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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
Zooey Claire Deschanel is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and musician. In 1999, Deschanel made her film debut in Mumford, followed by her breakout role as Anita Miller in Cameron ...more

2
Cindy Crawford is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Pin-up girl, Fashion Model, Supermodel
Cynthia Ann "Cindy" Crawford is an American model. Her success at modeling made her an international celebrity that has led to roles in television and film, and to work as a ...more

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

4
Hugh Hefner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Editor, Publisher, Businessperson
Hugh Marston Hefner is an American magazine publisher, businessman, and a well-known playboy. This Chicago, Illinois native is a former journalist for Esquire and WWII veteran but is best known ...more

5
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Comedian, Television producer, Actor
Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus is an American actress, comedian, and producer. She is known for her television work on Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Veep, which she ...more

6
Cloris Leachman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Northwestern 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

7
Megan Mullally is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Voice acting, Singer
Megan Mullally is an American actress and singer. After working in theatre in Chicago, Mullally moved to Los Angeles in 1985 and began to appear in supporting roles in film and television ...more

8
Zach Braff is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Television director, Television producer, Film Producer
Zachary Israel "Zach" Braff is an American actor, director and screenwriter. Braff first became known in 2001 for his role as Dr. John Dorian on the television series Scrubs, for which ...more

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
Jeri Lynn Ryan is an American actress best known for her role as the liberated Borg, Seven of Nine, on Star Trek: Voyager, for which she won two Saturn Awards. She is also known for her role as ...more

11
Charles Busch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Novelist, Drag queen, Actor
Charles Louis Busch 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 television. He wrote ...more

12
Warren Beatty is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor
Henry Warren Beaty, known professionally as Warren Beatty is an American actor, producer, screenwriter and director. Beatty has been nominated for fourteen Academy Awards, and has won the Best ...more

13
Ann-Margret is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Singer, Dancer
Ann-Margret is a Swedish-American actress, singer and dancer. As an actress, she is best known for her roles in Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, The Cincinnati Kid, Carnal Knowledge, and Tommy. ...more

14
David Schwimmer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Television director, Theatre Director, Film Producer
David Lawrence Schwimmer is an American actor, director, producer, voice actor and comedian. He was born in New York City, and his family moved to Los Angeles when he was 2. He began his acting ...more

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

16
Patti Davis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Author, Actor
Patti Davis is an American actress and author. She is the daughter of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Reagan's second wife, First Lady Nancy Reagan. While her father is heralded as a ...more

17
Samantha Harris is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Model, Actor, TV Personality
Samantha Harris is an American television hostess. Most notably, she was the co-host of seasons two through nine of Dancing with the Stars with Tom Bergeron. From 2010–12, she was a ...more

18
Shelley Long is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor
Shelley Lee Long is an American actress, best known for her role as Diane Chambers in the sitcom Cheers, for which she received five Emmy nominations, winning in 1983 for Outstanding Lead ...more

19
Robert Reed is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor
Robert Reed was an American stage, film and television actor and television director. From 1961 to 1965, Reed portrayed the role of Kenneth Preston on the popular legal drama, The Defenders, ...more

20
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Voice acting, Political Activist
Charlton Heston was an American actor and political activist. As a Hollywood star he appeared in 100 films over the course of 60 years. He played the leading role in The Ten Commandments; Touch ...more

21
Paula Prentiss is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor
Paula Prentiss 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?, The Black Marble, and The Parallax

22
Rod Blagojevich is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Prosecutor, Politician, Lawyer
Rod Blagojevich is a former politician who served as the 40th Governor of Illinois from 2003 to 2009. A Democrat, Blagojevich was a State Representative before being elected to the United States ...more

23
Edgar Bergen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Comic book creator, Comedian, Ventriloquist
Edgar John Bergen was an American actor, comedian and radio performer, best known for his proficiency in ventriloquism and his characters Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. He is also the ...more

24
Paul Lynde is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Character actor, Comedian, Actor
Paul Edward Lynde was an American comedian and actor. A noted character actor with a distinctively campy and snarky persona that often poked fun at his barely in-the-closet homosexuality, Lynde ...more

25
Craig Bierko is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Singer
Craig Philip Bierko is an American actor and singer.