D.C. In The House! Did You Know They Were From The District Of Columbia?

June 24, 2013  |  
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Pass the mambo sauce please! We all know D. C. is home to the delicious mambo sauce drizzled over fried chicken,  rent-party popping tunes from great jazz musicians like Duke Ellington, and of course go-go. But I bet you didn’t know that Samuel L. Jackson and his cursing tongue were born there. What about soul crooner Marvin Gaye? Not only is D.C. the capital of the U.S., but also the city where politicians rub elbows with entertainers on a daily basis. They may live in NYC or LA now, but the famous folks on this list were born and bred in Washington D.C. Rep your city!

Taraji P. Henson

Actress and singer Taraji Penda Henson (born September 11, 1970)  is best known for her roles as Yvette in Baby Boy (2001), Shug in Hustlle & Flow (2005) and Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress  in 2009. Back in the ’70s and ’80s though, she was just a teen girl from southeast D.C.,  attending Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland.


Laz Alonso

Born and raised in Washington DC, Laz always dreamed of becoming an actor. He remembers at a very early age entertaining his family by imitating relatives and family friends. He graduated from the prestigious Howard University School of Business, earning a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing, but obviously decided to pursue his original passion soon after.


Grammy Award Winning Artist Mýa is a native of Washington, D.C. When she was two, her dad took her to the Reflecting Pool between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, and she danced, thus the start of her passion for dancing. Mya attended Eleanor Roosevelt in Greenbelt, MD. She was also on there pom pom team.


Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle was born in D.C. and attended Woodlin Elementary School in Silver Spring, which he regularly talked about in his stand-up routines, before attending Duke Ellington School of the Arts in the district.



Samuel L. Jackson

Known for his cursing face and hulking walk, Jackson may have been raised in Chattanooga, TN, where his mom whisked him away to be with the rest of the family, but he was born right in D.C.



Regina Hall

Regina Hall was born December 12, 1970 in Washington, D.C., to a contractor and a teacher, and attended a catholic high school in the district before going on earn a degree in journalism from N.Y.U. In 1997, she began appearing in commercials at age 26, and then made the giant leap into movies.


Ginuwine, aka Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, was named after NBA star Elgin Baylor, who is a D.C. native just like him. He graduated from Forestville Military Academy in Forestville, Maryland and also attended and graduated from Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland with a paralegal degree.



Jeffrey Wright

Known for his crazy character Peeples in Shaft, and his poignant portrayal of MLK amongst countless other roles, Jeffrey Wright hails from our nation’s capitol. Born and raised in Washington D.C., Wright graduated from the prestigious Amherst college in 1987 before taking Hollywood on.


Nona Gaye

Daughter of soul icon Marvin Gaye, Nona Gaye carved out a singing and acting career herself. Born in D.C., she dropped out of high school due to problems stemming from her father’s death. After years of substance abuse, Nona Gaye cleaned up her act, and is known for her role as Zee in the Matrix movies.


Tommy Davidson

We’ve grown to love this hilarious, quirky comedian who kept us in stitches on “In Living Color.” With his dead-on impressions of Sammy Davis Jr., he always had us rolling.  Davidson started his career as a stand-up comedian in Washington D.C., earning a faithful following of fans. He attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, Maryland, and afterward enrolled at Columbia University but eventually dropped out.


Kevin Durant

Before NBA superstar Kevin Durant was winning scoring titles left and right, he attended Montrose Christian Academy in Rockville, MD, not far from his birthplace of Washington, D.C.

Christopher Meloni

Anyone else still salty that he left “Law & Order: SVU”? Christopher Meloni, one half of the Benson and Stabler crime-fighting duo, grew up in Washington and attended St. Stephen’s School (now St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School) in Alexandria, VA.



Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes, the won’t-ever-hold-my-tongue comedian and host of the short-lived “Wanda Sykes Show,” was born in Portsmouth, VA. However, she was raised in the Maryland suburbs of D.C. She attended Arundel High School in Gambrills, Md. and Hampton College.


Johnny Gill

My, my my – who knew singer Johnny Gill was born in Washington, D.C.?  He attended Kimball Elementary, Sousa Junior High and then graduated from Duke Ellington School of the Arts.  Instead of following through with plans of becoming an electrical engineer, he decided to pursue his dream of singing instead.


Katherine Heigl

The actress of “Knocked Up” and “Grey’s Anatomy” fame was born in Washington, D.C. in 1978 at the now defunct Columbia Hospital for Women. However, she didn’t spend long in the area — she lived in Virginia and Colorado before her family settled in Connecticut.


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