a drama scholarship to the University of Arizona but left after 2 years to try his hand in Hollywood.

After small parts in a number of TV shows, he was cast in the title role to stalk Lauren Bacall in The Fan (1983).  In James Cameron's The Terminator (1984) he came from the future to save the world from Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Cameron liked him so much that he put him in Aliens (1986), The Abyss (1989) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) in which his scenes were cut, but restored in the special DVD edition.  His other films include Clockstoppers (2002), Chain of Command (2000), The Rock (1996), Tombstone (1991), and Navy SEALs (1990).

"Billy the Kid"

Lived in Globe area for 2 years

Killed his first man in Camp Grant

(Probably born Henry McCarty, aka William H. Bonney, William Antrim, Henry Antrim and Kid Antrim, 1859.11.23-1881.07.14)  West's most famous outlaw.

The west's most famous outlaw killed his first man on August 17, 1877 in George Adkins' Saloon in Camp Grant, midway between Globe and Tucson not far off what is now state route 77.  Billy had come to the Arizona Territory about two years earlier when he ran away from his stepfather's home in Silver City, NM, not wanting to face him following a prank involving petty theft from a laundry. 

Blake, Amanda

Lived in Phoenix

Amanda Blake
Amanda Blake in 1950.

(Beverly Louise Neill, 1929.02.20-1989.08.16)  Actor.

Amanda Blake played Miss Kitty Russell, proprietor of Dodge City's Long Branch Saloon, for 19 years on Gunsmoke.

At her four-acre home site at 5105 E. Exeter Street in the Arcadia District of Phoenix, she operated a cat-house of different kind. There she kept a lion and 10 rare cheetahs. 

Bluth, Don

Lives in Phoenix

(1937.09.13-   )  Animator, producer, director.

Don Bluth
Don Bluth, 2006.  Photo by Gil Megidish .

Don was a chief animator at Disney after the death of Walt. (Notwithstanding rumors to the contrary, Walt Disney (1901-1965) was not put into cryogenic suspended animation upon his death--unlike Scottsdale "resident" Ted Williams.)

Amid rumors that the animation unit might be shut down, he and a number of other Disney animators formed their own company to produce The Secret of NIMH (1982), a creative success but box office failure.

He was more successful when he teamed with one time Phoenix resident Steven Spielberg to create An American Tail (1986) and The Land Before Time (1988).

When Fox decided to invest $100 million to animate pictures in the desert, Don Bluth headed up the effort. The Fox Animation Studio at 2747 East Camelback Road, Phoenix opened in 1993. They hired over 300 animators and technicians and began work on Anastasia (1997). The direct to video Bartok the Magnificent (1999) and Titan A.E. (2000) followed. Titan cost $75 million to make, but brought in only $17 million at the box office.

In the face of such losses, Fox decided to shut down the Phoenix studio in June 2000. Don remained in Phoenix forming Don Bluth Films, Inc. Dragon's Lair will be the first film of the new company and was set for release in the summer of 2003. You may check on the progress of the production at donbluth.com.

Bock, Fred

Died in Phoenix

(1918-2000.08.25)  WWII pilot.

On August 6, 1945, a B-29 named "Enola Gay" dropped the world's second atomic bomb, "Little Boy" on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later another B-29 named "Bockscar" dropped the more powerful "Fat Man" on Nagasaki, Japan, effectively ending World War II. "Bockscar" was named after it's regular pilot, Fred Bock. He was not on that mission since the crew of the "Greate Artiste" switched planes with them for that mission. The world's first atomic bomb, "The Trinity Device," was detonated from a tower in the New Mexico desert.

Bombeck, Erma

Lived in Paradise Valley

(Erma Louise Fiste Bombeck, 1927.02.21-1996.04/22)  Humorist, columnist and author.

Her book titles include The Grass Is Always Greener over the Septic Tank, Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession, All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned in Loehmann's Dressing Room, and I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression.

Erma met her husband, Bill, when they were both teenagers working as copy clerks at Dayton newspapers. She became a feature writer at the Dayton Herald, but left to be a full time mother. She returned to write a column about family life in 1965, which was syndicated in 20 papers within a month.  When the family moved to Arizona for the climate in 1971, her column was appearing in 200 papers.

At the time of her death from complications of kidney transplant surgery, she and her husband of over 40 years were living in a tile-and-stucco Paradise Valley home overlooking Camelback Mountain. Her burial plot at Woodlawn Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio, includes a 29,000-pound boulder taken from an Arizona neighbor's property.  Bill said that he "wanted a piece of Phoenix" at his wife's grave to remember their 25 years in Arizona.

Bonaduce, Danny

Lived in Phoenix

Arrested in Phoenix

Danny Bonaduce
Danny Bonaduce, 2007.  Photo by fashion photographer Anthony Citrano .

(1959.08.13-    )  Child actor, disk jockey, author, host.

Danny was the red headed child actor playing the bratty Danny Partridge on The Partridge Family from 1970 to 1974.  Opportunities being what they are for former child actors, Danny turned to radio, eventually landing a spot on Phoenix's Power 92 KKFR where he kept Partridge as his on air name. 

Bonanno, Joseph

Lived in Tucson

Died in Tucson

Joseph Bonanno
Joseph Bonanno in 1964.

(1905.01.18-2002.05.12)  Mafia godfather.

Many famous figures in Arizona history came to the state for their health.  When the model for the title character in Mario Puzo's The Godfather was forced into "retirement" by an internal Mafia conflict in the 1960's he too came to Arizona for his health.

Bonds, Barry

Graduated from Arizona State University

(Barry Lamar Bonds, 1964.07.24-    )  Major League Baseball player.

Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds, 1993.  Photo by Jim Accordino .

When San Francisco Giant's slugger Barry Bonds hit his 699th home run off the JumboTron scoreboard at the Diamondback's home field on September 12, 2004, he was on the threshold of reaching the 700 home run milestone only two players had passed before him--Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). 

Long before Bonds challenged Babe Ruth for the most career home runs, or Jose Canseco for most effective use of steroids, he spent three years playing for the Sun Devils.  Although he was drafted by the Giants in 1982, he chose to attend Arizona State University instead.  There he played college baseball before graduating in 1986. In two of the three years he was at ASU, he took the Sun Devils to the College World Series.  As a .347 career hitter at ASU, he ranks third in the Devil's all time list with 45 home runs.  His .616 slugging percentage ranks him 11th at ASU.  In 1999 he was enshrined in the Arizona State Sports Hall of Fame.

Bonds began his Major League career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986, but returned to his home state in 1993 when he joined the San Francisco Giants.

Borman, Frank

Lived in Tucson

(1928.03.14-    )  Astronaut.

Frank Borman was born in Gary, Indiana, and raised in Tucson.  He was a quarterback on the Tucson High School football team that won the Arizona state football championship in 1945.  He had his sights set higher than football, becoming an U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, and then a NASA astronaut.  He was the Commander of the 1968 Apollo 8 mission, making him one of the first three humans to orbit the moon. 

Boyer, Charles

Married in Yuma

Lived in Paradise Valley

Overdosed in Scottsdale

Died in Phoenix

(1897.08.28-1978.08.26)  Actor.
Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer in a 1938 publicity photo.

Charles Boyer was born in France, but became a major romantic lead in films of the 1930's and 40's, never losing his French accent.  In 1938 he played the suave jewel thief Pepe le Moko in the movie Algiers.  He made such an impression that a cartoon skunk, Pepe le Pew, was introduced by Warner Bros. to revisit the character.

In the 1956 I Love Lucy episode "Lucy Meets Charles Boyer," he played a Charles Boyer look-alike hired by Lucy to assuage Ricky's jealous streak.  Naturally, the look-alike turned out to really be Charles Boyer, much to Lucy's consternation.

Charles Boyer came to Hollywood in 1934 with his friend, actor Maurice Chevalier.  He met the English actress Pat Paterson (1911-1978) who had arrived in Hollywood only three months earlier.  Within a month of their meeting, the 34-year-old Boyer and the 22-year-old Paterson would elope and marry in Yuma.  Later, they would move from Hollywood to Paradise Valley.

Pat died in Phoenix from cancer in 1978.  Just two days after her death, Charles took an overdose of Seconal while at a friend's home at 6806 North Desert Fairways Drive, Scottsdale. He was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix where he died. Their only child, Michael Boyer (1944-1965) also committed suicide. 

Brinley, Charles

Born in Yuma

(1880.11.15-1946.02.17)  Actor.

An actor in nearly 140 films between 1913 and 1939.  Many of the films were silent, and he was frequently uncredited.  He was born in Yuma.

Brooks, Jason

Attended the University of Arizona

(Jason Maxwell Brooks, 1966.05.10-    )  Actor.

The actor that played the evil Peter Blake from 1993 to 1998 on Days of Our Lives (1965-    ) studied business administration at the University of Arizona. Midway through his Days stint, he appeared bare chested on the cover of the December 1995 issue of Playgirl magazine. He moved on to play Sean Monroe on Baywatch (1989-    ) from 1999 to 2001, and then to numerous parts in various television shows.

Brown, Amanda

Born in Arizona

Graduate of ASU

(    -    )  Writer.

Amanda Brown was no stranger to the law when she wrote the manuscript for Legally Blonde.  Her father is the late Jack Brown who founded the Phoenix law firm Brown & Bain.  Her mother was a member of the second Harvard Law College class to admit women to their ranks.

Bruckheimer, Jerry

Lived in Tucson

Graduate of U of A

Jerry Bruckheimer
Jerry Bruckheimer, 2010.  Photo by BrokenSphere at Wikipedia Commons .

(1945.09.21-    )  Producer.

Bruckheimer is the quintessential Hollywood producer of the multi-million dollar blockbuster motion picture.  His productions include Black Hawk Down (2001), Pearl Harbor (2001), the TV series C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), Armageddon (1998), Crimson Tide (1995), Top Gun (1986), Flashdance (1983), American Gigolo (1980), and many others.

He graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in psychology.

Bush, George

Parachuted over Yuma

George H. W. Bush
President George H. W. Bush, official 1989 portrait.

(George Herbert Walker Bush, 1924.06.12-    )  41st President of the United States (1989-1993).

On Tuesday, March 25, 1997, former President George Bush strapped on a parachute and jumped out of a civilian plane flying 12,500 feet above the Army's Yuma Proving Ground.  After free falling for 8,000 feet, he deployed his chute and glided to a smooth landing at the training base used by the Army's precision parachuting team, the Golden Knights.

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Cage, Nicolas

Honeymooned in Phoenix - twice

Nichlas Cage
Nicholas Cage, 2009.  Photo by Nicolas Genin .

(Nicholas Kim Coppola, 1964.01.07-    )  Actor.

Nicholas and his first bride, Patricia Arquette, honeymooned at the Biltmore following their April 8, 1995 wedding.  He must have liked the accommodations since he returned to the Biltmore for a honeymoon with his second wife, Lisa Marie Presley, after their August 10, 2002 wedding.

Campbell, Glen

Lived in Phoenix and Flagstaff

Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell in 2004.

(Glen Travis Campbell, 1936.04.22-    )  Musician, singer, actor.

By the time Glenn Campbell got to Phoenix, he was an established recording star (By the Time I Get to Phoenix, 1967; Gentle on My Mind, 1967; Wichita Lineman, 1968; Galveston, 1969; Rhinestone Cowboy, 1975), a veteran television star (The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, 1969-1972; The Glen Campbell Music Show, 1982-1983), a co-star with sometime Arizona resident John Wayne in True Grit (1969), and a star in a less than memorable movie (Norwood, 1970).

Carbajal, Michael

Born in Phoenix

Lives in Phoenix

(1967.09.17-    )  Boxer, Olympic Silver Medallist, 4 time Junior Flyweight Champion.

Phoenix native Michael Carbajal was America's Junior Flyweight entry in the 1988 Seoul Olympics in South Korea.  In a controversial decision, he took the Silver medal after a match in which he dominated the Bulgarian boxer to whom the judges gave the Gold medal.  

Carter, Lynda

Born in Phoenix

Lived in Phoenix

Graduated from Arcadia High School

Lynda Carter
Lynda Carter, 2009.  Photo by The Heart Truth .

(Linda Jean Cordova, 1951.07.24-    )  Actor.

From 1976 to 1979 Lynda Carter was the title character in the Wonder Woman television series.  While she might be thought of as a one hit wonder, she can list a few more accomplishments, including the Miss Arizona and Miss USA titles in the early 1970's, 25 guest and acting appearances, two husbands and two children.

Linda was born and grew up in Phoenix.  She graduated from Arcadia High School in 1969.

Chavez, Cesar

Born near Yuma

Died in San Luis

Cesar Chavez
Cesar Chavez, 1974.  Photo by Joel Levine .

(Cesar Estrada Chavez, 1927.03.31-1993.04.23)  Union leader, activist.

Cesar Chavez was born on a small farm outside Yuma that his grandfather homesteaded.  When he was 10, his father lost the farm in the Great Depression, and he began a life as a migrant worker.

In 1962, he founded National Farm Workers Association (NFWA).  In 1966, the NFWA merged with an AFL-CIO sponsored union to form the United Farm Workers (UFW).

Claus, Santa

Plummeted to his apparent death from a plane flying over Mesa

(c. 1823-1932.12.19)  Merry old pot bellied gentleman fond of red & white clothing.

In the winter of 1932, business activity along Main Street in the rural town of Mesa had slowed to a crawl.  The nation was in a depression and the 4,000 or so residents of the farming community were not spared. 

Cobb, Linda

Lives in Peoria

(c. 1950-    )  Author, radio/television personality, entrepreneur.

The Queen of Clean who holds court on the valley's Channel 3, and more recently on HGTV, moved to Peoria in 1995 with her husband, John.  The former owner of a cleaning and disaster restoration company began publishing a newsletter and became a local media darling. She appeared on a radio program at a time when valley visits of the infamous Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsey, were receiving media attention.  The radio personality dubbed her the "Queen of Clean," and the name stuck.

Cohn, Harry

Died in Phoenix

(1891.07.23-1958.02.27)  Movie mogul.

In 1929, Harry Cohn, his brother Jack Cohn (1989-1956) and friend Joe Brandt (1882-1939), formed Columbia Pictures. As the demanding studio head he became the epitome of the venomous mogul. He achieved infamy with quotes like "I don't get ulcers, I give 'em!"

Although possibly immune from ulcers, he did not have the same protection from heart disease. While wintering at the Arizona Biltmore resort he was strickened with a heart attack. He died in the ambulance as it sped toward St. Joseph's Hospital.

The studio feared that Harry would be no more popular in death than in life. To insure the presence of some mourners it ordered employees to attend the funeral.

Colbert, Claudette

Married in Yuma

Claudette Colbert
Claudette Colbert, 1933.

(Lily Claudette Chauchoin, 1903.09.13-1996.07.30)  Actor.

The year after Claudette Colbert stared in It Happened One Night (1934) with Clark Gable, Miss Colbert traveled to Yuma to marry Dr. Joel Pressman.  Unlike many other Yuma celebrity marriages, this one lasted.  The Pressmans were still husband and wife at her death.  Her previous first marriage had succumbed after 7 years.

Condit, Gary

Has a home in North Phoenix

Gary Condit
Gary Condit, Con- gressional Pictorial Directory photo, 2001.

(Gary Adrian Condit, 1948.04.21-    )  U.S. Congressman.

While serving as the Democrat Representative for California's 18th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, Condit had the misfortune of having an affair with an intern for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons who mysteriously disappeared in April, 2001.  The body of intern Chandra Levy was not discovered until May, 2002. 

Cooper, Alice

Grew up in Phoenix

Attended Cortez High School

Lives in Paradise Valley


Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper, 2007.  Photo by pinguino k .

(Vincent Damon Furnier, 1948.02.04-    )  Singer, songwriter, actor.

Vince was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of a minister.  The family moved to Phoenix when he was 13.  In high school, he formed a band which was eventually became "Alice Cooper" after a woman who was persecuted for witchcraft in Medieval Europe. 

Crabbe, Buster

Died in Scottsdale

Buster Crabbe
Buster Crabbe from his 1955 NBC TV series, Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion.

(Clarence Linden Crabbe, 1907.02.17-1983.04.23)  Actor.

Buster lost the chance to be the first movie Tarzan in the Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) to Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984). Buster did get to play Tarzan in Tarzan the Fearless (1933), and became the original movie Flash Gordon in 1936. Like Weissmuller, he had been an Olympic swimming champion, winning the gold medal in the 400-meter free-style at the 1932 Olympics.

He died in his home in Scottsdale from a heart attack.  He is buried in the Green Acres Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Crane, Bob

Murdered in Scottsdale

Bob Crane
Bob Crane from his 1965 CBS TV series, Hogan's Heroes.

(Robert Edward Crane, 1928.07.13-1978.06.29)  Actor, disk jockey, drummer.

The actor that made his mark playing the crafty namesake in popular television series Hogan's Heroes made his last appearance in a Scottsdale apartment.  His bludgeoned body was found next to video equipment and tapes containing performances of a completely different nature.

Cronkite, Walter

Namesake for & participant in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, Tempe

Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite in 2004.

(Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr., 1916.11.04-    )  Newscaster, anchor "CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite" 1962-1981.

In 1983 the Walter Cronkite Endowment was established at ASU's journalism department when the former CBS managing editor and anchor became an active participant in school activities and permitted the use of his name for the endowment.  In 1984, the endowment trustees recommended that journalism school adopt Cronkite's name.  The journalism department was subsequently elevated to a school, and the Board of Regents approved the name, the "Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication." 

Cussler, Clive

Lives in Paradise Valley

(Clive Eric Cussler, 1931.07.15-    )  Adventure novelist.

The former advertising executive who first achieved literary success with novels like Raise The Titanic has had a home in Paradise Valley since the mid 1980's.

Crystal, Billy

Phoenix visitor & investor

Billy Crystal
Billy Crystal, 2007.  Photo by Bbsrock .

(William Edward Crystal, 1947.03.14-    )  Comic, actor.

An avid NY Yankee fan, Billy is a partial owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The two teams played each other in the 2001 World Series which Arizona won.

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Danson, Ted

Lived outside Flagstaff

Ted Danson
Ted Danson, 2008.  Photo by Rob Dicaterino .

(Edward Bridge Danson, III, 1947.12.29-    )  Actor.

Best know for his role as bar owner Sam Malone in the long running television series Cheers (1982-1993), Ted Danson grew up around Flagstaff where his father, an archeologist and anthropologist, was a director of the Museum of Northern Arizona. 

Davis, Bette

Married in Yuma

Bette Davis
Bette Davis, 1936.

(Ruth Elizabeth Davis, 1908.04.05-1989.10.06)  Actor.

On August 18, 1932, starlet Bette Davis married Harmon Nelson in Yuma.  Miss Davis omitted her occupation on the marriage license leading the local paper to omit mention of the celebrity marriage.  It corrected its error two days later.

The Nelson-Davis marriage lasted only until 1939 when it ended in divorce.  Bette liked the institution enough to try it 3 more times.

Davis, Dr. Loyal

Lived in Phoenix

Died in Phoenix

(1896-1982.08.19)  Physician, editor, adoptive father of Nancy Davis.

First Lady Nancy Davis Reagan was adopted by Dr. Loyal Davis after he married her mother, Edith.  Among numerous other positions, Dr. Davis was the Chair of the Department of Surgery at Northwestern University Medical School for 31 years. He was the Editor in Chief the Journal of the American College of Surgeons from 1938 until 1982.  Dr. Davis' retired to Phoenix where he lived with his wife Edith at 24 Biltmore Estates.

Davis, Patti

Attended The Orme School in Mayer

Patti Davis
Patti Davis, 1967.

(Patricia Ann Davis Reagan, 1952.10.21-    )  Actor, author.

The rebellious daughter of former President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis (and sister of Ron Reagan and half-sister of Michael and Maureen Reagan) was attending boarding school at The Orme School in Mayer when her father was governor of California.

DeCamp, Rosemary

Born in Prescott

(1910.11.14-2001.02.20)  Actor.

Rosemary DeCamp
Rosemary DeCamp, 1945.

One of the busier actresses of the 1940's and 50's, Rosemary DeCamp played supporting roles in dozens of movies, on television, and on radio. She might be best remembered as Marlo Thomas' mother on That Girl (1966-1971) or as Margaret MacDonald on The Bob Cummings Show (1955-1959).

