America
14.4k voters

American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures

Updated October 6, 2020 136.4k votes 14.4k voters 62.3k views568 items

List RulesOnly living figures who are still in the public eye.

America's 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.

If you can think of other broadly popular Americans who qualify as national treasures for the people of the USA, feel free to add them to the list!

Photo:
  • Tom Hanks1
    5,742
    1,062

    Tom Hanks

    Age: 64

    BirthplaceConcord, California, United States of America

    Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. Known for both...  more

    More Tom Hanks 

    Times Tom Hanks Was Just as Cool as You Hope He'd BeThe Best Tom Hanks Movies

  • Dolly Parton2
    691
    841

    BirthplaceSevierville, Tennessee, United States of America

    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more

    More Dolly Parton 

    26 Weird And Charming Facts About Dolly Parton19 Wholesome Dolly Parton Tweets That Prove She’s Still America’s Sweetheart

  • James Earl Jones3
    561
    690

    BirthplaceArkabutla, Mississippi, United States of America

    James Earl Jones (born January 17, 1931) is an American actor. His career has spanned more...  more

    More James Earl Jones 

    #50 of 310 The Coolest Actors Ever#5 of 191 The Greatest Black Actors in Film History

  • Betty White4
    968
    1,037

    BirthplaceOak Park, Illinois, United States of America

    Betty Marion White Ludden (born January 17, 1922) is an American actress and comedian, with...  more

    More Betty White 

    #282 of 1,883 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History#30 of 36 The Worst Wax Figures at Madame Tussauds

  • Carol Burnett5
    293
    293

    BirthplaceSan Antonio, Texas, United States of America

    Carol Creighton Burnett (born April 26, 1933) is an American actress, comedian, singer and...  more

    More Carol Burnett 

    #20 of 233 The Funniest Stand Up Comedians Of All Time#1 of 282 The Funniest Female Comedians of All Time

  • Sally Field6
    408
    506

    BirthplacePasadena, California, USA

    Sally Margaret Field (born November 6, 1946) is an American actress and director. She is the...  more

    More Sally Field 

    The Best Sally Field Movies#50 of 222 The Best Actresses Working Today

  • Angela Lansbury7
    459
    549

    BirthplacePoplar, London, United Kingdom

    Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury (born October 16, 1925) is a British-American-Irish actress who...  more

    More Angela Lansbury 

    #7 of 126 The Greatest Broadway Stars of All Time#184 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

  • Stephen King8
    411
    532

    BirthplaceEastern United States, Northern New England, New England, United States of America, Cumberland County

    Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction,...  more

    More Stephen King 

    The All-Time Greatest Works of Stephen KingThe Making Of 'The Shining' Was A Bigger Nightmare Than The Film's Story

  • Tony Bennett9
    326
    414

    BirthplaceAstoria, New York City, New York, United States of America

    Anthony Dominick Benedetto (born August 3, 1926), known professionally as Tony Bennett, is an...  more

    More Tony Bennett 

    The Best Tony Bennett Albums of All Time#38 of 196 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time

  • Bruce Springsteen10
    204
    250

    BirthplaceLong Branch, New Jersey, United States of America

    Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949), nicknamed "The Boss", is an...  more

    More Bruce Springsteen 

    The Best Bruce Springsteen Songs of All Time#76 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

  • Michael Keaton11
    196
    245

    BirthplaceCoraopolis, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Michael John Douglas (born September 5, 1951), known professionally as Michael Keaton, is an...  more

    More Michael Keaton 

    The Best Michael Keaton Movies#87 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

  • Sylvester Stallone12
    443
    587

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Sylvester Enzio Stallone (; born Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone, July 6, 1946) is an...  more

    More Sylvester Stallone 

    Fascinating Stories About Sylvester Stallone, Hollywood's Most Macho Star#107 of 302 The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)

  • Roberta Flack13
    86
    99

    BirthplaceUSA, North Carolina, Black Mountain

    Roberta Cleopatra Flack (born February 10, 1937) is an American singer. She is known for her...  more

    More Roberta Flack 

    #28 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#217 of 355 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • Michael Jordan14
    214
    273

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American...  more

    More Michael Jordan 

    Wild Stories And Rumors About Michael Jordan#1 of 786 The Top NBA Players Of All Time

  • Tina Turner15
    805
    1,154

    BirthplaceNutbush, Tennessee, United States of America

    Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock, November 26, 1939) is an internationally recognized...  more

    More Tina Turner 

    The Best Tina Turner Songs#126 of 271 The Sexiest Musical Artists of All Time

  • Patrick Stewart16
    118
    165

    BirthplaceMirfield, United Kingdom

    Sir Patrick Stewart (born 13 July 1940) is an English actor whose work has included roles on...  more

    More Patrick Stewart 

    Things You Didn't Know About Patrick Stewart#27 of 54 The Best English Actors Working Today

  • Gloria Gaynor17
    77
    107

    BirthplaceNewark, New Jersey, United States of America

    Gloria Gaynor (born September 7, 1947) is an American singer, best known for the disco era...  more

    More Gloria Gaynor 

    #912 of 1,019 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time#132 of 294 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

  • Billy Joel18
    105
    160

    Billy Joel

    Age: 71

    BirthplaceNew York City, USA, New York

    William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and...  more

    More Billy Joel 

    The Best Billy Joel Songs of All Time#9 of 136 Famous Accordionists

  • Bob Barker19
    434
    670

    Bob Barker

    Age: 96

    BirthplaceDarrington, Washington, United States of America

    Robert William Barker (born December 12, 1923) is a retired American television game show...  more

    More Bob Barker 

    #86 of 101 The Most Beloved US Veterans#44 of 309 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100

  • Jane Fonda20
    228
    359

    Jane Fonda

    Age: 82

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Jane Seymour Fonda (born December 21, 1937) is an American actress, political activist and...  more

    More Jane Fonda 

    When The FBI Went To War With Jane Fonda – And Won#179 of 843 The Best Actresses in Film History

  • Judge Judy Sheindlin21

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Judith Susan Sheindlin (née Blum; October 21, 1942), known professionally as Judge Judy, is an...  more

    More Judy Sheindlin 

    #42 of 131 The Most Annoying TV Hosts#39 of 210 Celebrities Who Should Run for President

  • Larry King22
    126
    204

    Larry King

    Age: 86

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Larry King (November 19, 1933 – January 23, 2021) was an American television and radio host,...  more

    More Larry King 

    #399 of 876 The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time#21 of 57 The Best Male Talk Show Hosts in TV History

  • Bill Nye23
    426
    714

    Bill Nye

    Age: 64

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    William Sanford Nye (born November 27, 1955), popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, is...  more

    More Bill Nye 

    #554 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#239 of 439 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

  • Joan Baez24
    83
    136

    Joan Baez

    Age: 79

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Joan Chandos Baez (; born January 9, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter, musician and...  more

    More Joan Baez 

    The Best Joan Baez Albums of All Time#153 of 213 The Best Current Female Singers

  • Dick Van Dyke25
    441
    260

    BirthplaceWest Plains, Missouri, United States of America

    Richard Wayne Van Dyke (born December 13, 1925) is an American actor, comedian, singer, and...  more

    More Dick Van Dyke 

    #162 of 1,017 The Best Actors in Film History#44 of 339 The Funniest People Of All Time