San Diego may not be the first place thought of for discovering acting talent (with LA being just a few hours north), but San Diego has been the home of many famous actors gracing the small and large screens around the world. These remarkable talents have starred in a variety of media outlets, from highly regarded films to hilarious youth television. Although some may be household names today, but their lesser known beginnings included drives down the 8 freeway and walks among the hallways of San Diego’s local schools.
Crowe’s family settled in San Diego when Crowe was at a very young age. When Crowe was 13 years old, he began writing for his school’s newspaper and was a contributor for an underground publication called The San Diego Door, for which he wrote music reviews. After graduating from the University of San Diego High School, Crowe was hired to write for the Rolling Stone magazine, where he became the youngest contributor ever. Crowe has starred in a few films, such as 2002’s Minority Report, but he is most notable for writing and directing films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Say Anything… (1989), Jerry Maguire (1996), and Almost Famous (2000).
Bialik was born right here in San Diego. She originally started out as a child actress, most notably in the show Blossom. Bialik can currently be viewed as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on the acclaimed comedy program, The Big Bang Theory. Bialik not only plays a smart doctor on-screen, but is also a highly educated person off-screen, as she has also earned a doctorate in neuroscience.
Trainor is another actor who was born and raised in San Diego. Like Crowe, he too graduated from the University of San Diego High School. In an interview with Conan O’Brien, Trainor tells a story about his first job, in which he worked as a food vendor at Sea World. Trainor is most notable for his roles on the Nickelodeon television shows iCarly and Drake and Josh.
Ramirez graduated from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and went on to attend Juilliard School. Ramirez has starred on Broadway, film, and television. She currently stars on ABC’s hit television show Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Callie Torres, which has won her a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Cannon was born and raised in San Diego, graduating from Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley. After getting his start as a warm-up comedian for studio audiences at Nickelodeon, Cannon has launched quite the film and television career of his own. He has starred in the films Drumline (2002) and Love Don’t Cost a Thing (2003), and he currently is working on the improv and sketch comedy show Wild ‘N Out, which he stars in, created, and also serves as an executive producer.
Bening, despite being born in Kansas, was raised in San Diego. After graduating Patrick Henry High School and attending San Diego Mesa College, Bening went on to finish her degree in theatre arts in San Francisco. Bening has been nominated for four Academy Awards and has two Golden Globe awards for her performances in the films The Kids Are All Right (2010) and Being Julia (2004).
For actors struggling to find their way in the entertainment business: there is hope.