When most people think of celebrities or famous people from Seattle, they often think of former or deceased residents, like Bruce Lee, Jimi Hendrix, or Kurt Cobain.
However, there are still many famous residents who live here to this day. For the purposes of this list, “Seattle” will refer to the metro area and not strictly within the city limits.
As I’m writing this, the list is completely accurate. However, if you’re reading this in five years, you may want to double-check this. For example, similar lists in other places still include NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell who passed away several months ago.
Many of the celebrities on this list own multiple residences across the country but all of them do maintain at least one in the Seattle area.
Eddie Vedder is the lead singer of the rock band Pearl Jam and currently lives in West Seattle. He’s stated in interviews that he loves the area and can still enjoy a certain level of anonymity walking down the street.
The half-joking, entirely friendly baseball rivalry between the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres is referred to as “The Vedder Cup“, as he grew up in San Diego and now lives here. Ironically, Vedder himself is a big Chicago Cubs fan.
Although he was born in South Africa and raised in both Cambridge, England, and New York City, musician Dave Matthews has lived in Seattle with his wife and two children for many years.
He is also an actor who, among other appearances, guest starred in a great episode of the TV show House. His character had an accident in childhood that caused a seizure condition and also gave him virtuoso-level concert piano skills.
Anna Faris, star of the Scary Movie franchise, graduated from the University of Washington and graduated with a BA in English Literature. She has a home in the San Juan Islands where she recently married cinematographer Michael Barrett.
Faris got her acting start with the Seattle Repertory Theater at the age of nine in a production of a play by Arthur Miller. In addition to acting, she also hosts the Shorty Award-winning podcast “Unqualified“, in which she dispenses advice to listeners.
Chris Pratt grew up near Lake Stevens in Snohomish County and, after becoming an international star on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, returned to the area with his now ex-wife Anna Faris. Despite their divorce, he still spends time on his farm near San Juan.
In addition to Parks and Rec, he has also starred in the Jurassic World series of films, and Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. He will soon lend his voice to animated productions based on the Super Mario Brothers games and Jim Davis’ beloved cat, Garfield.
Ken Jennings is the most famous game show contestant of all time, having won a total of over $4.5 million from Jeopardy! and over a million dollars combined between several other programs. His 74-day winning streak remains the longest in the show’s history.
He maintains a residence in Seattle, although he does spend a fair amount of time in Studio City, California, where he shares Jeopardy! hosting responsibilities with actress, author, and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik.
Speaking of which, the legendary Bill Nye The Science Guy has been a longtime Seattle resident. His PBS television series has been credited with inspiring many children to take an interest in the topic and go on to receive degrees in STEM fields.
Nye actually got his television start in the late 1970s in Seattle. He was part of the cast of “Almost Live!”, a show where he played a speedwalking crimefighter and, eventually, gave science demonstrations that inspired his successful show.
On a completely different note, songwriter and rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot was born in Auburn and has lived in Seattle his entire life. It was here that he wrote “Baby Got Back”, which has been described as a seminal work in the art of celebrating women’s rear ends.
More recently, he hosted a local morning radio program from 2017 to 2019. He has also appeared in advertisements for the Washington State Lottery and hosted a reality special “Sir Mix-A-Lot’s House Remix“, in which he bought and then flipped a house in Seattle.
Although actress Elizabeth Mitchell was born in Los Angeles, she later moved to Bainbridge Island with her now ex-husband and children. Despite her acting work, she maintains the home to this day.
Known to millions of fans as Dr. Juliet Burke from the hit show Lost, she also famously starred as the wife of Tim Allen’s character in the hit Santa Clause sequels, as well as reprising the role for the Disney+ Original Series “The Santa Clauses”.
One of the most famous Native American authors of the past 50 years, Sherman Alexie was born near Spokane but is now a Seattleite. His books have won several awards and sold millions of copies worldwide.
Perhaps his most famous book, Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, contains a series of short stories that includes “This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona”. That story was the basis of the 1998 film Smoke Signals.
Rapper Macklemore was born in Capitol Hill and continued to live there for years, even after the millions of dollars he earned from his hit song “Thrift Shop”. Although he sold the apartment in 2017, he now lives in the Kent area and remains a local icon.
A clip from “Thrift Shop” was played as a hype song at Seattle Mariners games in T-Mobile Park for years, although it was replaced last season which upset many fans. His song “My Oh My” was dedicated to the memory of beloved Mariners broadcaster, the late Dave Niehaus.
In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded an online e-commerce website that he called “Cadabra Inc.” in his garage in Bellevue. After his lawyer misheard it as “cadaver”, he consulted a dictionary and decided to change the name to “Amazon.com”.
Today, among many other pieces of real estate across the country, Bezos lives in the residential community of Medina on the shores of Lake Washington. He also owns the Washington Post and has expressed interest in buying the Washington Commanders NFL team (but don’t worry, we won’t let him).
Actor Danny Bonaduce was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Seattle in 2011 after the radio station he worked for in Pennsylvania changed formats and became dedicated to sports talk radio instead of classic rock and roll.
Known to millions of fans as Danny Partridge from The Partridge Family, Bonaduce has co-hosted a morning talk radio show in Seattle for over a decade. He has also appeared in several celebrity boxing matches and had a wrestling match with TNA (now known as Impact).
Although many athletes move away from the cities they’ve played for after retirement, that’s not the case for former Seattle Mariners’ third baseman and DH Edgar Martinez. He sold his penthouse apartment in Bellevue for $9.78 million before relocating to Kirkland.
Considered one of the best Puerto Ricans to ever play professional baseball, Martinez retired with 2,247 hits and a lifetime .312 batting average. In 2019, he was elected to the Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Bonus: Celebrities That No Longer Live in Seattle
If you do a Google search for famous people who live in Seattle, you’ll find a lot of them are outdated, as I mentioned in the introduction. Here is a short list of former Seattle celebs:
- Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight in The Office, now lives in Los Angeles. It is rumored that his mother still lives in his former residence, however.
- Professional Wrestler Greg “The Hammer” Valentine now lives in Florida.
- Russell “The Professor” and Dawn “Mary Ann” Wells from Gilligan Island used to live here but have since passed away.
- Nancy and Ann Wilson of the band Heart now live in Florida.
- Kenny G, the legendary saxophone player, now resides in Malibu, California.
- The legend of women’s soccer, Hope Solo, moved to North Carolina with her husband in 2014.
- Oprah Winfrey formerly owned a massive vacation property on Orcas Island, which she sold in 2021 for $14 million.
- Not surprisingly, after Russell Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos, he and his Grammy-nominated wife Ciara decided to sell their home in Bellevue. It’s currently on the market for $26 million, if you know anyone interested.
- Although he returns to Seattle for occasional Mariners’ games, Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. moved away several years ago and now resides in Orland, Florida, and has a condo in Cincinnati.
- After the success of Home Improvement, actor Richard Karn moved to Los Angeles.
These are just a few of the celebrities and famous people who live in Seattle for at least part of the year.
If you see one of them walking down the street, you can wave and tell them how much you appreciate their work. If they have time, maybe they’ll stop and talk. Just try not to interrupt them during dinner with their families. Most celebrities don’t like that.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll encounter one or more of the people on this list during your next vacation to the Pacific Northwest. I mean, I live here and haven’t seen of them but you never know!