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Famous People From New Orleans

Updated June 14, 2019 34.2k views991 items

List of famous people from New Orleans, including photos when available. The people below are listed by their popularity, so the most recognizable names are at the top of the list. Some of the people below are celebrities born in New Orleans, while others are simply notable locals. If you're from New Orleans you might already know that these prominent figures are also from your hometown, but some of the names below may really surprise you. This list includes people who were born and raised in New Orleans, as well as those who were born there but moved away at a young age.

With people ranging from Edmund Graves Brown to Erich Ponti, this is a great starting point for a list of your favorites.

If you want to answer the questions, "Which famous people are from New Orleans?" or "Which celebrities were born in New Orleans?" then this list is a great resource for you.
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  • Max Rafferty

    Dec. at 65 (1917-1982)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Maxwell Lewis Rafferty Jr. (May 7, 1917 – June 13, 1982) was an American writer, educator, and politician. The author of several best-selling books about education, Rafferty served two terms as...  more
  • Paul Barbarin

    Dec. at 70 (1899-1969)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana

    GenderMale

    Adolphe Paul Barbarin (May 5, 1899 – February 17, 1969) was an American jazz drummer from New Orleans....  more
  • Kitty Carlisle Hart

    Dec. at 97 (1910-2007)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderFemale

    Catherine Conn (September 3, 1910 – April 17, 2007), better known professionally as Kitty Carlisle and also billed as Kitty Carlisle Hart, was an American stage and screen actress, singer and...  more
  • BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana

    GenderMale

    Michael Monroe Lewis (born October 15, 1960) is an American financial journalist and bestselling non-fiction author. He has also been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 2009. As of May 2019,...  more
  • Idris Muhammad

    Dec. at 75 (1939-2014)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Idris Muhammad (Arabic: إدريس محمد‎; born Leo Morris; November 13, 1939 – July 29, 2014) was an American jazz drummer who recorded with Ahmad Jamal, Lou Donaldson, Pharoah Sanders, and Tete Montoliu....  more
  • BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Aaron Joseph Neville (born January 24, 1941) is an American R&B and soul vocalist and musician. He has had four platinum albums and four Top 10 hits in the United States, including three that went to...  more

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  • BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA

    GenderMale

    Eric Gerard Laneuville (born July 14, 1952) is an American television director and actor. His first acting roles were in the science-fiction film The Omega Man (1971) with Charlton Heston, and the...  more
  • BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderFemale

    Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Roberts (née Boggs; born December 27, 1943), best known as Cokie Roberts, is an American journalist and a bestseller-author. She is a commentator on contract to...  more

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  • Death of Kent Leppink

    Kent Leppink died by gunshot in 1996. His former fiancée, Mechele Linehan, and former roommate, John Carlin were convicted of murdering him, but the judgments were reversed on appeal. Carlin died in...  more
  • Severn Darden

    Dec. at 66 (1929-1995)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA

    GenderMale

    Severn Teakle Darden Jr. (November 9, 1929 – May 27, 1995) was an American comedian and actor, and an original member of The Second City Chicago-based comedy troupe as well as its predecessor, the...  more
  • BirthplaceGert Town, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Allen Toussaint (; January 14, 1938 – November 10, 2015) was an American musician, songwriter, arranger and record producer, who was an influential figure in New Orleans rhythm and blues from the...  more
  • Larry Shue

    Dec. at 39 (1946-1985)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana

    GenderMale

    Larry Howard Shue (July 23, 1946 – September 23, 1985) was an American playwright and actor, best known for writing two often-performed farces, The Nerd and The Foreigner. ...  more
  • Buddy Bolden

    Dec. at 54 (1877-1931)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana

    GenderMale

    Charles Joseph "Buddy" Bolden (September 6, 1877 – November 4, 1931) was an African-American cornetist who was regarded by contemporaries as a key figure in the development of a New Orleans style of...  more

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  • BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana

    GenderMale

    Thomas Causey is an American sound engineer. He was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Sound for the film Dick Tracy....  more
  • Leatrice Joy

    Dec. at 92 (1893-1985)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderFemale

    Leatrice Joy (born Leatrice Johanna Zeidler; November 7, 1893 – May 13, 1985) was an American actress most prolific during the silent film era....  more
  • Arturo Gil

    Age: 60

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Arturo Gil is an American actor who has appeared in many films, television programs, and commercials including Spaceballs, Monkeybone, The Fantasticks, Dirty Work, The Man Show, The Munsters' Scary...  more
  • Adrian G. Duplantier

    Dec. at 78 (1929-2007)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Adrian Guy Duplantier Sr. (March 5, 1929 – August 15, 2007) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He was also a former...  more
  • James Booker

    Dec. at 44 (1939-1983)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana

    GenderMale

    James Carroll Booker III (December 17, 1939 – November 8, 1983) was a New Orleans rhythm and blues keyboardist born in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Booker's style combined rhythm and blues...  more
  • BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana

    GenderMale

    Daniel Joseph "Rusty" Staub (April 1, 1944 – March 29, 2018) was an American professional baseball right fielder, designated hitter, and first baseman. He played in Major League Baseball for 23 years...  more
  • Robert Edeson

    Dec. at 63 (1868-1931)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Robert Edeson (June 3, 1868 – March 24, 1931) was an American movie and stage actor of the silent era. Edeson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of manager and actor George R. Edeson....  more
  • BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Ellis Louis Marsalis Jr. (November 14, 1934 - April 1, 2020) was an American jazz pianist and educator. He had been active since the late 1940s. Marsalis came to greater attention in the 1980s and...  more
  • BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderFemale

    Desirée Glapion Rogers (born June 18, 1959) is an American business executive who was formerly chief executive officer of Johnson Publishing Company (JPC), overseeing Fashion Fair Cosmetics, Jet and...  more
  • BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana

    GenderMale

    Avery DeWitt Johnson (born March 25, 1965) is an American basketball coach who is the former head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide men's basketball team. Johnson spent 16 years in the National...  more
  • Brander Matthews

    Dec. at 77 (1852-1929)

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana

    GenderMale

    James Brander Matthews (February 21, 1852 – March 31, 1929) was an American writer and educator. He was the first full-time professor of dramatic literature at an American university and played a...  more
  • BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Walter Isaacson (born May 20, 1952) is an American writer and journalist. He is the University Professor of History at Tulane University. He has been the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a...  more