Our Top 10 Southern-Bred Celebs Who Hit It Big in Hollywood
08.11.14 by Mandy
The Hollywood Hillbillies were definitely fish out of water when they first set foot in Southern California, but they weren’t the first to make the big move from the South to the West Coast. There are plenty of other entertainers who, like Michael, decided to make the big leap in order to make their Hollywood dreams a reality. Whether or not Michael Kittrell will reach his goals has yet to be seen, but after looking at this list it's clear that folks from the South can make it all the way to the A list.
The Hillbillies Are Back
Now he’s an A-list movie star/sex symbol, but once upon a time Tatum was just a small-town boy growing up in the South. He was born in Alabama and raised in Mississipi, so he’s a bona fide southern boy through and through. We’re guessing that after a decade in show business, Tatum is pretty comfortable in L.A., but we’re also guessing that it was a big transition those first few months.
It should be no surprise that Mrs. Ben Affleck is America’s Sweetheart; after all she’s a Southern gal. Born in Houston and raised in West Virginia, Garner learned enough about Southern etiquette and poise during her upbringing that she’s now able to charm the socks off an entire nation.
The Oscar-winning Octavia Spencer was born and raised in Alabama, and is best known for her similarly southern-bred characters. Her breakthrough role was in A Time to Kill and her Academy Award win was
for her work on The Help, and it turns out that both movies were set in Mississippi. It just goes to show: sometimes it
takes someone from the South to bring a Southern character to life.
Not only has Bey had massive success as a singer and actress, she’s also been declared Queen on numerous occasions. We can’t be sure, but we’re assuming it’s Queen of the USA as well as Queen of All Media. That's quite a feat for a girl from Houston who started out singing with the school choir.
Tommy Lee Jones
There are few celebs as true to their roots as Tommy Lee Jones. Born in Texas, Jones was the son of a real-life cowboy, but life led him to be an Oscar-winning actor. Even though he eventually wound up getting a highfalutin Harvard education, he now owns a ranch in his hometown.
Ms. Roberts is not only a Southerner who hails from Georgia, she’s also a ginger, which must give her extra points on this Hollywood Hillbillies-related list. Though she’s had an abundance of success in Hollywood, this Academy Award-winning lady has retained all of her Southern charm.
Born in Louisiana and raised in Tennessee, Witherspoon is a Southern girl through and through. Because she chooses to live in laid-back Ojai, California rather than down in the action near LA, suggests that she is almost as inclined to avoid “Hollyweird” as Mema is. However, Reese Witherspoon proves without a doubt that a good ol’ Southern girl can thrive in Southern California.
An actor, singer, and comedian from a small town in Texas, Jamie Foxx proves that you don’t have to be from the big city to make it big. Foxx has definitely made a splash in the entertainment world — he even has the Oscar statuette to prove it.
Justin Timberlake has been charming ladies all over the country since the age of 12, and we suspect that has something to do with the fact that he was raised in the South. Hailing from Tennessee, JT has a warm smile and unaffected affability that just seems to come natural to Southerners, and we think those attributes have helped him become the massively successful entertainer that he is today.
Is there a human alive today who isn’t at least half in love with Jennifer Lawrence? She’s sweet without being sticky, fun loving without turning her life into a train wreck, and a little bit sassy without ever seeming mean spirited. We’re sure her transition from life in Kentucky to a life in the spotlight was challenging at times, but we can’t think of anyone who has made that transition with more grace than Lawrence.
Images courtesy Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Image Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, The Weinstein Company, Universal Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, and Relativity Media.