Iowa’s Most Well-Known Celebrities

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Right now, this coming weekend, all the focus is on one women's basketball player in the Hawkeye State. But who are some other celebrities that who born and raised in Iowa?

While fans in the state are wildly excited and Iowa sports betting is buzzing about Caitlin Clark and Iowa in the Final Four, we wondered about other famous people in the state. – your source for Iowa sports betting apps - used Keywords Explorer and Google Trends to look at the most searched Iowa celebrities over the past 12 months. Using a list of Iowa born and raised people on Wikipedia, we created a list of the top 10 most well-known celebrities from Iowa. Iowa celebrity was defined as a person who was born and resided in Iowa for at least 10 total years. Celebrity was broken down to include only actors/actresses, singer/songwriters, TV personalities, comedians, dancers and athletes.

Most Popular Iowa Celebrities

RankCelebrityHometown CitySearch VolumeOver Past Year
1Ashton KutcherCedar Rapids960K
2Elijah WoodCedar Rapids372K
3Seth RollinsDavenport322K
4Michelle MonaghanWinthrop280K
5Corey TaylorDes Moines259K
6Kurt WarnerBurlington174K
7Brandon RouthDes Moines116K
8Ron LivingstonDavenport70K
9Kate MulgrewDubuque56K
10Shawn JohnsonDes Moines55K


Closer Look at Iowa’s Top 10

1. Ashton Kutcher, Actor, Cedar Rapids. Search volume: 960K. Kutcher, a Cedar Rapids native and actor/venture capitalist, topped the list overwhelmingly with 960K. He is one of three Cedar Rapids-raised celebrities within the top 10.  Kutcher starred in the FOX sitcom “That '70s Show” (1998–2006), made his film debut in “Coming Soon” (1999), and created and produced the TV series “Punk'd.” He also served as the host for the first eight of the 10 seasons of “Punk’d.” From 2011-2015, Kutcher  starred in the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” taking over for Charlie Sheen.

2. Elijah Wood, Actor, Cedar Rapids. Search volume: 372K. Another Cedar Rapids native and actor, Wood rose to global fame as Frodo Baggins in “The Lord of the Rings” film trilogy (2001–2003) and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).”

3. Seth Rollins, WWE wrestler, Davenport. Search volume: 322K. Rollins is the current and inaugural World Heavyweight Champion on WWE's Raw brand.

4. Michelle Monaghan, Actress, Winthrop. Search volume: 280K. From the small town of Winthrop, Monaghan has starred in numerous films and TV series. This year, she is set to be featured in the third season of the Emmy Award-winning show “The White Lotus.”

5. Corey Taylor, Singer, Des Moines. Search volume: 295K. Taylor is the lead singer for the heavy metal band Slipknot and leads a trio of Des Moines-raised celebrities on the list.

6. Kurt Warner, Broadcaster/former NFL quarterback, Burlington. Search volume: 174K. Warner starred in the Arena Football League for the Iowa Barnstormers before appearing in three Super Bowls, winning one with the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV over the Tennessee Titans in 1999.

7.  Brandon Routh, Actor, Des Moines. Search volume: 116K. Routh has starred in many films and TV shows. He is most noted for his portrayal of Superman in the film “Superman Returns” (2006).

8. Ron Livingston, Actor, Cedar Rapids. Search volume: 70K. Completing the trio of Cedar Rapids natives, Livingston is best known for starring in the movie “Office Space” and the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.”

9. Kate Mulgrew, Actress, Dubuque. Search volume: 56K. Mulgrew is best known for her roles as Captain Kathryn Janeway in “Star Trek: Voyager” and Red in “Orange Is the New Black.” If you go back, you might remember her from the daytime soap opera “Ryan’s Hope.”

10. Shawn Johnson, Olympic Gymnast, Des Moines. Search volume: 55K. Johnson completes the trio of Des Moines natives and rounds out the top 10. Johnson, the 2007 all-around World Champion, won the 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medal and was a silver medalist in the team, all-around and floor exercise that same year.

It says here that Caitlin Clark will top them all when all is said and done.

( occasional veers from Iowa sports betting coverage codes to deliver stories of general interest such as this.  For example: Top Things to Do in Iowa.)


Lou Monaco has been a columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas and has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker. He is here to guide you in selecting the Iowa sportsbook that best fits your needs.