Any list of Hollywood stars with roots in Texas must include Noah Ringer who starred as Aang in the 2013 film “The Last Airbender.” Noah was born Noah Andrew Ringer in Dallas in 1966. Noah’s family tree includes American Indian heritage. An accomplished martial arts black belt winner of 2008, Noah was encouraged by his instructor to attend the film’s casting call.
Born in Uvalde in 1969, Matthew McConaughey made his acting debut in the 1993 comedy “Dazed & Confused.” Voted ‘most handsome’ in his high school yearbook, McCoughney earned a degree in Radio-Television Film from University of Texas-Austin in 1993. His most recent film is 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club.
Grande Prairie was the birthplace of actress/musician Selena Gomez in 1992. Named after a Tijano singer, Selena is of Mexican and Italian heritage. Her acting career began with an appearance on “Barney & Friends,” a children’s television program. As an adult, Gomez became an entrepreneur with the formation of July Moon Productions and the Selena Gomez & the Scene band.
Jennifer Love Hewitt was born in Waco in 1979. To further her daughter’s talent and ability, Jennifer and her mom relocated to LA where she attended high school. Jennifer’s role on “Party of Five” was the result of friendship with a high school classmate who became a talent scout. Jennifer’s first starring role was in the 1993 film “Little Miss Millions.”
Award winning star of “The King of Scotland,” Forest Whitaker was born in Longview in 1961 to an insurance salesman and a special education teacher. Recently, Whitaker learned he is a descendant of Nigerian Igbo slaves and the Akan tribe from Africa’s Ivory Coast. Whitaker’s first film role was as a bodyguard in the “Tag: The Assassination Game” film of 1982. Whitaker’s most recent portrayal was as Cecil Gaines in “The Butler.”
Actress/singer/songwriter Beyonce Knowles was born in Houston in 1981. Of African American and Creole lineage, Beyonce’s name is derived from her mother’s maiden name Beyince. This very talented actress began her career as Xania in “The Pink Panther.” Beyonce’s crowning role to date is as herself in a bio-pic entitled “Life Is But A Dream.”
Appearing in seasons one and six of Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” series, Gary Busey was born William Gary Busey in 1944. Prior to a serious brain injury resulting in minimal brain dysfunction incurred during a motorcycle accident, Busey won an Academy Award for his role in “Lethal Weapon” and for his portrayal of Buddy Holly in 1978’s “The Buddy Holly Story.”