7 Hollywood stars you didn’t know were Kansas alums
While he never received a degree from Kansas, Scott Bakula charted out his acting career in Lawrence. He grew up in St. Louis, Mo., and attended the University of Kansas in the early ’70s. After his sophomore year, Bakula had an opportunity to go on tour with a rendition of the musical Godspell, which he accepted and dropped out of KU for. Only the tour fell apart and the Star Trek: Enterprise actor was left without a school to attend. Ultimately, he packed up his bags and heeded his calling to go to New York City and act on Broadway. After a successful Broadway career, the KU dropout worked his way into television acting, later earning a Golden Globe for Star Trek, and film acting as well, appearing in such films as American Beauty and a sequel to the sports comedy Major League.
Getty ImagesMarianna Massey
Johnson, who defined the ’80s with his crime drama series Miami Vice, developed his love for acting in the State of Kansas. As a senior at Wichita's South High School, he played the lead in the school's rendition of West Side Story and appeared in a few other plays as well. Johnson then went on to Kansas, where he spent a couple years in the late ’60s before pursuing his acting career full-time. However, he clearly enjoyed his time in Lawrence, as he's made sure to represent the Jayhawks whenever he can. In the final scene of the series finale of Miami Vice, Johnson's character wears a University of Kansas T-shirt with the Jayhawks' mascot on it. In addition to incorporating KU into television history, Johnson also starred in an intro to Kansas' 2008 Orange Bowl matchup with Virginia Tech.
Getty Images for the 2014 TribecRob Kim
Rudd was born in Passiac, N.J., but was raised in Overland Park, Kan., which explains why his allegiance to the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs in addition to being an avid Jayhawk supporter. The 40-Year-Old Virgin actor enrolled at Kansas in the late '80s and joined the Sigma Nu fraternity. In the Kansas community, Rudd is best known for inviting Royals fans to a keg party at his mom's house after they clinched the AL pennant in the 2014. He also became notorious for his wild hairdo while attending KU when photos surfaced of his overflowing mane. After attending KU, Rudd went to acting school in Oxford, U.K., and made his debut shortly thereafter. A decade into his acting career, he began appearing in episodes of the beloved sitcom Friends, which helped him land his breakout role in the 2004 comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Getty ImagesDilip Vishwanat
The most prevalent celebrity KU alum of all is Rob Riggle. Of course, that honor would go to Kansas native Jason Sudekis — who has been mentioned in Bill Self's press conference and incorporated themes from Lawrence and the Jayhawks into his skits at Saturday Night Live — but Sudekis never actually attended KU. Riggle and Rudd attended KU around the same time in the late ’80s and may have crossed paths in the Greek world, as Riggle was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He, like Rudd — as well as Sudekis — was raised in Overland Park, Kan. His allegiance to KU is no secret, though. In fact, anyone who watched him host the 2012 ESPYs is well-aware of his Jayhawk pride. The 21 Jump Street comedic actor also hosted Late Night in the Phog, during which he famously entered on an elevated throne wearing a white tuxedo.
Getty ImagesKevin Winter
The stand-up comedian was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but grew up primarily in St. Louis, Mo., attending Kirkwood High School, which Scott Bakula also attended. Glaser's collegiate journey began at the University of Colorado-Boulder, but she then made her way back home to the Midwest when she transferred to KU. Although she received her an English degree from Kansas in 2006, Glaser admits she wanted to rush through college and focus on her comedy career, which she launched when she was still in high school. The rising comedian got her big break in 2009, when she was featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and has since appeared on a handful of late-night shows and has co-hosted comedy podcasts.
Getty ImagesDavid Livingston
Flynn, who was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., has recently skyrocketed to fame for writing the novel and screenplay for the thriller Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck. After attending Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park, Kan., Flynn attended KU in the late ’90s, graduating with degrees in both English and journalism. She then pursued a Master's in journalism at Northwestern, but her Jayhawk allegiance runs deep to this day, as is evident in the bio on her website. Flynn worked in journalism, most notably at Entertainment Weekly, for quite some time, writing novels on the side. The most successful of her novels has been Gone Girl, which was No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for eight weeks. She has received many accolades for her screenplay adaptation of the book, including a Golden Globe nomination.
Getty ImagesKevin Winter
One of the most famous lines in cinematic history was uttered by a former Jayhawk. The line, "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die," was from the 1987 romantic comedy adventure film The Princess Bride, in which Patinkin starred as a Spanish fencing master. Before he became a star actor, the Chicago, Ill., native attended Kansas for a couple years in the early ’70s before moving on to the prestigious Julliard acting school in New York City. Three decades later, the former Jayhawk is still enjoying a successful acting career. He is now celebrated for his supporting role on the political thriller TV series Homeland, which has earned him a bevy of awards accolades, including two Emmy nominations.