"Virginians are all snobs, and I like snobs. A snob has to spend so much time being a snob that he has little left to meddle with you."–William Faulkner
The above quotation should convey the number one rule of dealing with Charlottesville's celebrities: This is not L.A., and we don't bother our notables.
Screen: Sissy Spacek (Oscar-winning actress and recent memorist); Howie Long (Fox Sports football analyst and Chevrolet pitchman); Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (WWE wrestler turned action-thriller actor) bought a house out in Orange County horse country in 2007; Sister, Sister star Tim Reid and his wife Daphne Maxwell Reid are movie producers now, but he'll never be forgotten as WKRP's Venus Flytrap.
Politics: Julian Bond (just-retired UVA prof and longtime NAACP chair); Larry Sabato (television's favorite political talking head); Nathaniel Howell (ambassador to Kuwait during the Gulf War); John Whitehead (human rights litigator); Philip Zelikow (historian, UVA professor, Pulitzer Prize winner for authoring The 9/11 Commission Report).
Money: Patricia Kluge (billionaire's ex-wife turned businesswoman and bankruptcy-filer); Ted Weschler (former hedge fund manager and a Hook owner who was tapped by Warren Buffett to make investments). Newest member of this gang is Eric Trump, who runs much of Patricia Kluge's winery and vineyard land for his father aka "The Donald."
Music: Maxine Jones (member of Grammy-nominated '90s girl group En Vogue); Mary Chapin Carpenter (Batesville's resident folkie); Corey Harris (bayou blues), Dave Matthews (rocker moved here from South Africa when he was 16, moved to Seattle in the early millennium but now appears here more often); Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, and Boyd Tinsley (Dave Matthews Band); Tom Peloso (Modest Mouse, formerly of local faves the Hackensaw Boys); Dave Matthews Band manager Coran Capshaw has a thumb in many Charlottesville pies including the pavilion on the Downtown Mall, the revamped Jefferson Theater, and Musictoday.com– though he sold the last of these to LiveNation.
Literature: John Grisham (world's #3 novelist– topped only by Dan "Da Vinci Code" Brown and that clever lady who invented Harry Potter); Jan Karon (creator of "Father Tim" in the fictional town of Mitford); John Casey (Spartina); Rita Mae Brown (from Rubyfruit Jungle to Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries); Ann Beattie (Chilly Scenes of Winter, UVA creative writing faculty); Chad Harbach (The Art of Fielding), Dahlia Lithwick (legal correspondent for Slate); Rita Dove (former U.S. Poet Laureate); Charles Wright (Pulitzer Prize-winning poet); Mark Lane (JFK assassination conspiracy theorist and one of the rare few to survive the 1978 Jonestown massacre).
Sports: Gene Corrigan (longtime ACC Commissioner and former NCAA president); Howie Long (see "screen" above); Bob Rotella (renowned sports psychologist to pro athletes galore); Mike Cubbage (former Major League third-baseman and interim manager for both the Boston Red Sox manager and the New York Mets); Billy Wagner (All-Star New York Mets reliever who retired at the end of 2010 with over 400 saves); Pete Gillen (red-maned former UVA men's basketball coach and now CBS Sports analyst).
Pop Culture: Peter Max (pop artist whose works look like the Yellow Submarine cover) owns land near Yogaville in Buckingham; Cathy Baker Purcell (the "That's all" girl from Hee-Haw) lives in Orange County; Julann Griffin co-founder of Jeopardy! (ex-wife of the late Merv) owns a farm in Fluvanna; Peter Chang, the chef who makes other celebrities swoon, popped up here in 2009 and opened his own restaurant at Barracks Road in 2011.
Moved away: Bruce Arena, the former UVA, D.C. United, and U.S. National soccer coach, now resides in California where he coaches the L.A. Galaxy; Muhammed Ali "The Greatest" owned Nelson County property in the mid-'80s, Edgar Bronfman (heir to Seagram fortune and former bison purveyor); Deborah Eisenberg (2009 McArthur genius grant recipient, UVA creative writing faculty); Tami Hoag (best selling author); Grammy-nominated John McCutcheon moved to the Atlanta area in the mid-aughts; Tina Fey (30 Rock star, former SNL head writer and "Weekend Update" anchor went to UVA); Katie Couric (America's favorite news gal happens to be a UVA alumna); Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard (romantically linked for decades, this thespian couple owned an Albemarle farm until the mid-'90s, moved to Minnesota, and separated in 2010); Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli graduated UVA in 1990; Lawrence Ferlenghetti (renowned poet and founder of San Francisco's City Lights Bookstore, he owned a home on Park Street from 1998 to 2002); Kathryn C. Thornton, NASA astronaut graduated in the late '70s. Antonin Scalia (Supreme Court justice was a professor at UVA Law in the late '60s and early '70s).
Gone but not forgotten: LeRoi Moore, beloved Dave Matthews Band saxophonist, died in 2008; Anna "Anastasia" Manahan, the most celebrated claimant to the Russian throne, was determined by DNA in 1994 to be something other than a missing grand duchess. Short-termed Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger died in 2011. Teddy Kennedy and RFK both attended law school here, though only Teddy earned convictions for reckless driving and evading police.