Last week, we talked about popular movies and television shows that are filmed in Long Beach. Today, we’re going to go over celebrities that were born or raised in our not-so-little city.
Jennette McCurdy was born in Long Beach and raised in Garden Grove. and went on to star in Nickelodeon sitcoms, such as iCarly and the subsequent spin-off Sam and Cat. She appeared in many other Nick shows such as Victorious, Zoey 101 and True Jackson VP. McCurdy has won a Kid’s Choice Award for her work.
Snoop Dogg, born as Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr, is a rapper, songwriter, producer, actor. As a child, he sang and played piano at Golgotha Trinity Baptist Church, located at 14th St. With his cousins, he put together homemade tapes under the band name ‘213’ which is an area code in the Long Beach area. Dogg attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School and has recorded a song titled ‘I’m from Long Beach’. Perhaps one of Long Beach’s most well-known celebrities, he has sold 35 million albums worldwide throughout his career and has had fourteen single hit ‘Billboard’s Hot 100 top ten.
Cameron Diaz is known for her roles in ‘Something About Mary’, ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and ‘Shrek’ but did you know she was also raised in Long Beach? Born in San Diego, Diaz spent her childhood in the 562, attending Los Cerritos Elementary School and Poly High School the latter as a classmate of Snoop Dogg. She is now retired as an actress and enjoying a private life with her husband
Nicholas Kim Coppola, better known as Nicolas Cage is another Long Beach native. Cage has won an Academy Award, Golden Globes award, Screen Actors Guild award for his performance in 1995’s ‘Leaving Las Vegas’. Since then, he had starred in popular films such as ‘National Treasure’ (2004), Lord of Word (2005) and Spider-Man : Into the Verse’ (2018). Cage has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been honored with the Humanitarian award from the United Nations as well as being appointed the UN Ambassador for Global Justice twice.
You know her voice but you may not know her name. Cathy Cavadini has more than one hundred voice credits to her name. One of her most popular roles is Blossom of Cartoon Network’s animated television series ‘The Powerpuff Girls.’ She lent her voice to the film ‘An American Tail: Fievel Goes West’ (1991) and the subsequent TV series. She has also voiced characters in ‘Babes in Toyland’ (1997) both Happy Feet films (2006 and 2011) and ’Finding Dory (2016). Cavadini won a White House Project Epic Award for her work in the Powerpuff Girls movie (2002).
Tiffani Amber Thiessen is a 90’s icon with her role as Kelly Kapowski in ‘Saved by the Bell’ and Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills 90210. Most recently she had roles on White Collar and Alexa and Katie, but before her acting career, she attended Cubberley Elementary and Marshall Junior High school here in Long Beach.
Glen Albert Larson is was a television mastermind with his best known works being Battlestar Galactica, Quincy M.E., The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Knight Rider and Magnum Pi. He won two Edgar awards for his work on McCloud and Magnum Pii and also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Larson died in 2014 at the age of 77.
Anthony Jared Zerbe has an impressive television resume which includes Naked City, The Wild Wild West, Route 66, Hawaii 5-0, The Rookies, and Ironside but he’s best known for his movie work. Zerbe played James Bond villain Miton Krust in 1989’s ‘License to Kill’, Admiral Matthew Doughtery in ‘Star Trek : Insurrection’ (1998), and Councillor Hamann in ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ (2013) and ‘The Matrix Revolution’ (2013).
Just about everyone knows about Long Beach tennis superstar Billie Jean King. She is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player that has won 12 Grand Slam titles. King represented the United States in seven Federation Cups, with three years as captain, and nine Wightman Cups. She was only 29 when she won the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ tennis match against 55 year old Bobby Riggs in 1973. King founded the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987. She has also been a joint winner of Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Long Beach has it’s very own tennis court named after the tennis champion and there have been talks of renaming the downtown library after King.
Kayla Ewell is best known for her role as Caitlin Ramierez on The Bold and Beautiful and Vicki Donovan on the Vampire Diaries. Born in Long Beach, she was raised in Seal Beach and studied dance, singing and acting at the Orange County Song and Dance Company in Westminster. She currently has a podcast titled ‘Directionally Challenged’ with another Vampire Diaries alum.
By Casey N. Wilson