There are many famous people from New Orleans and narrowing it down to the 5 most famous is no easy task. Going by current popularity and the most recognizable iconic symbols here is a list of the 5 most famous people from New Orleans, Louisiana:
1) Ellen DeGeneres
She was born on January 26, 1958 in a small community of New Orleans. Ellen is best known for her day-time talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and as the voice of Dory, the adorable fish suffering from memory loss, in “Finding Nemo”. Ellen started out as a stand up comedian as an emcee at Clyde’s Comedy Club in New Orleans. She appeared on “The Tonight Show” in 1986 and went on to her own sit-com “Ellen” from 1994-1998 and “The Ellen Show” from 2001-2002. In 1997 she came-out about being a lesbian on “Oprah”. She has won 13 Emmys, has hosted the Academy Awards, and Prime Time Emmys and was also a judge for 1 year on “American Idol” which led to a contract with Cover Girl. Ellen is a vegan and the Ambassador of Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-a-Turkey project of 2010. She asked people to “adopt a turkey instead of eating one at Thanksgiving.”
2) Louis Armstrong (Satchmo)
Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 2001 in New Orleans and passed away in his sleep of a heart attack on July 6, 1971. He is probably one of the most famous jazz trumpet and clarinet players in jazz history and is well known for his gravelly vocals that sound much like a trumpet and ability to sing scat. At 11 years old Satchmo learned to play by ear at a club called Dago Tony’s Tonk in New Orleans. His first paying gig was at a dance hall called Henry Ponce’s. He was the first jazz musician to appear on the cover of Time Magazine on the February 21, 1949 issue. His biggest selling record was “Hello Dolly” and it reached the slot of #1 on the pop charts. “What a Wonderful World” and “Mack the Knife” are two of the most recognizable tunes by Louis Armstrong. The nickname Satchmo comes from a shortened version of “satchel mouth’ meaning to have a large generous mouth.
3) Eli Manning
Eli was born January 3, 1981 in New Orleans. His father is Archie Manning a quarter back for the New Orleans Saints and his brother is Payton Manning who plays quarterback for the Colts. He is a quarterback for the New York Giants and won Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 against the Patriots and won most the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. In Super Bowl XLII in 2008 they matched up against the then undefeated Patriots for the first time and won. Eli won the MVP award that year for the first time. His NFL records include the most 4th quarter touch down passes in a season totaling 15 and the most road playoff wins by a quarterback totaling 5.
4) Reese Witherspoon
Resse Witherspoon was born March 22, 1976 in New Orleans and is a internationally recognized actress. Her first film was “Man in the Moon’ in 1991 in which she plays a love struck young girl. Sam Waterston played her father and Tess Harper played her mother. In 1999 she won a Golden Globe for her role in “Election”. She has also won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her portrayal as June Carter in “I Walk the Line”. She became highly recognized after her role as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde in 2001 and starred in “Sweet Home Alabama’ in 2002. On December 1, 2010 she received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
5) Dorothy lamour
She was born in New Orleans on December 10, 1914 and passed away of a heart attack on September 22, 1996. She was a great film actress best known in her roles along side Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in the “Road to” series of movies. She is also well known for her sarong that she wore in some of the 59 movies she made. She was also Miss New Orleans in 1931 and had her own radio music program in 1935 on NBC radio. Her debut was in the film “The Jungle Princess” in 1936 where she portrayed a female version of Tarzan.