Most people know that Arkansas boasts a number of beautiful outdoor attractions and exciting events, from Mount Nebo State Park to Legends Casino and Resort. However, most don’t know that many celebrities once called Arkansas their home. And in today’s celebrity obsessed culture, it’s always exciting to learn that some of Hollywood’s most beloved are so closely associated with the sweet state of Arkansas.
Believe it or not, some of Hollywood’s most influential musicians hail from Arkansas. Most notably of those musicians perhaps is that of country music legend Johnny Cash, who was aptly born in the town of Kingsland, Arkansas in 1932. A number of other country music stars have come from Arkansas as well, such as Glenn Campbell, Blaze Foley and guitarist Link Wray.
In addition to country music, Arkansas has proven itself a hub for pop music creators from the likes of Ne-Yo, Billy Bob Thornton and American Idol season eight winner, Kris Allen.
Arkansas has produced some of the most powerful people of the 21st century in the likes of successful politicians. In fact, the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, was born in Hope, Arkansas in 1946. He even attended the Arkansas Boys State, “an immersive program in civics education designed for high school juniors” according to arboysstate.org, in 1963.
War hero and American five-star general, Douglas MacArthur was born in Arkansas’ capitol city of Little Rock in 1880. You can learn more about his time served in the military at the MacArthur Memorial Museum in Norfolk, Virginia.
Many might also know Sarah Huckabee Sanders, US Political Representative and daughter of Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas. She, like former president Clinton, was born in Hope, Arkansas. She helped found the general consultation service provider ‘Second Street Strategies’ based out of Little Rock.
There must be something in the water in Arkansas, because the state is also chocked full of iconic actors in addition to its many talented musicians and politicians. Mary Steenburgen, who first stepped into the public’s line of site after her role as Lynda Dummar in the 1980 classic film Melvin and Howard, was born and raised in Newport, Arkansas. Actor Wes Bentley, born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, was catapulted into stardom thanks to the 1999 film American Beauty in which he played lead hunk, Ricky Fitts.
Modern day actors are not the only ones reigning from Arkansas. Alan Ladd, for example, famous in the 1940s and 50s, was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Having worked with small theatre groups from a young age, Ladd found his acting break in successful Westerns of his time such as Shane and This Gun for Hire.
Perhaps there is a reason that so many successful people hail from the great state of Arkansas. Maybe its the peaceful views or the bustling inner cities that allow for creative juices to flow, or maybe we just simply got lucky. But either way, one things is for sure: when you make a visit to Arkansas, you might come for the outdoor adventures, but you will leave having walked in the footsteps of some of the world’s most influential celebrities.