When you think of Alaska, images of a frozen wasteland probably come to mind immediately. But the Last Frontier is bustling with life, and it has been home to many celebrities over the years. Here are 8 notable names who were born or lived in Alaska.
1. Wyatt Earp
Almost 20 years after the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1881), legendary lawman Wyatt Earp and his wife Josephine went into the saloon business in Nome, Alaska. In 1899, the Earps moved up north during the Klondike Gold Rush. But they weren't interested in prospecting so much as "mining the miners," to use Wyatt's words.
So they went to the mining town of Nome and built a two-story saloon called the Dexter, where prospectors could drink, gamble, and mingle with local influencers on the first floor - or mosey on up to the luxurious brothel on the second floor.
2. Bob Ross
Bob Ross was born in Daytona Beach, Florida. But his career as a painter was born while he was stationed at the Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska. That's where he first saw the mountains and "happy little trees" that would become a staple in his therapeutic artwork.
3. Jewel Kilcher
The four-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter was raised in Homer, Alaska. Where she and her family lived off the land. "We only ate what we could kill or can," she once told fans before playing the theme song of Alaska: The Last Frontier - a reality series starring her family..
4. Artis the Spoonman
Jewel's not the only music legend from Alaska. The state is also home to Artis the Spoonman, who inspired the song "Spoonman" by Seattle grunge rockers Soundgarden. Artis also played his culinary instrument on the single.
The real Pocahontas was born in Virginia. But the one most people know nowadays is the animated character in Disney's Pocahontas (1995), who was voiced by Irene Bedard of Anchorage.
6. The Birdman of Alcatraz
Before caring for birds in prison, Robert Stroud - better known as "the birdman of Alcatraz" - was a pimp in Juneau, Alaska. That's where he got into a fatal confrontation with a bartender who refused to pay one of Stroud's prostitutes. Somehow that tidbit didn't make it into the 1962 biopic starring Burt Lancaster as Stroud.
7. Curt Schilling
The six-time MLB All-Star pitcher and three-time World Series Champion for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox was born in Anchorage.
8. Mark Schlereth
Schilling isn't the only famous athlete from Anchorage. Alaska's largest city is also the hometown of three-time Super Bowl Champion Mark Schlereth, who played guard for the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos.
Banner image: Jewel Kilcher, the four-time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter, was raised in Homer, Alaska