(NEXSTAR) — What do ya’ll think? You may think you always know a Texan right off the bat but here are a few high-profile people you may not know have Texas ties. All information is according to Britannica unless otherwise cited.
Born Renée Kathleen Zellweger in Katy in 1969, the future acclaimed actress also attended the University of Texas in Austin. While the 53-year-old star may be best known for her roles in the popular “Bridget Jones” romantic-comedies, she’s won many of the industry’s top awards for her roles in 2002’s musical “Chicago” (Golden Globe Award) and 2019’s “Judy” (Academy Award for Best Actress).
Though she began with parts in some major Hollywood movies like “Dazed and Confused” and “Reality Bites,” her big breakout came in 1996’s “Jerry Maguire,” alongside co-star Tom Cruise.
In total, the star — seen most recently in NBC’s true crime series “The Thing About Pam” — has two Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, four Screen Actor’s Guild Awards and two “British Oscars,” also known as BAFTAs.
While he was born Ethan Green Hawke in Austin in 1970, the future film star was raised in New Jersey after his parents — both University of Texas alums — divorced, according to IMDb.
Hawke dropped out of Carnegie-Mellon University for a role in the Robin Williams drama “Dead Poets Society” in 1989. Through the 1990s, Hawke made a name for himself as a star in many critically acclaimed films, including “Reality Bites” and “Before Sunset.”
In addition to publishing several novels, Hawke has starred in at least 50 films. Hawke is a longtime collaborator of director (and fellow native Texan) Richard Linklater and Hawke has starred in several of the “Dazed and Confused” auteur’s movies, including the “Before” trilogy.
Born Eric Marlon Bishop in Terrell in 1967, this actor-musician made his way toward California for college and became immersed in the area’s stand-up comedy scene. The now 55-year-old, known professionally as Jamie Foxx, became a regular on the hit 1990s variety show “In Living Color” and later headlined his own five-season sitcom, “The Jamie Foxx Show.”
Foxx’s TV career led to major film roles, culminating with his starring role in 2004’s “Ray.” For his portrayal as music legend Ray Charles, Foxx received the Academy Award for Best Actor and even further Hollywood success.
In addition to his acting, Foxx has continued producing music, including notable tracks like the 2005 Kanye West hit “Gold Digger” and Foxx’s own Grammy Award-winning song “Blame It” in 2008.
Alright — stop, collaborate and listen: the rapper known for “Ice Ice Baby,” was born Robert Matthew Van Winkle in Dallas in 1967. Known as “Vanilla Ice” as a young adult, he was raised in southern Florida before embarking on a career in rap under the name.
Though mainly known for music, Ice has also starred in several TV programs, including his own home improvement series “The Vanilla Ice Project” and as a contestant on the 23rd season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Before he set the world’s runways on fire, Tom Ford was born in 1961 in Austin and raised in the San Marcos area. Ford left the Lone Star State for the famed Parsons School of Design at the New School in New York City in the 1980s. He began his career as a designer for fashion houses like Perry Ellis and Gucci through the 1990s. He was named as the creative director of Gucci in 1994 and is widely credited with the revitalization of the luxury brand.
Ford launched his own brand, Tom Ford, in 2005. The label has been massively successful in both apparel and fragrances. In November, beauty giant Estée Lauder agreed to purchase the Tom Ford brand for a total of $2.8 billion, according to the New York Times. Ford will reportedly remain with the brand through 2023, saying he “could not be happier.”
In addition to his massive success in fashion, Ford has also directed two films: 2009’s “A Single Man,” starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, and 2016’s “Nocturnal Animals,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams.
This legendary comedian, actor and writer was born in 1945 in Waco before he moved to California to attend college, where he began his career in stand-up. Martin made many appearances on popular variety shows, including “Saturday Night Live.” Though he was never a cast member, Martin was hugely popular on the program and has hosted 16 times to date.
Martin has starred in, written and produced dozens of movies and TV shows, including, currently, Hulu’s hit comedy “Only Murders in the Building,” alongside fellow “SNL” alum Martin Short.