In 1965 when Ronald Reagan was hosting Death Valley Days (1952-1975) he decided to run for governor of California. FCC rules did not allow him to appear in the show when it was broadcast in California during the election, so he called on Rosemary to take his place as host. When Reagan won the election, Robert Taylor took over as host, but the sponsor, 20 Mule Team Borax, kept Rosemary as their permanent spokesman.

Dees, Rick

Has a home in Phoenix

Rick Dees
Rick Dees, 2009. Photo by laxhyundai .

(Rigdon Osmond Dees, III, 1950.03.14-    )  Radio DJ and talk show host.

Perhaps best known nationally for hosting the Weekly Top 40 on international radio (1984-2004), he was a top rated morning personality in Los Angeles' KIIS radio until his 22 year run ended when he was replaced by Ryan Seacrest.

Although his web site bio lists his residence as San Fernando Valley, The Arizona Republic reported his purchase of a $3.95 million home in Phoenix's Biltmore Mountain Estates in May, 2005. If Rick chooses to travel from Southern California by auto, he will be able to choose any of 9 stalls in his new garage in which to park it.

DeGrazia, Ted

Lived in Morenci & Tucson

Graduate of University of Arizona

(Ettorino DeGrazia, 1909.06.14-1982.09.17)  Impressionist artist.

DeGrazia grew up in Morenci, Arizona, where he graduated from Morenci High School.  In 1932, he enrolled at the University of Arizona.  Although he dropped out before graduating, he returned to earn a B.A. in in music and art, and in 1945, a masters degree in art.  He opened his first gallery in Tucson at the end of World War II. 

Denny, Reginald

Lives in Lake Havasu City

(Reginald Oliver Denny, 1945-    )  Truck driver, riot victim.

Reginald Denny came to the attention of millions of television viewers when he had the misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  The place was Florence and Normandie in South-Central Los Angeles.  The time was around 6:45 PM on April 29, 1992, within hours after the acquittal of four Los Angeles policemen an charges of beating Rodney King.  It was then and there that outrage at the verdict had erupted into a riot. 

Denver, John

Lived in Tucson

(Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., 1943.12.31-1997.10.12)  Singer, composer, actor.

John Denver
John Denver, 1985.

The son of an Air Force officer, eleven year old Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. was given his grandmother's guitar while the family was living in Tucson.  He took guitar lessons, joined a boy's choir and, when his family was living in Texas, ran away from home to California.  After returning to Texas and graduating from high school, he again headed for California.  He changed his name and replaced Chad in the Chad Mitchell Trio before going out on his own in 1969.

His career was on a real Rocky Mountain High (1972) in 1975 when he was named the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year and the American Guild of Variety Artists' Singing Star of the Year. 

His career had stalled by 1997 when the amateur-built experimental plane he was piloting crashed into Monterey Bay killing its only occupant.  The FAA attributed the crash to pilot error in an unfamiliar plane.

Depp, Johnny

Stopped for speeding in Tucson

(John Christopher Depp II, 1963.06.09-    )  Actor.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp, 1990. Photo by Georges Biard .

On Tuesday, October 22, 1991, when Johnny was in Tuscon for the filming of the movie Arrowtooth Waltz (1993, re-titled Arizona Dream) he took his 1991 black Porsche for a spin. 

Around 10:30 pm DPS radar clocked him traveling 93 mph westbound on a section of Interstate 10 near South Kino Parkway in Tucson with a posted 55 mph speed limit.  Before he was pulled over, he was clocked at 100 mph. 

Since the 28 year old actor had no identification with him, he was taken to the Pretrial Services office of Superior Court where he was released after posting a $305 bond.

Derickson, Uli

Lived in Tucson

Died in Tucson

(Ulrike Patzelt Derickson, 1944.08.08-2005.02.18)  Heroic flight attendant.

On June 14, 1985, Uli Derickson was a flight attendant for TWA preparing for the 10:00 AM departure of Flight 847 from Athens, Greece.  Two Lebanese passengers managed to board the flight with pistols and grenades they had smuggled through airport security.  The men would soon use the weapons to hijack the flight as it headed toward Rome, Italy.  A third hijacker had been bumped from the flight and was arrested by the Greek government. 

Devine, Andy

Born in Flagstaff

Grew up in Kingman

Attended ASU

Andy Devine
Andy Devine, 1937.

(Jeremiah Schwartz, 1905.10.07-1977.02.18)  Actor.

Although best known as the comic sidekick in countless westerns, Andy Devine had a film career starting in silent movies and spanning 183 films.

Andy was born in Flagstaff on October 7, 1905, where his father worked for the railroad. The following year, the family moved to Kingman to operate the 

Dhiegh, Khigh

Died in Mesa

(Kenneth Dickerson, 1910-1991.10.25)  Actor.

The actor best know for playing the recurring villain "Wo Fat" on the popular detective show, Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980) died in Mesa of kidney and heart failure.  Although he often portrayed Asians, he was actually of Anglo-Egyptian-Sudanese ancestry.

Dillinger, John

Captured in Tucson

(John Herbert Dillinger, 1903.06.22-1934.07.22)  FBI Public Enemy Number One.

When asked where the infamous bank robber John Dillinger was captured, most people would say outside of the Biograph Theater in Chicago.  That would not be correct.  John Dillinger was killed in Chicago in an FBI shootout following his escape from jail; Dillinger and most of his gang were captured in Tucson.

Dorr, Goldthwaite Higginson, III

Lives in Phoenix

(c. 1932-    )  Former Phoenix Art Museum director.

The Coen brothers gave the protagonist of their 2004 film The Ladykillers the fanciful name of Goldthwaite Higginson Dorr, III, and cast Tom Hanks to play that role.  In their remake of the 1955 British movie bearing the same title, the Hanks character and his gang move into the home of an elderly lady whom they think they can easily dispose of when their robbery plot is done.

While the character's name may sound totally made up, Goldthwaite Higginson Dorr, III, was actually the director of the Phoenix Art Museum from 1969 to 1973, and still lives in Phoenix.  He came to Phoenix after serving as the director of museums in Portland, Maine and Santa Barbara, California, as well as the Minneapolis Museum of Art. 

The Coen brothers grew up in Minnesota where much of their classic 1996 movie Fargo was set.  They remembered the Dorr name from their childhood and used it in their screenplay.  They were not aware that the real Dorr was living in Phoenix.

Dorrance, Bennett

Lives in Paradise Valley

Graduate of the University of Arizona

(c. 1947-    )  Heir to Campbell's Soup fortune.

Bennett is listed as number 185 on Forbes Magazine's list of the 400 wealthiest Americans for 2002, along with fellow Arizonans David and Peter Sperling.  The three are the highest ranking Arizonan appearing on the list.

Bennett's grandfather, John T. Dorrance, founded Campbell Soup.  When his father, John Jr., died in 1989, his older brother, John III, became an Irish citizen to avoid U.S. taxes.  The family still controls half of the shares of the Campbell Soup Company stock.  Bennett's personal wealth was listed by Forbes as $1.1 billion. 

Douglas, Michael

Treated in Tucson

Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas, 2004.

(Michael Kirk Douglas, 1944.12.09-    )  Actor, producer.

At the insistence of his first wife who was tired of his womanizing, Michael Douglas checked into Tucson's pricey Sierra Tucson Centre reportedly for treatment of sexual addiction in 1992.  The treatment may not have taken since she filed for divorce three years later.  Douglas later married Catherine Zeta Jones who shares his birthday, less 25 years. 

Downey Jr., Robert

Treated in Tucson

Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Downey, Jr., 1990. Photo by Alan Light .

(Robert John Downey Jr., 1965.04.04-    )  Actor.

Robert Downey, Jr. has been in and out of so may drug treatment programs that one might question a facility's credentials if Robert hasn't been one of its patients. 

Downs, Hugh

Lives in Scottsdale

(1921.02.14-    )  Announcer, host.

Hugh Downs, a descendant of Davey Crockett, clocked the most hours on network commercial television according to the 1985 Guinness Book of World Records.  In 2004 his record was surpassed by Regis Philbin.  Hugh started his career as announcer for a one toothed dragon, a blond and a bald kid--Kukla, Fran and Ollie (1947-1957). 

DuBois, Allison

Born in Arizona

Lives in Phoenix

(1972.01.24-    )  Research medium, criminal profiler, author, title character and inspiration for NBC's Medium television series.

Allison is a self-proclaimed psychic, married to an aerospace engineer, living in North Phoenix with their three daughters.  On her web site [allisondubois.com], she explains what she does, "I can contact the deceased, I can profile the living and I predict future events."  So as not to inconvenience those in need of her services, readings could be conducted on the phone and by e-mail.  The Arizona Republic reported that the charge for such a reading was $250/hour.

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Earp, Wyatt

Lived in Tombstone

Arrested for murder in Tombstone

Wyatt Earp, c.1881, around the time of the famous gunfight.

(Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp, 1848.03.19-1929.01.13)  Deputy marshal.

Wyatt Earp arrived in Tombstone in 1879 with his two brothers, Virgil and Morgan.  Just two years later, on October 26, 1881, they and Doc Holiday would take on cowboys Tom and Frank McLaury, and Ike and Billy Clanton in the famous "gun fight at the OK Corral."  Following the fight, which actually took place on Fremont Street and not at the corral, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton lay mortally wounded.  The unarmed Ike Clanton escaped injury when he ran off at the start of the shooting.  Doc, Virgil and Morgan were all wounded, but not seriously.  Wyatt was uninjured.

Wyatt and Doc were charged with murder, and just 3 weeks later they were brought to trial.  Thanks to a Justice Court Magistrate who was a friend of Wyatt and the unsavory reputation of the Clantons and McLaury's, there was found to be insufficient cause to bind them over for trial and they were released.

Eddy, Duane

Lived in Phoenix

(1938.03.26-    )  Guitarist, composer.

When Duane Eddy arrived in Phoenix as a teen in 1955, he had been playing a guitar for a dozen years.  Local disc jockey and promoter Lee Hazlewood saw a future for the boy with the twangy red Gretsch guitar and teemed up with him.  Hazelwood had Eddy and his band on a weekly Saturday night radio show on KCKY in Coolidge.  In 1957 they appeared on "The Hit Parade" hosted by Ray Odom on Phoenix television station KTVK.

Eden, Barbara

Born in Tucson

Lived in Tucson

(Barbara Jean Moorhead, 1916.08.23-    )  Actor.

Barbara Eden is best know for her role as the genie in I Dream of Genie which ran from 1965 to 1970.  Some of the success of the series must be attributed to the curvaceous Genie's scanty dress, which because of the NBC censors did not include revealing her belly button.

Barbara Eden was born in Tucson, but moved to San Francisco where she was a cheerleader at Abraham Lincoln High School.

Ehrlichman, John D.

Imprisoned near Safford

(1925.03.20-1999.02.14)  Aide to President Richard Nixon, felon, author.

The former domestic advisor to President Nixon entered the federal prison camp near Safford on October 28, 1976, to begin serving his 2-1/2 to 8-year sentence for his participation in the Watergate cover-up. 

Elam, Jack

Born in Miami

Lived in Phoenix

Graduated from Phoenix Union High School

(1916.12.13-2003.10.20)  Actor.

Even if you don't recognize the name, you would probably recognize the face.  Elam is the character actor distinguished by a grizzled appearance and a wandering eye.  His left eye was left sightless from a childhood fight. 

Engvall, Bill

Grew up in Winslow

Bill Engvall
Bill Engvall, 2010.

(1957.07.27-    )  Comic.

Long before Bill got his big break and appeared with Johnny Carson on NBC's Tonight Show, or won won the American Comedy Awards Male Comic of the Year (1992), he was home in Winslow watching Wallace & Ladmo.  Every few months, the family would drive down to the big city of Phoenix to stay at the Kon-Tiki motel at Van Buren and 24th Street.

Espinoza, Louie

Lives in Chandler

(1962.05.12-    )  Boxer.

Louie Espinoza became Arizona's first world champion boxer when he won the World Boxing Association (WBA) junior featherweight title in 1987.  In his professional career, he had 52 wins, 12 losses, and 2 draws.


Lives in Phoenix area

(Stephen Paul, 1948-    )  Guitarist.

Esteban grew up as Stephen, one of four children of a Pittsburgh steelworker.  He majored in music and English at Carnegie Mellon University, and went on to study under guitar maestro Andres Segovia in Spain.  Unable to pronounce "Stephen," Segovia called him the Spanish equivalent which eventually became his stage name. 

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Farina, Dennis

Lives in Phoenix

Dennis Farina
Dennis Farina, 2007. Photo by David Shankbone .

(1944.02.29-    )  Actor.

Farina is an ex-Chicago policeman who turned to acting, playing a lot of cops.  He has made nearly 50 film appearances including Big Trouble (2002), Snatch (2000), and Saving Private Ryan (1998).

He is a sometimes Phoenix area resident and reportedly gets his hair clipped by Stan Demory at the Phoenician who also does Fife Symington, and Dan Quayle.

Fay, Dorothy

Born in Prescott

(Dorothy Fay Southworth, 1915.04.04-2003.11.05)  Actor.

Sometimes billed as Dorothy Fay Ritter, she may be more widely recognized as the wife of singing cowboy Tex Ritter (1905-1974), or the mother of actor John Ritter (1948-2003).  She died less than two months after the unexpected death of her son.

Faye, Alice

Married in Yuma

Alice Faye
Alice Faye, 1938.

(Alice Jeanne Leppert, 1915.05.05-1998.05.09)  Actor, singer.

To quote A&E's Biography, "She rose from the mean streets of New York's Hell's Kitchen to become the most famous singing actress in the world."  On September 4, 1937, the 22 year old starlet interrupted her career long enough to take a plane from Los Angeles to Yuma.  There she married to 24 year old singer Tony Martin.  According to the nationwide Associated Press report, "Miss Faye was attired in a powder blue suit and wore an orchid corsage."  The AP also reported Martin's age as 22.  They were divorced in 1940.

Finkbine, Sherri

Lived in Phoenix

(Sherri Chessen, c. 1942-    )  Television performer.

In 1962 Sherri Finkbine was Miss Sherri on the popular children's show Romper Room which was produced and broadcast locally from the studios of KTAR Channel 12 (now KPNX) at 1101 N. Central in Phoenix.  Mrs. Finkbine was also the mother of four healthy children who was then expecting her fifth.  During this pregnancy she took the prescription tranquilizer Thalidomide.  That drug was soon to be linked with thousands of serious birth deformities (mainly in Europe, Australia and Canada since the FDA had been slower than its counterparts in those countries to approve the drug).  The Finkbines decided to seek an abortion rather than risk the birth of a tragically deformed child.

At the time abortions were illegal Arizona as in the rest of the nation.  The Arizona law which was adopted in 1901 allowed an abortion only if it was clearly necessary to save the mother's life.  Abortions would not become legal nationally until January 2, 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision in the landmark case, Roe v. Wade.

When Mrs. Finkbine was in her third month of pregnancy, she, her teacher husband, and the Good Samaritan Hospital filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment making the abortion legal.  The case caused a national furor.  Some public reaction was so intensely negative--including anonymous death threats in the mail and on the phone--that the FBI stationed agents in the Finkbine home.  She was dismissed from her job and Mr. Finkbine was suspended from his teaching position.

When the Arizona court turned down her plea, the Finkbines traveled to Sweden where she received an abortion.  The fetus had no legs and only one arm.  On January 31, 1965, Mrs. Finkbine gave birth to her fifth child, a healthy baby girl. 

The Finkbines were divorced in 1974.  In 1991, Sherri married a obstetrician and gynecologist who had practiced in a Scottsdale hospital that had turned down her abortion 30 years before.  Had the scheduled physician declined to perform the abortion, her future husband would have been the next in line to be scheduled.

In 1992 HBO made the movie A Private Matter of the Finkbines personal tragedy.  Sissy Spacek was cast as Mrs. Finkbine, Aidan Quinn played her husband and Estelle Parsons played her mother.

Fishel, Danielle

Born in Mesa

(Danielle Christine Fishel, 1981.05.05-    )  Actor.

Best known for her roll in the television sitcom Boy Meets World (1993-2000) as Topanga Lawrence, Danielle was born in Mesa.  She remained in the state for all of three weeks when her family moved to Yorba Linda, California.

Foss, Joe

Lived in Scottsdale

Died in Scottsdale

(Joseph Jacob Foss, 1915.04.17-2003.01.01)  Marine pilot, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient (1943), governor of South Dakota (1955-1957), president of the American Football League (1960-1966), host of American Sportsman (1964-1967), president of the National Rifle Association (1988-1990).

Raised on a farm outside Sioux Falls, the young farm boy was captivated by the exploits of Charles Lindberg who had visited a nearby airport. He supported himself waiting tables while at the University of South Dakota, earning a business degree in 1940, and at the same time managed to complete a civilian pilot training program.

Frost, Lee

Born in Globe

(1935.08.14-    )  Director, writer, actor, cinematographer.

Lee is a modestly prolific movie director with some consistency. His movies are consistently mediocre if not awful, and are typically sexploitative. The 28 titles for which he is given directorial credit by the Internet Movie Data Base include Hollywood's World of Flesh (1963), Chain Gang Women (1971), The Thing with Two Heads (1972) and The Boob Tube Strikes Again! (1977). As a director he might be billed as R. L. Frost, R. Lee Frost and David Kayne. As an actor or writer he might also be credited as Carl Borcht, Les Emerson, F. C. Perl or  Elov Peterssons.

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Gabaldon, Diana

Born in Williams

Grew up in Flagstaff

Graduate of Flagstaff HS & NAU

Lives in Scottsdale


(Diana Gabaldon Watkins, 1952.01.11-    )  Author.

How does a little girl from a small community in Northern Arizona grow up to become a best selling author?  By writing a huge novel about a nurse in World War II England that travels back in time to 18th century Scotland while on her second honeymoon--where she falls for a warrior and returns to her husband to have the warrior's child.

Gable, Clark

Married in Kingman

Honeymooned in Oatman

Clark Gable
Clark Gable, 1939.

(1901.02.01-1960.11.16)  Actor.

Gable was wed to Carole Lombard at the Methodist church in Kingman in 1939. They honeymooned in Oatman.

Garagiola, Joe

Lives in Phoenix

(1926.02.12-    )  Baseball catcher, sportscaster, host.

Joe Garagiola calls Phoenix his home.  He was a major league catcher, a network baseball broadcaster for 27 years and co-host of NBC's Today Show.  He continues his public criticism of tobacco products, especially the chewing tobacco products.  His son, Joe Garagiola, Jr., is the vice president and general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Garth, Jennie

Lived in Glendale

Attended Greenway and Apollo High Schools

(Jennifer Eve Garth, 1972.04.03-    )  Actor.

Jennie Garth
Jennie Garth, 2009. Photo © by Albert Domasin, used by permission Wikipedia OTRS.

Jennie's family moved to Glendale when she was 13 where she took dancing lessons and did some modeling.  The dancing led to her entry in a talent competition when she was 15.  A Hollywood talent scout and manager discovered her in the competition and encouraged her to pursue a career in acting.

Jennie completed her freshman year at Greenway High School, and transferred to Apollo High School in her sophomore year.  She dropped out of high school in her junior year, and moved to Los Angeles with her mom, where that talent scout helped her land a part in a television series.


Born in upper Gila River country of Arizona Territory

Lived in Arizona

(Goyathlay, c. 1829-1909.02.17)  Apache Indian leader.

When Geronimo was born in the upper Gila River area it was a part Mexico. Mexican soldiers were attempting to control the troublesome Apaches with methods approaching genocide. In 1858 the soldiers killed the young Geronimo's mother, wife, and three small children.

Goldwater, Barry

Born in Phoenix

Lived in Phoenix, Paradise Valley

Died in Paradise Valley


(Barry Morris Goldwater, 1909.01.01-1998.05.29)  Senator, presidential candidate, photographer.

At the time of his death at 89, Barry Goldwater was the icon of Arizona politics. Had he never entered politics, he would still be remembered for his pursuits in business, photography, and the military. 

Graham, "Superstar" Billy

Lives in Phoenix vicinity

Treated at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix

Billy Superstar Graham
Billy "Superstar" Graham, 2009. Photo by shstrng .

(Eldridge Wayne Coleman, 1943.09.10-    )  Professional wrestler.

The 6'4", 300 pound two-time holder of the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, and heavy steroid user, worked as a bouncer in small town Arizona before gaining wrestling fame.  He returned to Arizona to retire in Phoenix.

