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Famous Northwestern University Alumni

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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 (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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#49 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #347 of 974 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

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 (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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#263 of 556 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2019, Ranked #814 of 942 The Best Actresses in Film History #271 of 770 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures

3
Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Television Show Host, Comedian, Television producer
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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#91 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #127 of 503 The Funniest TV Characters of All Timefeaturing Guests You Hope to See on Late Show with Stephen Colbert

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Hugh Hefner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Editor, Publisher, Businessperson
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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#170 of 525 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With #5 of 6 The Real Life Inspirations for Tony Starkfeaturing The FBI Sting That Made Hef's Assistant Kill Herself Almost Brought Down Playboy

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Comedian, Television producer, Actor
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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#107 of 380 The Best American Actresses Working Today #472 of 556 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2019, Ranked #49 of 96 The Best SNL Cast Members of All Time

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Cloris Leachman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Comedian, Actor, Voice acting
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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#132 of 380 The Best American Actresses Working Today #126 of 942 The Best Actresses in Film Historylisted on Famous Left Handed People

7
Megan Mullally is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Voice acting, Singer
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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#183 of 362 The Funniest People of All Time #266 of 309 The Funniest Female TV Charactersfeaturing Times Nick Offerman And Megan Mullally Were The Most Hilarious (And Adorable) Couple Around

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Zach Braff is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Television director, Television producer, Film Producer
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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#883 of 1,149 The Best Actors in Film History #84 of 150 Who Do You Wish Would Guest Star on the Muppet Show?listed on List of Jewish Film Directors

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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 (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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#133 of 470 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With #41 of 172 The Celebrities You Most Want To See Play Survivor #78 of 95 The Smartest Celebrities

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Charles Busch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Novelist, Drag queen, Actor
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
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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#335 of 1,149 The Best Actors in Film History #49 of 80 Who Is the Coolest Actor in the World Right Now?featuring The Best Warren Beatty Movies

13
Ann-Margret is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Singer, Dancer
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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#320 of 974 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #179 of 351 The Greatest Entertainers of All Timefeaturing The Best Ann-Margret Movies

14
David Schwimmer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Television director, Theatre Director, Film Producer
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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#733 of 1,149 The Best Actors in Film History #178 of 505 The Best TV Actors of All Time #3 of 19 Television Actors Who Overact Way Too Hard

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

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#313 of 942 The Best Actresses in Film History #167 of 232 The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time

16
Patti Davis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Patti Davis
Author, Actor
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
17
Samantha Harris is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Model, Actor, TV Personality
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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#89 of 119 Hottest Australian Models #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
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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#434 of 942 The Best Actresses in Film History #367 of 505 The Best TV Actors of All Time

19
Robert Reed is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor
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 464 Celebrities You Didn't Know Use Stage Names #5 of 12 Famous Gay People Who Died Of AIDS #8 of 57 Famous People With HIV

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Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Voice acting, Political Activist
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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#225 of 926 People We Wish Were Still Alive #69 of 150 The All-Time Greatest Action Starslisted on Republicans in Hollywood: Republican Celebrities List

21
Paula Prentiss is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor
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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#262 of 868 Celebrity Death Pool 2016 #340 of 428 Here's a List of Every Known Republican Celebritylisted on Republicans in Hollywood: Republican Celebrities List

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

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#4 of 45 Corrupt Democrats #2 of 15 What Disgraced Politicians Did After Their Falls From Grace

23
Edgar Bergen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Comic book creator, Comedian, Ventriloquist
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
24
Paul Lynde is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Character actor, Comedian, Actor
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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#170 of 408 The Funniest Stand Up Comedians Of All Time #109 of 362 The Funniest People of All Time #4 of 23 The Funniest Gay Comedians of All Time

25
Craig Bierko is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Northwestern University Alumni
Actor, Singer
Craig Philip Bierko (born August 18, 1964) is an American actor and singer.