Life in the Slow Lane

July 18, 2008

More of WNY’s most notable natives

Filed under: Life — pauljlane @ 2:42 pm

As mentioned in the Sunday Lifestyle section, here is some information on more of Western New York’s most famous natives. Did you miss the original in print? Check it out by following this link.


VINCENT GALLO: This Buffalo native shared the region’s sports pain with the world in 1998 with “Buffalo ’66,” set here with a subplot about a man who seeks revenge on a football kicker who missed a championship-winning field goal. He also made “The Brown Bunny” in addition to acting in shows such as “Dirt” and the film “Goodfellas.” He’s also released several albums on his own and as part of a music group.
WENDIE MALICK: This “that woman” of Hollywood became a fashion model after graduating from Williamsville South High School and Ohio Wesleyan University. After a brief stint in the office of U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, she began acting in 1982. Her numerous roles include TV’s “Just Shoot Me” and “Dream On” and the movies “Scrooged,” “The American President” and “The Emperor’s New Groove.”

JAROD MILLER: This Boston, N.Y., native is host of CBS’ “Greatest American Dog,” which has enjoyed high ratings in its first two weeks on the air. Also a syndicated TV host and frequent talk show guest, he credits his parents and his rural upbringing for nurturing his love of animals.

“The Buffalo Zoo was my favorite place when I was a kid,” he said to me during a recent phone interview. “It’s great to see just how far that zoo has come with its renovations.”
CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY: This actor’s road to stardom was paved by a nurse who encouraged the Clarence High School graduate to pursue modeling. He landed Sketchers and Gucci campaigns in the late-1990s before landing the role of Lucas Scott in “One Tree Hill.” He’s also appeared in such films as “A Cinderella Story” and “House of Wax.”
CHELSEA NOBLE: Best known as Mrs. Kirk Cameron, this Cheektowaga native met the “Growing Pains” star on the set of the 1980s and 1990s. The Maryvale High School graduate has largely limited her acting to those in roles in Christian-themed shows and movies, although she and her husband have appeared numerous times on local telethons.
MARK RUSSELL: Another Canisius grad, this Buffalo native is known for his political satire on PBS. He still writes a syndicated column and makes numerous appearances in addition to his TV specials.

RON JAWORSKI: This Lackawanna native gained fame as the quarterback who took the Philadelphia Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl in 1980. He’s now a veteran broadcaster for ESPN and president of the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul.
TODD MARCHANT: This Williamsville East High School graduate hoisted the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He’s also played with the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets.

JOE MESI: “Baby Joe” was once a top-ranked heavyweight boxer and a fight or two from a title shot before bleeding on the brain led to him losing his license to fight in the early part of this decade. The Town of Tonawanda native retained his license a few years later in some states and fought a handful of comeback fights, but he’s apparently hung up the gloves for good to pursue a seat in the New York State Senate. Mesi retired with an undefeated record.
LARRY PFOHL: Better known as Lex Luger, this former football player at Orchard Park High School was signed by (but never played for) the Green Bay Packers before pursuing a professional wrestling career. “The Total Package” won world championships with WCW and NWA before performing with the WWF/WWE during the second half of his career.

CUTE IS WHAT WE AIM FOR: This emo quartet from Buffalo has released two albums on the Fueled by Ramen label, including “Rotation,” which came out last month. The band — Tom Falcone, Shaant Hacikyan, Jeff Czum and Dave Melillo — is on a headlining U.S. tour.

BRIAN MCKNIGHT: This R&B crooner was a band leader at Sweet Home High School before releasing “Brian McKnight” in 1992. He’s been nominated for 16 Grammys (no wins) and hosts a radio show in Los Angeles, and he performed on Broadway in “Chicago” in 2007.
CORY WELLS: A found member of Three Dog Night who recently performed at Lewiston’s Artpark, Wells got into music after a stint in the Air Force. He had a hand in the band’s ’70s hits, including “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” and “Joy to the World.”


EDWARD GIBSON: This Kenmore West High School graduate flew on the Skylab 4 space mission during a lengthy stint with NASA from 1965-1974. He also worked as a market development consultant and been a frequent speaker and author, and is in the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.



  1. […] the original print story, check it out here. Also, check out my first blog posts on the subject here and here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)More of WNY’s most notable […]

    Pingback by Readers help find more local celebrities « Life in the Slow Lane — July 21, 2008 @ 1:35 pm | Reply

  2. Oh, Thanks! Really interesting. Big ups!

    Comment by BigBan — August 17, 2008 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

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