Twenty years of heavy steroid use resulted in avascular necrosis, which destroys bone joints by cutting off their blood supply.  By the 1990's he was living on Social Security disability in an apartment in Toluca Lake, California.  Having had his left hip replaced multiple times and his right ankle fused, he could barely walk.  He testified in the prosecution of the doctor that prescribed the steroids, sending him to prison for 3 years.

On October 25, 2002, he received a new liver at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix.

Gravano, Sammy "the Bull"

Imprisoned in Arizona

Lived in Tempe

Convicted for drug trafficking in Arizona

Sammy Gravano
Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, 2009 FBI mug shot.

(Salvatore Gravano, alias Jimmy Moran, 1945.03.12-    )  Mafia underboss.

Sammy earned his tag name as a dyslexic kid that beat up older kids in Brooklyn.  He rose up the mob ranks running gambling operations, fixing construction contracts, and loan sharking, eventually becoming a La Cosa Nostra mob underboss.  Along the way he committed 19 murders. 

Gray, George

Raised in Tucson

Graduated from University of Arizona

Lives in Bisbee

George Gray
George Gray, 2007. Photo by lukeford.net .

(Eldridge Wayne Coleman, 1968.03.11-    )  Comic, television host, actor.

The host of Weakest Link (2001) and sometimes actor was raised in Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona.  His comedy career began at Laffs Comedy Caffe, 2900 E. Broadway Boulevard, Tucson.  When not on the set, he lives in Bisbee.

Gregory, James

Lived in Sedona

Died in Sedona

James Gregory
James Gregory, 1948.

(1943.12.23-2002.09.16)  Actor.

Perhaps best know as the irascible loudmouthed Inspector Luger in the television situation comedy, Barney Miller (1975-1982), James Gregory made nearly 200 appearances in movies and television shows. After suffering two strokes he retired to Sedona in 1983 with his wife of 58 years, Ann Miltner.  Ann, who had been an occasional singer the pop group the Chordettes, survived him.

Gretzky, Wayne

Has a home in Scottsdale

Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky, 2007. Photo by Hakandahistrom .

(Wayne Douglas Gretzky, 1961.01.26-    )  Hockey player.

Considered by most to be the greatest hockey player of all time, Gretzky spent most of his professional career with the Edmonton Oilers.  In 1992, he engineered his trade to the Los Angeles Kings where he played for 2 seasons.  When he retired from playing professional hockey in 1999, the NHL retired his jersey number, 99.

In 2001 Grezky was President and part owner of Phoenix Coyotes.  In 2002, he purchased a home in the 6500 Camelback development in Scottsdale.  Since he is reported to have homes in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver, he might not be answering the door in Scottsdale most of the year.

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Haggard, Ted

Treated in Phoenix

(1956.06.27-    )  Evangelical preacher, founder of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, and the Association of Life-Giving Churches, and the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals; alleged user of crystal methamphetamine and of a male prostitute.

In November 2006 the married father of five was outed by the male prostitute with whom he had a three year affair, because the paramour was offended by the reverend's position on gay marriage. Then next day, the Reverend Ted resigned as leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, and two days later, he was terminated as pastor of the church he founded.  By February 2007, however, he was pronounced "completely heterosexual" thanks to "an intensive three-week spiritual restoration process" in Phoenix which he received under the sponsorship of Tommy Barnett, pastor of the First Assembly of God church.  (The church is not generally identified by its acronym.)

Hall, Gary, Jr.

Born in Phoenix

Lives in Phoenix vicinity

(1974.09.26-    )  Swimmer, Olympic Bronze, Silver & Gold Medalist.

Gary Hall, Jr. won Silver medals in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. In 1998, he was suspended from swimming for 3 months and dropped by his sponsor, Speedo, after testing positive for marijuana. In 1999 he developed diabetes. In the Sydney, Australia, 2000 Olympics he won Bronze for the 100-meter freestyle, Silver in the 4x100-meter relay, and Gold for a dead heat tie the 50-meter freestyle. 

Halliwell, Geri "Ginger Spice"

Treated in Tucson

Geri Halliwell
Geri Halliwell, 2008. Photo by constance7 .

(Geraldine Estelle Halliwell, 1972.08.06-    )  Singer.

The onetime member of the temporarily famous singing group The Spice Girls checked into the exclusive Cottonwood de Tucson clinic in 2002 for treatment of the eating disorder bulimia. 

Scandal followed in short order.  Her romantic link with another patient was apparently against clinic rules and he was asked to leave.  When Geri learned of his departure, she too left and joined him at a local hotel.

Hanjour, Hani

Trained as a pilot in Phoenix

Hani Hanjour(1972.08.13-2001.09.11)  Terrorist.

Born in Saudi Arabia, Hanjour first came to the United States in October 1991 to study English at the University of Arizona's Center for English as a Second Language.  He returned to Saudi Arabia in February 1992.

He applied for a job with Saudi Arabian Airlines but was turned down because of poor grades.  He was reportedly told by the airline that they would consider hiring him if he obtained a commercial pilot license in the United States.

Hanjour returned to the United States in April 1996 where he was admitted to the Sierra Academy of Aeronautics in Livermore, California.  Before he could start his training, the academy required him to take intensive English courses in Oakland, which he completed prior his first day of  ground school in September.  That turned out to be his last day of training there, possibly because of the high expenses for the school.

In September, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona where he started lessons at CRM Flight Cockpit Resource Management in Scottsdale for a fraction of the cost of the California school.  In November, he dropped out of flight school because of poor grades and returned to Saudi Arabia.

Hanjour reentered the United States in November 1997, taking additional English courses in Florida before resuming training at CRM.  After a few weeks he transferred to Arizona Aviation and also took some flight simulator classes at Sawyer Aviation.  It was during this period that the Arizona office of the FBI became interested in Hanjour.

Hanjour earned a commercial pilot certificate in 1999 and returned to Saudi Arabia where he unsuccessfully sought work as a commercial pilot.  Apparently frustrated, he turned his attention to religious texts and militant Islamic preachers. In late 1999 he is believed to have attended an Al-Qaeda training camp where he was selected to participate in the September 11 attack on the United States.

He returned to the United States in December, 2000.  In January he started classes at Arizona JetTech where flight school managers reported him to the FAA several times because his English was inadequate for the commercial pilot certificate which he had already obtained.  By April, Hanjour had moved on to Falls Church, Virginia.

He was one of the team of hijackers that took control of American Airlines Flight 77 soon after it departed the Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C.  The plane crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37AM on September 11, 2001, killing the 64 passengers on board and 125 people in the Pentagon.

Harlow, Harry

Lived in Tucson

(Harry Frederick Harlow, 1905.10.31-1981.12.06)  Psychologist.

Harry Harlow is famous in psychological circles for primate research.  No introductory psychology course would be complete lest it include his famous studies which found, not surprisingly, that baby rhesus monkeys prefer upholstered surrogate mothers to wire frame mothers. 

Harris, David

Served time near Safford

(1946-    )  Antiwar protestor, one time husband of Joan Baez, journalist, author.

On March 30, 1969, folk singer Joan Baez was the special guest on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967-1970).  She introduced her performance of "Green, Green Grass of Home" by saying, "I'd like to dedicate this song to my husband who will be going to jail for draft evasion."  When the show was broadcast, politically sensitive CBS censors had deleted "for draft evasion." 

Harry, Prince of Wales

Attended helicopter training in Arizona

(Henry Charles Albert David, 1984.09.15-    )  British prince, third in line of succession to U.K. throne.

Prince Harry 2008. Photo by Billpolo .

Prince Harry was one of 20 British Army helicopter pilots attending a two month course in the United States in fall 2011.  The program included training in the firing of missiles, rockets and cannons from the Apache Helicopter at the Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field in southern Arizona.

Just before Thanksgiving weekend, 27 year old Prince Harry entered Hacienda Harley-Davidson in Scottsdale in jeans and a baseball cap.  There he rented a Harley Davidson motorcycle for a 6 hour trip to Las Vegas where he stayed at the Wynn casino hotel.  

Harvey, Paul

Lived in Phoenix

Died in Phoenix

(1918.09.04-2009.02.28)  Newscaster, commentator.

Paul Harvey
Paul Harvey receiving the Presidential Medal Freedom in 2005.

Paul Harvey was in broadcasting ever since his high school drama coach in Tulsa took him to a local radio station where he got a job that included some announcing.  68 years later, he signed a contract which would extend his career to 2011 when he would have turned 91.

In 2001, his news and comment programs were heard by 22 million people each week, making him the most listened to man on radio.  While he was known for his conservative positions, he did go against stereotype supporting the women's Equal Rights Amendment, gay rights and abortion choice, and opposing the Vietnam War.

The Harveys had homes in Chicago, St. Louis, and Phoenix, each with a small broadcast studio.  At his Phoenix home near the Arizona Biltmore, he had been know to broadcast in his pajamas from his upstairs studio, but he usually wore a white shirt and bolo tie.  And that is "the rest of the story."

Hayworth, J. D.

Lives in Scottsdale

(John D. Hayworth, Jr., 1958.07.12-    )  Politician.

J.D. Hayworth is the U. S. Representative from Arizona's Fifth District.  That district covers Scottsdale and parts of other East valley communities.

As he neared the end of his fourth two-year term, he received a questionable honor.  Washingtonian magazine announced that in a survey of congressional staffers, Hayworth was named the second "biggest windbag" and its second "funniest" member. 

Hedlund, Garrett

Lived in Scottsdale

Graduated from Horizon High School, Phoenix

Garrett Hedlund
Garrett Hedlund, 2010. Photo by GageSkidmore .

(1984.09.03-    )  Actor.

Garrett's family moved to Scottsdale when he was in the ninth grade where he began taking acting lessons.  He attended Horizon High School where he participated in ice skating, wrestling, and football, and graduated a semester early. Fellow thespian Aneliese Rutger was a classmate at Horizon.

Helmsley, Harry

Wintered in Paradise Valley

Died in Scottsdale

(1909.03.04-1997.01.04)  Real estate mogul.

A one- time owner of The Empire State Building and numerous other landmark properties, Harry was married to Leona Helmsley.  He died of pneumonia at Scottsdale Memorial Hospital.

Helmsley, Leona

Wintered in Paradise Valley

Leona Helmsley
Leona Helmsley in her 1988 mug shot.

(Leona Mindy Rosenthal Helmsley, 1920.07.04-2007.08.20)  Real estate salesperson, heiress, felon.

The "Queen of Mean" and heiress to Harry Helmsley's real estate holdings which once included the Empire State Building, spent 9 winters in digs that surpass any other snowbird's. 

Hope, Bob

Played Phoenix Open 52 years

Bob hope
Bob Hope, 1940.

(Leslie Townes Hope, 1903.05.29-2003.07.27)  Actor, comic.

Bob Hope first played the Phoenix Open in 1939 when he partnered with Bob Goldwater, Sr., the older brother of Barry Goldwater and father of the Phoenix Open.  He must have enjoyed it since he returned year after year, playing in the Open for the last time in 1991.

Hormel, Geordie

Lived in Paradise Valley

Died in Paradise Valley

(1928.11.17-2006.02.12)  Heir, musician, songwriter.

An heir to the Hormel Foods (Spam) fortune, Geordie and his wife Jamie purchased the Wrigley Mansion in 1992.  The Hormels came to the rescue of the mansion as it faced demolition for construction of condominiums on its 10 acre hilltop site overlooking the Arizona Biltmore Resort.  Geordie playing piano during Sunday brunch at the mansion.

Hughes, John

Attended the University of Arizona

(1950.02.18-2009.08.06)  Director, writer.

The writer and director of Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1984), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), and Home Alone (1990), dropped out of the University of Arizona.

Hyman, Misty

Born in Mesa

Lives in Phoenix

Graduated from Shadow Mountain High School, Phoenix

(1979.03.23-    )  Olympic athlete.

The surprise Gold Medal winner in the 200 meter butterfly at the 2000 Summer Olympics graduated from Shadow Mountain High School with a 4.0 GPA before going on to Stanford University. 

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Irwin, Bernard J.D.

In Apache Pass, Arizona, performed the earliest action leading to the award of the Congressional Medal of Honor

(1830.06.24-after 1894 [retirement year] )  Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.

Bernard J. D. Irwin
Bernard J. D. Irwin, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 1894.

In December, 1861, Congress passed a bill authorizing the production and distribution of medals honoring the gallant actions of Naval personnel during the Civil War.  A second bill authorizing medals for Army personnel was passed two months later.  President Lincoln signed both bills into law and the Congressional Medal of Honor was born.

When the authorizing bill was passed, Bernard J.D. Irwin was an Assistant Surgeon in the United States Army.  He was stationed in the western territory which is now Arizona.  The actions he took at Apache Pass (about 26 miles east of Wilcox) on February 13 and 14, 1861, would become the earliest to lead to the awarding of a Congressional Medal of Honor.

The citation for the medal reads that Irwin "Voluntarily took command of troops and attacked and defeated hostile Indians he met on the way. Surgeon Irwin volunteered to go to the rescue of 2d Lt. George N. Bascom, 7th Infantry, who with 60 men was trapped by Chiricahua Apaches under Cochise. Irwin and 14 men, not having horses began the 100-mile march riding mules. After fighting and capturing Indians, recovering stolen horses and cattle, he reached Bascom's column and help break his siege."

Over 30 years later, on January 24,1894, when Colonel Irwin was leaving the service, his act of heroism was finally recognized with the awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

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Jackson, Reggie

Attended Arizona State University

Reggie Jackson
Reggie Jackson signing with the Yankees, 1976.

(Reginald Martinez Jackson, 1946.05.18-    )  Professional baseball player.

Before he was number 44 on the New York Yankees, and long before his 1993 induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, Reggie Jackson attended Arizona State University on a football scholarship.  He played one season under legendary coach Frank Kush, but left ASU for a minor-league contract with the Oakland A's.

Jameson, Jenna

Lives in Paradise Valley

Jenna Jackson
Jenna Jameson, 2008. Photo by Glenn Francis, PacificProDigital.com .

(Jennifer Marie Massoli, 1974.04.09-    )  Porn star, entrepreneur.

In August 2005, quite a few eyebrows on south Scottsdale residents were raised when they discovered that pornography "actress" Jenna Jameson had acquired a club in their quiet neighborhood.  Never mind that the club was the infamous Babe's Cabaret at 2011 N. Scottsdale Road which already featured mostly naked dancers to titillate patrons into a state of arousal.  Jenna was a star of major proportions.  One could only imagine the result if such a celebrity leveraged her talents in their neighborhood.  A pornographic theme park catering to perversions of unimaginable variety would not exceed the range of possibilities. 

Jennings, Waylon

Lived in Phoenix, Mesa

Died in Mesa

(1937.05.15-2002.02.13)  Singer, musician.

Born in Littlefield, Texas, Jennings started as a radio DJ when he was only 12.  In Lubbock, he became friends with Buddy Holley and they co-wrote a Holly demo.  Jennings played bass on Holly's last tour, giving up his seat for The Big Bopper on the plane that crashed killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. 

John Paul II, Pope

Visited Phoenix, Tempe

Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II, 1983.

(Karol Wojtyla, 1920.05.18-2005.04.02)  Head of Catholic church from October 16, 1978 until death

Pope John Paul II visited Phoenix on September 14, 1987, as a part of his whirlwind tour of the United States.  In Tempe, he held mass for 75,000 of the faithful at a stadium paying homage to the Devil.


Johnson, Ben

Lived in Mesa

Died in Mesa

(1918.06.13-1996.03.08)  Actor.

Ben Johnson was a ranch hand and rodeo performer until he found that the movies paid better with less risk.  He appeared in more than 300 movies and won the Academy Award for his performance in The Last Picture Show (1971).


Johnson, Randy

Lived in Phoenix

(Randall David Johnson, 1963.09.10-    )  Pitcher, MLB.

"The Big Unit," at 6'10", was MLB's tallest player when he joined the Diamondbacks in 1999.  He was 2001 World Series Co-MVP with Curt Schilling when the upstart Diamondbacks surprised everyone to take home the trophy in their third season.  He pitched a perfect game (one pitcher sending 27batters in a row down without any reaching base) in his final start at Livermore (CA) High School.  He repeated the feat for the Diamondbacks against the Atlanta Braves on May 18, 2004.  It was only the 17th perfect game in MLB history, and at 40, Randy was the oldest pitcher to do it.

Judd, Winnie Ruth

Lived in Phoenix

Murdered, tried, imprisoned in Phoenix

(c. 1905-1998.10.23)  "The Trunk Murderess"

Winnie Ruth Judd was the 26 year old wife of a 56 year old physician. The couple had moved to Phoenix in 1930 hoping that the dry climate would keep Winnie Ruth's tuberculosis in check, and that Dr. Judd could find employment.

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Kagan, Daryn

Lived in Phoenix

TV Reporter on KTVK, Phoenix


(1963.01.26-    )  Television reporter, anchor, host.

For five years starting in the late 1980's Daryn Kagan was a general assignment news reporter at KTVK-TV in Phoenix. Her work did not go unnoticed.  She received three local Emmy Award nominations and was named top reporter in the seven-state Rocky Mountain region.  She also received an offer from CNN.

In 1994 Daryn headed to Atlanta to join CNN.  Her first assignment was as a sportscaster, but later she anchored Live This Morning, and then hosted CNN Live Today.  She left CNN in 2006.

In September, 2004, the Washington Post reported that ultraconservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was dating Daryn, a figure of "the liberal media axis." Rush Limbaugh, who had a shorter and less publicized visit to Arizona courtesy of his OxyContin addiction, had announced his separation from his third wife in June, 2004. The left-meets-right romance was reported to have ended in February 2006.

Kardashian, Kourtney

Graduated from the University of Arizona

Kourtney Kardashian
Kourtney Kardashian, 2009. Photo by Glenn Francis, PacificProDigital.com

(1979.04.18-    )  Entrepreneur, socialite, model, and reality television personality.

Kourtney graduated from the University of Arizona earning a degree in Theatre Arts with a minor in Spanish.  Classmates at U of A included Nicole Richie and Luke Walton. 

Like a number of other Hollywood socialites, Kourtney is famous primarily for being famous.  In her case, fame got repeated jump starts from the reality television shows Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive(2005), Keeping Up with the Kardashians (2007), Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami (2009), and Kourtney and Kim Take New York (2011).

Caution--pedigree follows:  Kourtney is the oldest child of Robert Kardashian and Kris Jenner.  The late Robert Kardashian, a member of an upper class LA family, was best known as one of the "dream team" attorneys for O. J. Simpson in the infamous LA murder trial.  Kris Jenner used to be married to Robert but divorced him and married to Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Summer Olympics Champion.  

Keane, Bil

Lived in Paradise Valley

Bil Keane
Bil Keane in 1990. Photo by Christopher Keane

(1922.10.05-2011.11.08)  Cartoonist.

Since 1960 Bil has penned the popular syndicated cartoon "Family Circus" from his home in Paradise Valley. Prior to the circus, he created "Channel Chuckles" which was carried in papers across the nation from 1954 until 1977.

Kennedy, John F.

Toughened up, recuperated in Arizona

(John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1917.05.29-1963.11.22)  35th President of the United States.

In the spring and summer of 1936, JFK and his brother older brother, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., were hired ranch hands of John G. F. Speiden.  Speiden left his Wall Street banking job in 1932 and moved to Arizona for his health.  In Arizona he operated the 40,000 acre Jay-Six Ranch outside Benson.  In addition to cattle, the ranch became known for graciously entertaining guests such as author Thornton Wilder.

Killebrew, Harmon

Lived in Scottdale.

Died in Scottdale.

(Harmon Clayton Killebrew, 1936.06.29-2011.05.17)  Professional baseball player.

Harmon KillebrewSix days before his 18th birthday, Killabrew became the youngest player in the majors at the time when made his debut appearance on the diamond for the Washington Senators.  He stayed on the diamond for 22 years playing for the Washington Senators (1954-1961) staying with them when they became the Minnesota Twins (1962-1974), then moving to the Kansas City Royals (1974-1975).

He was inducted into the Baseball hall of Fame in 1984.  He moved to Scottsdale in 1990 where he chaired the Harmon Killebrew Foundation.  He died at his home in Scottsdale of esophageal cancer.

Kimmel, Jimmy

Lived in Phoenix, Tucson

Attended ASU

Phoenix, Tucson radio writer & performer

Jimmy Kimmel
Jimmy Kimmel in 2007. Photo by Ken Conley

(James Christian Kimmel, 1967.11.13-    )  Talk show host.

