With its rich history and reputation as the twin city to Los Angeles, it’s no wonder that several famous individuals have called Pasadena, California their home. Brilliant minds and Hollywood stars demonstrate all that Pasadena is famous for, from the major scientific discoveries made there to the celebration of the arts. Here you will find names of well-known faces whose roots hail back to Pasadena.
Julia Child: Born and raised in Pasadena, Child was an American chef and author, with various TV shows and books of her own. She was most inspired by French cuisine, after a trip to France with her husband, and studied privately with many master chefs. Her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking was a bestseller and is still in print today. Child also worked for the Office of Strategic Services in World War I and volunteered with the Junior League of Pasadena in her youth.
Sally Field: Field is best known for her role in the TV sitcom series Gidget, Academy Award winning character in the film Norma Rae, and recent roles such as Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man. Not only is she a talented actress, but she also directs and writes for film and television. She was born in Pasadena and remains in California to this day, making her mark on the world and on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Jackie Robinson: Known as the first African American to play Major League Baseball, Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia, then later moved to Pasadena, California, where he grew up. He not only played baseball, but grew up participating in football, basketball, and track. Robinson continued to be an icon of the Civil Rights movement, later becoming the first black television analyst for MLB and the vice president of a major corporation. In 1962, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Octavia Butler: American science fiction writer Octavia Butler was born in Pasadena, where she began to write from a very young age, after reading science fiction magazines and watching televised films. Though she faced many challenges on account of her race, Butler was determined to publish a book. Her persistence and hard work brought her fame and success after writing Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. As a multiple recipients of the Hugo and Nebula awards, Butler is one of the best-known science fiction writers in the field.
Dustin Hoffman: Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dustin Hoffman joined the Pasadena Playhouse after his first year of college. Here he took on his first acting role, alongside future Academy Award winner Gene Hackman. From there he moved to New York, taking on various film and theatre jobs. Notable roles include Charles Frohman in Finding Neverland, Mr. Magorium in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and Master Shifu in the Kung Fu Panda series. He also won his first Academy Award for Kramer vs. Kramer, a win that led to many more roles and nominations.
Bill Nye (The Science Guy): Best known for the popular television series that taught natural science to preteens, Bill Nye now calls Pasadena, California his home, as the CEO of the Planetary Society in Pasadena. He has also appeared in various films, and often appears on talk shows to talk about global warming and other pressing scientific issues. In the 2000s, Nye helped develop a sundial that was used in the Mars Rover missions. As a mechanical engineer and television presenter, he is also particularly passionate about science education.
Roger Revelle: Born in Seattle and raised in Pasadena, Roger Revelle was a scientist and scholar who helped found the University of California, San Diego. He was one of the first scientists to study global warming, as well as Earth’s tectonic plates and their movement. Revelle was also passionate about oceanography, working with the Navy to direct funding for research projects. For his work in discovering the greenhouse effect, Revelle was awarded the National Medal of Science by George W. Bush in 1991, just before he died.
John C. Reilly: An American actor, singer, writer, and comedian, John C. Reilly has appeared in over fifty films. He was the voice of the title character in Rhomann Dey in Guardians of the Galaxy, received an Academy Award nomination for his role in Chicago as well as a Grammy Award for his song “Walk Hard” inWalk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. He currently performs with his band in Pasadena.
Missy Franklin: Though she was raised in Colorado, Missy Franklin was born in Pasadena, California. She won five Olympic medals in the 2012 Summer Olympics, four of which were gold medals. Franklin also competes in various World Championships, currently holding a record of eleven gold medals from the World Aquatics Championship. The swimmer will be on the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team for the 2016 Olympics.
Sophia Bush: This American actress, director, and activist were also the 82nd Rose Queen for the annual Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California. She speaks out openly in support of organizations such as Run For the Gulf and Global Green Gulf Relief. In the past she showed support for President Obama and encourages young voters to exercise their right to vote. She is currently starring in the TV drama series Chicago P.D.as the Det. Erin Lindsay.
Edwin Hubble: An astronomer and observational cosmologist are known for providing evidence that various “nebulae” were actually galaxies past the Milky Way. The Hubble Space Telescope was named in his honor for his scientific work. He was also a teacher at various high schools and universities, including California Institute of Technology and the Carnegie Institution’s Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California.
William Wrigley, Jr.: Known for founding the famous Wrigley’s chewing gum company, William Wrigley, Jr. lived in his family’s mansion in Pasadena for some time. His company started off by selling soap, but soon realized the chewing gum they offered as a bonus to his other products was more popular than the actual product itself. The business started to concentrate their efforts on the manufacture and sale of gum, and through this business Wrigley grew in fame and fortune.
With its rich culture, artistic history, and scientific discovery, it’s no wonder why these famous stars called Pasadena, CA their home at one point in time. That is why George Azadian, Pasadena Employment Lawyer, started his law firm here among the plethora of brilliant minds who hail back to the City of Roses.