10 actors you should know who were born in Dayton

We went to the Internet Movie Database list of “Most Popular People Born In Dayton” for a look at some famous actors who are from the Miami Valley. This list, which contains 275 names, is made up of actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. 

Here are the top 10 according to IMDb’s STARmeter:

» TAKE OUR POLL: Who’s your favorite among these Dayton-born actors?

» RELATED: 16 Daytonians who made us proud at OSCARS, Grammys and SAG Awards

Allison Janney

Known for: The West Wing, American Beauty, Finding Nemo

Janney graduated from the Miami Valley School. Throughout her career, she has won seven Emmy Awards, including four for her role as C.J. Cregg on NBC's The West Wing. 

» READ MORE: Dayton Native Allison Janney hosts Miami Valley Students on LA set

Candace Smith

Known for: End of Watch, Hawaii Five-0, Gimme Shelter

Smith was born in Dayton and attended the University of Dayton on scholarship. After attending the Northwestern University School of Law, Smith returned to Ohio and was admitted into the Ohio Supreme Court. In 2003, Smith moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. 

Luke Grimes

Known for: Fifty Shades of Grey, American Sniper, The Magnificent Seven

Grimes was born and raised in Dayton and his father is pastor of Open Bible Christian Church in Dayton. He graduated in 2002 from Dayton Christian High School. 

» READ MORE: Dayton Native lands major role in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Martin Sheen 

Known for: The West Wing, Catch Me If You Can, Apocalypse Now

Sheen was one of 10 children of a poor, Catholic immigrant family who lived first on K Street and then on Brown Street. In 2015, Sheen received an honorary degree from the University of Dayton. 

» READ MORE: Tom Archdeacon interviews Martin Sheen: ‘Activism is what I do to stay alive’

Chad Lowe

Known for: Pretty Little Liars, Unfaithful, Highway to Hell

Lowe grew up in Oakwood and attended Oakwood Junior High School like his older brother, Rob Lowe (not on this list because he was born in Virginia). Chad Lowe won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1993 in the category Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for “Life Goes On.”

» FROM OUR PARTNERS: Three things Chad Lowe said about Dayton

Nancy Cartwright

Known for: The Simpsons, Kim Possible, Rugrats

Cartwright was born in Dayton and graduated from Fairmont High School in 1976. She worked at WING Radio, which she said kickstarted her career. 

» READ MORE: Nancy Cartwright, Dayton’s own Bart Simpson, comes home for Philharmonic concerts

Sherri Saum

Known for: In Treatment, the Fosters, how to Get Away with Murder

Saum is a Fairmont High School graduate who grew up in Kettering. She began her career in the entertainment business as a model while attending Ohio State University and New York University. 

» RELATED: A Sunday Chat With Sherri Saum

» FROM OUR PARTNERS: 6 things you should know about Dayton actress Sherri Saum

Andrea Thompson

Known for: Babylon 5, NYPD Blue, JAG

Thompson was born May 22, 1959 in Dayton, and she has three siblings. She was brought up in a strict Catholic household, and when she was seven her family moved to Australia. 

Ken Jenkins

Known for: Scrubs, The Sum of All Fears, I Am Sam

Jenkins graduated from Wilbur Wright High School in 1958 and attended Antioch College. While at Antioch College, Jenkins performed Shakespeare at the Antioch Amphitheater. 

Damian Chapa

Known for: Under Siege, Vatos Locos, Blood In, Blood Out

Chapa was born on Oct. 29, 1963 at Dayton’s Good Samaritan Hospital. His family moved to Columbus when he was 7. Chapa won Best Director and Best Feature awards at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival for his film Brando Unauthorized (2011).

» READ MORE: Dayton-born actor creates his mark in Hollywood

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