Famous People From Montana

According to the U.S.P.S., Gary Cooper (1901-1961) started his acting career as an extra in Westerns.  He went on to play the all-American hero in many classic films including the well known High Noon (1952), (which, by the way, also happens to be one of President Bill Clinton’s favorite films). Gary Cooper is depicted on the postage stamps I have right now and because he was born in Helena, Montana, I thought I’d mention him and a few other notable names of people born in this state.



  • Chet Huntley – (1911 – 1974) Well known journalist and TV newscaster born in Caldwell, MT.  As a kid, I used to watch him on the Nightly News with David Brinkley.  He died of lung cancer at his home in Big Sky.


  • Dana Carvey – (born June 2, 1955) – Comedian and actor born in Missoula, MT. Best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, he made me laugh with his Wayne’s World and Church Lady skits.


  • Evel Knievel – (1938 – 2007) Famous daredevil born in Butte, MT. I used to like to watch his stunts on T.V. but it got a little old by the time he announced he would attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho. He died in Clearwater, FL and is buried in Butte.


  • Myrna Loy – (1905 – 1993) Famous actress born in Radersburg, MT, a small town near Helena. My favorite films with Myrna are the 1948, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House where she co-stars with Cary Grant and the 1950 Cheaper by the Dozen with Clifton Webb. I highly recommend the 1950’s version of Cheaper by the Dozen over the modern one with Steve Martin.  Myrna died at the age of 88 in New York City.  She was cremated and her ashes interred at a cemetery in Helena.


  • David Lynch – (born January 20, 1946) American filmaker and visual artist born in Missoula, MT. Lynch received Academy Award Nominations for Best Director for The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive. Out of these three movies, I haven’t seen Mulholland Drive. Now that I know it’s a David Lynch film, I’ll have to check it out. I also enjoyed watching Twin Peaks now and then.

Perhaps I’ll get back to this subject in a subsequent post one day, but for now I’ll leave it at that.

Till next time,


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