Who are the most famous people from Greater Akron? LeBron James, The Black Keys and others

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Who are the most famous people from the Greater Akron area?

Chances are if you were listing them off the top of your head, among the first names to come to mind would be NBA legend LeBron James.

Among his "Just a Kid from Akron" nickname, the LeBron James Family Foundation and I Promise School, James' Akron roots run deep even though it appears likely he'll finish his NBA career in California with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Some may not already know that James' professional basketball contemporary Steph Curry is also from Akron.

Not a bad start having two of the NBA's greatest players of all time hailing from the same city.

But before we get too spoiler-heavy, let's get into the list.

LeBron James, NBA player, Akron

Unless you just crawled out from under a rock, chances are you already know the "Kid from Akron" hails from Northeast Ohio.

The NBA's all-time scoring leader is no doubt on the shortlist of the greatest NBA players to ever lace up the sneakers, if not atop it.

Stephen Curry, NBA player, Akron

Perhaps inarguably the greatest 3-point shooter the game of basketball has ever seen, the sharpshooting Golden State Warrior also was born in Akron.

When he's not cooking opponents on the hardwood, Curry has been known to hit the links for various golf outings as well.

Carrie Coon, actress, Copley

Copley native Carrie Coon's character Bertha in "The Gilded Age" is determined to be accepted by old money society.
Copley native Carrie Coon's character Bertha in "The Gilded Age" is determined to be accepted by old money society.

Actress Carrie Coon, from Copley, has nearly 30 acting credits to her name on her IMDb page.

Though she's appeared in movies like "Gone Girl" and "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," Coon is best known for her work in TV series like "The Gilded Age," "The Leftovers" and "Fargo."

Chrissie Hynde, musician/singer, Akron

Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of The Pretenders, is shown in this October 1995 file photo.
Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of The Pretenders, is shown in this October 1995 file photo.

Chrissie Hynde, an Akron native and Firestone High School graduate, is an American-British musician.

She's the founding member, lead vocalist, primary songwriter and guitarist for the rock band The Pretenders.

Melina Kanakaredes, actress, Akron

Melina Kanakaredes stars opposite Robert De Niro in the 2001 police movie "15 Minutes."
Melina Kanakaredes stars opposite Robert De Niro in the 2001 police movie "15 Minutes."

Melina Kanakaredes is an Emmy-nominated actress, writer, director and philanthropist.

She is best known for her role as Stella Bonasera on "CSI: New York."

Angie Everhart, actress/model, Akron

Sylvester Stallone, left, with then-fiancee Angie Everhart, center, and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the opening of Planet Hollywood in Atlantic City, N.J. in 1995.
Sylvester Stallone, left, with then-fiancee Angie Everhart, center, and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the opening of Planet Hollywood in Atlantic City, N.J. in 1995.

During her modeling career, Angie Everhart was featured in magazines like Elle, Glamour, Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue and Playboy.

She made her film debut in 1993 with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the action-comedy "Last Action Hero." Everhart was engaged to but never married both Sylvester Stallone and Joe Pesci.

She went public in 2017 with allegations of sexual misconduct against producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was eventually sentenced in Los Angeles to 16 years in prison for sexual assault charges.

Lola Albright, actress, Akron

Akron native Lola Albright was an actor who gained pop-culture fame playing the girlfriend of TV private eye Peter Gunn.

She's credited with nearly 100 acting roles on her IMDb page.

She died in March 2017 at age 92.

River Butcher, a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer, and podcast host, was raised in Kenmore and now lives in Los Angeles.
River Butcher, a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer, and podcast host, was raised in Kenmore and now lives in Los Angeles.

River Butcher, comedian/writer, Akron

A comedian, actor, writer, producer and podcast host, River Butcher was born and raised in the Kenmore neighborhood of Akron.

River, who is transgender, has a Comedy Central standup special called "A Different Kind of Dude."

To find upcoming tour dates and projects, head to Butcher's website.

Howard Hewett, singer/songwriter, Akron

Howard Hewett is a singer-songwriter who gained fame as the lead vocalist of the group Shalamar.

Howard Hewett Jr., a Grammy Award-winning artist and  lead singer for the group Shalamar, Akron native and Buchtel High grad, addresses the crowd during halftime at the Buchtel East game at Buchtel High school on Saturday, Oct, 2, 2021 in Akron. Hewett was honored by his hometown with Mayor Dan Horrigan proclaiming Oct. 2 Howard Hewett day and dedicated Cadillac Boulevard where he grew up as Howard Hewett Jr. Way

He left the group in 1985 to pursue a solo career.

A Grammy Award-winner, Hewett graduated from Buchtel High.

This image released by A24 shows John Magaro in a scene from the film "First Cow." (Allyson Riggs/A24 via AP)
This image released by A24 shows John Magaro in a scene from the film "First Cow." (Allyson Riggs/A24 via AP)

John Magaro, actor, Akron

An Akron native and Stow-Munroe Falls graduate, John Magaro has acted in films like “The Big Short,” “First Cow” and “The Many Saints of Newark” — the 2021 drama featuring the late James Gandolfini’s son Michael as a teenage Tony Soprano.

