LeBron James may be just a kid from Akron, but he's not the only one to gain fame in the wider world.
Clark Gable stepped off a bus in Akron in 1919 looking for work. He found it quickly, working at Firestone and later at Miller Rubber. It was also in Akron that he saw his first play and fell in love with theatre. Gable was only in Akron a little more than a year, but during that time he took a job working at the Akron Music Hall and even landed a small role in a play. However, most people who remembered his time at the theatre didn't see him as a breakout actor.
Dr. Bob Smith was a physician and a surgeon but became one of Akron's most beloved personalities as the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. June 10, 1935 is celebrated at the anniversary of the founding of the organization and members from all over the work travel to Akron to visit his home in Highland Square while celebrating the legacy he left behind.
You may know John Lithgow from the TV series 3rd Rock From the Sun, or the movie Terms of Endearment, however at one point during his childhood he lived on the estate grounds of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. Lithgow's family moved to Akron in 1959 when his father became director of the historic home. He got his first exposure to Shakespeare when his father organized a Shakespearean festival. From that moment, Lithgow was in love with the bard and acting. Sadly the family only lived in Akron for about 2 years before his father was ousted from his position as the board argued over the direction the estate should have been headed.
At age 8, Melina Kanakaredes, took the stage for the first time at Akron's Weathervane Playhouse in a production of Tom Sawyer. She would grow up to play Dr. Sydney Hansen on the tv show Providence and Det. Stella Bonasera on CSI: NY.
While Paul Tazewell was at Buchtel High School in the 80s he designed costumes for his school's production of “The Wiz”. Later in his career he won an Emmy for his costume designs for the television production of “The Wiz Live!”. However, Tazewell is probably best known as the Tony Award winning designer of the costumes for the Broadway musical, “Hamilton.”
Rita Dove was a passionate reader and also graduated from Buchtel High School. In 1987, she won a Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and then in 1992 she was named the United States Poet Laureate – an office she held from 1993-1995.
Lesbian comedian Rhea Butcher got her big break in 2016 when her ground-breaking series “Take My Wife” was picked up for streaming distribution.