Famous actresses from Iowa

Written by:
July 28, 2022
JoJo Whilden/Netflix // IMDb

Famous actresses from Iowa

Anyone who wants to admire and envy the world's biggest stars needs only to look on Instagram. From A-list movie stars and major musicians to pro ball players and comedians who landed their own sitcoms, there's no shortage of evidence of just how good the good life is. They post pictures of themselves with other big shots on rooftop bars, at exclusive clubs, at backstage parties, and at restaurants where regular people can't get a reservation.

But the vast majority of these celebrities were born and raised outside of Hollywood, finding their way to the bright lights and big money of superstardom from obscure beginnings in regular small towns and cities across the country.

Stacker compiled a list of actresses that were born in Iowa from IMDb’s most popular list. Movie poster images are from OMDb. Keep reading to see which of your favorite actresses are from your home state.

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OMDb

Michelle Monaghan

- Born: Winthrop, Iowa, USA (3/23/1976)
- Known for:
--- Angie Gennaro in "Gone Baby Gone" (2007)
--- Harmony Faith Lane in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (2005)
--- Violet in "Pixels" (2015)
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OMDb

Terry Farrell

- Born: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA (11/19/1963)
- Known for:
--- Lt. Cmdr. Jadzia Dax / Lt. Jadzia Dax / Darlene Kursky / Prof. Honey Bare in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (1993-1999)
--- Joey Summerskill in "Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth" (1992)
--- Reggie Kostas in "Becker" (1998-2002)
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OMDb

Cloris Leachman

- Born: Des Moines, Iowa, USA (4/30/1926)
- Died: 1/27/2021
- Known for:
--- Ruth Popper in "The Last Picture Show" (1971)
--- Frau Blücher in "Young Frankenstein" (1974)
--- Evelyn in "Spanglish" (2004)
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OMDb

Lara Flynn Boyle

- Born: Davenport, Iowa, USA (3/24/1970)
- Known for:
--- Helen Jordan in "Happiness" (1998)
--- Serleena in "Men in Black II" (2002)
--- A.D.A. Helen Gamble / Helen Gamble in "The Practice" (1997-2003)
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OMDb

Donna Reed

- Born: Denison, Iowa, USA (1/27/1921)
- Died: 1/14/1986
- Known for:
--- Mary Hatch in "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)
--- Alma - aka Lorene in "From Here to Eternity" (1953)
--- Donna Stone in "The Donna Reed Show" (1958-1966)

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JoJo Whilden/Netflix // IMDb

Kate Mulgrew

- Born: Dubuque, Iowa, USA (4/29/1955)
- Known for:
--- Galina 'Red' Reznikov in "Orange Is the New Black" (2013-2019)
--- Capt. Kathryn Janeway / Captain Jenkins / Shannon O'Donnell in "Star Trek: Voyager" (1995-2001)
--- Admiral Janeway in "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002)
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Danai Gurira in "Black Panther"\xe2\x80\x94Marvel Studios

Danai Gurira

- Born: Grinnell, Iowa, USA (2/14/1978)
- Known for:
--- Okoye in "Black Panther" (2018)
--- Okoye in "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018)
--- Zainab in "The Visitor" (2007)
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OMDb

Elmarie Wendel

- Born: Cresco, Iowa, USA (11/23/1928)
- Died: 7/21/2018
- Known for:
--- Mrs. Dubcek in "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996-2001)
--- Aunt Grizelda in "The Lorax" (2012)
--- Woman in "Knight Rider" (1982)
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OMDb

Julie Adams

- Born: Waterloo, Iowa, USA (10/17/1926)
- Died: 2/3/2019
- Known for:
--- Kay Lawrence in "Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954)
--- Ann Rorchek / Ann Rorcheck / Amy Rorchek in "Code Red" (1981-1982)
--- Martha in "Catchfire" (1990)
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OMDb

Jean Seberg

- Born: Marshalltown, Iowa, USA (11/13/1938)
- Died: 8/30/1979
- Known for:
--- Patricia Franchini in "Breathless" (1960)
--- Elizabeth in "Paint Your Wagon" (1969)
--- Lilith Arthur in "Lilith" (1964)