He’s also appeared in TV shows like “Orange Is the New Black” and “The Umbrella Academy.”

Jim Jarmusch, film director/screenwriter, Cuyahoga Falls

Jarmusch, a film director and screenwriter who has also composed music for his films, was born in Cuyahoga Falls. His mother was a reviewer of film and theatre for the Akron Beacon Journal.

Jim Jarmusch speaks during the 2019 Indie Memphis Film Festival.
Jim Jarmusch speaks during the 2019 Indie Memphis Film Festival.

Jarmusch has been credited as a major proponent of independent cinema since the 1980s.

James Ingram, singer/songwriter, Akron

FILE - In this July 28, 2007, file photo, James Ingram performs during the Grammy Foundation's "Starry Night Benefit Honoring Quincy Jones" held at UCLA Tennis Center in Los Angeles. Ingram was a Grammy-winning singer who launched multiple hits on the R&B and pop charts and earned two Oscar nominations for his songwriting. (AP Photo/Stefano Paltera, File)

James Ingram was a two-time Grammy Award-winner and a two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song.

Throughout his career, Ingram gained notoriety for his hit collaborations with other vocalists.

Ingram attended Akron’s East High School and received a track scholarship to the University of Akron.

Elizabeth Franz, actress, Akron

Franz is an Emmy-nominated actress for both the Daytime and Primetime Emmy awards.

FILE - This 1984 file photo provided by NASA shows astronaut Judith Arlene Resnik. Resnik was a mission specialist on the space shuttle Challenger on Jan. 28, 1986, when the vehicle exploded shortly after liftoff at the Kennedy Space Center. All seven members of the crew onboard perished. (AP Photo/NASA, File)
FILE - This 1984 file photo provided by NASA shows astronaut Judith Arlene Resnik. Resnik was a mission specialist on the space shuttle Challenger on Jan. 28, 1986, when the vehicle exploded shortly after liftoff at the Kennedy Space Center. All seven members of the crew onboard perished. (AP Photo/NASA, File)

She was nominated in 1990 for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Special, and for a Primetime Emmy in 2000 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for playing Linda Loman in “Death of a Salesman.”

Judy Resnik, NASA astronaut, Akron

Judy Resnik was an electrical engineer, software engineer, biomedical engineer, pilot and NASA astronaut who was among the seven crew members who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986.

She is credited as the fourth woman, second American woman and first Jewish woman of any nationality to fly in space.

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Nick Mileti, left, honors Nate Thurmond during a jersey retirement ceremony at the Richfield Coliseum on Dec. 18, 1977.
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Nick Mileti, left, honors Nate Thurmond during a jersey retirement ceremony at the Richfield Coliseum on Dec. 18, 1977.

Nate Thurmond, NBA player, Akron

Before there was LeBron James and Steph Curry, Akron was still represented well among professional hoopers by way of Nate Thurmond.

Nicknamed "Nate the Great" and "Chairman of the Boards," Thurmond was a seven-time All-Star, five-time All-Defensive team member and Hall of Famer.

He finished his pro career averaging exactly 15 points and 15 rebounds per game.

Baltimore Bullets forward Gus Johnson (25) is defended by Cincinnati Royals forward Jerry Lucas (16). Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Baltimore Bullets forward Gus Johnson (25) is defended by Cincinnati Royals forward Jerry Lucas (16). Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Gus Johnson, NBA player, Akron

You'd be hard-pressed to find a U.S. city that's churned out as many elite hoopers as Akron has...

Hall of Famer Gus Johnson — a five-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA selection — joins Thurmond, Curry and James as the elite basketball players to come out of Akron.

Johnson spent the majority of his professional career with the Baltimore Bullets in the 1960s.

Maynard James Keenan, rock singer, Ravenna

Members of the band Tool from left are Maynard James Keenan (vocals), Justin Chancellor (bass), Danny Carey (drums) and Adam Jones (guitar).
Members of the band Tool from left are Maynard James Keenan (vocals), Justin Chancellor (bass), Danny Carey (drums) and Adam Jones (guitar).

Maynard James Keenan, pictured on left, is best known as the lead singer and primary lyricist of the rock bands Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer.

In a 2007 feature in Spin, Keenan says his mother suffering a paralyzing subarachnoid hemorrhage due to a ruptured cerebral aneurysm in 1976 when Keenan was 11 provided inspiration for a number of his songs.

In the same feature, Keenan blames the Bill Murray movie “Stripes” for inspiring a three-year stint in the Army.