Born in Brooklyn, raised in Las Vegas, this host of late night talk got into broadcasting in Phoenix.  He would not been in Phoenix had he not transferred from the University of Nevada Las Vegas to ASU where he promptly dropped out. 

According to an interview with Maxim magazine, Jimmy began his broadcast career when he walked into a station announcing, "I'm here to learn."  Jimmy's radio career in Phoenix began with him writing bits for Power 92's (KKFR 92.3 FM) morning team, Mike Elliot and Kent Voss.  A few radio stints later, and Jimmy became the second banana to Mike Elliott on Tucson's KRQ 93.7 FM in 1993-1994.

King, Larry

Likeness carved in corn in Queen Creek

Larry King
Larry King in 2010. Photo by Angela George

(Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, 1933.11.19-    )  Interviewer.

If you happened to be flying over Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek during the fall of 2003, you might have seen the image of CNN's longtime talk show host Larry King carved in a ten acre corn maze. The maze image was cooked up by Larry's seventh wife (sixth if you don't count repeat marriages), Shawn Southwick, and the Schnepfs to kick off the celebration of his 70th birthday.

King, Wayne

Lived in Scottsdale

Died in Scottsdale

(Wayne Harold King "The Waltz King", 1901.02.16-1985.07.16)  Band leader.

In his sophomore year saxophonist and business major Wayne King dropped out of Valparaisio University in Indiana to pursue a music career.  His Wayne King Orchestra became hugely popular in the early years of the big band era.  For seven consecutive years from 1934 to 1940, they received the Radio Guide Trophy for radio's most popular dance orchestra.

The orchestra was disbanded in 1942 when King joined the army.  The 41 year old bandleader was made captain in the Army Specialists Corps as a music officer.  In 1946, the orchestra was reformed and returned to radio.  King brought his live dance music to NBC television with The Wayne King Show (1949-1952), which the Chicago Federation of Advertising Clubs chose as the best musical show on television.  Wayne King and Orchestra played at President Eisenhower's Inaugural Ball 1953. 

Although the orchestra continued to tour through 1983, King's celebrity had faded enough by the late 1950's that he could be a contestant on the first incarnation of the television game show To Tell the Truth (1956-1968).  In the Goodson-Todman game show the story of one of three contestants is told to a celebrity panel.  The remaining two contestants attempt to impersonate the contestant whose story has been told as the panel asks questions of the contestants.  In his appearance, after successfully fooling most panel members, William King mentioned some of his business interests which included the Greyhound Car Rental in Phoenix.

Wayne King retired to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he died in 1985.

Kinnear, Greg

Graduate of University of Arizona

(1963.06.17-    )  Actor.

Greg Kinnear
Greg Kinnear, 2006. Photo by Angel Schatz

Greg Kinnear enrolled at the University of Arizona as a drama major, but switched to broadcast journalism after the first semester.  He graduated in 1985 with a degree in journalism.

He headed directly to Los Angeles where he landed a job in 1987as an on-air reporter for Movietime, a local cable station.  The budget was so tight that they operated out of an old porno studio.

Things changed when Movietime was sold and became E! Entertainment Television:  Kinnear was fired.  Then he was re-hired to become the first host of "Talk Soup" (1991-1994) for which he received an Emmy Award.  He moved on to host the modestly rated late-night NBC network talk show, "Later With Greg Kinnear" (1994-1996).

After appearing in Sydney Pollack's 1995 remake of Sabrina, he decided to devote full time to acting.  He received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in As Good As It Gets (1997), in which he played Simon Bishop, the homosexual neighbor of bigoted, cranky, obsessive-compulsive writer Melvin Udall (Jack Nicolson).

Kinnear returned to Arizona, if only in spirit and the last reel, to play Bob Crane in Autofocus (2002), a film about Crane's career, obsessions, and death in Scottsdale.

Kleindienst, Richard

Born near Winslow

Attended of University of Arizona

Lived in Phoenix and Prescott

Died in Prescott

(1923.08.05-2000.02.03)  U.S. Attorney General, Lawyer.

Richard Kleindienst assisted in Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign.  He was rewarded for his efforts by appointment as Nixon's Deputy Attorney General.  When Attorney General John Mitchell resigned in 1972 to head the ill-fated Committee to Re-elect the President, Kleindienst succeeded as Attorney General.

Knotts, Don

Attended the University of Arizona

(Jesse Donald Knotts, 1924.07.21-2006.02.24)  Actor, comedian.

Don Knotts
Don Knotts, 1961.

Long before Don Knotts won an Emmy for portraying Barney Fife, the nervous deputy to Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), on The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968), he attended the University of Arizona.  Although the university offered him a teaching fellowship, he left for New York where he landed a role in the Broadway play No Time For Sergeants with Andy Griffith.  This role and his friendship with Andy lead to him being cast in the movie version of the play and Andy's television show.

While in New York, Don made television appearances as a "man on the street" being interviewed by a former undergraduate at a rival Arizona school, Steve Allen.

Korbut, Olga

Teaches gymnastics in Scottsdale

Olga Korbut
Olga Korbut on a Azerbaijan Republic postage stamp commemorating her 1972 Olympic victory.

(1955.05.16-    )  Olympic athlete, child actress, gymnastics instructor.

Olga Korbut was a champion Olympic athlete for the Soviet Union when there was still a cold war.  Three decades later she was the main attraction for a strip mall gymnastics school in Scottsdale.  Not surprisingly, she took a circuitous path to make it from her native Grodno, Byelorussia, to the Arizona desert. 

Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth

Lived in Scottsdale

Died in Scottsdale

(1926.07.08-2004.09.24)  Psychiatrist, author.

In 1999 Time magazine listed Elisabeth Kubler-Ross as one of the "100 Most Important Thinkers" of the past century.  This recognition was due in part to her groundbreaking 1969 book, On Death and Dying which popularized the theory that the dying go through five stages of grief:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

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Landis, Carole

Married in Yuma

(Frances Lillian Mary Ridste, 1919.01.01-1948.07.15)  Actor.

Carole Landis
Carole Landis, 1941.

On January 14, 1934, when Carole was just 15 and attending San Bernadino High School in California, she eloped to Yuma with 19 year-old Irving Wheeler.  Even though Arizona's laws at the time were less stringent than California's, they did require that both partners be 16.  Three weeks later, the marriage was annulled.  Carole returned to school but on August 25, 1934, she remarried Wheeler.  Less than a month later, Wheeler threatened to throw her out.  She walked out but the twice marrieds were not divorced until 1939--just in time for her to marry her second of 5 husbands.

Lapre, Don

Alumni of Sunnyslope High School

Lived in Phoenix Metro area

Arrested in Tempe

Died in Florence

(Donald D. Lapre, 1964.05.19-2011.10.02)  TV pitchman.

The self-proclaimed "King of Infomercials" started his career of marketing products questionable value 1990 with his Unknown Concepts credit-repair business.  An FHA insurance refund pamphlet, and a "900" phone line scheme followed.  By 1992 he was hosting "The Making Money Show with Don Lapre" telling views how to get rich quick if they just buy a package of booklets, tapes and tips from him.

Later, he came up with "The Greatest Vitamin in the World"--which the FDA did not think was so great, shutting down his claims that it treated diabetes, stroke, heart disease, insomnia, cancer, and arthritis.

In June, 2011, he was indicted by a federal Grand Jury in Phoenix on charges of bilking 220,000 victims out of more than $52 million for worthless internet businesses.

When he was arrested within the month, he attempted suicide by trying to slit his femoral artery.

Just a few days before his trial was to start, he was found dead from an apparent suicide in his jail cell in Florence, Arizona.

Laurel, Stan

Married in Florence

Married in Yuma

Married in Yuma (again)

Married in Yuma (again...again)

(Arthur Stanley Jefferson, 1890.06.16-1965.02.23)  Actor.

Stan Laurel
Stan Laurel, 1925.

The skinny half of the famous Laurel and Hardy comedy team must have thought that Arizona was the ideal place for a marriage.  Stan Laurel chose the state as the site for three of his five marriages (or four of his six marriages, depending upon how you count them).  Not to detract from the romance of desert nuptials, he might have liked the location for other reasons.  Prior to 1957, Arizona had the advantage of requiring neither a blood test nor a 3 day waiting period before a hurried couple could marry.

In 1935 Stan married his second wife, Virginia Ruth Rogers, in Florence, Arizona.  Virginia Ruth filed suit for divorce within 2 years, but just as the decree was becoming final, she filed an affidavit asking that the final decree not be entered.  Her claim was that because of the numerous reconciliations and separations a final decree would not be legal.  Her motive might have had something to do with news that Stan was about to marry the Russian singer Vera Ivanova Shuvalova.

The court did not delay the final decree, and it was entered on December 31, 1937.  Immediately, Stan headed for Yuma with the Russian singer.  Virginia Ruth followed seeking to stop the Yuma nuptials, but to no avail.  Stan's third marriage took place as he had planned, on January 1, 1938.  Virginia Ruth's affidavit left some doubt as to the validity of the New Year's Day marriage.  On February 27, 1938, when a final ruling was entered on the divorce decree, the couple returned to Yuma for a repeat of the ceremonies.

Virginia Ruth did not take the marriage or the remarriage as a defeat.  When Stan's third marriage ended in divorce in 1940, she was ready, willing and able to take him back.  Stan married Virginia Ruth for a second time in 1941.  By 1946, however, divorce proceedings were again in the works.

In May, 1946, Stan Laurel and Ida Kitaeva Raphael learned that Stan's divorce was final.  The next day the two set out for Yuma to be married.  They arrived in Yuma late because they had gotten lost along the route and had to get the judge out of bed to perform the wedding.  They drove the rest of the night to spend their honeymoon at the Grand Hotel in San Diego.

As Stan's Arizona marriages go, the third time was a charm.  The couple was still married nearly two decades later when Stan suffered a heart attack and died.

Lawrence, Martin

Treated in Tucson

(Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence, 1965.04.16-    )  Actor, comic.

The star of the television series Martin (1992-1997) says his then wife used "a lot of trickery" in getting him to check into the Sierra Tucson drug-rehab center in Tucson.  She appears to have had good reason for the trickery--she pointed to his "irrational and abusive behavior" and use of "psychotropic" medicine.  In May before entering Sierra Tucson he was found ranting "Fight the power!" in a busy Sherman Oaks, California intersection and had to be forcibly subdued by police.  In August he was arrested at Burbank Airport for carrying a loaded revolver.

The treatment was abbreviated at best.  Martin says, "I was there for one day and came home. I found that it took me to get myself together, instead of some program."   If he did get himself together, it didn't take immediately since the next January his Martin co-star, filed a suit alleging sexual harassment and in March he was arrested for punching a man in Hollywood night spot.

Lee, Tommy

Arrested in Phoenix

(Thomas Lee Bass, 1962.10.03-    )  Musician.

Tommy Lee
Tommy Lee, 2005. Photo by Joel Telling .

The former drummer for the rock band Motley Crue is no stranger to arrests on assault.  In December, 1997, the band was performing in Phoenix.  The band urged fans to rush the stage.  When a security guard attempted to keep fans off the stage, Tommy Lee and bassist Nikki Sixx assaulted the guard.

Tommy received a 30 day sentence which he was able to serve concurrently with a six month sentence in California on charges of assaulting his wife, Pamela Anderson.  Pamela has only almost been arrested in Arizona, thanks to an indiscreet Playboy photo shoot on Route 66.

Lemon, Meadowlark

Lives in Scottsdale

Meadowlark Lemon
Meadowlark Lemon, 1988.

(1932.03.25-    )  Basketball player.

As of 2005, the most famous Harlem Globe Trotter, the the "Clown Prince of Basketball", was reported to be an ordained Minister living in Scottsdale.

Liddy, G. Gordon

Lives in Scottsdale

(George Gordon Battle Liddy, 1930.11.30-    )  Talk show host, White House "Plumber," felon.

The "G" man, as syndicated talk radio listeners may know him, did not personally bring down the Presidency of Richard M. Nixon, but he masterminded the Watergate burglary which brought national attention to corruption at the White House.

Limbaugh, Rush

Treated somewhere in Arizona

Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh, 2009.

(Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, 1951.01.12-    )  Ultraconservative radio talk host.

On his show, Friday, October 11, 2003, Rush announced that he was leaving the microphone for 30 days to seek immediate treatment for his addiction to prescription pain drugs.  According to N.Y. Post sources, the place that the highest paid talk show host in radio history would be receiving treatment was the pricy Sierra Tucson addiction treatment facility.

Lofgren, Nils

Lives in Scottsdale

Nils Lofgren
Nils Lofgren, 1997. Photo by Gerry Gardner .

(Nils Löfgren, 1951.06.21-    )  Guitarist, actor, composer.

The guitarist and member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band lives in Scottsdale.  In 2003, Nils and his wife, Amy, bought a 3,400 square foot home near the McCormick Ranch Golf Club.  The reported price of the eight room, three bath home was $1,600,000.

According to a waiter at Scottsdale's China Gate restaurant, Nils is a frequent guest at the restaurant, and Bruce Springsteen has been a guest annually.  Bruce orders vegetarian.

Lombard, Carole

Married in Kingman

Honeymooned in Oatman

Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard, c. 1938.

(1908.10.06-1942.01.16)  Actor.

Carole Lombard wed Clark Gable at the Methodist church in Kingman in 1939. The newlyweds honeymooned in Oatman at the Oatman Hotel.

Loud, Kevin

Lives in Paradise Valley

(1955-    )  Reality television subject.

The original reality television show was broadcast on PBS in 1973.  The series, An American Family, followed the Loud family as the flamboyant older son came out of the closet, and the Loud marriage disintegrated. Kevin, the second oldest of the Loud's 5 children, eventually made his way to Arizona.

In 2004, Kevin and his wife Judith sold their Paradise Valley home near the Hermosa Inn for $1,919,000, and purchased another PV home next to the Camelback Golf Club for $1,120,000.

Luce, Clare Boothe

Lived in Phoenix

Clare Boothe Luce
Clare Boothe Luce, 1932.

(1903.03.10-1987.10.09)  Congresswoman, ambassador, journalist, playwright, author.

Aside from the above titles, Clare Boothe Luce also claimed the title of wife of Time, Life, Fortune and Sports Illustrated magazine founder Henry Luce (1898-1967).  She is credited with warning a disbelieving FBI about a potential the attack on Pearl Harbor, and later being the first to discover the Russian missiles in Cuba.  She retired to Arizona.

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Macpherson, Elle

Treated in Wickenburg

Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson, 2009. Photo by Manfred Werner / Tsui .

(Eleanor Nancy Gow, 1963.03.29-    )  Model, actor.

Supermodel Elle Macpherson reportedly spent a month at The Meadows in Wickenburg for treatment of post-natal depression following the birth of her second child, a son named Aurelius Cy Andre, in February 2003.

Majors, Lee

Had a home on the shores of Lake Mead

Lee Majors
Lee Majors, 2008. Photo by dalekhelen .

(Harvey Lee Yeary, 1939.04.23-    )  Actor.

The bionic man from the Six Million Dollar Man (1974-1978) and various revisits to the Steve Austin character had a home on the shores of Lake Mead.

Make-A-Wish Foundation®

Formed in Phoenix

(1980.10.00-    )  Charitable Foundation.

For much of his short life 7 year old Chris Geicius had dreamed of becoming a police officer.  On April 19, 1980, Chris got his wish and became the first and only Honorary State Trooper in the history of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.  He was outfitted in his own police uniform, flew in a helicopter and rode in a patrol car.  He even got to write tickets for jaywalking pedestrians.  When his official duties end, he was quoted as saying, "This has been the best day of my life."

Just five days later, leukemia took his life.  He was given a police funeral with full honors, and was buried in his police uniform.

Chris had his wish granted because of a few warm hearted Arizona DPS officers who learned of Chris' illness and his dream.  The reaction to this first wish lead to the granting of other wishes to critically ill children, and to the formation of the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation in October, 1980.  The original wish grantors included DPS public information director Alan Schmidt, and Grace LaScala, a teacher at Greenway High School.  Initially intended to serve only the Phoenix area, the organization grew rapidly as people all across the country asked how they could help terminally ill children around the nation realize their wishes.

Martin, Tony

Married in Yuma

Tony Martin
Tony Martin in Till the Clouds Roll By, 1946.

(Alvin Morris, 1913.12.25-    )  Singer, actor.

Rising star Tony Martin married starlet Alice Faye in Yuma following a short plane trip from Los Angeles on September 4, 1937.  They were divorced within 3 years.  He married dancer Cyd Charisse in 1948, to whom he was still married when she died in 2008.

Martinez, Frank

Lived in Phoenix where he slept with his dead wife for 11 years

(Frank Alvarado Martinez, c. 1931.00.00-    )  Proofreader for the Los Angeles Times.

On the morning of Wednesday, June 10, 1998, 67 year old Frank Alvarado Martinez entered the Whataburger fast food restaurant across the street from the trailer park where he lived since 1985. He proceeded to the restroom at the back of the restaurant and locked the door behind him.

Marvin, Lee

Lived in Catalina Mountains outside Tucson

Died in Tucson

(1924.02.19-1987.08.29)  Actor.

Lee Marvin
Lee Marvin in the movie Attack, 1956.

A perennial tough guy, Lee Marvin appeared in more than 70 films between 1951and 1986.  He began playing heavies and cops, and became a star as a villain in movies like Eight Iron Men (1952), The Big Heat (1953) and The Wild One (1954).  He broadened his roles becoming a police detective in the TV series M Squad (1957-1969), and won an Oscar for a dual role as a drunken gunfighter and his evil brother in the Western comedy Cat Ballou (1965).  He followed this triumph with an unfortunate appearance in the musical Paint Your Wagon (1969).

In 1979, Lee was sued by his girlfriend of six years for $1.5 million in support after their separation.  The landmark case established the right of live-in companions to support, but Michelle Triola was awarded only $104,000.  Michelle later moved in with former Cave Creek resident, Dick Van Dyke.

By the time of the palimony suit, Lee had married Pamela Feeley, a sweetheart from his past.  When Lee was 21 and fresh out of the Marine Corps following World War II, he had dated Pamela in their hometown of Woodstock, N.H.  Pamela was six years his junior and still in high school.  Lee left his hometown and his girlfriend to pursue an acting career.

In 1970 Pamela was visiting California where Lee lived.  The romance was rekindled after Lee learned of her visit and invited her to dinner.  On October 18, 1970, they were married.  In 1971, Pamela made her first trip to Arizona when she accompanied her husband to the location where he and co-star Paul Newman were filming Pocket Money (1972).  Pamela fell in love with Arizona, and in 1975 the couple purchased a home in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains outside Tucson.  The home was designed by Tucson's most recognizable architect, Josias Joesler.

Lee Marvin suffered a heart attack and died in Tucson in 1987.  A Marine in World War II and wounded at the Battle of Saipan in 1944 in the South Pacific, Marvin was buried with fellow veterans in Arlington National Cemetery.

Mauldin, Bill

Lived in Phoenix

Graduated from Phoenix Union High School

(1929.10.29-2003.01.22)  Cartoonist, writer.

Willie and Joe were the cartoon embodiment of the American infantry soldier in Europe during World War II.  They made their first appearance in Stars and Stripes, a publication produced by and for servicemen.  Unlike General Patton, GIs loved the irreverent characters and Willie made the cover of Time magazine. 

Mayer, Louis B.

Married in Yuma

Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer in 1953.

(Ezemiel Mayer, 1885.07.04-1957.10.29)  Movie magnate (the last M in MGM).

Movie magnate Louis B. Mayer and his intended, Lorena L. Danker, traveled to Yuma in December, 1948 to be married.  They intended to keep the wedding quiet, but the press got word of the event and followed them to their lodgings at the Coronado Motel at 233 S. Fourth Avenue.  The marriage, Mayer's second, lasted until his death.

McCain, John

Lived in Tempe

Lives in Phoenix

(John Sidney McCain III, 1936.08.29-    )  U.S. Senator (1987-present), U.S. Representative from Arizona 1st District (1983-1987), POW (1967-1972), Navy pilot, first sitting Senator to host Saturday Night Live (2002).

Born in the Panama Canal Zone, John McCain shares the headstrong, blunt, maverick traits of his father and grandfather, who were the first father and son four star Admirals in the U. S. Navy.

