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Celebrity Sighting: San Antonio’s stars

Although you may not immediately think of San Antonio as a place where movie stars and celebrities are born, there is quite a list of rich and famous people from our city.  After all, this city is so large that there are many prominent politicians, war heroes, scientists, singers, professional athletes, actors and artists who were born in San Antonio or who lived here while growing up — so many that there is no way they could all be crammed into this article.  Here are a few of the most interesting, many of whom you may recognize:
James Roday — Roday is an actor, director and screenwriter. He was born in San Antonio on April 4, 1976, and attended William H. Taft High School. He currently stars on “Psych” (2006–present) as fake psychic, Shawn Spencer. Roday has acted in several theatrical productions and films such as “The Dukes of Hazzard” (2005) and “Beerfest” (2006). He also helped write the screenplay for “Skinwalkers” (2006).

Joan Crawford — Actress in film, television and theatre, Crawford is best known for her starring role in “Mildred Pierce” (1945), for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress.  In the 1920s, she was known nationally as a flapper.  She was born in San Antonio on March 23, 1904.

Kevin Alejandro — Born in San Antonio on April 7, 1976, Alejandro is best known for his roles as Jesus Velasquez in the HBO hit, “True Blood” (from 2011 – 2012) and  Nate Moretta in “Southland” (2009 – 2011).  In addition to his regular roles in these shows, he has guest starred on many shows, including “Charmed,” “Weeds” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” He attended the University of Texas at Austin.

Shaquille O’Neal — Nicknamed “Shaq,” O’Neal is a well-known retired basketball player (with a 19-year championship-winning career from 1992–2011), a former rapper and currently, an analyst on “Inside the NBA,” a five-time Emmy Award-winning postgame show on TNT.  Shaq played for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.  Although he was born in New Jersey in 1972, he later attended Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio.

Carol Burnett — This Emmy Award-winning actress, comedian and singer was born in San Antonio on April 26, 1933, beginning her rags-to-riches story: although her parents were alcoholics, she grew to become famous and is now known as the queen of television comedy.  She starred in her own show, “The Carol Burnett Show,” on CBS from 1967-1978, acted in “Annie” (1982) and, more recently, “Horton Hears a Who” (2008), to name just a few.

Robert Cade — Although you may not recognize his name, chances are you’ve heard of his invention – Gatorade.  In addition to being the creator of this sports drink, Cade was a physician, professor, research scientist and inventor.  He was born in San Antonio on Sept. 26, 1927.

Michelle Rodriguez — Known for playing “tough-girl” roles, Rodriguez has acted in films such as “The Fast and the Furious” (2001), “Resident Evil” (2002) and “Avatar” (2009).  She also played Ana Lucia Cortez in the second season of “Lost” (2005-2010).  She was born July 12, 1978, right here in Bexar County.

Jared Padalecki — Born on July 19, 1982 in San Antonio, Jared is best known for his roles as Dean Forester on “Gilmore Girls” (2000–2005) and Sam Winchester on “Supernatural” (2005–present).  After graduating from James Madison High School, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and was obviously quite successful.

These are just a few of the many prominent people who came from San Antonio.  If a chance celebrity sighting doesn’t encourage you to break out of the Trinity bubble, then honestly, what will?

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