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Famous People

Who are your favorite celebrities that are from the great city of Des Moines, Iowa?  Maybe you didn’t even realize that there’s actually a long list of actors, actresses, athletes, and all types of famous talent who called Des Moines “Home”. Below we’ll share with you a few of our favorites!

Cloris Leachman (actress and comedian) – Cloris Leachman was born on April 30, 1926 in Des Moines. She attended Theodore Roosevelt High School. Her first taste of acting came early as she appeared in weekend plays during her teenage years at Drake University. After graduating from high school, she attended Northwestern University and was classmates of future comedians Paul Lynde and Charlotte Rae. After competing as Miss America in 1946, she started appearing on television and in films. She has been a lifetime actress and comedian and is known for her roles in The Last Picture Show, Young Frankenstein, The Mary Tyler Moore Show (then took the starring role in the spin-off show, Phyllis) , Spanglish, The Longest Yard, and many more.

Shawn Johnson (gymnast) – Shawn Johnson was born on January 19, 1992 in Des Moines. She is best known as the 2008 Olympic gold medalist for her balance beam work and helped lead the US gymnastics team to their all-around gold medal that same year. Johnson is a three-time all-around US gymnastics champion. But that wasn’t her only claim to fame – she also took home the mirrored-ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars in May 2009 with her partner Mark Ballas.

Tionne Watkins (rapper) – Tionne Watkins, best known by her fans as T-Boz is a singer, dancer, and actress, executive producer and author. Watkins rose to fame in the 1990s as one-third of the group TLC, which brought her four Grammy Awards.

Ben Silbermann (Entrepreneur) – Born on July 14, 1982 in Des Moines, this young entrepreneur has an impressive background already. He attended Yale and later worked at Google.  A few years later he teamed up with Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra to create Pinterest.

Corey Taylor – Corey Taylor was born on December 8, 1973 in Des Moines. He is known best at the heavy metal lead vocalist of Slipknot and Stone Sour. Corey has overcome struggles with drug addiction and alcoholism and authored the book “Seven Deadly Sins: Setting the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good”. An interesting bit of trivia: one of Taylor’s film appearances was a cameo in Sharknado 4.