McCartney, Linda

Attended University of Arizona

Lived in Catalina Mountains outside Tucson

Died at her Catalina Mountain ranch

(Linda Louise Eastman, 1941.09.24-1998.03.17)  Photographer, singer, composer, wife of Beatle Paul McCartney.

Linda McCartney
Linda McCartney behind Paul, performing with Wings in 1976. Photo by Jim Summaria .

Linda was born in New York City.  She attended the University of Arizona, studying art history and geology.  Her first husband, geophysicist John Melvin See, still lives in Tucson.  In 1967, after her divorce, she went to London where she became known for her photographs of rock celebrities.  In 1968, one of her subjects was Beatle Paul McCartney.  A year later they were married.

In 1979, Linda and Paul purchased a 150 acre ranch in the Catalina Mountains east of Tucson.  There the couple and their children found the privacy that eluded them in more metropolitan areas.  A neighbor reported that the McCartneys typically resided in their tin roofed, sand colored stucco home in the spring and fall.  The neighbors, used to celebrity residents like Robert Mitchum and Lee Marvin, treated them like any other resident.

The couple's devotion to each other was apparent even in the tabloids.  During their nearly 30 year marriage, they were apart only 11 days--while Paul was in jail in Japan on pot charges.

When Linda's breast cancer was in its terminal stage, the couple returned to the ranch where she died in 1998.

McDonald Brothers

Built first McDonald's franchised restaurant with Golden Arches in Phoenix

(Richard "Dick" McDonald, c.1909-1998.07.14, and Maurice "Mac" McDonald,     -1971)  Originators of the Speedy Service System and McDonald's restaurants.

Contrary to popular belief, the first McDonald's franchise, and the first McDonald's to feature the infamous golden arches was located not in California, nor in Illinois. It was built right here in Phoenix, two years before Ray Kroc met the McDonald brothers. 

McFarlane, Todd

Lives in Phoenix (Ahwatukee)

(1961.03.16-    )  Cartoon artist, redesigner of Spider-Man, creator of Spawn.

An emigrant from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Todd is famous in comic circles for the drastic redesign of Spider-Man and other characters, and for the creation of the comic super-hero, Spawn.

McGreevey, James

Treated in Wickenburg

(1957.08.06-    )  First openly gay governor in the US.

The twice-married, father of two who resigned as governor of New Jersey (2002-2004) when a sexual harassment lawsuit outed his  "adult consensual affair with another man" received a month long treatment at The Meadows in Wickenburg shortly after he resigned as governor, but before he took up housekeeping with Australian-American executive, Mark O'Donnell.

McVeigh, Timothy

Lived in Kingman

(1968-2001.06.11)  Terrorist.

This country's most notorious home grown terrorist took up residence in Kingman, Arizona, where he plotted to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City. And, blow it up, he did.  On Wednesday, April 19, 1995 McVeigh parked a rented Ryder truck packed with 7,000 pounds of explosive in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.  McVeigh walked way from the truck, and at 9:02 AM the truck exploded destroying the front of the building and killing 168 people including 19 children. 

Means, Russell

Lived in Chinle

Treated in Tucson

(1939.11.10-    )  Indian activist, actor.

Russell Means is the Oglala/Lakota Sioux Indian that came to national attention in 1972 from his role as national director of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in a standoff with the US government at Wounded Knee. 

Mercer, Jacque

Lived outside Litchfield

Graduated from Arizona State University


(1931.02.02-1982)  Miss America, 1949.

Raised on the X-Bar-X ranch outside Litchfield, Jacque was the last Miss America not born in a hospital.  She would also be the last Miss America to hold the title after getting married.  Learning from her brief, unhappy marriage, she urged pageant officials to amend the rules so that Miss America would not be permitted marry and continue to hold the title.

 Jacque returned to Arizona where she graduated from Arizona State University, then  taught school.  She married fellow Arizona State student Dick Curran.  He would become an All-American Football Player and be drafted by the Green Bay Packers 1953.  Later he became advertising executive. They had two children.

Mikan, George

Lived in Scottsdale

Died in Scottsdale

(1924.06.18-2005.06.01)  The first really big guy in professional basketball.

George Mikan
George Mikan (right), 1944.

In college George Mikan demonstrated how much more adeptly a 6'10" player can put a 9" ball through an 18" hoop mounted 10' above the floor than players a foot or so closer to the ground.  Playing professionally for the Chicago Gears (1946-7) and the Minneapolis Lakers (1948-1956), he became the game's first superstar.

The superstar moved to Scottsdale around 2000. He died just days short of his 81st birthday at the Life Care Center of Scottsdale following a struggle with diabetes and kidney ailments.

Miles, Sarah

Witness at a coroner's inquest

Sarah Miles
Sarah Miles, 1966.

(1941.12.31-    )  Actor.

When Sarah Miles was filming the movie The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973) near Gila Bend, she became fodder for the tabloids when her younger paramour was found dead in the motel room they shared.

Miller, Ann

Lived in Sedona

(1923.03.12-2004.01.22)  Dancer, singer, actress.

Ann Miller
Ann Miller in Small Town Girl, 1953.

Ann Miller danced her way to stardom and in retirement became a halftime resident of Sedona.  As a spiritualist who dabbled in psychic phenomena and astrology--she believed that she was Queen Hathshepsut of Egypt in a former life--she was well suited for a community situated in a spiritual vortex.  In 1998, the water pipes in her Sedona home burst flooding the downstairs which was filled with priceless antiques.  Her Spanish style mansion in Beverly Hills suffered no such indignity.

Mingus, Charlie

Born in Nogales

Charlie Mingus
Charlie Mingus, 1976. Photo by Tom Marcello .

(Charles Mingus, 1922.04.22-1979.01.05)  Musician, singer, composer, band leader, actor.

Charlie Mingus was a famous jazz musician who appeared as himself in five movies and one TV mini series, most of which were about his life.  In 1995, he was featured in a U.S. commemorative stamp on Jazz Musicians.

He was born in Nogales, Arizona, but grew up in the Los Angeles district of Watts.  He played his last concert in Phoenix, Arizona just before diagnosis of the illness which claimed his life.  Like Arizona's Governor Osborn, he suffered from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, most commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease).  His ashes were scattered in the Ganges River, India.

Miranda, Ernesto

Lived in Mesa

Arrested in Phoenix

Died in Phoenix

(1941.03.09-1976.01.31)  Rapist.

For nearly 40 years police have been reading suspects their rights because of a landmark 1966 United States Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona.  That case had its origins in an interrogation room of the Phoenix Police Department. 

Mitchum, Robert

Had a home near Scottsdale

Robert Mitchum
Robert Mitchum in The Sundowners, 1960.

(Robert Charles Durman Mitchum, 1917.08.06-1997.07.01)  Actor.

In addition to his home in Montecito, California, where he died, Mitchum had a home near Scottsdale, and was a frequent visitor to Tucson.

Mix, Tom

Married in Yuma

Died outside Florence

(Thomas E. Mix, 1880.01.06-1940.10.11)  Actor, rodeo and circus performer.

Tom Mix was a huge star of silent movie Westerns.  He appeared in 336 feature films, directing 117 of them.  For filming many of  his movies he returned to the Prescott area where had won the National Rodeo Championship at the Frontier Days Rodeo in 1909.  After the advent of talking movies, he appeared in only nine features, and he moved on to appearances in rodeos and circuses. Mix was a pioneer of the action movie, keeping himself in top physical condition and performing his own dare-devil stunts. 

Moran, Lois

Lived in Sedona

Died in Sedona

(Lois Darlington Dowling, 1909.03.01-1990.07.13)  Actor.

Lois Moran
Lois Moran, 1932.

The movie Transatlantic (1931) was the feature at the grand opening of the Phoenix Fox Theater on July 30, 1931.  It starred the Irish beauty Lois Moran in one of her last screen roles.  Her prolific though brief screen career was followed with greater fame came as the inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's character "Rosemary" in his novel, Tender is the Night.  The two had an affair when the he was a screenwriter in Hollywood.

In 1935, after conquering Broadway in two lead singing roles, she retired from acting and married the much older Clarence M. Young, who had been the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics in the Hoover administration (1929-1933).

The couple moved to Sedona in 1968 where she wrote a column for the Red Rock News.

Morrison, Jim

Arrested at Sky Harbor

(James Douglas Morrison, 1943.12.08-1971.07.03)  Singer, musician.

The legendary rock singer and co-founder of The Doors had a life style which might be described as, to borrow a term from Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, "irrationally exuberant." Fueled with liberal doses of alcohol and drugs, Morrison managed to light quite a few fires, onstage and off.  In 1967, he was arrested onstage in New Haven, Connecticut for attempting to incite a riot.  After a 1969 Miami, Florida concert, he was arrested for exposing himself and using profanity.

Moss, Kate

Treated for cocaine abuse in Wickenburg

(Katherine Moss, 1974.01.16-    )  Supermodel.

Kate Moss
Kate Moss, 2005. Photo by Deon Maritz .

The pictures of supermodel Kate Moss that the London tabloid Daily Mirror published on September 15, 2005, did nothing good for her career.  Kate, who was reportedly was discovered by Sarah Doukas of the Storm Agency at New York's JFK International Airport when she was mere 14 years old, has been no stranger to controversy.

In her early career, her concentration-camp thinness was cause for controversy.  Then there was her willingness to appear nude, and rumors of drug use.  In spite of the controversy, or perhaps partly because of it, Kate's career surged and she became recognized as one of the world's top 5 models.  Her look, described by some as "heroin chic," propelled her to being named spokesmodel for such major fashion names as Chanel, Narciso Rodriguez, Cerruti, Banana Republic, Versace, Yves Saint-Laurent, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Celine.  She dated actor Billy Zane, and was engaged to actor Johnny Depp.  Two of her earlier boyfriends, boyfriends Mario Sorrenti and River Phoenix died of drug overdoses.

The Daily Mirror pictures were devastating to Kate's career not because they were unflattering (which they were), but because of what they show her doing.  They show her snorting line after line of cocaine at a West London recording studio, as she chats with her lover Pete Doherty and friends.

As good as hints of illicit drug use may be for one's early career, photographic evidence of flagrant use of class A drugs just says no to an established career.  Kate's contracts were dropped like hot potatoes.  Within a few days after the photos were published, the Swedish fashion retailer H&M announced that they would be dropping Kate, and the next day Burberry and Chanel followed suit.

Like other misbehaving celebrities, Kate looked to the cowboy town of Wickenburg to stem the tide of adverse reaction to her addiction.  By the end of September, Kate had reportedly checked into The Meadows in Wickenburg, where her name will be added to the list of Meadows alumnae like Eric Benét, and Ellie Macpherson.

Muniz, Frankie

Lives in Scottsdale

Frankie Muniz
Frankie Muniz, 2007. Photo by Eliot Phillips .

(Francisco James Muniz, IV, 1985.12.05-    )  Actor, musician, and racecar driver.

The little boy that played Malcom in the Fox network's Malcom in the Middle (2000-2006) grew up to become a Scottsdale resident.

Murphy, Audie

Had a ranch near Tucson

(Audie Leon Murphy, 1924.06.24-1971.05.28)  Nation's most decorated soldier, actor, author.

Audie Murphy
Audie Murphy, c. 1946.

The son of poor Texas sharecroppers became the most decorated soldier of World War II, receiving 33 awards including the Congressional Medal of Honor and every other medal of valor the country had to offer, and 5 decorations from France and Belgium.   

At the end of the war, the boyish soft-spoken soldier turned to acting, eventually staring in the movie of his autobiography, To Hell and Back (1955).  That movie was the highest grossing movie Universal had ever made and remained so until the release of Jaws two decades later.  Murphy appeared in a total of 44 feature films

Besides acting--or perhaps because of his success in acting--he became a successful thoroughbred and quarter horse breeder.  He owned several ranches, including one outside of Tucson.

Mustaine, Dave

Lives in Scottsdale

When we last checked, MegaDeth was alive on the web at least, at their web site, www.megadetharizona.com.  Courtesy of megadetharizona.com.

(David Scott Mustaine, 1961.09.13-    )  Musician.

"Dangerous Dave" Mustaine played guitar for the metal band "Metallica" but before they were successful, he was thrown out because of his wild drinking. Not deterred, and possibly more sober, in 1983 he founded his own group, MegaDeth, in which he was a guitarist and lead singer.

In 2002 an injury to Dave Mustaine's left arm and hand resulted in the band's disbandment.

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Nelson, Craig T.

Attended University of Arizona

Craig T. Nelson
Craig T. Nelson, 2009. Photo by Angela George .

(Craig Richard Nelson, 1946.04.04-    )  Comic, actor.

Best know as his role as coach Hayden Fox in the long running CBS TV series Coach (1989-1997), Craig attended the University of Arizona, Tucson, before heading off to make his mark in Hollywood. 

He maintained an active role in the U of A's alumnae association, receiving the Sidney S. Woods Alumni Service Award from the College of Fine Arts in 2000-01.

Newton, Wayne

Lived in Phoenix

Attended North Phoenix High School

(Carson Wayne Newton, 1942.04.03-    )  Singer.

Wayne Newton was born in Roanoke, Virginia but grew up in Phoenix.  When he was 12 years old, he cut a record with his brother, Jerry, titled the "New Rascal Boogie."

Before "Danke Schoen" and Jackie Gleason made him nationally famous, he appeared on KPHO's "Lew King Rangers" television talent show. 

Nicks, Stevie

Born in Phoenix

Lives in Paradise Valley

(Stephanie Lynn Nicks, 1948.05.26-    )  Singer.

Stevie Nicks was born at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix to Jess Seth Nicks, a corporate president, and Barbara Nicks, a housewife.

Stevie's grandfather, Aaron Jess "A.J." Nicks was a colorful country singer that lived out of a couple of trailers in the Arizona mountains, traveled on freight trains, and was a bit of a pool shark. 

Nielsen, Leslie

Lived in Phoenix area

Leslie Nielson(1926.02.11-2010.11.28)  Actor.

Leslie Nielsen played solid character parts in films for nearly 30 years.  He didn't hit it really big until the 1980 spoof, Airplane! (1980), with dialog like this:

Ted Striker (Robert Hays):  Surely you can't be serious.
Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen):  I am serious, and don't call me Shirley.

Nielsen was born in Canada, the son of a Mountie, where one of his brothers became Deputy Prime Minister. He became a resident of the Salt River Valley before moving on to Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Nixon, Richard M.

Spent summers in Prescott

(Richard Milhous Nixon, 1913.01.09-1994.04.22)  37th President of the United States (1969-1974), Vice President (1953-1961).

The only president to ever resign from office spent the summers of 1928 and 1929 at 937 W. Apache Drive in Prescott. 

Nolte, Nick

Lived in Phoenix

Attended Arizona State University, Tempe; Eastern Arizona College, Thatcher; Phoenix College, Phoenix

(Nicholas King Nolte, 1941.02.08-    )  Actor.

Nick Nolte
Nick Nolte, 2009. Photo by Tony Shek .

If you depend on Nick's interviews, you might not get the real story.  He once told the Daily News, "I decided I was going to lie to the press, since I didn't think I had anything to say that was really of value."

In his college years, he was a migrant worker of sorts.  He attended several colleges where he joined the team as a walk-on and played the season.  Hence his educational credits include Arizona State University, Eastern Arizona College, and Phoenix College, all of which he attended on football scholarships.

It is also reported that he had other ways to pay for his college expenses.  In 1962 he was given five years probation on charges of selling fake draft cards.

The same year, he moved to his mother's house in Phoenix, took Allen Dutton's photography course at Phoenix College, and joined the Actors Inner Circle Theater in Phoenix.

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O'Connor, Donald

Lived in Oak Creek

Donald O'Connor
Donald O'Connor, 1953.

(David Dixon O'Connor, 1925.08.28-2003.09.27)  Actor, dancer.

Donald O'Connor is a veteran of 61 feature films, but needed to do nothing more than his singing and dancing "Make 'Em Laugh" sequence in Singing in the Rain to have a place in the annals of film history.

O'Connor, Sandra Day

Lived in Phoenix

(1930.03.26-    )  U. S. Supreme Court Justice, judge, lawyer, author.

Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court, and the only woman to have a Federal Court building to carry her name. 

Owens, Jesse

Lived in Paradise Valley

Died at University Hospital, Tucson

Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics.

(James Cleveland Owens, 1913.09.12-1980.03.31)  Olympic Gold Medal Winner, speaker, businessman.

Jesse Owens presented a serious challenge to Adolph Hitler's master race theory when he, a black American runner, beat all Aryan contenders to take four Gold Medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  As Hitler watched from the stands, Jesse tied the world record in the 100 meter dash (10.3 seconds), set Olympic records in the 200 meter dash (20.7 seconds) and the long jump (8.06 meters).  In the first leg of the 400-meter relay, he set an Olympic and world record (39.8 seconds).  Rather than congratulate the black American athlete at the award ceremony, Hitler left the stadium. 

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Palin, Bristol

Purchased home in Maricopa

(Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin, 1990.10.18-    )  Sexual abstinence advocate for teens.

Danica Patrick
Bristol holding her brother Trig, 2008.  Photo by Emily .

Bristol achieved a fair amount of local notoriety by just being the teenage daughter of Alaska's popular governor, Sarah Palin.  When her mother was selected by Arizona Senator John McCain to become the Republican vice-presidential "family values" candidate, the notoriety became national.  Then, on the opening day of the 2008 Republican National Convention, it was disclosed that Bristol was pregnant (but engaged), and her fame skyrocketed.  Appearances on the campaign trail with the baby's father kept her in the political spotlight.

Even when her mother's VP aspirations did not work out and she resigned as governor "in the best interests of Alaska," Bristol was able to build a career out of her hard-earned fame.  In addition to being a speaker promoting teenage sexual abstinence (at $15,000 to $30,000 an appearance), Bristol made appearances on the 2010 season of ABC television's Dancing with the Stars, and her mom's short lived reality television show, Sarah Palin's Alaska (2010-2011).

In December 2010, Bristol plunked down $172,000 cash for a five-bedroom house in Maricopa, Arizona.  Some news reports suggested that the home, 30 miles from the ASU campus, was purchased to allow Bristol to pursue a college education at the university.

Patrick, Danica

Lives in Scottsdale

(Danica Sue Patrick, 1982.03.25-    )  Professional race car driver.

Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick, 2008. Photo by David Shankbone .

One does not have to win the Indianapolis 500 to receive tremendous press attention or be the top Googled celebrity.  Coming in fourth will more than suffice if one is a radiantly attractive 22 year-old former cheer leader who is only the fourth woman to qualify for the event.  It doesn't hurt that she was the first woman to lead a lap and dueled with the winner at the end.  Her appearance in the May 29, 2005 event is said to have boosted its television viewership by nearly 60% over the previous year. 

On her official web site, danicaracing.com, she lists The Late Show with David Letterman as her favorite television show.  That would be entirely appropriate since Letterman is a co-owner of her race car.

In November, 2004, Danica moved to Scottsdale from Illinois to be near her physical-therapist-and-athletic-trainer fiancé, Paul Hospenthal.  They were married in 2005.

Scottsdale has recognized its car-racer resident by issuing two speeding tickets--for driving 57 mph in a 40 mph zone in 2007, and 54 mph in a 35 mph zone in 2008.  Go Danica!

Patton, George S.

Trained his troops in the Arizona desert

(General George Smith Patton, Jr., 1885.11.14-1945.12.21)  General, U.S. Army.

In 1942, native Californian Major General George S. Patton selected an area of the Arizona-California desert to prepare his troops for action in the North African desert which would mark the US entrance into World War II.  The Desert Training Center would become the largest Army base in the world, stretching from the outskirts of Pomona, California east to within 50 miles of Phoenix, Arizona, south to Yuma, Arizona and north to Las Vegas, Nevada.  In Arizona, the facility included Camps Bouse, Horn, Hyder and Laguna.

In the facility's brief lifespan--the need for desert training dramatically decreased with victory in North Africa--nearly 1,000,000 troops received training there.  Patton presided over his troops at the camp until their departure in November, 1942.  Other troops followed, but the camp was closed in May, 1944.

Perrine, Valerie

Attended Camelback High School

(1943.09.03-    )  Actor.

Valerie got the acting bug at Camelback High School, but was waylaid in Las Vegas as a topless showgirl before making her mark in Hollywood.

Petty, George

Lived in Scottsdale

(1894.00.00-1975.07.21)  Artist.

