Americans American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures  

Mike Rothschild
Originally by
178.9k votes 11.7k voters 44.2k views 731 items

List Rules Only living figures who are still in the public eye.

American national treasures work in different fields, are of different generations, and all have different stories to tell. But all of their stories are that of America itself. Some are media moguls, others are entertainers that nobody can bring themselves to hate. A few are politicians that have enormous influence and cultural cachet, even if you completely disagree with everything they believe in. But what they have in common is that they exemplify the American spirit, can-do attitude, and our cultural heritage. They also do really great on talk shows. They're US national treasures and are loved by just about everyone.

These likable celebrities and public figures who are national treasures are the ones that, love them or hate them, can't get enough of them or totally sick of them, truly show what it means to be American. To take risks, to give back, to never give up, to be in control of their environment, and to know exactly what to say at the right time.

Here are some of the greatest national treasures the United States has to offer. If you can think of others who qualify as national treasures for the people of the USA, feel free to add them to the list!
list ordered by

1
5,241 1,066
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 59 Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American film actor, director, voice-over artist, writer and film producer. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies before achieving ...more

2
1,621 5,751
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
voting closed at #2 ColinBoddy added Dec. at 76 (1942-2018) Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was ...more

3
795 971
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 78 Anna Mae Bullock, known by her stage name Tina Turner, is a singer, dancer, actress, and author, whose career has spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and ...more

4
195 4,464
Billy Crystal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 70 William Edward "Billy" Crystal is an American actor, singer, writer, producer, director, comedian, and television host. He gained prominence in the 1970s for playing Jodie Dallas on ...more

5
594 1,199
Stan Lee is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 95 Stan Lee was an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, television host, actor, and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. In collaboration with several artists, ...more

6
358 626
Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 64 Ronald William "Ron" Howard is an American film director, producer and actor. He came to prominence playing Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years, and later ...more

7
394 1,619
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
voting closed at #3 ColinBoddy added Dec. at 63 (1951-2014) Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy ...more

8
187 1,143
Danny DeVito is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 73 Daniel Michael "Danny" DeVito, Jr. is an American actor, producer and director. He first gained prominence for his portrayal of taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma on Taxi, for which he won ...more

9
618 1,191
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 67 William James "Bill" Murray is an American actor and comedian. He first gained exposure on Saturday Night Live for which he earned an Emmy Award and later went on to star in comedy ...more

10
510 1,197
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 76 Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the ...more

11
189 138
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 71 Sally Margaret Field is an American actress and director. She is known for her film roles in Smokey and the Bandit, Norma Rae, Places in the Heart, Murphy's Romance, Steel Magnolias, Mrs. ...more

12
275 1,364
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 70 Henry Franklin Winkler, OBE is an American actor, director, comedian, producer and author. Winkler is best known for his role as Arthur Fonzarelli in the 1970s American sitcom Happy Days. ...more

13
170 349
Michael J. Fox is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 56 Michael J. Fox, OC is a Canadian-American actor, author, producer, and advocate. With a film and television career spanning from the 1970s, Fox's roles have included Marty McFly from the Back to ...more

14
489 1,630
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 64 Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper is an American singer, songwriter, actress. Lauper has sold over 50 million albums and 20 million singles. She has won awards at the Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, the New ...more

15
558 1,305
Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
voting closed at #9 Dec. at 86 (1928-2014) Maya Angelou was an American author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of ...more

16
479 1,136
Garrison Keillor is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 75 Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor (born August 7, 1942) is an American author, storyteller, humorist, voice actor, and radio personality. He is best known as the creator of the Minnesota ...more

17
123 298
Carole King is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 76 Carole King is a Grammy Award-winning New York born composer and singer-songwriter. Her career began in the 1960s when King, along with her then husband Gerry Goffin, wrote more than two dozen ...more

18
189 765
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 62 Whoopi Goldberg is an American actress, comedienne, political activist, writer, producer, and television host. Although Goldberg made her film debut in the avant-garde ensemble film Citizen: I'm ...more

19
375 783
Reba McEntire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 63 Reba Nell McEntire is an American country music singer, songwriter and actress. She began her career in the music industry as a high school student singing in the Kiowa High School band, on ...more

20
514 1,337
Annie Leibovitz is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 68 Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz is an American portrait photographer.