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OMDb

Sharon Farrell

- Born: Sioux City, Iowa, USA (12/24/1940)
- Known for:
--- Mrs. Mancini in "Can't Buy Me Love" (1987)
--- Doris Belmont in "Night of the Comet" (1984)
--- Molly McQuade in "Lone Wolf McQuade" (1983)
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OMDb

Sue Lyon

- Born: Davenport, Iowa, USA (7/10/1946)
- Died: 12/26/2019
- Known for:
--- Lolita in "Lolita" (1962)
--- Charlotte Goodall in "The Night of the Iguana" (1964)
--- Diana Pines in "Tony Rome" (1967)
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OMDb

Patricia Barry

- Born: Davenport, Iowa, USA (11/16/1922)
- Died: 10/11/2016
- Known for:
--- Older Woman in "Sea of Love" (1989)
--- Mitchell in "Dear Heart" (1964)
--- Dolores de Garfias in "Rose of Santa Rosa" (1947)
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OMDb

Kiersten Warren

- Born: Iowa, USA (11/4/1965)
- Known for:
--- Galatea in "Bicentennial Man" (1999)
--- Trish Sackett in "13 Going on 30" (2004)
--- Tiffany in "Independence Day" (1996)
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OMDb

Linnea Quigley

- Born: Davenport, Iowa, USA (5/27/1958)
- Known for:
--- Trash in "The Return of the Living Dead" (1985)
--- Suzanne in "Night of the Demons" (1988)
--- Denise in "Silent Night, Deadly Night" (1984)

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OMDb

Laura Leighton

- Born: Iowa City, Iowa, USA (7/24/1968)
- Known for:
--- Sydney Andrews in "Melrose Place" (1993-1998)
--- Lillian Rice in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (2007)
--- Ashley Marin in "Pretty Little Liars" (2010-2017)
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OMDb

Joan Freeman

- Born: Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA (1/8/1942)
- Known for:
--- Mrs. Jarvis in "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" (1984)
--- Cathy Lean in "Roustabout" (1964)
--- Linda in "Come September" (1961)
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OMDb

Marcia Wallace

- Born: Creston, Iowa, USA (11/1/1942)
- Died: 10/25/2013
- Known for:
--- Edna Krabappel / Crowd / Ms. Melon / Others / Spirit #1 / Woman in Bar in "The Simpsons" (1990-2021)
--- Carol Kester / Carol Kester Bondurant in "The Bob Newhart Show" (1972-1978)
--- Alma in "Big Stan" (2007)
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OMDb

Hynden Walch

- Born: Davenport, Iowa, USA (2/1/1971)
- Known for:
--- Princess Bubblegum / Additional Voices / Bird / Bonnie / Candy Child / Candy Girl / Candy Person / Candy Person #102a / Celina / Connie / Drinking Villager / Ghost Backup Singer / Gumdrop Lass / Gumdrop Lass #1 / Life / Lil Princess Bubblegum / Little Girl / Lollipop Girl / Mermaid / Mrs. James / Nymph #1 / P-Bot / Peace Master's Daughter / Princess Monster Wife / Randy / Reptilian Clone / Singer / Subway Voice / Water Nymph / Woman in Movie in "Adventure Time" (2010-2018)
--- Starfire / Blackfire / Sparkleface / Incredible Quad / Robot Guard / Sticky Joan / Elf / Erifrats / Girl-Ra / Goldfish / Hynden Walch / Madame Rouge / Mother Nature / Opposite Gender Cyborg / Self / Starfire's Knowledge / Teeth / Twin Destroyer 2 in "Teen Titans Go!" (2013-2021)
--- Debbie in "Groundhog Day" (1993)
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OMDb

Mary Beth Hurt

- Born: Marshalltown, Iowa, USA (9/26/1946)
- Known for:
--- Mrs. Bell in "Lady in the Water" (2006)
--- Helen Holm in "The World According to Garp" (1982)
--- Judge Brewster in "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" (2005)

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OMDb

Beverley Owen

- Born: Ottumwa, Iowa, USA (5/13/1937)
- Died: 2/21/2019
- Known for:
--- Susan in "Bullet for a Badman" (1964)
--- Marilyn Munster in "The Munsters" (1964-2004)
--- Linda Elliot #2 (1961-1964) in "As the World Turns" (1956)
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OMDb

