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10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

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10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Texas boasts a large number of native-born celebrities. Numerous star athletes, actors, musicians, politicians and academics hail from the Lone Star State. The ones who weren’t born here sure got here as fast as they could.

The Texas Hill Country is well known for its ties to music. Austin is the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and Gruene Hall is just as famous as the legendary musicians who have taken its stage. Here are some of the famous people who have called the Hill Country home. Some of them might surprise you!

1. Stevie Ray Vaughan

10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Facebook

Stevie Ray Vaughan was born in Dallas in 1954. He started to play guitar as a child, and later became the lead singer for the Texas band Double Trouble. Vaughan dropped out of an arts program at Southern Methodist University and moved to Austin to concentrate on music. He played regular gigs in Austin and eventually recorded several hit albums and earned a Grammy award. Vaughan died at the age of 35 in 1990, but his music continues to inspire new generations of musicians around the world.

2. Willie Nelson

10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Willie Nelson’s Facebook

The Red Headed Stranger turned 82 in April 2015. He is one of the most well known artists in country music and an original outlaw country musician. Nelson career spans almost 60 years, which includes over 100 albums and numerous awards. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1998. He has also acted in over 30 films, co-authored several autobiographical books, and is an activist for the legalization of marijuana and the use of biodiesel. Nelson resides in Spicewood, where he owns a recording studio and a golf course called Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Cut N Putt.

3. Tex Avery

10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Tex Avery’s Facebook

If you grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, then you know Tex Avery. He was an animator, cartoonist, voice actor and director during the Golden Age of Hollywood animation. He was born Frederick Bean Avery in February 1908 in Taylor, Texas. Avery was interested in animation from an early age, and after graduating from North Dallas High School, studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked for Warner Brothers from 1935 to 1941, where he created the iconic cartoon characters. He later worked at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and he formed his own animation unit where he created another cartoon icon, Droopy.

4. Andy Roddick

10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Photo: huffingtonpost.com

Andy Roddick was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1982, and he lived in Austin, Texas from the age for 4 until he was 11. When he was 18, Roddick was the top-ranked junior tennis player in the world. Roddick triumphed at the 2003 U.S. Open to win his only Grand Slam title, but he reached the finals of a major four other times. During the 2012 US Open, on his 30th birthday, Roddick announced he would retire after the tournament to focus on his nonprofit organization, the Andy Roddick Foundation. Roddick met model and actress Brooklyn Decker in 2007, and they got married in 2009. They currently live in Austin.

5. George Strait

10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Photo: George Strait’s Facebook

Known to his fans as King George, Strait was born in Poteet, Texas in 1952. He began performing in a band while serving in the U. S. Army. He landed a recording contract with MCA and scored a hit with his first single, “Unwound,” in 1981. Strait’s career spans almost four decades, during which he has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, amassed 60 number one hits, and won countless awards. He currently resides in northwest San Antonio with his wife Norma.

6. Joan Crawford

10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Joan Crawford on Wikipedia

Joan Crawford was born in San Antonio, Texas in March 1905. He began performing and dancing at a young age. She signed a motion picture contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1925 and starred in dozens of films. Crawford won an Oscar in 1945 for her lead role in “Mildred Pierce.” She was married four times, and adopted five children. She died of a heart attack in her New York apartment in 1977. After her death, Crawford’s eldest daughter, Christina, wrote a tell-all memoir called “Mommie Dearest.” The bestselling book alleged Crawford was emotionally and physically abusive to her and her brother Christopher. It later became a commercially successful biographical film starring Faye Dunaway as Crawford.

7. Matthew McConaughey

10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Matthew McConaughey’s Facebook

Matthew McConaughey was born in November 1969, in Uvalde, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin 1993 and appeared in commercials and small film roles. He got his first big break with the 1993 film “Dazed and Confused,” which was written and directed by fellow Austinite, Richard Linklater. Steady roles in films like “A Time to Kill,” “Amistad,” and “Contact” lead to more serious dramatic roles. He starred in the critically acclaimed “Mud” in 2012 and won an Oscar for his performance in 2013’s “Dallas Buyers Club.” Throughout his career, he has lived in Austin and was famously cited for a naked bongo playing incident in 1998. He maintains a home in Austin with wife Camila Alves and their three children.

8. Robert Rodriguez

10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Robert Rodriguez’ Facebook

Director and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez was born in San Antoio, Texas in June 1968. He has nine siblings, including singer Patricia Vonne and actress Tina Rodriguez, both of whom have appeared in his films. He was rejected from film school, so he taught himself basic editing and directing skills. After winning several awards, he was accepted into the film program at the University of Texas at Austin. He made his first feature film, “El Mariachi,” in 1983 with a budget of only $7,000. It won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, which opened doors to a sequel, “Desperado.” This help launch Rodriguez into the mainstream. He stared a production company in Austin called Troublemaker Studios, and continues to write, direct and produce films in Central Texas.

9. Carol Burnett

10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Photo: kpbs.org

Another San Antonio native, Carol Burnett, was born in April 1933. Her parents moved the family to California when he was a young child. She discovered acting and comedy while in college at UCLA. Her comedy-variety program, “The Carol Burnett Show,” first aired in 1967 and ran for 11 seasons. Burnett has also appeared in feature films, television shows and on Broadway. Throughout her career, she earned numerous Emmys and Golden Globes, and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2013. Burnett will receive the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild in January 2016.

10. Ethan Hawke

10 Famous People From the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Ethan Hawke’s Facebook

Ethan Green Hawke was born in November 1970 in Austin, Texas. His parents divorced when he was a young child, and Hawke relocated several time with his mother, Leslie. They settled in New Jersey when he was 10. He made his film debut in 1985 and had his breakthrough role in the 1989 drama “Dead Poets Society.” Hawke is an accomplished actor, director, screenwriter and novelist. He starred in Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise,” then collaborated with the Austin-based director on its critically acclaimed sequels, “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight.” He collaborated with Linklater in the 12-year long project, “Boyhood.” He earned several award nominations for his role in the coming of age film, including the Academy, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and SAG award for Best Supporting Actor. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his family, and he owns a small island in Nova Scotia, Canada.