Orlando Florida: Hollywood of the South East

December 29, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The Orlando area is mainly known for it’s theme parks, world-class resorts, and beautiful weather. Not many people know, however, that Orlando is also home to several working television and movie studios, a thriving music scene, and a passion for sports. Orlando Florida is a virtual Hollywood of the southeast, teeming with celebrities from every entertainment field.

Movies and Television

With working film and television studios, it is only natural that celebrities would reside in Orlando. The area has had a history of producing famous faces. For example, TV’s Buddy Epson (The Beverly Hillbillies) was born in Orlando and attended Rollins College in Winter Park in the late 1920’s.   Fred Rogers (Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood) also graduated from Rollins College in Orlando. 

Actors such as Wayne Brady (The Wayne Brady Show; Whose Line is it Anyway?) and Wesley Snipes have their roots in Orlando as well. Wesley Snipes was born in Orlando and went on to become one of the most recognizable superstars in the world, starring in such films as the Blade trilogy, U.S Marshalls, and the Art of War. Wayne Brady graduated from Orlando’s Dr. Phillips High School and started his improv comedy career in Orlando.

Actresses including Cheryl Hines (RV; Curb your Enthusiasm), a graduate of UCF, Traylor Howard (Monk; Me, Myself, and Irene), and Delta Burke (Designing Women) have also called Orlando home.

Music

Several musical artists call Orlando home as well. The rock band Creed was founded in Orlando and their band members still reside in the area. Singer Mandy Moore was born and raised in nearby Seminole County, Florida, just minutes away from the city of Orlando. Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears started their careers at the Disney Studios in Orlando.

The band N*SYNC was formed with members from Orlando, including Justin Timberlake. Joey Fatone, band member turned actor, still resides in the Orlando area. The same is true for the Backstreet Boys, each of whom grew up in the Orlando area. Band members got their start in the music industry singing and dancing at Universal Studios Florida. Their name even comes from a once popular Orlando flea market.

Sports

Perhaps the most abundant representation of celebrities in Orlando comes from the sports world. Every sport is represented in Orlando by the biggest names. Golf megastar, Tiger Woods, put Orlando on the map recently with his controversial crash outside his Windermere home. NFL stars Daunte Culpepper, one of the biggest stars in the NFL, played for UCF and has a home in Orlando, as does Warren Sapp, an Orlando native. There are also numerous basketball stars such as Shaquille O’Neil and Vince Carter. Tennis champ Paula Creamer and motocross champion James Stewart have settled down in Orlando as well.

Orlando is definitely the place to live for the rich and famous. It has become a Mecca for celebrities that want to get away from the hustle and bustle of L.A or New York City, but where they can still work in their industries and have the finer things in life such as exceptional restaurants and fashionable shopping.

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