George Petty was an obscure Chicago commercial artist when the upstart Esquire magazine contracted him to do illustrations for a series of cartoons.  His realistic and suggestive drawings of the female form appeared in seven of the first dozen Esquire issues, and the "Petty Girl" was born.

Petty's advertising career soared.  Prints of the "Petty Girls" were offered in Old Gold ads, and Jantzen introduced "Petty Girl" swimwear in the 1940's.  In 1942, he did the cover for Time magazine and he began doing the covers for the Ice Capades revue.

Esquire brought in artist Alberto Vargas to replace Petty in 1942 during negotiations.  Although Petty continued to do some illustrations for the magazine, the "Varga Girl" eventually replaced the "Petty Girl."

Robert Cummings played the part of George Petty in the movie The Petty Girl (1950).  The fictionalized account of the artist's life has him enrolling at a school of design in order to pursue an attractive woman professor.

In an appearance on the panel show "What's My Line?" in the 1950's, Petty identified his residence as Scottsdale, Arizona, and announced his return to Esquire for creation of their 1955 calendar.

Piestewa, Lori

Lived in Tuba City

Attended Tuba City High School

Lori Piestewa
Lori Piestewa, 2003.

(1980.12.00-2003.03.23)  U.S. Army Pfc, first Native American woman to die in combat.

Like her father who was a Vietnam veteran and her grandfather who was a World War II veteran, Lori joined the service after high school.  An army Private first class, Lori was assigned to the 507th Maintenance Company stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas, where she roomed with 19 year old supply clerk Jessica Lynch. 


Born Discovered in Flagstaff

Pluto with the other planets before its unfortunate demise.  12-02.

(1930.02.18-2006.08.24)  Ninth planet from the sun

The planet Pluto made headlines worldwide when it was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.  The joyous birth of a new planet served as a distraction from the depression of the 1930's.  Artists and scientists alike paid homage to the new planet.  In 1930, Disney created a cartoon dog to carry the name Pluto, and in 1941, scientists named the new element plutonium in honor of the still youthful planet.

By the turn of the century, certain scientists had become disenchanted with the newest planet and were even questioning its credentials.  With a callous disregard for the psyche of the millions who had memorized all nine planets, not to mention the mammoth investment in astronomical books and displays showing all the planets, Pluto was summarily terminated as a planet in 2006. 

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Quayle, Dan

Lives in Paradise Valley

(James Danforth Quayle, 1947.02.04-    )  Politician.

Dan Quayle, former Vice President under George Bush, was born in Indiana, but spent much of his youth in Arizona.  He lives in Paradise Valley with his wife Marilyn.

Quinn, Anthony

Student at Taliesin West

(Antonio Rudolfo Oaxaca Quinn, 1915.04.15-2001.06.03)  Actor.

Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn, 1941.

Although most identified for his Oscar nominated performance as the title character in Zorba the Greek (1964), Anthony Quinn was actually born in Chihuahua, Mexico.  In high school he submitted an architectural plan in a contest and received a scholarship to learn architecture at Taliesin West under the tutelage of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright

A close relationship developed between the student and his teacher, and Wright paid for oral surgery to correct Quinn's speech defect.  Wright then suggested that his would-be protégé take acting lessons to help retrain his tongue.  Wright would later recall that when he saw Quinn perform on stage, he knew Quinn would not return to architecture.

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Rapp, Danny

Died in Quartzsite

Danny and the Juniors
Danny (left) and the Juniors, circa 1960.

(Daniel Joseph Rapp, 1941.05.09-1983.04.05)  Singer.

Danny Rapp's story is a cautionary tale of a career peaking far too early.  At just 15 Danny was the front man of Danny and the Juniors as they appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.  Their song, "Do the Bop", had come to Clark's attention.  He suggested that they rename it "At the Hop".  They did, and it became a worldwide hit.  They became the Best New Group of 1957.

Two more hits followed—"Rock and Roll is Here to Stay" (1958) and "Twistin' USA" (1961, the year before Chubby Checker's record).  The last of their 12 singles to make the charts was released in 1962 when their stellar career began to flame out.

Danny and the Juniors broke up and regrouped over the years with a final split in 1978. Danny formed one group, and two other band members formed another. Both groups performed under the "Danny and the Juniors" name.

Danny managed to stretch his early success into a 26 year career performing his three hits at conventions, theaters, casinos, clubs, fairs and festivals.

Rapp's last performance was in Phoenix, Arizona at the Silver Lining Lounge of The Pointe Tapatio Resort.  The Pointe was a recently opened plush resort in the North Mountains, 20 minutes north of downtown Phoenix.  It was so new that work was still going on to complete some of its 500 rooms.  Danny and his group had a month long engagement which was scheduled to end on Saturday, April 2, 1983. Danny's contract with the resort paid him $1,000 a week plus free lodging, and half-price food and drinks.

 On Friday a vice president of the Pointe Resorts met with Danny to talk with him about a couple of offstage incidents in which hotel security had intervened.  The dispute was between Danny and a female performer who had been with the band less than three months. She quit the band on the day before the meeting, complaining that she was afraid of Rapp and that he had made verbal threats.

 Immediately after the meeting Danny packed and left. The remaining members of the band did the last two performances without him. Danny drove 165 miles west of Phoenix to the tiny town of Quartzsite, just 20 miles from the California border.  He was seen drinking heavily at the Jigsaw, one of the town's two bars.

Danny checked into the Yacht Club Motel on Saturday, getting one of the new mobile homes that made up the motel. At sometime over the weekend, he purchased a .25 caliber automatic from a private individual.

Danny's body was found in his hotel room on Monday, April 5, 1983, with a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the right side of the head

Rawls, Lou

Lived in Scottsdale

Lou Rawls
Lou Rawls, 1977.

(Louis Allen Rawls, 1935.12.01-2006.01.06)  Singer.

Just after the twice married three-time Grammy winner helped bring in 2004 at his New Year performance in the Memphis Peabody Hotel, he moved to a small room at the hotel to wed his flight attendant girlfriend of three years, Nina Inman.  He was 70.  She was 33.  Just a year before, Rawls had been arrested and booked in jail following a public shoving match with Inman at the Albuquerque airport. 

The newlyweds moved into a 4,315 square foot home on East Preservation Way in Scottsdale.  In 2005, the couple had baby boy, with the help of in vitro fertilization--and another woman as birth mother.  They were still married at the time of his death in Los Angeles.

Reagan, Michael

Graduate of the Judson School in Paradise Valley; attended ASU.

Michael Reagan
Michael Reagan, 2002.

(John Flaugher, 1945.04.01-    )  Ultra-conservative radio talk show host.

The adopted son of Ronald Reagan and his wife Jane Wyman was sent to the private Judson School in Paradise Valley.  When he graduated in 1964, his father gave the commencement address. 

Michael went on to attend ASU on a football scholarship, but dropped out in his sophomore year.  He returned to the state in 1967 and won the national outboard motorboat racing championship at Lake Havasu.

Reagan, Ronald

Frequent Phoenix visitor

(Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1911.02.06-2004.06.02)  40th President of the United States (1981-1989), 33rd Governor of California (1967-1975), President of the Screen Actors Guild (1947-1952, 1959-1960) actor.

The Arizona Biltmore proudly proclaims that every president since Herbert Hoover has stay at the Biltmore.  During his presidency, the Reagans made many visits to the hotel--the First Lady Nancy Reagan's parents, Dr. and Mrs. Loyal Davis, lived next to the hotel at 24 Biltmore Estates--but those were far from their first visits.  

Rehnquist, William H.

Lived in Phoenix

(William Hubbs Rehnquist, 1924.10.01-2005.09.03)  Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, lawyer.

After graduating first in his law school class at Stanford University in 1952 and then completing a clerkship at the U.S. Supreme Court, William Rehinquist moved to Phoenix where he practiced law for more than a decade.  His conservative disposition became evident with his opposition to legislative initiatives like one which aimed at achieving racial integration of schools through bussing. 

Reinking, Ann

Lived in Paradise Valley

(1949.11.10-    ) Dancer, choreographer, actor.

A protégé of legendary dancer/choreographer/director Bob Fosse (1927-1987), Ann may be best remembered for her performance in the Fosse autobiographical movie All That Jazz (1979) as the director's girlfriend.

In 2005, Ann and her sports-writer husband, Peter Talbert, plunked down $2,295,000 for a six bedroom home at Cheney Ranch in Paradise Valley.

Renay, Liz

Born in Mesa

Lived in Mesa, Phoenix

Liz Renay
Liz Renay, 2006. Photo by Michael Albov .

(Pearl Elizabeth Dobbins, aka Melissa Morgan, 1926.04.14-    ) Actor, painter, gangster moll, stripper, publicity hound, great-grandmother.

Liz Renay was born to fanatically religious parents in Mesa in the same year, she is proud to say, as Marilyn Monroe.  At 14, she ran away from home with a girlfriend.  The young girls intended to become showgirls in Las Vegas, thinking that because they were big for their age with a lot of makeup they could look older.  They hitched a ride with a couple that turned out to be a minister and his wife who turned them in.

Reynolds, Burt

Witness at a coroner's inquest

(Burton Leon Reynolds Jr., 1936.02.11-    ) Actor.

Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds, 1991. Photo by Alan Light .

When Burt Reynolds started filming the movie The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973) near Gila Bend, he did not know that he would soon be called on to testify at a coroner's inquest called to investigate the mysterious death of a screenwriter. 

Reynolds, Debbie

Lives occasionally in Sedona

(Mary Frances Reynolds, 1932.01.01-    )  Actor, singer, dancer.

Debbie Reynolds has a condo in Sedona. 

Richie, Nicole

Attended the University of Arizona

Nicole Richie
Nicole Richie, 2010.

(Born Nicole Camille Escovedo, 1981.09.21-    )  Fashion designer, author and television personality.

Nicole attended the University of Arizona for two years where she studied Arts and Media.

A couple of years after her college stint, she joined her then best friend, Paris Hilton in the reality series The Simple Life (2003-2007) to become famous as a spoiled rich kid.  (Kourtney Kardashian was a classmate at U of A who followed a similar career path.) 

The premise of The Simple Life was to have the girls live and work (yes, jobs!) with ordinary folk in small-town America without access to their bank accounts or fancy cars.  It was designed as a reality version of the vintage sitcom Green Acres (1965-1971).

Nicole had impressive credentials to qualify her for such a roll.  She is the adopted daughter of soul singer, songwriter, musician and record producer Lionel Richie and his then wife.  Her godfathers were Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson.  Because of the Richie's bitter public split, Nicole says that her adoptive parents indulged her every whim.

Ritter, John

Won a vacation in Lake Havasu

(Jonathan Southworth Ritter, 1948.09.17-2003.09.11)  Actor.

John Ritter
John Ritter, 1988. Photo by Alan Light .

In 1967, long before he starred in television's Three's Company (1976-1984) and 8 Simple Rules (2002-2003), John made his first television appearance as a contestant on the Chuck Barris game show, The Dating Game (1965-1973).  There he was introduced as a college student from Burbank majoring in drama. (He was actually just out of Hollywood High School where he had been the student body president, and would attend USC and major in psychology.)

John was one of three bachelors seated behind a wall vying for a date with a bachelorette standing on the other side of the wall with show host Jim Lange.  The bachelorette, an attractive blond named Sandy, proceeded to ask the guys a series of silly and/or suggestive questions to help her decide which of the men she would choose.

John's witty answers won the day, and Sandy chose him for her date.  Jim Lange announced that they had won a trip to Lake Havasu for their date where they would dine at Crazy Ed's restaurant. The thrill of winning that prize was evident on John's face.

The date would not be John's only connection with the state.  His mother, Dorothy Fay, was born in Prescott.

Rivera, Geraldo

Graduate of University of Arizona

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera, 2008. Photo by SRintoul at en.wikipedia .

(1943.07.04-    )  Talk show host, journalist, author, actor.

Geraldo Rivera received a B.A. from the University of Arizona in 1965, where met the first of his four wives.

As an undergraduate, he reportedly made more than pocket change by taking tests for less academically inclined students.  He charged $90 for an A, $75 for a B and $60 for a C, taking tests in courses he hadn't even taken.

Robbins, Marty

Born near Glendale

Lived in Glendale

(Martin David Robbins, 1925.09.26-1982.12.08)  Singer, musician.

Marty Robbins was born in the desert near Glendale. One of nine children raised in poverty, he attended high school in Glendale, but dropped out to joint the navy during World War II. He learned to play the guitar in the Navy and joined a country music band upon his return to the Phoenix area.

The band performances led him to a radio program on Mesa's KTYL, and then to KPHO where he starred on "Chuck Wagon Time" on radio and "Western Caravan" on television.  In 1951, the hometown boy made it big, signing with Columbia Records.  In 1953, he became an official member of the Grand Ole Opry and moved to Nashville.

Robinson, Heather

Lived in Tucson

(1978.07.31-    )  Writer.

When Heather was 15 she invented an imaginary admirer to correspond with her mother, Jan.  Years later Heather was working for America Online in their Tucson customer service operation.  She met Carrie Fisher in a chatroom and told her the story of her mother's fictional romantic interest.  Carrie encouraged her to write a treatment of the story and submit it to a literary agent.  Heather sold the script to Universal where it became The Perfect Man (2005).  Heather sold a second script about her experience working for America Online which became E-Girl (2006)

Rogers, Roy

Owned Happy Trails resort in Surprise; sued Happy Trails head shop

Roy Rogers
Roy Rogers.

(Leonard Franklin Slye, 1911.11.05-1998.07.06)  Singing cowboy.

Roy Rogers, the "King of the Cowboys," got his big break in 1938 when Republic Pictures' major star, Gene Autry, went on strike for more money.  Roy, then a bit player, auditioned to replace Autry and got the part.  Along with the part, he got the horse, Trigger, "Smartest Horse in the Movies."  Nine years later, he also got the girl, when he married Dale Evans (1912-2001), "Queen of the West."

Rogers, Will Jr.

Died in Tubac

(1911.10.11-1993.07.10)  Congressman.

Humorist Will Rogers' son, former US congressman Will Rogers Jr. shot himself in the head in Tubac.

Ronstadt, Linda

Born in Tucson

Linda Ronstadt
Linda Rondstadt, c1970. Photo by Carl Lender .

(1946.07.15-    )  Singer.

Linda Ronstadt was born in Tucson. 

Roosa, Stuart Allen

Attended University of Arizona

(1933.08.16-1994.12.12)  Astronaut.

Stuart Roosa was the command module pilot for Apollo 14, January 31 to February 9, 1971.  While astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell walked on the moon in the third moon landing, Stuart orbited the moon keeping the "Kitty Hawk" ready for their return.

Roosevelt, Elliott

Arrested in Scottsdale

Lived in Scottsdale

Died in Scottsdale

(1910.09.23-1990.10.27)  Advertising executive, radio broadcaster, author, editor.

Elliott Roosevelt
Elliott Roosevelt, c. 1940. Photo by Rbraunwa .

The second son and third child of the nation's only four term president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the favorite son of Eleanor, and great nephew to Theodore Roosevelt, died in Scottsdale of congestive heart failure.

Mr. Roosevelt was no stranger to the altar. At the age of 40, he married his fourth and final wife, the former Mrs. Minnewa Bell Ross, who was an heiress to a California real estate fortune.  The couple would eventually settle in Scottsdale, after stops in Minneapolis, Miami Beach (where he was mayor), Portugal, England, Seattle, and Palm Springs.

Before settling in Scottsdale, Mr. Roosevelt had an experience there that made national news.  At 3:22 AM on April 4, 1959, Mr. Roosevelt was found asleep behind the wheel of his car and arrested for DUI.  He taken to the Tempe jail where he was given a "drunkometer" test and found to have a .208 blood alcohol level when the legal limit was .150.  Mr. Roosevelt posted $300 bond and was released.  He was found "not guilty" by a 9 member jury at a trial on June 9, 1959.

Ross, Diana

Arrested in Tucson

(Diane Ernestine Ross, 1944.03.26-    )  Singer, actress.

Diana Ross
Diana Ross, 2008. Photo by Harrywad .

Besides being the lead singer of Motown Record's phenomenally successful The Supremes from 1961-69, Diana Ross is mother of a five children (including a daughter with Motown's founder Berry Gordy), a successful solo artist, and star of movies The Wiz (1978), Mahogany (1975), and Lady Sings the Blues (1972).  In 1966, Diana made a grand entrance via helicopter at ASU's Sun Devil Stadium starting her performance at Super Bowl XXX.

In May, 2002, Diana entered the Promises drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Malibu, CA before starting her global summer tour.  The treatment apparently didn't take since in the early morning of December 30, 2002 she was spotted weaving in the southbound lanes of Sabino Canyon Road in Tucson's Catalina Foothills.  Responding to a phone tip, Tucson police pulled her over as she approached East Tanque Verde Road.  Diana blew a 0.20 percent blood-alcohol concentration on the breath test, qualifying her for an extreme DUI citation.

Rose, Axl

Arrested at Sky Harbor

(Born William Bruce Rose, legally changed to W. Axl Rose, 1962.02.06-    )  Musician, singer.

Axl Rose
Axl Rose, 2010. Photo by Guns N' Roses World Tour 2010 .

Axl Rose, whose name is an anagram for "oral sex," is the poster child for decadent late 80's rockers.  He achieved success and notoriety with "Appetite for Destruction," the debut album of his rock group Guns 'N Roses.

Rose has been arrested over 30 times on drunk and disorderly, assault, and other charges.  In February, 1998 he brought this act to the Southwest Airlines security checkpoint at Sky Harbor.

The security screener noticed a black, unidentifiable object in Rose's carry-on bag as it passed through the x-ray machine.  She started to hand search the bag.  Rose grabbed for it and went ballistic.  When the supervisor intervened, Rose shook a fist in his face yelling, "I'll punch your lights out, right here and right now!"

As Phoenix police were approaching they heard Rose saying, "I don't give a fuck who you are.  You are all little people on a power trip."

The little people placed him in hand cuffs and took him to the Madison Street Jail where he was booked for disorderly conduct.  The bag, containing no contraband, was given to the woman that was traveling with him.

Russell, Jane

Lived in Sedona

(Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell, 1921.06.21-2011.02.28)  Actor.

Jane Russell
Jane Russell, 1953.

In 1941, Howard Hughes cast Jane Russell in her first picture. Her casting was reportedly due in large part to her large parts. The movie, The Outlaw (1943), was released only after two years and then on only a limited basis because of problems with the censorship board. Finally, in 1946 it received general release, and became a smash hit.

Jane moved to Sedona with her third husband, John Calvin Peoples, who died in 1999.  At the time of her death, she was residing in Santa Maria, CA.

Russell, Keri

Lived in Mesa

Attended in Poston Jr. High School in Mesa

Keri Russell
Keri Russell, 2006. Photo by Caroline Bonarde Ucci .

(Keri Lynn Russell, 1976.03.26-    )  Actor.

Keri spent most of her childhood in Texas, but the family moved to Mesa in time for her to attend Poston Jr. High School. As a member of the Mesa Stars Dance and Drill team, she was able to tour the country. After the family move to Denver, Keri appeared on Star Search and was cast in the second coming of The Mickey Mouse Club from 1991 until 1993. Other television roles, including the title character in the short lived television series, Felicity (1998), and movies followed.

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Sahl, Mort

Busted in Winslow

(Morton Lyon Sahl, 1927.05.11-    )  Satirist.

Mort Sahl rose to the top of the comic-satirist pool in the 1950's and 60's.  But by 1970's the one-time million-a-year performer's career had sunk so far that shows which had called on him frequently, like The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971) and The Tonight Show (1954-    ), no longer sought his appearances.  About the only venue available to him was the college campus.

At a reception after an appearance at Niagara Falls Community College, guests including Mort were served, according to his 1976 book Hartland,  coffee and cookies spiked with LSD.  Mort got a call telling him that his mother in L.A. had suffered multiple strokes.

Mort took off driving across country to L.A.  After 3 days, he was in Albuquerque.  He remembers waking up as his car went over the side into a New Mexico canyon at fifty-five m.p.h..  He drove out of the hole and made his way to Winslow, Arizona, where he stopped around 2:00 AM because he thought he saw Marines on a landing rope over the side of a ship.  The ship turned out to be a freight car, and the figures that he took for Marines may have been the two cops who took him into custody for drugs.

