Star Potential

The world of entertainment is chock-full of Michigan denizens and expatriates. Some were just a blip on our radar screen, while others have steadily grown their roots. Collectively, the group has a net worth of $2.4 billion* and counting. Here, DBusiness shines the spotlight on 40 of the Great Lakes State’s best-known celebrities and gauges their star power


Published:

(page 1 of 7)

It’s difficult to look at even a partial list of entertainers with deep Michigan roots and not marvel at the richness of our creative soil. Of course you can find more musicians, actors, playwrights, and others on the coasts, but most of them came from somewhere else — and often, that somewhere else is Michigan.

What makes it happen? How can one metro area produce Marvin Gaye and Eminem and the White Stripes and Iggy Pop and Bob Seger and Was (Not Was) and probably have a hand in whatever the next big thing is? Part of it is demographics. Part is geography. Part is culture. Part is the creative sparks that inevitably fly when people rub up against one another in the urban rock pile. And one part is probably forever indefinable. We’re just lucky to have it.

Consider Madonna will be making a personal appearance off the concert stage, supporting I Am Because We Are at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival in August. The film, a documentary she wrote and produced, is about orphans and poverty in the African nation of Malawi. Madonna’s father, Tony, owns and runs Ciccone Vineyard and Winery in nearby Suttons Bay.

The musicians aren’t the only ones who’ll be busy. Jeff Daniels has a film out this year and several more in the pipeline. Whether it strikes joy or dread in your heart, Moore has a new project slated for 2009. Even Farmington Hills native Elizabeth Berkley — you remember her, the poor, kicked-around laughingstock of Showgirls — is back on her feet, hosting Step It Up and Dance, a new reality show on Bravo.

With a new tax-incentive package already drawing filmmakers to Michigan, expect more entertainers to join the long line the state has already spawned.

Star Ratings

***** Powerhouse
The earnings just keep coming and coming.

**** Heavyweight
A major player, with plenty in the pipeline.

*** Treading Water
Plenty to write home about, but not lately.

** Fading Fast
Reaching the end of a prominent career.

* Dim Light
There was something there once.


Mitch Albom ****
Columnist, author, radio host
Born 1958, Passaic, N.J.


Did someone say newspapers are sinking? If so, this multimedia outlet will be in one of the first lifeboats; you can’t say the guy hasn’t diversified. Still, it’s his post at the Detroit Free Press that gives him prestige — and a credential for whatever sporting event he wants to cover. Residence: Bloomfield Hills. Body of work: Lots of people dismiss Albom and his paint-by-numbers output (the columns with their one-sentence paragraphs and dramatic repetition; the books that simultaneously jerk tears and cleave nicely to screenplay structure; the nice-guy radio persona), but whatever he’s selling, people buy in bulk. Current project: For One More Day, newly out in paperback; untitled project with Adam Sandler, set for 2010.

Tim Allen  **** 
Actor
Born 1953, Denver, Colo.


He moved to Birmingham as a teenager, and got his start in comedy by taking the stage at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle on a dare. He worked in advertising locally before moving west to try showbiz. While most of his time is spent in Hollywood, he still maintains a home in Birmingham. Residence: Los Angeles. Body of work: Home Improvement made Allen a household name, but steady work in films has sustained him since. From the voice of Buzz Lightyear (“To infinity … and beyond!”) to one of the aging little boys in Wild Hogs, he always seems to be working somewhere. A diverse actor, he’s played everyone from Santa Claus to Joe Somebody. Current projects: Toy Story 3, The Six Wives of Henry Lefay.
 

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Ford’s 2017 Fusion Energi Offers Longest Combined Range at 610 Miles

Ford Motor Co. today unveiled the 2017 Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid that it says can travel 610 miles on a full tank of gas and a battery charge. At that distance, the sedan offers the longest combined range of any hybrid of its type sold in America, the automaker says.

Inspired by Batman Movie, U-M Engineers Develop Pressure-Sensing Software for Smartphones

Two University of Michigan engineers have developed software that allows smartphones to sense force or pressure on its screen or body. The software, called ForcePhone, offers users a new way to enhance mobile devices without adding hardware components.

Michigan’s First Vince Store Opens at the Somerset Collection in Troy

Vince, a contemporary clothing line founded in 2002, today opens its first Michigan location at the Somerset Collection in Troy. The 2,700-square-foot store, located at Somerset Collection South on the first level near Nieman Marcus, offers men’s and women’s clothing, footwear, and accessories.

EyesOn Design Classic Car Show in June Expands Programming

The annual EyesOn Design fundraiser to benefit the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology will highlight past, present, and future automotive design and will feature nearly 360 classic cars, muscle cars, and motorcycles from top collectors around the world. The show will be held on June 19 at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Farmington Hills Educational Publisher Expands Digital Historical Newspaper Collection

Farmington Hills-based Gale International, a division of Cengage Learning, has expanded its historical newspaper collection with the launch of several new archives. The expansion includes 145 years of the British best-selling newspaper, The Telegraph, a unique collection of Chinese periodicals, and a comprehensive digital collection of national, regional, and local newspapers in Britain between the 18th and 20th centuries.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Ann Arbor’s TITLE Boxing Club Adds New Owners
    Ann Arbor-based TITLE Boxing Club International— which has grown to 150 boxing clubs from 20...
  2. Detroit Denim Co. Opens New Location, Launches Additional Product Lines
    Described as a new manufacturing center in the Motor City, Detroit Denim Co. opens its new...
  3. Detroit’s Metropolitan Building to be Converted into Extended-stay Hotel
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and two local partners will convert the historic...
  4. Detroit Historic Scarab Club to Launch Major Rebranding Campaign
    The Scarab Club in Detroit’s Midtown district will unveil a major rebranding campaign in early...
  5. 3 Beaumont Hospitals to Offer Non-Emergency Heart Procedure
    Beaumont hospitals in Farmington Hills, Trenton, and Wayne have earned approvals to perform...
  6. GM Unveils Luxury Edition of 2016 GMC Yukon
    General Motors Co. today revealed the 2016 GMC Yukon SLT Premium Edition, a more luxurious...