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Famous Northwestern University Alumni

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Updated July 22, 2019 42.6k views 1,162 items

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

List of famous alumni from Northwestern University, with photos when available. Prominent graduates from Northwestern University include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. This list of distinguished Northwestern University alumni is loosely ordered by relevance, so the most recognizable celebrities who attended Northwestern 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 Northwestern University.

A list made up of graduates like Zooey Deschanel and Cindy Crawford.

This list answers the questions “Which famous people went to Northwestern University?” and “Which celebrities are Northwestern University alumni?”
1
Zooey Deschanel is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Television producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter

Age: 39

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Zooey Claire Deschanel (born January 17, 1980) is an American actress, model and singer-songwriter. She made her film debut in Mumford (1999) and next obtained a supporting role in Cameron ...more

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2
Cindy Crawford is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Pin-up girl, Fashion Model, Supermodel

Age: 53

Birthplace: USA, DeKalb, Illinois

Cynthia Ann "Cindy" Crawford (born February 20, 1966) is an American model. Her success at modeling made her an international celebrity that has led to roles in television and film, ...more

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#665 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #48 of 104 The Best Female Celebrity Role Models #358 of 469 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

3
Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Television Show Host, Comedian, Television producer

Age: 54

Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America

Stephen Tyrone Colbert ( kohl-BAIR; born May 13, 1964) is an American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. He is best known for hosting the satirical ...more

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18 Times Stephen Colbert Was the Best #55 of 261 The Funniest Stand Up Comedians Of All Time #143 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

4
Hugh Hefner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Editor, Publisher, Businessperson

Age: 92

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Hugh Marston Hefner (April 9, 1926 – September 27, 2017) was an American magazine publisher, the founder and editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine, a publication with revealing photographs and ...more

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#529 of 2,444 The Most Influential People of All Time #320 of 469 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time #326 of 532 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

5
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Comedian, Television producer, Actor

Age: 54

Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus Hall (; born January 13, 1961) is an American actress, comedian, producer, and singer. She is known for her work in the television comedy series Saturday ...more

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#292 of 410 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2020, Ranked #95 of 378 The Best American Actresses Working Today #48 of 96 The Best SNL Cast Members of All Time

6
Cloris Leachman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Comedian, Actor, Voice acting

Age: 92

Birthplace: Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Cloris Leachman (born April 30, 1926) is an American actress and comedian. In a career spanning over seven decades she has won eight Primetime Emmy Awards, a Daytime Emmy Award, and an Academy ...more

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7
Megan Mullally is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Voice acting, Singer

Age: 60

Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, California

Megan Mullally (born November 12, 1958) is an American actress, comedian and singer. She is best known for her starring role as Karen Walker on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace (1998–2006, ...more

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Times Nick Offerman And Megan Mullally Were The Most Hilarious (And Adorable) Couple Around #340 of 473 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With #176 of 362 The Funniest People Of All Time

8
Zach Braff is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Television director, Television producer, Film Producer

Age: 43

Birthplace: South Orange, New Jersey, United States of America

Zachary Israel Braff (born April 6, 1975) is an American actor, director, screenwriter and producer. He is best known for his role as J. D. on the television series Scrubs (2001–2010), for which ...more

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#947 of 1,139 The Best Actors in Film History #338 of 542 The Best TV Actors of All Time #58 of 82 The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)

9
Mary Ann Leeper is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Biochemist, Radiobiochemist
10
Jeri Ryan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor

Age: 51

Birthplace: Munich, Germany

Jeri Lynn Ryan (born Jeri Lynn Zimmermann; February 22, 1968) is an American actress best known for her role as the Borg, Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager, for which she was nominated four ...more

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#160 of 473 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With #628 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History #148 of 175 The Celebrities You Most Want To See Play Survivor

11
Charles Busch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Novelist, Drag queen, Actor

Age: 64

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Charles Louis Busch (born August 23, 1954) is an American actor, screenwriter, playwright and female impersonator, known for his appearances on stage in his own camp style plays and in film and ...more
12
Warren Beatty is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor

Age: 81

Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States of America

Henry Warren Beatty (born March 30, 1937) is an American actor and filmmaker. He has been nominated for fourteen Academy Awards – four for Best Actor, four for Best Picture, two for Best ...more

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The Best Warren Beatty Movies #1,161 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History #326 of 778 The Greatest Directors In Movie History

13
Ann-Margret is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Singer, Dancer

Age: 77

Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

Ann-Margret Olsson (born April 28, 1941), known simply as Ann-Margret, is a Swedish-born, American actress, singer, and dancer. As an actress, Ann-Margret is best known for her roles in Bye Bye ...more