The police took Mort to a hospital where the doctors told the police that they could not verify that Mort was under the influence of narcotics.  Their diagnosis was "extreme fatigue"--and LSD in his system.  Mort was released, but his car was impounded.  He slept the night either at the hospital or at the Travelodge across the street (his description is unclear).  The next day he took a cab 150 miles to Phoenix.

Later in an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show (1969-1972), he accused the Arizona police of stealing his clothes.  He says that the police commander wrote him saying that the Arizona police were "as honest as any other."

Schilling, Curt

Grew up in Phoenix

Graduate of Shadow Mountain High School, Phoenix

Attended Yavapai Jr College, Prescott

(Curtis Montague Schilling, 1966.11.14-    )  Pitcher, MLB.

Curt Schilling
Curt Schilling, 2007.

Curt Schilling was on the winning side in two remarkable World Series.  In 2001, just weeks after the 9-11 terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center, he was the upstart Diamondback's MVP, along with Randy Johnson, when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees for the title.  Three years later, he pitched for the Red Sox when they won their first World Series title since 1918.

Born in Anchorage, AK, Curt grew up in Phoenix where he graduated from Shadow Mountain High School in 1985.  He went to the Junior College World Series in 1985 when he pitched for Yavapai Junior College in Prescott, AZ.  He signed with the Red Sox in 1986, but didn't make his big league start until September 1988, with the Baltimore Orioles.  He was traded to the Philadelphia in 1992 where he would earn the MVP award in 1993 National League Championship Series.  In July 2000, he joined the Diamondbacks expansion team just in time for their race for the pennant.  He would stay with the Diamondbacks through their 2003 season.

Schroder, Rick

Lives in Scottsdale

(Richard Schroder, 1970.04.13-    )  Actor.

The former child movie star who made a successful transition to television actor bowed out of the final season of NYPD Blue (1993-2005) because he wanted to spend more time with his growing family.  His fourth child, a daughter, was born in Arizona on August 8, 2001.

Seagal, Steven

Assisted in cockfighting arrest

(Steven Frederic Seagal, 1952.04.10-    )  Actor, martial artist, film producer, musician, writer, reserve deputy sheriff.

Steven Segal
Steven Seagal, 2006.  Photo by Samantha Murphy .

Martial arts film actor Steven Segal was Sheriff Joe Arpaio's special guest star in a raid on March 21, 2011.

Seagal arrived at a Laveen home atop Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tank, along with dozens of officers in full SWAT gear, a bomb robot, and a film crew.  In executing a search warrant, the tank pushed over a wall to reveal 115 chickens.  They also found one unarmed man in the home.

The man was Jesus Llovera, 42, who was on probation for a misdemeanor conviction the previous year for attending a cockfight.  He had no history of weapons possession and no weapons were found in the home.

A neighbor was so alarmed by the armed invasion in the formerly quiet community that she called 911.

Seagal became a reserve deputy sheriff in Louisiana, not Arizona, when he began taping Steven Segal: Lawman, for the A&E cable network in 2008.  For the chicken raid, Seagal had a contract with Arpaio allowing him and his film crew to accompany the department on arrests.  115 chickens were killed in the making of this episode.

Severinsen, Doc

Lived in Phoenix

Doc Severinsen
Doc everinsen in 2009.  Photo by TriviaKing .

(Carl H. Severinsen, 1927.07.07-    )  Band leader, musician, conductor.

In 1952 when Steve Alan hosted the Tonight show on NBC, Doc played the trumpet in the band which was then directed by Skitch Henderson.  Doc persevered to become the director of the Tonight Show's NBC Orchestra, a position which he held until Johnny Carson retired in 1992.

Doc Severinsen was the the principal pops conductor for The Phoenix Symphony starting in 1983 and continuing for a number of years.

Shandling, Garry

Born in Tucson (or maybe not)

Grew up in Tucson

Graduate of University of Arizona

(1949.11.29-    )  Comedian.

Garry Shandling at the 39th Emmy Awards (1987).  Photo by Alan Light .

Although the Internet Movie Database lists Gary as being born in Chicago, Illinois, celebrity booking sites say he was born in Tucson.  There is no dispute that he grew up in Tucson where he attended Palo Verde High School.  He went on to earn a degree in marketing at the University of Arizona, but stayed there for a year of postgraduate studies in creative writing.

It was the writing that paid off.  He moved to Los Angeles in 1973 and began writing for shows like Sanford and Son, Welcome Back, Kotter, and Three's Company--and for himself as a stand-up comic.

In 1998, he won an Emmy as a writer for his The Larry Sanders Show in which he played Larry Sanders.

Shane, Bob

Lives in Phoenix (Ahwatukee)

(Robert C. Shane, 1934.02.01-    )  Singer.

The lead singer for the Kingston Trio lives with his wife, Barbara Childress, in a condo on 46th Street at the Pointe South Mountain. 

Sheffield, Johnny

Lived in Yuma

Married in Yuma

Tarzan Finds a Son
Weismuller & Sheffield in Tarzan Finds a Son (1939).
(John Matthew Sheffield Cassan, 1931.04.11-2010.10.14)  Actor.

Johnny was a child star on Broadway when he became the adopted son of Tarzan (Johnny Weismuller) and Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan) in the MGM movie, Tarzan Finds a Son.  He was Weismuller's "Boy" for eight movies, getting a new mom in the last three when Jane was recast.

He and his younger brother were both cast as younger versions of the lead character in Knute Rockne All American (1940)—who urged his team to win one for Ronald Reagan 's "Gipper."

Sheffield got a real name when he was cast in the title role in Bomba, the Jungle Boy.  He reprieved this character to star in eleven more jungle movies between 1949 and 1955.

Sheffield left the Hollywood jungle, ending up in the Arizona.desert in 1959.  He was married in Yuma that year, and continued to reside there until the mid 1980's.  In 2008 he returned to Yuma for several months to renovate a home which he bought about 25 years earlier.

Sheffield died from a heart attack in Chula Vista, California after falling from a palm tree which he was pruning.

Shields, Robert

Lives in Sedona and Scottsdale

(1951.03.26-    )  Mime, artist.

Robert Shields was the quintessential street performer in 1970's San Francisco where he became the city's top tourist attraction while performing on his corner of Union Square.  Teaming up with Lorene Yarnell, their mime act became a feature on The Sonny & Cher Show (1976-1977), followed by their own Shields & Yarnell show (1977-1978). 

Shoen, Sam

Lived in Paradise Valley

(Leonard Samuel Shoen, 1916-1999.10.04)  Founder of U-Haul.

Sam Shoen created the self moving industry in 1945 when he began making and renting trailers to help people move themselves.  In 1964 he bought the Price home created by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and moved his company headquarters and his family to Phoenix.  In spite of purchasing Legend City to be run as a family project, his 12 were destined to become corporate America's most dysfunctional family.

Simmons, Richard

Arrested for assault in Phoenix

(Milton Teagle Simmons, 1948.07.12-    )  Exercise guru and empathetic friend of the overweight.

Richard Simmons in 2007, unaffected by his Phoenix experience.  Photo by Del Far .

On Wednesday, March 24, 2004, flamboyant exercise guru Richard Simmons was about to leave for Los Angeles from Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor International Airport.  As he waited for his flight at America West's Gate A-9, he signed autographs and posed for pictures for fellow passengers.

23 year old Chris Farney, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle salesman and sometimes competitor in the mixed martial arts sport of cage fighting, was standing in the gate area listening to music on earphones as he waited for his flight.  He looked up to see Simmons and his fans.  Farney pulled off his earphones and called out, "Look!  Richard Simmons!  Drop your bags, let's rock to the 50's."  His 50's reference, he later told police, was to an old Simmons workout tape.  The tape in question, Sweatin' to the Oldies, was released in 1988 and became one of a series of Simmons' exuberant but less than strenuous exercise videos.

The 54 year old, 5 foot 4 inch Simmons sauntered over to the 6 foot 2 inch, 255 pound Farney.  Simmons chastised him saying, "You shouldn't make fun of people who have issues."  Simmons then slapped Farney on the right side of his face.  All witnesses described the slap as being light, one saying it was almost playful, and Farney told police that he had not been injured.  One described Farney as acting inappropriately and making fun of Simmons.

Farney had the police called.  When they arrived, he told them that he wanted to press charges because he did not think anyone should be allowed to slap another person and get away with it.  When Simmons approached Farney and began to apologize, Farney asked Simmons to move away.

Although the arresting Phoenix Police officer told Simmons that he was not going to be placed in handcuffs or taken to jail, Simmons became very emotional and excited.  As he calmed down, Simmons repeatedly said that he was sorry for what had occurred.  He also expressed concern that people would be upset at him if the flight was late.

Simmons was cited for misdemeanor assault by touching and allowed to board his flight.

Smith, Hulett C.

Died in Arizona

Governor Hulett C. Smith
Governor Hulett C. Smith, circa 1964.

(Hulett Carson Smith, 1918.10.21-2012.01.15)  Politician, insurance agency CEO.

Hulett Smith, the son of a West Virginia Congressman, was elected as that state's 27th governor in 1964.  He signed into law bills abolishing the state's death penalty, and adopting its first strip mining laws.

He moved to an assisted living facility in Arizona in 2011.

Smith, Jimmy

Lived in Phoenix

Died in Phoenix

Jimmy Smith, 1984. Photo by Hammondite .

(1925.12.08-2005.02.08)  Jazz organist.

In the early 1950's Jimmy Smith learned to play the organ, and proceeded to make it an important jazz instrument.  With the Hammond B-3 organ he influenced nearly every notable organist in jazz and rock.  He made many popular records on the Blue Note and Verve labels including "Groovin' at Small's Paradise," "The Cat," and "Got My Mojo Workin',"  He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1970's and opened Jimmy Smith's Jazz Supper Club.

Jimmy Smith moved to east Phoenix in January 2004.

Smith, Roger

Attended University of Arizona

(1932.12.18-    )  Actor, singer, husband of Ann Margaret.

Roger Smith is best known for marrying Ann Margaret, which he did at the Las Vegas' Riviera Hotel in May of 1967.  Before he was force to retire from acting by the muscle disorder myasthenia gravis, he had significant roles in a number of films and on television.  He played Lon Chaney, Jr. at 21 in Man of a Thousand Faces (1957).  The next year he was the college age nephew of Auntie Mame (1958).  From 1958 until 1963 when a blood clot was discovered in his brain, he was one of the two heroic wisecracking, womanizing private detectives who officed at 77 Sunset Strip (1958-1964).

Although Roger attended the University of Arizona on a full football scholarship, football was not his only interest.  He sang and played guitar, winning several amateur-show prizes while at the University.  He and a friend won a school talent show, and then appeared the Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour (1948-1970).

During 30 months of active service in the Naval Reserve, Roger was sent to Hawaii where he met the future lead singer of the Kingston Trio, Bob Shane.  At a party one night the boys met vacationing James Cagney who was so taken by their talent that he told them that they ought to be in pictures, and to look him up if they made it to Hollywood.  Apparently Roger did look Cagney up and was recommended by Cagney to play the younger version of Cagney's character, Lon Chaney, Jr.

Spade, David

Lived in Scottsdale and Casa Grande

Graduate of Saguaro High School and Arizona State University

(David Wayne Spade, 1964.07.22-    )  Actor, writer.

David Spade, 2008.  Photo by dodge challenger1 .

David was a writer on NBC's Saturday Night Live from 1989 to 1993, which led to his shot in the spotlight on the show in 1991.  He was a cast member through 1996.  In 1997, he moved on to Just Shoot Me.

David was born in Birmingham, Michigan, but grew up in Casa Grand until age 4, and then Scottsdale.  He graduated from Scottsdale's Saguaro High School in 1982, and from Arizona State University in 1986.

Still a kid on Lake Pleasant, he was cited for reckless jet-skiing in 2001.  After he failed to appear in court, his mother saw a report about a warrant being issued.  David fessed up and paid the $171 fine.  Remarking on the positive effects of arrests on Hollywood careers, he said, "I'm starting small.  I want to cram in as much jail time this year as I can so I can get an Emmy."

Sperling, John

Lives in Phoenix

(1921-    )  Entrepreneur, founder of the University of Phoenix.

John founded the University of Phoenix in 1973.  Unlike most universities at the time, it was aimed at providing educational services for adults and making a profit.  He took the company public in 1994.  In 2002 when Forbes magazine placed his net worth at $1.1 billion, it had 148,100 students at 63 campuses and 109 learning centers.  That year, David tied for the 185th richest person in American with two other Arizonans, his son, Peter, and Campbell Soup heir Bennett Dorrance.

In 2006, the 78,600 seat, $455 million University of Phoenix Stadium opened in Glendale, Arizona. This might have been quite an extravagance for a university without any intercollegiate athletics program if Sperling's school weren't merely paying for naming rights.  It is the home of the Arizona Cardinals, not the non-existent U of P team.

Sperling, Peter

Lives in Scottsdale

(1960-    )  Heir.

Peter's father, David, founded the University of Phoenix in 1973.  He tied with his father and Campbell Soup heir Bennett Dorrance David as the 185th richest American in Forbes 2002 list of the 400 wealthiest people in America.  In the 2003 list, he had moved up to 154th.

Spielberg, Steven

Lived in Phoenix

Attended Ingleside Elementary and Arcadia High

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg, 1999.

(1946.12.18S1-    )  Director.

Steven stepped out of the shiny limousine amid the flurry of flashing cameras and the glow of search lights on Tuesday night, March 24, 1964.  He made his way through the paparazzi and into the packed theater where his science fiction thriller, Firelight, would be shown for the first time.  This was not your typical Hollywood premier.  It wasn't even in Hollywood. 

Springsteen, Bruce

Motorcycled through Prescott

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springeen, 1988.  Photo by Laura Bland .

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen "The Boss" (1949.09.23-    )  Singer, songwriter.

On the afternoon of October 1, 1989, Springsteen was motorcycling across Arizona when he took time out to stop at a nearly empty saloon on Prescott's famous "whisky row."    In short order, word spread that the hot rocker was in town and the bar quickly filled.

Springsteen borrowed a guitar and put on a free show for the growing crowd.  When he took a break the crowd got overly enthusiastic and "Bubbles," the lady barkeep, pulled him over the bar to safety.

According to newspaper accounts hanging in Matt's Bar, Springsteen thanked Bubbles by paying off her $160,000 hospital bill.

Stewart, Rod

Lives in Ahwatukee, Phoenix

Rod Stewart, 1981. Photo by Eddie Mallin .

(Roderick Stewart, 1945.01.10-    )  Musician, ex-professional soccer player.

Long after he asked "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy," Rod Steward reportedly took up residence in a house on the hill above Chandler Boulevard and Desert Foothills Parkway in Ahwatukee.

Stone, Sharon

Summered in Phoenix, Lived in Tucson

Sharon Stone in 2005. Photo by Georges Biard .

(1958.03.10-    )  Actor.

The actress that showed her dark side and a bit more in Basic Instinct (1992) summered in Phoenix in 1994.  At the Phoenix Ritz Carlton she explained to a reporter what attracted her to the state, "I love Arizona. People are really strange and kind."

Sometime prior to her Ritz Carlton interview she had taken up house keeping with producer Bill MacDonald in Tucson.  That arrangement did not last through the summer.

Strauss, Joseph

Died in Arizona

(Joseph Baermann Strauss, 1870-1938)  "The Man Who Built the Bridge" -- builder of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge opening
The opening of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Strauss, a prolific engineer who constructed some 400 drawbridges across the country, had a dream of creating "the biggest thing of its kind that a man could build."  San Francisco voters brought fruition to his decade long mission in 1930 when they approved a bond issue for the bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 27, 1937.  An exhausted Strauss moved to Arizona to recover. In a year he would suffer a stroke and die.

Strug, Kerri

Born in Tucson

(1977.11.00-    )  Olympics athlete, elementary school teacher.

Kerri was the plucky gymnast who helped the US gymnastic team earn its first ever gold medal by vaulting at the 1996 Olympics with an injured ankle.  She was also a member of the 1992 Olympics gymnastics team where she earned a bronze medal.

Kerri was born in Tucson where here father, Burt Strug, was a heart surgeon.

Swanson, Gloria

Married in Yuma

Publicity photo of Gloria Swanson by Clarence Sinclair Bull, c. 1930.

(Gloria May Josephine Svensson, 1897.03.27-1983.04.03)  Actor.

In November, 1931, as Gloria Swanson's movie Indiscreet (1931) was having its run on the nations' screens, its star crossed over the Colorado River into Yuma where she discretely married Michael Farmer (1902-1975), the forth of her six husbands.

At the time, Miss Swanson was a huge movie star with more than 60 pictures under her belt.  Michael was not destined to have much of an acting career.  He appeared in just one picture, Perfect Understanding (1933), starring his wife.  Nor was he destined for a long running role as Miss Swanson's leading man in life.  They were divorced in 1934.

Swayze, Patrick

Crashed outside Prescott Valley

Treated in Tucson

(Patrick Wayne Swayze, 1952.08.18-2009.09.14)  Actor, pilot.
Patrick Swayze on the red carpet at the 1989 Academy Awards.  Photo by Alan Light .

Patrick Swayze is probably best known for his starring roles in Dirty Dancing (1987) and Ghost (1990), except in the community of Prescott Valley where he is as likely to be know as that pilot.

On June 1, 2000 Swayze, a private pilot with an instrument rating, was flying his twin engine Cessna 414A from Van Nuys, California, to Las Vegas, New Mexico, where he intended to check on his ranch. Just after 10 AM the plane dropped off radar at the Albuquerque traffic control center.  When the pilot could not be reached police were notified.  Hours later, police found the plane on Buckshot Road off Arizona 89A, in the Mingus West subdivision outside Prescott Valley.  It was later determined that the plane struck a streetlight, losing the right wing section from the engine outward, bounced, crossed an intersection, then struck a stop sign, another streetlight, and an electrical utility box.  The actor was nowhere to be found.

Swayze is said to be a recovering alcoholic.  In 1993, he checked himself in for treatment at Tucson's Sierra Tucson.  His father died of complications from alcoholism.  No alcohol was found on the plane, but three construction workers said that they helped the visiting celebrity hide the remnants of a 30-pack of Miller Lite--by drinking the 20 remaining bottles--and an almost-empty bottle of wine from the wreckage.

Swayze later reported that he was cruising at 13,000 feet when he heard a loud sound.  His ears popped and his two dogs began to bark.  Suspecting a loss in cabin pressure, he began looking for a landing site.  He landed at what appeared to be an airport but turned out to be road.  He says that he then hitched a ride with a local resident and called authorities.  Reports indicate that he called his lawyer, his publicist and his wife.  The police called him on his cell phone.

The Safety Board investigator reported a missing clamp and a disconnected hose which could have caused the loss in cabin pressure.

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Thomas, Gerry

Lived in Paradise Valley

Died in Phoenix

(c. 1922-2005.07.18)  Inventor of the TV Dinner.

Nebraska born Gerry Thomas was a marketing executive for CA Swanson and Sons of Omaha, Nebraska in the early 1950's when his company faced a turkey problem.  Gerry's employer, then a leading wholesaler of poultry, had a 270 ton surplus of post-Thanksgiving turkey sitting in 10 refrigerated railway box cars. 

Tillman, Pat

Graduated from ASU; Sun Devils linebacker

Arizona Cardinals safety

(1976.11.06-2004.04.22)  NFL football player;  U.S. Army Ranger.

On May 22, 2002 the Cardinal's record holder for tackles let the team know that he would not be signing a three-year $3.6 million contract as a safety.  Instead the team's Number 40, Pat Tillman, would be signing a three-year enlistment contract with the U.S. Army with starting pay of less than $15,000 a year. 

Tombaugh, Clyde

Lived in Flagstaff

Clyde with his telescope, c. 1930.

(1906.02.04-1997.01.17)  Astronomer, discoverer of Pluto.

As a 22 year old amateur astronomer, Clyde submitted drawings of planets which he had done using his home made telescope to the Lowell Observatory for comment.  The observatory's director was so impressed that he offered the young astronomer a job at Lowell.

Clyde's job would be to man a camera searching for an elusive planet X.  Years earlier, the observatory's founder Percival Lowell (1855-1916) had compared the observed and calculated positions of Uranus.  Lowell came to believe that the discrepancy pointed to an undiscovered planet beyond Neptune.

On February 18, 1930, Clyde found a speck of light on photographic plates he was examining.  The speck moved in successive plates exactly as a planet beyond Neptune should.  In March, 1930, the Lowell Observatory announced the discovery of the planet which would eventually be named Pluto.


