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!
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 success as a dramatic actor portraying several notable roles, including Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, the title role in Forrest Gump, Commander James A. Lovell in Apollo 13, Captain John H. Miller in Saving Private Ryan, Michael Sullivan in Road to Perdition, and Sheriff Woody in Disney/Pixar's Toy Story. Hanks is the third most successful actor in terms of box office totals, which exceed $3.3 billion. He is one of the best American actors. ...more
Birthplace: Concord, California, United States of America
#5 on The Coolest Actors Ever
ColinBoddy added Aretha Franklin
Aretha Louise Franklin is an American singer and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L. Franklin's church as a child. In 1960, at the age of 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as "Respect", " A Natural Woman" and "Think". These hits and more helped her to gain the title The Queen of Soul by the end of the 1960s decade. Franklin eventually recorded a total of 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and ...more
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America
#14 on The Best Female Rock Singers
ColinBoddy added Billy Crystal
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 the ABC sitcom Soap and became a Hollywood film star during the late 1980s and 1990s, appearing in the critical and box office successes When Harry Met Sally..., City Slickers, and Analyze This and providing the voice of Mike Wazowski in the Monsters, Inc. franchise. He has hosted the Academy Awards 9 times, beginning in 1990 and most recently in 2012; a record second only to that of Bob Hope, who hosted 14 times. ...more
Birthplace: Upper East Side, New York City, New York, United States of America
ColinBoddy added Tina Turner
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 numerous awards. Born and raised in the Southeastern United States, she is now a Swiss citizen. She began her musical career in the mid-1950s as a featured singer with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm, first recording in 1958 under the name "Little Ann". Her introduction to the public as Tina Turner began in 1960 as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Success followed with a string of notable hits credited to the duo, including "A Fool in Love", "River Deep – Mountain High", "Proud Mary" and "Nutbush City ...more
Birthplace: Tennessee, Nutbush, USA
#26 on The Best Singers of All Time