Here’s a sure-fire way to get a discussion, and even a lively debate, going among friends from Pennsylvania. Challenge each other to name the most famous Pennsylvania celebrities.
PennStakes.com — your source for Pennsylvania online casinos — took a hyper-localized approach to determine which celebrities that were raised in Pennsylvania were being discussed the most in the past year, and concluding they would be the most well-known celebrities from the Keystone State.
In arriving at the top 10, PennStakes.com utilized a weighted system between AhRefs.com Keywords Explorer and Google Trends to look at the most-searched Pennsylvania celebrities over the past 12 months (Aug. 2022 to Aug. 2023). Once finding both statistics, they were averaged to determine the top 10.
To set the parameters for this list, a Pennsylvania celebrity was defined as a person who resided in Pennsylvania in their formative childhood and teenage years for more than five years. To make this list, celebrities had to be living actors/actresses, singer/songwriters, TV personalities, comedians, dancers, or social media influencers.
Given the above, many show business legends from Pennsylvania from earlier eras — such as opera singer Marian Anderson, show host Dick Clark, tenor Mario Lanza, comedian W.C. Fields, dancer Gene Kelly and actress Grace Kelly — are not on this more contemporary list.
Actually, given the pop culture climate of 2023, there’s really not much debate as to the most famous Pennsylvanian of the moment. That would be the performer who has become an industry unto herself, Taylor Swift. Swift had a search volume of 5.3 million, about twice the second-place celeb, actor Miles Teller.
Swift, 33, hails from West Reading. She initially attended Wyomissing Junior/Senior High School but in her early-teen years started making frequent trips to Nashville, Tenn. Seemingly ubiquitous in the public eye, whether on stadium tours or appearing in TV commercials, the singer-songwriter has earned her celebrity with 12 Grammy Awards among dozens of other honors and has been estimated to have a net worth of $740 million by Forbes.
Swift in the past two months as also garnered unprecedented media attention for her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who helped beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.
No. 2 on the list is Downingtown’s Miles Teller, who had a search volume of 2.4 million. Despite going to high school in Florida, Teller, a star of “Top Gun: Maverick,” is a Philly sports fan through and through, regularly photographed sporting his Phillies and Eagles gear.
No. 3 is Will Smith, who advertised his Philly background from the outset as the Fresh Prince. A West Philly guy, Smith rocketed from rap artist to movie star, including an Oscar for Best Actor in 2022. His reputation is still undergoing rehabilitation as a result of slapping comedian Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony after Rock joked about the hair loss condition Smith’s wife suffers from. Smith’s search volume was 1.7 million.
The No. 4 is a performer who is a constant on TV these days, including commercials for DraftKings. Hart, who went to George Washington High School in Northeast Philadelphia, was reportedly booed off stages early in his stand-up career. Now 44, Hart has won a slew of performance awards and his career seems to be accelerating. Again, Hart can be found wearing his Eagles fanhood proudly. A wager on the Eagles on a PA sports betting app is certainly not out of the question for Hart, whose volume search is 1.4 million,
No. 5 is still another Eagles fan extraordinaire, actor Bradley Cooper, from lower Montgomery County. In fact, Cooper even played an Eagles fan in the film “Silver Lining Playbook” with Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence. Cooper, 48, has played in a range of movies from the farcical “The Hangover” to war drama “American Sniper” to musical drama “A Star is Born.” Cooper’s search volume was 1.2 million.
The rest of the top 10 Pennsylvania celebrities (in order of search volume) were: Christina Aguilera, singer-songwriter form Pittsburgh (1 million); Pink, singer-songwriter, from Doylestown in Bucks County (730,000); Sabrina Carpenter, singer-songwriter, from Quakertown, 45-to-50 miles north of Philadelphia (664,000); Amanda Seyfried, actress, from Allentown (627,0000), and Michael Keaton, actor, from Kennedy Township in the far western part of the state (626,000).
Honorable Mentions: Actor Richard Gere, actress Sharon Stone, actor Kevin Bacon, actor Jeff Goldblum, singer-Songwriter Lil Uzi Vert, and comedian Tina Fey.
PennStakes.com occasionally dabbles in stories of cultural interest such as this when not providing news and analysis on sports betting or the top Pennsylvania casino promotions.
Taylor Swift is from West Reading, Pennsylvania. She initially attended Wyomissing Junior/Senior High School. She is currently dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
Yes, Miles Teller is from Downingtown, Pennsylvania. The "Top Gun: Maverick" star often is seen at Phillies games.
Will Smith is from West Philly, and advertised his Philly background from the outset as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
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