Connecticut is one of the oldest states in America, making it the birthplace of many inventors and early leaders. There are many well-known celebrities and famous people from Connecticut including: musicians, actors, writers, actresses, politicians, inventors, historic figures and artists. The famous Connecticut people are listed in a random order and were either born in Connecticut or lived a portion of their lives in Connecticut, or both. Please share your suggestions for another famous Connecticut celebrity or historical figure. To feature your business in CTLiving, contact us.
Connecticut People – Famous CT Celebrities
John Mayer was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1977. He attended Fairfield High School in Connecticut and lived in the state until College. Today, he has released two albums and has one a Grammy for a single off of each. Winning Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his single “Your Body is a Wonderland” in 2003 and winning a Grammy for first number one single with the song “Daughters” in 2005.
Ethan Allen, an American Revolutionary soldier, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut in 1741 and died in 1789. Though Connecticut born, Allen made his mark across New England, especially in Vermont where he founded the Green Mountain Boys.
George W. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1946. Shortly after his birth the Bush family moved to Texas. George W. Bush went on to become the Governor of Texas and the 43rd President of the United States serving from 2001-2009.
Phineas Taylor Barnum (PT Barnum), born in Bethel, Connecticut in 1810, died in 1891. Barnum created a circus empire. Barnum was the first to move his circus by train and purchase his own train, this allowed him to expand more than any other circus had before. His show was known as many things, the most popular names that we know today are: P.T. Barnum’s Traveling World’s Fair and the Greatest Show on Earth.
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) lived in Hartford and Reeding Connecticut for the last part of his life. Author, friend to Presidents, artists and European royalty Samuel Clemens is known to people today as Mark Twain. Mark Twain was the pen name Clemens used when he wrote the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is considered a Great American Novel today.
Charles Goodyear was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1800. Known for being the first American to vulcanize rubber, Goodyear discovered the process by accident after years of searching for a more stable rubber. Goodyear’s father was proud of the fact that they were descendants from the founders of New Haven, Connecticut.
Benedict Arnold was born in Norwich, Connecticut in 1741 and died in 1801. He was a captain of the Colonial Army and British Spy. If someone calls you Benedict Arnold, it’s not a good thing, he was known as a traitor, he’s most famous for burning down the town of New London, Connecticut.
Ella Grasso was born in Windsor Locks, Connecticut in 1919. Grasso served as the Governor of Connecticut from 1975 to 1980. She was the first female governor of the state. Also the first female to be elected governor “in her own right”, meaning, without having family ties to the political system or being married into it. She also lived in Old Lyme, Connecticut during the summer months.
Ralph Nader was born in Winsted, Connecticut in 1934. The four time Presidential candidate has run under two parities, the Independent and Green Party.
Nathan Hale was born in Coventry, Connecticut in 1755. Hale is considered America’s first spy. Part of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, Hale volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission. Known for his speech he gave at the Battle of Long Island, where he stated “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” Hale was captured by the British and today is considered the state hero of Connecticut and an American Hero.
Dorothy Hamill grew up in Riverside neighborhood of Greenwich, Connecticut. Hamill won the gold medal in the Olympics for Ladies’ Singles figure skating in 1976. She is also credited with the creation of a skating move nicknamed the “Hamill camel”, which is a camel spin that turns into a sit spin.
Samuel Colt was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1814. Colt was an inventor and industrialist. Founder of Colt’s Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company, Colt is credited with popularizing his patented revolver. Both his rifle and revolver were used during the Civil War.
Katharine Hepburn was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1907 she died in Fenwick, Connecticut in 2003 at the age of 96. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Hepburn as the greatest female star in the history of American cinema. Holding the record for most Best Actress Oscar wins with four, from 12 nominations Hepburn earned the right to be the greatest female star. She also won an Emmy Award in 1976 for her role in Love among the Ruins, while being nominated for four other Emmys, two Tony Awards and eight Golden Globes.
Mary Dixon Kies was born in Killingly, Connecticut in 1752. Kies is known as the first female recipient of a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1809. She received her patent for her technique of weaving straw with silk and thread which improved hat making techniques in America.
Vincent Kennedy “Vince” McMahon, CEO of the Professional Wrestling Company lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. McMahon is an American promoter, professional wrestler, in-ring announcer and play-by-play commentator. Vince McMahon is everything wrestling.
Paul Newman lived in Westport, Connecticut for the last part of his life. A famous actor staring in, The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Slap Shot, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Color of Money and so many more. He founded Newman’s Own, which created food products. Creating a whole line of various items, the proceeds from all these products was donated to charity.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield in 1811, and is remembered as an American abolitionist and author. Her most popular novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) was about the life of an African-American under slavery. Harriet Beecher Stowe lived in Connecticut her entire life, dieing in Hartford in 1896.
Noah Webster was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1758. Lexicographer, textbook author, spelling reformer and all around word enthusiast, Webster has become synonymous with dictionaries. The first Merriam-Webster dictionary was published in 1828 as “An American dictionary of the English Language”. During his life Webster moved from Connecticut, but came back and served on the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1802-1807.
Florence Ann Griswold was a resident of Old Lyme, Connecticut in 1850. Griswold was the backbone of the Lyme Art Colony in the 20th century. Today, her home is the Florence Griswold Museum. The museum exhibits both art and historical material. In 1993 the area was declared a National Historic Landmark.
Phil Donahue is a long time resident of Westport, Connecticut. Best known for creating the first tabloid talk show, the Phil Donahue Show. He is an Emmy Award-winning media personality, writer and film producer.
Fred Parris, lead man for the group The Five Satins, met his group in New Haven, Connecticut. The Connecticut band is best known for their 1956 song “In the Still of the Night”.
Michael Bolton was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1953. The singer-songwriter is best known for his ballads. Bolton has had eight top ten albums, two number one singles on the Billboard Charts, and won awards from both the American Music Awards and Grammy Awards.
Gene Pitney was born in Hartford in 1941. This singer-songwriter played numerous instruments: guitar, piano and drums. He was the first pop singer to perform at the Oscars ceremony, singing “Town Without Pity” in 1962. The same song won him a Golden Globe for best movie song and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Gene Pitney was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Christopher Walken and his wife live in rural Connecticut with no children. Walken has appeared in numerous films, his best roles are the ones where he plays the villain, he even stared in the James Bond film, View to a Kill as the main villain. Walken also appeared in Stephen Kings’ The Dead Zone, Batman Returns, Sleepy Hollow and had a main role in, Catch Me if You Can. Walken has made multiple Saturday Night Live appearances and continues to appear in films.
Most people know Richard and Karen Carpenter simply as The Carpenters. This vocal and instrumental brother and sister duo was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Richard was born in 1946, while Karen was born in 1950. In 1963 the entire family moved to California. The Carpenters were popular during the 1970’s, even though the popularity of hard wild rock was taking over the duo held their own with their soft distinct style. The Carpenters originality and Karen Carpenter’s sweet voice helped them become one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Cassie was born in New London, Connecticut on August 26, 1986. Cassandra Ventura is a singer, model and occasional actress who grew up in Connecticut and lived there until the end of high school. In 2006 Cassie released her first album which included two major hits. There is more to come from this young hip hop and R&B singer.