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Famous Northwestern University Alumni

Updated July 22, 2019 45.2k views1.2k items

List RulesPeople 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?”
  • Zooey Deschanel1

    Zooey Deschanel

    Television producer, Musician


    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Zooey Claire Deschanel (born January 17, 1980) is an American actress, model and...  more

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  • Cindy Crawford2

    Cindy Crawford

    Pin-up girl, Fashion Model


    BirthplaceDeKalb, Illinois, United States of America

    Cynthia Ann "Cindy" Crawford (born February 20, 1966) is an American model. Her success at...  more

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    #42 of 88 The Best Female Celebrity Role Models#1 of 24 The Hottest Models From Illinois

  • Stephen Colbert3

    Stephen Colbert

    Television Show Host, Comedian


    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    Stephen Tyrone Colbert ( kohl-BAIR; born May 13, 1964) is an American comedian, writer,...  more

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    Guests You Hope to See on Late Show with Stephen Colbert#160 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

  • Hugh Hefner4

    Hugh Hefner

    Editor, Publisher


    BirthplaceUSA, Chicago, Illinois

    Hugh Marston Hefner (April 9, 1926 – September 27, 2017) was an American magazine publisher,...  more

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    #994 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time#395 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus5

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Comedian, Television producer


    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus Hall (; born January 13, 1961) is an American actress,...  more

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  • Cloris Leachman6

    Cloris Leachman

    Comedian, Actor


    BirthplaceDes Moines, Iowa, United States of America

    Cloris Leachman (April 30, 1926 – January 26, 2021) was an American actress and comedian. In a...  more

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    #494 of 1,883 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History#47 of 75 The Greatest Guest Appearances in The Simpsons History

  • Megan Mullally7

    Megan Mullally

    Actor, Voice acting


    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Megan Mullally (born November 12, 1958) is an American actress, comedian and singer. She is...  more

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    Times Nick Offerman And Megan Mullally Were The Most Hilarious (And Adorable) Couple Around#192 of 339 The Funniest People Of All Time

  • Zach Braff8

    Zach Braff

    Television director, Television producer


    BirthplaceEssex County, Contiguous United States, United States of America, United States, with Territories

    Zachary Israel Braff (born April 6, 1975) is an American actor, director, screenwriter and...  more

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    #366 of 461 The Best TV Actors of All Time#24 of 82 The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)

  • Mary Ann Leeper9

    Mary Ann Leeper

    Biochemist, Radiobiochemist
  • Jeri Ryan10


    BirthplaceMunich, Germany

    Jeri Lynn Ryan (born Jeri Lynn Zimmermann; February 22, 1968) is an American actress best...  more

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    #637 of 843 The Best Actresses in Film History#155 of 169 The Celebrities You Most Want To See Play Survivor

  • Charles Busch11

    Charles Busch

    Novelist, Drag queen


    BirthplaceNew York City, USA, New York

    Charles Louis Busch (born August 23, 1954) is an American actor, screenwriter, playwright and...  more
  • Warren Beatty12

    Warren Beatty

    Film Producer, Screenwriter


    BirthplaceRichmond, Virginia, United States of America

    Henry Warren Beatty (born March 30, 1937) is an American actor and filmmaker. He has been...  more

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  • Ann-Margret13


    Actor, Singer


    BirthplaceStockholm, Sweden

    Ann-Margret Olsson (born April 28, 1941), known simply as Ann-Margret, is a Swedish-born,...  more

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    #1128 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time#198 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

  • David Schwimmer14

    David Schwimmer

    Television director, Theatre Director


    BirthplaceFlushing, New York City, New York, USA

    David Lawrence Schwimmer (born November 2, 1966) is an American actor, director, activist, and...  more

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    #854 of 1,017 The Best Actors in Film History#6 of 19 Television Actors Who Overact Way Too Hard

  • Patricia Neal15

    AgeDec. at 84 (1926-2010)

    BirthplacePackard, Kentucky, United States of America

    Patricia Neal (born Patsy Louise Neal, January 20, 1926 – August 8, 2010) was an American...  more
  • Patti Davis16

    Patti Davis

    Author, Actor


    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Patricia Ann Davis (née Reagan; October 21, 1952) is an American actress and author. She is...  more


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  • Samantha Harris17

    Samantha Harris

    Model, Actor


    BirthplaceHopkins, Minnesota, United States of America

    Samantha Harris (born Samantha Harris Shapiro; November 27, 1973) is an American television...  more
  • Shelley Long18


    BirthplaceFort Wayne, Indiana, United States of America

    Shelley Lee Long (born August 23, 1949) is an American actress and comedian. She is best known...  more

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  • Robert Reed19

    AgeDec. at 60 (1932-1992)

    BirthplaceHighland Park, Illinois, USA

    Robert Reed (born John Robert Rietz Jr.; October 19, 1932 – May 12, 1992) was an American...  more

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    #267 of 466 Celebrities You Didn't Know Use Stage Names#122 of 432 Famous Tall Men Over 6'2

  • Charlton Heston20

    Charlton Heston

    Actor, Voice acting

    AgeDec. at 85 (1923-2008)

    BirthplaceEvanston, Illinois, United States of America

    Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter; October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) was an American...  more

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    #82 of 310 The Coolest Actors Ever#36 of 163 The Greatest Western Movie Stars

  • Paula Prentiss21


    BirthplaceSan Antonio, Texas, United States of America

    Paula Prentiss (born Paula Ragusa; March 4, 1938) is an American actress best known for her...  more

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  • Rod Blagojevich22

    Rod Blagojevich

    Prosecutor, Politician


    BirthplaceChicago metropolitan area, Illinois, Chicago, United States of America, United States

    Rod Blagojevich (, born December 10, 1956) is an American former politician who served as the...  more

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  • Edgar Bergen23

    Edgar Bergen

    Comic book creator, Comedian

    AgeDec. at 75 (1903-1978)

    BirthplaceMichigan, USA, Decatur

    Edgar John Bergen (born Edgar John Berggren, February 16, 1903 – September 30, 1978) was an...  more

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    #9 of 191 And The (Honorary) Academy Award Goes To ...#7 of 19 Famous Delta Upsilon Fraternity Brothers

  • Paul Lynde24

    Paul Lynde

    Character actor, Comedian

    AgeDec. at 56 (1926-1982)

    BirthplaceMount Vernon, Ohio, United States of America

    Paul Edward Lynde (; June 13, 1926 – January 11, 1982) was an American comedian, voice artist,...  more

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  • Craig Bierko25

    Craig Bierko

    Actor, Singer


    BirthplaceUSA, Rye Brook, New York

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