Marilyn Maxwell

- Born: Clarinda, Iowa, USA (8/3/1920)
- Died: 3/20/1972
- Known for:
--- Amy Fisher in "The Show-Off" (1946)
--- Carla Naples in "Rock-a-Bye Baby" (1958)
--- Grace in "Champion" (1949)
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OMDb

Randi Oakes

- Born: Sumner, Iowa, USA (8/19/1951)
- Known for:
--- Officer Bonnie Clark / Blonde Secretary / Kim Balford in "CHiPs" (1977-1982)
--- Blonde Taurus in "Battlestar Galactica" (1978)
--- Sally Cantrell in "Acapulco Gold" (1976)
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OMDb

Virginia Christine

- Born: Stanton, Iowa, USA (3/5/1920)
- Died: 7/24/1996
- Known for:
--- Wilma Lentz in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956)
--- Hilary St. George in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967)
--- Princess Ananka in "The Mummy's Curse" (1944)
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OMDb

Phyllis Somerville

- Born: Iowa City, Iowa, USA (12/12/1943)
- Died: 7/16/2020
- Known for:
--- May McGorvey in "Little Children" (2006)
--- Grandma Fuller in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008)
--- Mrs. McGarrick in "Stoker" (2013)

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OMDb

Dana Davis

- Born: Davenport, Iowa, USA (10/4/1978)
- Known for:
--- Lisa Hines in "Prom Night" (2008)
--- Denise Gilmore in "Raise Your Voice" (2004)
--- Chastity Church in "10 Things I Hate About You" (2009-2010)
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OMDb

Georgann Johnson

- Born: Decorah, Iowa, USA (8/15/1926)
- Died: 6/4/2018
- Known for:
--- Elizabeth Quinn in "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" (1993-1997)
--- Rich Lady - New York in "Midnight Cowboy" (1969)
--- Mrs. Gruen in "Blind Date" (1987)
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OMDb

Mary Beth Peil

- Born: Davenport, Iowa, USA (6/25/1940)
- Known for:
--- Anna Esseker in "Mirrors" (2008)
--- Helen Devlin in "The Stepford Wives" (2004)
--- Evelyn 'Grams' Ryan in "Dawson's Creek" (1998-2003)
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OMDb

Lenore Shanewise

- Born: Waterloo, Iowa, USA (10/12/1887)
- Died: 12/22/1980
- Known for:
--- Mary Lincoln (older) in "Matinee Theatre" (1955-1956)
--- Mrs. Densley in "The Twilight Zone" (1962)
--- Anna the Maid in "Tales of Tomorrow" (1952)
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OMDb

Nedra Volz

- Born: Montrose, Iowa, USA (6/18/1908)
- Died: 1/20/2003
- Known for:
--- Winona 'Mother B' Beck in "Filthy Rich" (1982-1983)
--- Miz Emma Tisdale / Postmistress in "The Dukes of Hazzard" (1980-1984)
--- Mrs. Loretta Houk in "Moving Violations" (1985)

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OMDb

Priscilla Lane

- Born: Indianola, Iowa, USA (6/12/1915)
- Died: 4/4/1995
- Known for:
--- Elaine Harper in "Arsenic and Old Lace" (1943)
--- Patricia (Pat) Martin in "Saboteur" (1942)
--- Ginger 'Character' Powell in "Blues in the Night" (1941)
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OMDb

Frances Rafferty

- Born: Sioux City, Iowa, USA (6/16/1922)
- Died: 4/18/2004
- Known for:
--- Marjorie Tait in "Girl Crazy" (1943)
--- Maggie Riley in "The Adventures of Don Coyote" (1947)
--- Julie Saunders in "Money Madness" (1948)
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OMDb

Kourtney Hansen

- Born: Des Moines, Iowa, USA (9/13/1980)
- Known for:
--- Emily in "Nashville" (2012-2018)
--- Becca in "Christmas at Graceland" (2018)
--- Correspondent-Herself / Self - Correspondent in "CMT Insider" (2011-2012)
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OMDb

Margaret Welsh

- Born: Iowa City, Iowa, USA (not available)
- Known for:
--- Freddie in "American Heart" (1992)
--- Dorie Russell in "Grey's Anatomy" (2005)
--- Leslie in "Topa Topa Bluffs" (2002)
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OMDb