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, The Black Keys, Akron

In this Aug. 19, 2019, photo, Patrick Carney, left, and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys pose for a portrait in Nashville, Tenn. The Grammy-winning duo back with their ninth record called “Let’s Rock,” and a new tour starting Sept. 19 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) ORG XMIT: NYET557
In this Aug. 19, 2019, photo, Patrick Carney, left, and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys pose for a portrait in Nashville, Tenn. The Grammy-winning duo back with their ninth record called “Let’s Rock,” and a new tour starting Sept. 19 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) ORG XMIT: NYET557

Both Dan Auerbach (singer/songwriter, guitarist, vocalist) and Patrick Carney (drummer) form the Akron-originated band, The Black Keys.

Their hit song "Gold on the Ceiling" from their album "El Camino" was certified platinum in Australia and Canada.

Carney's father, Jim Carney, was a longtime Beacon Journal news reporter.

The Akron band Devo

The Akron band Devo, from left, Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Mothersbaugh, kneeling, Jerry Casale, Bob Casale and Alan Myers, pose for a photo in 1978.
The Akron band Devo, from left, Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Mothersbaugh, kneeling, Jerry Casale, Bob Casale and Alan Myers, pose for a photo in 1978.

Sticking to music, the band Devo and its members (pictured above) are all from Akron.

Though the band has officially retired, a feature story in The Guardian writes, "Devo will leave behind a legacy that is beloved by cult eccentrics and mainstream pop provocateurs. David Bowie and Iggy Pop once heralded them as the future of music, while Mick Jagger gleefully danced to their twisted cover of one of the Rolling Stones’ biggest hits."

An upcoming documentary on the band is getting rave reviews.

Hugh Downs, radio and television broadcaster, Akron

FILE - In this March 10, 1966 file photo, Hugh Downs hosts the "Today"show on NBC. Downs, a genial and near-constant presence on television from the 1950s through the 1990s, has died. His family said Downs died of natural causes Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 99. Downs was a host of the "Today" show on NBC, worked on the "Tonight" show when Jack Paar was in charge, and hosted the long-running game show "Concentration." (AP Photo/Jack Kanthal, File)

Akron native Hugh Downs enjoyed a lengthy and notable broadcast career.

As the New York Times wrote in Downs' obituary after he died aged 99, "A longtime host of both 'Today' and '20/20,' for many years he held the Guinness-certified record for most total hours on commercial network television."

Larry Csonka, NFL player, Stow

Miami Dolphins legend Larry Csonka, right, was part of the undefeated 1972 team along with Bob Griese (12) and wide receiver Paul Warfield (42).

Nicknamed "Zonk," the Stow native is regarded as one of the best running backs in NFL history.

Butch Reynolds, track and field athlete, Akron

Former track and field athlete Butch Reynolds earned a gold medal in the 4x400 meter relay at the 1988 Seoul Olympics to accompany a silver medal in the 400 meter dash.

On August 17, 1988, Reynolds set a 400-meter world record at 43.29 seconds, smashing Lee Evans' nearly 20-year-old 1968 world record by 0.57 seconds. Reynolds' record had negative splits, meaning the second half of his race was completed more quickly than the first half. This marked the first time anyone had set a world record for the men's 400 meters with negative splits.

The record stood for more than 11 years.

James Harrison, NFL player, Akron

Though Cleveland Browns fans may wince at the sight of the Pittsburgh Steelers' longtime linebacker, James Harrison is another Akron native who made it to the highest level of competition in his chosen sport.

James Harrison's legacy: Steelers great James Harrison reflects on journey from Akron kid to Hall of Fame candidate

Former longtime Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau told the Akron Beacon Journal of Harrison, “I think he's very Hall of Fame worthy."

Ray Wise, actor, Akron

From left, actor Ray Wise and artist David Lynch pose as the Orange County Museum of Art honors legendary Filmmaker and Visual Artist David Lynch during the 2013 Art of Dining held at the Balboa Bay Resort on Friday, May 17, 2013, in Newport Beach, Calif. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Invision/AP)
From left, actor Ray Wise and artist David Lynch pose as the Orange County Museum of Art honors legendary Filmmaker and Visual Artist David Lynch during the 2013 Art of Dining held at the Balboa Bay Resort on Friday, May 17, 2013, in Newport Beach, Calif. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Invision/AP)

Ray Wise is an actor best known for his role as Leland Palmer in “Twin Peaks” and its prequel film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.”

Wise has also appeared in movies like “Swamp Thing,” “RoboCop,” “Jeepers Creepers 2” and “X-Men: First Class.”

After graduating from Garfield High School, Wise attended Kent State University.

Michael "Dynamite" Dokes, boxer, Akron

Michael Dokes works out during his days at the top of the heavyweight division in the early 1980s. Dokes won a title in 1982, lost it in 1983.
Michael Dokes works out during his days at the top of the heavyweight division in the early 1980s. Dokes won a title in 1982, lost it in 1983.

Michael "Dynamite" Dokes was a pro boxer who competed from 1976 to 1997. Dokes held the WBA heavyweight title from 1982 to 1983.

The 6-foot-3 heavyweight finished with a career record of 53 wins, six losses and two draws across 61 total fights.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Who are the most famous people from the Greater Akron area?