Famous Sports Stars, Musicians, and Film Stars From Baltimore

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Baltimore is one of the biggest cities in the United States, so you won’t be surprised to learn that there are a lot of famous athletes and actors from these parts. But there are some names you might be shocked to discover on that list, including:

Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken

Baltimore is one of the baseball capitals of the USA. We have a rich sporting and gaming heritage (one you can still see in the MLB, as well as massive betting sites like PlayMaryland.com) and it dates back to Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken, both of whom were from Baltimore.

The legendary Babe Ruth was born on Emory Street while Ripken went to school in Aberdeen. It’s fair to say that the beautiful game wouldn’t be what it is today without Baltimore.

Michael Phelps

Along with Babe Ruth, Michael Phelps is one of Baltimore’s most famous athletic sons. The swimmer has won more Olympic gold medals than any other athlete and has smashed numerous records during his career.

Phelps has 28 Olympic medals in total and 23 of these are gold medals. It’s not just the Olympics where he has excelled, either, as Phelps picked up a total of 82 medals across major international events.

Penn Badgley

Penn Badgley is the (somehow) lovable stalker from the Netflix series You. The actor and musician has also featured in Gossip Girl. He was born in Baltimore.

Julie Bowen

Julie Bowen is best-known for playing Claire Dunphy on Modern Family, but the Baltimore-born actress has also appeared in a slew of other TV shows and films, including Happy Gilmore and Horrible Bosses. She has been nominated for dozens of awards over the years and has picked up two Primetime Emmys.

David Hasselhoff

“The Hoff” is one of the most famous actors from Baltimore. He was born here back in 1952, but he spent his childhood in Florida and then later moved to Georgia. The Baywatch and Knight Rider actor still has ties to the city, though, and he’s often the first name on lists of the most famous people from Baltimore.

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith was born in Baltimore on September 18, 1971. She is an actress, businesswoman, and musician. She’s the wife of Will Smith, but she’s also an incredibly gifted performer and creative talent in her own right.

Jerry Leiber

Although Jerry Leiber is probably not a name you’re familiar with, you’ll almost certainly know his work. Baltimore-born Leiber worked with his songwriting partner, Mike Stoller, to write a number of 20th-century classics.

Hound Dog, Kansas City, Young Blood, Yakety Yak, Jailhouse Rock, Love Me, Poison Ivy, Is That All There Is, King Creole, Stand By Me, and On Broadway were all penned in full or in part by these two gifted writers.

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa was a once-in-a-generation talent. The musician and innovator was born in Baltimore in 1940 and raised in an Italian-American household. His family relocated to California when Zappa was just 12, but he spent his formative years in the city of Baltimore.