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#248 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #1,359 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #180 of 378 The Best American Actresses Working Today

14
David Schwimmer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Television director, Theatre Director, Film Producer

Age: 52

Birthplace: Flushing, New York City, New York, United States of America

David Lawrence Schwimmer (born November 2, 1966) is an American actor, director, activist, and producer. Schwimmer began his acting career performing in school plays at Beverly Hills High ...more

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#877 of 1,139 The Best Actors in Film History #171 of 542 The Best TV Actors of All Time #47 of 82 The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)

15
Patricia Neal is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor

Age: Dec. at 84 (1926-2010)

Birthplace: USA, Packard, Kentucky, Kentucky

Patricia Neal (born Patsy Louise Neal, January 20, 1926 – August 8, 2010) was an American actress of stage and screen. She was best known for her film roles as World War II widow Helen Benson in ...more
16
Patti Davis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Patti Davis Author, Actor

Age: 66

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Patricia Ann Davis (née Reagan; October 21, 1952) is an American actress and author. She is the daughter of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his second wife, First Lady Nancy Davis

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17
Samantha Harris is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Model, Actor, TV Personality

Age: 45

Birthplace: Hopkins, Minnesota, United States of America

Samantha Harris (born Samantha Harris Shapiro; November 27, 1973) is an American television presenter, model, and entertainment reporter known as the co-host of seasons two through nine of ...more

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#97 of 119 Hottest Australian Models #22 of 22 Hot Instagram Models Who Are Also YouTube Stars #28 of 43 40+ Celebrities Who Have Had Mastectomies

18
Shelley Long is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor

Age: 69

Birthplace: Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States of America

Shelley Lee Long (born August 23, 1949) is an American actress and comedian. She is best known for her role as Diane Chambers on the hit sitcom Cheers, for which she received five Emmy ...more

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#365 of 473 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With #1,314 of 2,004 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History #336 of 940 The Best Actresses in Film History

19
Robert Reed is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor

Age: Died at 60 (1932-1992)

Birthplace: Highland Park, Illinois, USA

Robert Reed (born John Robert Rietz Jr.; October 19, 1932 – May 12, 1992) was an American actor. He played Kenneth Preston on the legal drama The Defenders from 1961 to 1965 alongside E. G. ...more

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#266 of 465 Celebrities You Didn't Know Use Stage Names #122 of 432 Famous Tall Men Over 6'2 #4 of 15 Gay Celebrities Who Never Came Out

20
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Voice acting, Political Activist

Age: Dec. at 85 (1923-2008)

Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States of America

Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter; October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) was an American actor and political activist.As a Hollywood star, he appeared in almost 100 films over the course of ...more

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21
Paula Prentiss is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor

Age: 81

Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States of America

Paula Prentiss (born Paula Ragusa; March 4, 1938) is an American actress best known for her film roles in Where the Boys Are, Man's Favorite Sport?, The Stepford Wives, What's New Pussycat?, In ...more

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22
Rod Blagojevich is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Prosecutor, Politician, Lawyer

Age: 62

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Rod Blagojevich (, born December 10, 1956) is an American former politician who served as the 40th Governor of Illinois from 2003 until his impeachment, conviction, and removal from office in ...more
23
Edgar Bergen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Comic book creator, Comedian, Ventriloquist

Age: Dec. at 75 (1903-1978)

Birthplace: Michigan, USA, Decatur

Edgar John Bergen (born Edgar John Berggren, February 16, 1903 – September 30, 1978) was an American actor, comedian and radio performer, best known for his proficiency in ventriloquism and his ...more

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#9 of 192 And The (Honorary) Academy Award Goes To ... #7 of 19 Famous Delta Upsilon Fraternity Brothers

24
Paul Lynde is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Character actor, Comedian, Actor

Age: Dec. at 56 (1926-1982)

Birthplace: Mount Vernon, Ohio, USA

Paul Edward Lynde (; June 13, 1926 – January 11, 1982) was an American comedian, voice artist, game show panelist and actor. A character actor with a distinctively campy and snarky persona that ...more

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#138 of 362 The Funniest People Of All Time #165 of 313 Which Actor Would You Bring Back for One Final Movie? #15 of 18 18 Old Hollywood Stars Who Were Drunk All The Time

25
Craig Bierko is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Singer

Age: 54

Birthplace: USA, Rye Brook, New York

Craig Philip Bierko (born August 18, 1964) is an American actor and singer.