Vanessa Giselle

- Born: Iowa City, Iowa, USA (not available)
- Known for:
--- Hope in "Mayans M.C." (2019-2021)
--- Femme Friend / Lucky in "Vida" (2018-2019)
--- Eve in "S.W.A.T." (2019)

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OMDb

Caitlin Dulany

- Born: Iowa City, Iowa, USA (6/22/1963)
- Known for:
--- Mom in "Project X" (2012)
--- Linda Owens in "Criminal Minds" (2011)
--- Heather Morgan in "ER" (1997)
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OMDb

Rebecca Toolan

- Born: Iowa, USA (4/29/1941)
- Known for:
--- Mrs. Gardiner in "Little Women" (1994)
--- Mrs. Rate in "Shooter" (2007)
--- Helen Gandy in "Bad Times at the El Royale" (2018)
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OMDb

Karen Morley

- Born: Ottumwa, Iowa, USA (12/12/1909)
- Died: 3/8/2003
- Known for:
--- Poppy in "Scarface" (1932)
--- Sheila Barton in "The Mask of Fu Manchu" (1932)
--- Sonia in "Arsène Lupin" (1932)
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OMDb

Sarah Utterback

- Born: New Hampton, Iowa, USA (1/12/1982)
- Known for:
--- Olivia Harper in "Grey's Anatomy" (2005-2018)
--- Colleen Finn in "Ghost Whisperer" (2007)
--- Melissa Henderson in "Seed of Doubt"
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OMDb

Sara Haines

- Born: Newton, Iowa, USA (9/18/1977)
- Known for:
--- TV News Anchor in "Pixels" (2015)
--- Sara Haines in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" (2021)
--- Writer in "The View" (2014-2021)

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OMDb

Harriet Nelson

- Born: Des Moines, Iowa, USA (7/18/1909)
- Died: 10/2/1994
- Known for:
--- Harriet Nelson / Harriet / Mother Ethel Nelson in "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" (1952-1966)
--- Connie Martin in "Follow the Fleet" (1936)
--- Gwynne Gregory in "The Falcon Strikes Back" (1943)
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OMDb

Betsy Baker

- Born: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA (5/8/1955)
- Known for:
--- Linda in "The Evil Dead" (1981)
--- Jocelyn Vickery in "Sharp Objects" (2018)
--- Mama Murphy in "Hand of God" (2017)
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OMDb

Ashley Tesoro

- Born: Iowa City, Iowa, USA (2/15/1983)
- Known for:
--- Kimberly Fairchild in "The Bold and the Beautiful" (1998-2001)
--- Liz Miller in "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" (1997-2000)
--- Young Dorothea in "Lord of Illusions" (1995)
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OMDb

Jessalynn Siwa

- Born: Iowa, USA (12/8/1974)
- Known for:
--- Mom in "JoJo Siwa: Boomerang" (2016)
--- Jessalynn Siwa in "Todrick Hall Feat. Abby Lee Dance Company: Dance" (2016)
--- Jessalynn Siwa in "Nia Sioux: Slay" (2015)
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OMDb

Sada Thompson

- Born: Des Moines, Iowa, USA (9/27/1927)
- Died: 5/4/2011
- Known for:
--- Kate Lawrence in "Family" (1976-1980)
--- Mary Todd Lincoln in "Lincoln" (1974-1976)
--- Mama Lozupone in "Cheers" (1991)

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OMDb

Ruth Kobart

- Born: Des Moines, Iowa, USA (4/24/1924)
- Died: 12/14/2002
- Known for:
--- Miss Jones in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (1967)
--- Bus Driver in "Dirty Harry" (1971)
--- Choir Nun in "Sister Act" (1992)
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OMDb

Margaret Lindsay

- Born: Dubuque, Iowa, USA (9/19/1910)
- Died: 5/9/1981
- Known for:
--- Millie Ray in "Scarlet Street" (1945)
--- Amy Bradford Dillard in "Jezebel" (1938)
--- Angelina Romandi in "Song of the City" (1937)
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OMDb

Neva Patterson

- Born: near Nevada, Iowa, USA (2/10/1920)
- Died: 12/14/2010
- Known for:
--- Mrs. Clemens in "David and Lisa" (1962)
--- Lois Clark in "An Affair to Remember" (1957)
--- Eleanor Dupres in "V" (1983)

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