21
202 203
James Earl Jones is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 87 James Earl Jones is an American actor who in a career of more than 60 years has become known as "one of America's most distinguished and versatile" actors and "one of the greatest ...more

22
521 1,698
Robert Downey Jr. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 52 Robert John Downey Jr. is an American actor, producer, and singer, whose career has included critical and popular success in his youth, followed by a period of legal troubles, and a resurgence ...more

23
449 600
Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 72 Dolly Rebecca Parton is an American singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, actress, author, and philanthropist, known primarily for her work in country music. Her career began as a child performer ...more

24
101 266
Liza Minnelli is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 72 Liza May Minnelli is an American actress and singer best known for her portrayal of Sally Bowles in the 1972 musical film Cabaret which won her an Academy Award for Best Actress. Born to film ...more

25
609 1,185
Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 68 Meryl Streep is an American actress. A three-time Academy Award winner, she is widely regarded as one of the greatest film actors of all time. Streep made her professional stage debut in The ...more

26
233 780
Ellen Barkin is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 61 Ellen Rona Barkin is an American actress, known for her roles in the films Buckaroo Banzai, The Big Easy, Sea of Love and Switch. She won an Emmy Award in 1997, for Before Women Had Wings and a ...more

27
100 191
Diahann Carroll is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 82 Diahann Carroll is an American television and stage actress and singer. She has had a long, successful career that has spanned nearly six decades. After appearing in some of the earliest major ...more

28
451 923
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
jsnungaray added age 73 Barbra Joan Streisand is an American singer, songwrighter, actress, director, writer, composer, producer, designer, author, photographer, and activist. During a career spanning six decades, she ...more

29
165 233
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 70 Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which ...more

30
544 895
David Letterman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 70 David Michael Letterman is an American television host, comedian, writer, producer, and actor. He hosts the late night television talk show Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. ...more

31
248 199
Sylvester Stallone is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 71 Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone, nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, screenwriter and film director. Stallone is well known for his Hollywood action roles. Two notable characters he has ...more

32
436 981
Tina Fey is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 47 Elizabeth Stamatina "Tina" Fey is an American actress, comedian, writer, and producer. She is best known for her work on the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, the ...more

33
115 261
B.B. King is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
voting closed at #34 ColinBoddy added Dec. at 89 (1925-2015) B.B. King is an American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, and he was ...more

34
106 250
Paul Giamatti is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 50 Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti is an American actor. Giamatti began his career as a supporting actor in several films produced during the 1990s including Private Parts, The Truman Show, Saving ...more

35
132 311
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 75 Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American actor and filmmaker. He is well known for playing Michael Corleone in The Godfather films and Tony Montana in Scarface, and often appeared on ...more

36
470 863
Cher is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 71 Cher is an American singer, songwriter, actress, model, fashion designer, television host, comedian, dancer, businesswoman, philanthropist, author, film producer, director, and record producer. ...more

37
411 558
Bob Barker is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 94 Robert William "Bob" Barker is an American former television game show host. He is best known for hosting CBS's The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007, making it the longest-running ...more

38
479 913
Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 53 Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, producer, singer, television host, actor, media critic, and comedian. From 2005 to 2014, he was the host of Comedy Central's The ...more

39
378 535
Bill Nye is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 62 William Sanford "Bill" Nye, popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, is an American science educator, comedian, television host, actor, writer, scientist, and former mechanical ...more

40
203 121
Tony Bennett is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
age 91 Anthony Dominick "Tony" Benedetto, stage name Tony Bennett, is an American singer of traditional pop standards, show tunes, and jazz. Bennett is also an accomplished painter, having ...more

41
148 119
Jane Seymour is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 64 Jane Seymour, OBE is a British-American actress best known for her performances in Somewhere In Time, East of Eden, Onassis: The Richest Man in the World, the 1989 political thriller La ...more

42
125 153
Debbie Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
voting closed at #52 ColinBoddy added Dec. at 84 (1932-2016) Debbie Reynolds is an American actress, singer, and dancer. Initially signed at age sixteen by Warner Bros., Reynolds' career got off to a slow start. When her contract was not renewed, ...more

43
29 112
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 68 Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked ...more

44
80 166
Christopher Lloyd is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 79 Christopher Allen Lloyd is an American actor best known for his roles as Emmett "Doc" Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy, Jim Ignatowski in the television series Taxi, Uncle ...more

45
85 269
Susan Sarandon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 71 Susan Abigail Sarandon is an American actress. She is an Academy Award and BAFTA Award winner who is also known for her social and political activism for a variety of liberal causes. She was ...more

46
80 394
RuPaul is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 57 RuPaul Andre Charles, best known mononymously as RuPaul, is an American actor, drag queen, model, author, and recording artist, who first became widely known in the 1990s when he appeared in a ...more

47
156 157
Judith Sheindlin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 75 Judith Susan Sheindlin, better known as Judge Judy, is an American lawyer, judge, television personality, and author. Since 1996, Sheindlin has presided over her own successful Daytime Emmy ...more

48
95 319
Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added Helen Hunt was a hair stylist in Hollywood movies from the 1930s up to 1967, when she worked on Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. She was the chief hair stylist for Columbia Pictures. She was ...more

49
171 27
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 85 Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and politician. He rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Sergio ...more

50
116 440
Steven Tyler is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures
ColinBoddy added age 70 Steven Tyler is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and former television music competition judge, best known as the frontman of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which ...more