Named after Arizona landmark

Jay Silverheels
Jay Silverheels (1912-1980) was TV's Tonto to Clayton Moore's (1914-1999)  Lone Ranger from 1947 to 1957. He was born in Canada and has no known connection to Arizona.  The picture was taken in the 1970's.

(1933.02.25-    )  Fictional sidekick of The Lone Ranger

According to an NPR story on The Lone Ranger, the name for the ranger's sidekick was inspired by the Tonto Basin, an area in Gila County, near the geographic center of Arizona. 

Tonto did not appear on the first Lone Ranger radio shows.  It soon became apparent that the ranger needed someone to whom to talk since he was by definition, alone.  It was radio after all, and without dialog there would be little to broadcast. 

Fran Striker, writer of The Lone Ranger radio program, decided to introduce a sidekick.  To come up with a name, he opened up the Atlas and found a place called the Tonto Basin in Arizona.  He said, "Gee, I like that first name, Tonto. It's hard, it's fast, it's quick, it's easy to remember."  Unfortunately, it's also Spanish for "idiot."

On February 25, 1933, the Lone Ranger's faithful sidekick Tonto made his first appearance on the radio show.

Trimble, Marshall

Born in Kyrene (Tempe)

Lived in Lehi, Ashfork, Phoenix; lives in Scottsdale

Attended West Phoenix High School & Phoenix College

(1939-    )  Singer, historian, author, teacher.

One doesn't have to be born in Arizona to write books and sing ballads about Arizona, but it probably helps.  When Marshall was born his family was living on a small livestock ranch south of Tempe.  In 1955 the Trimbles moved to outside of Ash Fork where Marshall, his two brothers and his parents lived in a two room trailer without running water.  Commenting on the cramped quarters he says that he never slept alone--until he got married. 

Tucker, Tanya

Lived in Wilcox and Phoenix

Tanya Tucker
Tanya Tucker, 2005. Photo by My Boy Dodger .

(1958.10.10-    )  Singer, author.

Tanya Tucker was born in Seminole, Texas, but grew up in Wilcox.  Her family moved to Phoenix in 1967.  When she was just 14--after the family had moved to Las Vegas via St. George, Utah--she hit the big time with the song "Delta Dawn" (1972).

She sang adult songs ("You Ain't Woman Enough") with an adult voice when she was barely a teen.  When she was 21, she had a much publicized affair with singer Glen Campbell who was then over twice her age.

She published her autobiography, Nickel Dreams, in 1997.

Tyson, Mike

Lives in Paradise Valley

(1966.06.30-    )  Heavyweight champion.

Boxer Mike Tyson lives near Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley, within 2 miles of Muhammad Ali's home, and trains at Central Boxing near the state capitol.  A few highlights in Mike's career:

November 22, 1986 - wins his first WBC title shot defeating Trevor Berbick and becoming the youngest heavyweight champion ever.

January 27, 1992 - found guilty of the February 10, 1991 rape of Miss Black America Contest contestant Desiree Washington, and begins 3 year imprisonment.

March, 1996 - wins the WBC title from Frank Bruno in three rounds.

September, 1996 - wins back the WBA championship from Bruce Seldon.

November 9, 1996 - suffers an eleven round TKO making Evander Holyfield a three-time world champion.

June 28, 1997 - is disqualified in the third round of a rematch for the WBA title when he bites off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear.  Tyson lost his temper after a head-butt from Holyfield.

June 8, 2001 - knocked out in the eighth round by Britain's Lennox Lewis in Memphis, TN.

April 7, 2002 - involved in an alleged assault of an exotic dancer and her boyfriend in the early morning hours at the Hi-Liter Gentlemen's Club, a strip club at 4716 N. 12th Street in Phoenix.  Months later Phoenix police announced that there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges.

August, 2003 - files bankruptcy.

July 30, 2004 - fourth round loss to England's Danny Williams in Louisville, Ky.  Tyson was able to keep only $2 million of his $8 million purse. Creditors took the rest to reduce a $38.4 million debt.

August 2, 2004 - underwent arthroscopic surgery in Scottsdale on left knee to repair a ligament torn in his Friday night loss in Louisville, Ky.

December 2004 - arrested in Scottsdale outside the Pussycat Lounge for causing about $1,500 to 22 year-old Asaf Alikadic's 1989 Toyota Solara when he jumped on the hood. Charges were dropped when the lounge's owners agreed to pay for damages to the vehicle.  (The mug shot above is from this arrest.)

June 11, 2005 - fails to come out of his corner for round 7 of his comeback fight with Kevin McBride.  McBride later told the press that Tyson bit his nipple.  McBride who stands 6'6" remarked about the 5'11" Tyson, "He could not get up high enough to bite my ears--good job he wasn't a midget, otherwise he would have bitten something else."

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Udall, Stewart

Born in St. Johns

Lived in St. Johns, Tucson, Phoenix

Graduate of University of Arizona

(Stewart Lee Udall 1920.01.31-    )  Secretary of Interior, Congressman, lawyer.

Stewart Udall was born and grew up in St. Johns, a rural Arizona community near the New Mexico border which was founded by a group of Mormons lead by his grandfather.  He attended the University of Arizona but his studies were interrupted for service first as a Mormon missionary in New York and Pennsylvania for two years, and then as a gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. 

Underhill, Don

Lives in Summerhaven

(1941.09.05-    )  Original Mouseketeer, lodge owner.

Don was one of the 39 original Mouseketeers.  The Mouseketeers, you will recall, populated Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club, which ran on ABC Television from 1955 to 1959.  If you remember the Mouseketeers, you might not remember Don, but surely you remember his lifelong friend from the club, Annette Funicello (1942-    ).

Annette was the stand-out Mouseketeer, and went on to went on to major parts in Disney movies like The Shaggy Dog (1959) and Babes in Toyland (1961) as well as a seemingly endless number of "beach blanket" movies where she was often paired with Frankie Avalon.  In 1987 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and has since eschewed the spotlight.

Don moved to the village of Summerhaven, on Mt. Lemon in the Catalina Mountains.  The village is 6000 feet above, and 25 miles northeast of Tucson.  There he purchased the Alpine Lodge, which caters to skiers in the winter and those seeking to get away from the desert heat in the summer.  The lodge was built in 1962, and was the largest building in the village of Summerhaven.  In 2003, the community had about 500 homes and cabins, and about 100 year round residents.

On June 22, 2003, half of the village was destroyed by a forest fire in one of the single most destructive days in Arizona history.  Not knowing which structures might have survived, Don and other residents vowed to rebuild.

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Van Dyke, Dick

Lived in Cave Creek

Treated in Phoenix

Dick Van Dyke
Dick Van Dyke, 1988. Photo by Alan Light .

(Richard Wayne Van Dyke 1925.12.13-    )  Actor.

"The Dick Van Dyke Show"  (1961-1966) was very possibly the best situation comedy that was ever broadcast.  In 1971, Dick and the original show's creator, Carl Reiner, attempted to repeat their prior success with "The New Dick Van Dyke Show" (1971-1974).  Dick played Dick Preston who was the host of a TV talk show in Phoenix, Arizona. Hope Lange was Dick's wife. 

Van Dyke, Vonda Kay

Lived in Phoenix metro area

Attended ASU

(c. 1943-    )  Miss America, 1965.

Vonda Kay Van Dyke
Vonda Kay Van Dyke at the 2008 Miss America event. Photo by Craig A. Hurst .

In 1964, Vonda Kay was a 21 year old junior at Arizona State University when she took a break to become Miss Arizona for 1964, and Miss America for 1965.  (Like the new car models, Miss America receives a crown for the year after she is selected.)  She first and only Miss America to also be named Miss Congeniality, and the first ventriloquist to perform on the Miss America stage.  The only other Arizonan to become Miss America was Jacque Mercer of Litchfield who won the crown in 1949.

During her reign, Vonda Kay made a lot of appearances including ones on What's My Line? (Episode #780, 1965) as mystery guest #1 and The Ed Sullivan Show (1964) with the Beach Boys, Alan King and Robert Goulet.  She also made a visit to Boise, your author's home town, where she shook the young teen's shaking hand.

Vargas, Elizabeth

Lived in Phoenix metro area

Phoenix TV reporter

(1962.09.06-    )  Correspondent, host, news anchor.

In 2002, Elizabeth Vargas became a regular substitute host for Peter Jennings on ABC Evening News.  She previously hosted the ABC News show 20/20 Downtown (1999), and was a correspondent for ABC's 20/20 (1978).  In October, 2004, she became the co-host of 20/20 replacing Barbara Walters.

From 1986 to 1989, Elizabeth was a reporter on Phoenix's Channel 3 KTVK which was then the ABC affiliate in Phoenix.

Vogt, Brandon J.

Attended ASU

(1969.04.00-    )  Doctoral candidate; proved Kansas to be flatter than a pancake.

While a doctoral candidate at Arizona State University, Brandon teamed up with two researchers from Texas State University to produce the definitive paper comparing the flatness of the state of Kansas with the proverbial pancake.

The research team mapped the terrain of a pancake with a confocal laser microscope.  They then compared the pancake terrain to elevation data for Kansas from the U. S. Geological Survey.  Their conclusion:  If a pancake were blown up to the size of the state of Kansas, Kansas would indeed be flatter.

Their study was published in the May/June 2003 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research.  The study reported by papers across the nation when the Associated Press did a story on it. 

On the July 29, 2003 broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered, Brandon was interviewed by Robert Siegel for a story they titled, "The Flat Landscape of Kansas."  Aside from explaining study's purpose and technique, Brandon apologized to Kansas residents who might have been offended--a situation which he discerned from an number of "mean" Emails he had received.  "We actually did not mean to insult anyone who lives in the state of Kansas."

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Wagner, Robert

Married in Scottsdale

(Robert John Wagner, 1930.02.10-    )  Actor.

Robert Wagner married Natalie Wood on December 28th, 1957 at the Scottsdale United Methodist Church, 4140 North Miller. A reception followed a few blocks west at the Ramada Valley Ho resort, 6850 East Main, Scottsdale. 

Walsh, Kate

Raised in Tucson

Attended the University of Arizona

Kate Walsh
Kate Walsh, 2008. Photo by watchwithkristin .

(Kathleen Erin Walsh, 1967.10.13-    )  Actor.

Kate grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and eventually matriculated at the University of Arizona.

If she had followed the career path of her character, Dr. Addison Montgomery, in the ABC dramas Grey's Anatomy (2005-    ) and Private Practice (2007-    ), she would have gone on to U of A's medical school.  Instead, she got involved in regional theater and dropped out.

Warhol, Andy

Passed through Oracle

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol in 1963.

(Andrew Warhola, 1928.08.06-1987.02.22)  Artist, director.

Andy Warhol was famous for avant-garde art--from Campbell's soup cans to Marilyn Monroe icons--but he also made incredibly unwatchable films, such as the 1963 cult "masterpieces," Eat (nearly an hour of a man eating a mushroom) and Sleep (8 hours of a man sleeping).

In 1968, Warhol brought his film company to Rancho Linda Guest Ranch in Oracle, Arizona, to film "Lonesome Cowboys."  The FBI followed.

Wayne, John

Ranched in Stanfield

John Wayne
John Wayne, 1959.

(Marion Michael Morrison, 1907.05.26-1979.06.11)  Actor.

John Wayne owned a number of ranches in Arizona, including the "Red Eye Ranch" operated by his Red River Land Company, in Stanfield.

Wead, Doug

Carpetbagged to the 6th Congressional District

(1946-    )  Author, Assemblies of God evangelist, Vice President Bush's liaison to the Christian Right, close friend and advisor to George W. Bush for 14 years.

Author, politician and one-time Assemblies of God minister Doug Wead evidenced a consistency in character in his national fifteen minutes of fame and in his brief venture into Arizona politics.  In February 2004, Wead received much national press attention when he released secretly recorded tapes of phone conversations with his "friend" George W. Bush to promote his book, All the Presidents' Children. The book, which just happens to bear the same title as a book released by Larry D. Underwood in 2002, delves into the effect of having a father who is president.  Wead said that he recorded his conversations with George W. because he viewed the then Texas Governor as a historic figure. Less than pleased, the White House released the statement, "The governor was having casual conversations with someone he believed was his friend."

A dozen years earlier, Doug Wead ran for Congress in Arizona's 6th Congressional District as a "Barry Goldwater Republican."  Explaining his interest in Arizona, Wead said Goldwater's presidential candidacy encouraged him to visit Arizona in 1964.  It only took him 28 years to "move" to the state just in time to qualify for a run for Congress.  His idol, Barry Goldwater, whose picture hung in Wead's office, saw it differently. "Hell," Goldwater stated bluntly, "the Republican fellow came here from Washington because he thought he could practically steal the seat.  Hadn't been here long enough to spell Arizona before he announced."   Goldwater endorsed Wead's opponent, a Democrat, who won.  Wead left the state promptly after his loss.  Perhaps Goldwater saw something in Wead's character that George W. missed.

Wheeler, Quentin

Dean at Arizona State University

(    -    )  Arizona State University entomologist.

Quentin Wheeler was named Vice President and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University in 2006, but that is not the fame which brought him to the attention of these pages. 

In 2005, while he was keeper of entomology at the Natural History Museum in London, he discovery of 65 new species of slime-mold beetle of the genus Agathidium, along with a co-slime-mold beetle discoverer.  As a discoverer of a new species he was entitled to give the beetles their scientific names, using any name he chose. 

He named one after Darth Vader and others for President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, for which he received national press coverage.  He has said that he intended the naming of the slime-mold beetles as a compliment.

White, Danny

Born in Mesa

Graduate of Westwood High School and Arizona State University

Lives in Gilbert

(1952.02.09-    )  Football player, coach.

Danny White, the Dallas Cowboy's quarterback from 1976 to 1988 who took them to three NFC East titles (1979, 1981, 1985) and into the playoffs five times, is a long time Arizona resident living in Gilbert.

Williams, Kenneth J.

Lived in Phoenix

(    -    )  FBI special agent.

If they had listened FBI special agent Kenneth Williams, the World Trade Center twin towers in New York might still be standing.  Williams was the FBI agent stationed in Phoenix that penned the July 2001 "Phoenix memorandum" warning of Islamic extremists taking flight lessons in Arizona. He was also instrumental in the arrest of Kingman resident Michael Fortier for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people.

Williams, Ted

Frozen in Scottsdale

(Theodore Samuel Williams, 1918.08.30-2002.07.05)  Baseball player, fighter pilot.

Ted Williams
Ted Williams, 1949.

Ted Williams, aka "Teddy Ballgame," "The Splendid Splinter" and "The Kid," was number nine on Boston Red Sox in a two decade baseball career starting in 1939, with time out for two stints in the military.  Williams spent three years as a Navy pilot during World War II, and two years as a Marine pilot in Korean conflict.  On about half of the Korean missions, he was John Glenn's wingman.  He was said to be the best baseball hitter in the world (last major leaguer to hit over .400), the best fighter pilot, and the best fly-caster.

Wilson, Dennis

Arrested in Tucson for contributing to the delinquency of a minor

(1944.12.04-1983.12.28)  Drummer, singer, composer.

The good looking drummer for the very popular Beach Boys came by his "bad boy" image the old fashion way--he earned it.  When the group which achieved national popularity in the 1960's came to Tucson for a concert 1978, police found a sixteen year old girl in Dennis' hotel room.  The girl, exactly half Dennis' age, had called her parents saying that she could not leave.  Dennis was arrested for investigation to contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Dennis was released on $1,000 bond. He plead not-guilty and maintained that the incident was a setup.  Charges were eventually dropped when the girl and her parents declined to press charges.  Dennis' evening adventure cost him a reported $100,000 in attorney's fees.

Winchell, Walter

Lived in Phoenix

Died in Phoenix

Walter Winchell
Walter Winchell, 1953.

(Walter Winchel, 1897.04.07-1972.02.20)  Gossip columnist.

Winchell was a newspaper columnist credited with inventing the gossip column.  He took his column to national radio in 1932 which he began with the memorable "Good Morning, Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea ... let's go to press!"  From 1959 to 1963 his distinctive voice provided narration for the popular television series The Untouchables.

Winningham, Mare

Born in Phoenix

(Mary Megan Winningham, 1959.05.16-    )  Actor and singer.

Mare Winningham was born in Phoenix, but left almost immediately for Northridge, California--not necessarily of her own free will.

Wood, Natalie

Married in Scottsdale

Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood, c. 1960.

(Natasha Nikolaevna Zakharenko, 1938.07.20-1981.11.29)  Actor.

Natalie Wood married Robert Wagner on December 28th, 1957 at the Scottsdale United Methodist Church, 4140 North Miller. A reception followed a few blocks west at the Ramada Valley Ho resort, 6850 East Main, Scottsdale. 

Wood, Ron

Treated in Tucson

Ron Wood
Ron Wood, 2007. Photo by Kevin Dooley .

(1947.06.01-    )  Guitarist.

The youngest member of The Rolling Stones received treatment for alcoholism and cocaine addiction at Tucson's Cottonwood de Tucson in spring 2002.

World, Jimmy Eat

Founded in Mesa

Jimmy Eat World
Jim Adkins performs with Jimmy Eat World, 2008. Photo by Thedeamonhog .

(1993-    )  Band.

Mesa resident and singer/guitarist Jim Adkins (born in Mesa, 1975.11.10-    ) founded the strangely named band in 1993, enlisting drummer and friend-since-kindergarten Zach Lind (1975.11.10-    ), guitarist Tom Linton (born in Mesa), and bass player Mitch Porter.

Wright, Frank Lloyd

Lived at Taliesin West, Scottsdale

Died in Phoenix

(1867.06.08-1959.04.09)  The world's most famous architect.

In 1926 the career of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright was at a low ebb.  He had few projects pending.  Taliesin, his headquarters and home, had been seized by the Bank of Wisconsin which moved livestock onto the complex.  His personal life was hardly better.  Separated from his second wife and amid bitter divorce proceedings, Wright and his three decades younger future third wife were arrested near Minneapolis for violating the Mann Act.  A call to come to Phoenix would mark the rebirth of his career and a new direction in his life.

Wrigley, William Jr.

Wintered in Phoenix

Died in Phoenix

William Wrigley, Jr.
William Wrigley, Jr.

(1861.09.30-1932.01.26)  Entrepreneur.

In 1928 the founder and advertising genius of the world's largest chewing gum company began construction on a nearly 20,000 square foot home on the outskirts of the small desert town of Phoenix.  The home, dubbed La Colina Solano (sunny hill), was a 50th anniversary present to his wife, intended to be a part-time "winter cottage" where they could enjoy the warm desert winters and entertain wealthy friends and dignitaries. 

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Young, Loretta

Married in Yuma

Lived in Phoenix

(Gretchen Michaela Young, 1913.01.06-2000.08.12)  Actress.

Loretta Young
Loretta Young, 1951.

Loretta Young appeared in over a hundred feature films, and had an anthology TV show, cleverly titled The Loretta Young Show, from 1953 to 1960. Each week on the show she would enter wearing the latest fashion and make one spin to display the gown before introducing that night's episode. She moved to Phoenix in 1971 to start a youth project helping teenagers, where she lived until the 1980's.

It was not her first Arizona connection.  In 1930 when she was 17, she eloped to Yuma with actor Grant Withers, nine years her senior.  The marriage was annulled the following year, the same year that she and Grant costarred in a movie bearing the ironic name "Too Young to Marry."  Just short of a decade later, Clark Gable, 12 years her senior and the father of her love child, honeymooned in Arizona with Carole Lombard.

Young, Sean

Lives in Sedona

Sean Young
Sean Young, 2007.  Photo by Luke Ford .

(Mary Sean Young, 1959.11.12-    )  Actress.

Sean Young is a veteran of over 39 feature films and numerous television movies and appearances.  Her film appearances include No Way Out (1987)--for which her torrid love scenes with Kevin Costner received much attention, and Mrs. Hyde in Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde (1995).

She calls Sedona her home.

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Zevon, Warren

Lived in Phoenix

(Warren William Zevon, 1947.01.24-2003.08.07)  Singer, musician, composer.

The iconoclastic rock singer and song writer lived in Phoenix as a boy. When diagnosed with lung cancer and given three months to live in August, 2002, he delayed initial treatment to have a clear mind to complete his final album, The Wind.

This page was last revised on 10/16/07.