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List Rules People on this list must have gone to Illinois State University and be of some renown.

List of famous alumni from Illinois State University, with photos when available. Prominent graduates from Illinois State University include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. This list of distinguished Illinois State University alumni is loosely ordered by relevance, so the most recognizable celebrities who attended Illinois State University are at the top of the list. This directory is not just composed of graduates of this school, as some of the famous people on this list didn't necessarily earn a degree from Illinois State University.

This list includes John Malkovich, Jane Lynch and more.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Illinois State University?” and “Which celebrities are Illinois State University alumni?”

1
Cloris Leachman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Comedian, Actor, Voice acting
Cloris Leachman is an American actress of stage, film, and television. She has won eight Primetime Emmy Awards and one Daytime Emmy Award. She co-starred in the 1971 film The Last Picture Show ...more

2
Jane Lynch is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Comedian, Author, Actor
Jane Marie Lynch is an American actress, singer, and comedian. She gained fame in Christopher Guest's improv mockumentary pictures such as Best in Show. Lynch's television cameos include an ...more

3
John Malkovich is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Fashion designer, Businessperson, Film Producer
John Gavin Malkovich is an American actor, director, producer, and fashion designer. He has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of ...more

4
Laurie Metcalf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Actor, Voice acting, Teacher
Laura Elizabeth "Laurie" Metcalf is an American actress. She is most widely known for her performance as Jackie Harris on the ABC sitcom Roseanne and has also had series television ...more

5
Craig Robinson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Actor, Voice acting, Singer
Craig Phillip Robinson is an American actor, stand-up comedian, and singer. He is best known for his role as Darryl Philbin on The Office, and his roles in the films Pineapple Express, Miss ...more

6
Gary Cole is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Actor, Voice acting
Gary Michael Cole is an American television, film actor and voice artist. Born in Park Ridge, Illinois and attended Illinois State University but did not graduate. Cole began his professional ...more

7
Gary Sinise is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Spokesperson, Television director, Theatre Director
Gary Alan Sinise is an American actor, director, and musician. Among other awards, he has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and has been nominated for an Academy Award. Sinise is known ...more

8
Michelle Williams is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Record producer, Songwriter, Actor
Tenitra Michelle Williams, commonly known as Michelle Williams, is an American recording artist and songwriter. Williams rose to fame in the 2000s as a member of R&B girl group Destiny's ...more

9
Sean Hayes is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Comedian, Television producer, Actor
Sean Patrick Hayes is an American actor, comedian, and producer. He is best known for his role as Jack McFarland on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, for which he won an Emmy Award, four SAG ...more

10
Tim Russ is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Musician, Film Producer, Screenwriter
Timothy Darrell "Tim" Russ is an American actor, film director, screenwriter and musician. He is known for his roles as Lieutenant Commander Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager, as Frank on ...more

11
Suzy Bogguss is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Record producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter
Susan Kay "Suzy" Bogguss is an American country music singer and songwriter. Bogguss began her career in the early 1980s as a solo singer. In the 1990s, she released one platinum and ...more

12
Francis Guinan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Actor
Francis V. Guinan, Jr. is an American film, television and stage actor who is perhaps best known for his role as Edgar Teller the patriarch in the short-lived NBC series Eerie, Indiana. He has ...more

13
Donald F. Mchenry is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Businessperson, Diplomat
Donald Franchot McHenry is an American former diplomat. He was the United States Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations from September 1979 until January 20, 1981.

14
Syleena Johnson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Songwriter, Singer-songwriter, Model
Syleena Johnson is an American Grammy Award nominated R&B and soul singer-songwriter and actress.

15
Boomer Grigsby is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
American football player
James Harvey "Boomer" Grigsby is a former American football fullback. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at ...more

16
Neal Cotts is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Baseball player
Neal James Cotts is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball. He has also played for the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Texas Rangers.

17
Dennis Tobenski is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Composer, Singer
Dennis Tobenski is an American composer of contemporary classical music and art song.

18
Mark Staff Brandl is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Mark Staff Brandl Artist
Mark Staff Brandl is an American-born artist, art historian and art critic now living primarily in Switzerland.

19
Darell Garretson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Basketball Official
Darell Lee Garretson was an American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association for 27 years from 1967 to 1994, and he later served as NBA Supervisor of Officials for ...more

20
Terry Kinney is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Television director, Theatre Director, Actor
Terry Kinney is an American actor and theatre director, and is a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, with Gary Sinise and Jeff Perry. Kinney is best known for his role as Emerald ...more

21
Brent Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Brent Hawkins American football player
Brent Lee Hawkins is a former American football defensive end who played 2 years in the National Football League and 2 years in the Canadian Football League, until retiring from football in May ...more

22
Reggie Hayes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Screenwriter, Actor
Reginald "Reggie" C. Hayes is an American actor, screenwriter, and director. He is best known for his role as William Dent on the UPN/CW show, Girlfriends.

23
Sandra Steingraber is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Biologist, Author, Science writer
Sandra Steingraber is an American biologist, author, and cancer survivor in the tradition of Rachel Carson. Steingraber writes and lectures on the environmental factors that contribute to ...more

24
Aveion Cason is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
American football player
Aveion Marquel Cason is a former American football running back and kick returner. Cason has also been a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals and ...more

25
Jeremy Accardo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Illinois State University Alumni
Baseball player
Jeremiah Lee Accardo is an American professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. He has previously played in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue ...more