Famous People From Flint

October 13th, 2021 by

At Applegate Chevrolet, we’ve been proud to be a part of the Flint, Michigan, community for over 90 years. We’ve seen lots of people come and go in that time, including some famous names. Ever wondered about some prominent people who once called Flint home? Let us tell you about five of them.

Terry Crews

Image of Terry Crews

Image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore

Actor and NFL defensive end Terry Crews was born in Flint in 1968. After earning a scholarship to the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts, he went on to earn a scholarship to Western Michigan University, where he played football and studied art.  As an 11th-round draft pick in 1991, he played for the Los Angeles Rams, the San Diego Chargers, the Washington Redskins, and the Philadelphia Eagles before retiring in 1997.

Crews has had a successful second career as an actor, appearing in a series of wildly popular Old Spice commercials as well as in movies like “Sixth Day,” “Terminator Salvation,” “Get Smart,” and “Bridesmaids.” He’s a frequent guest actor on many television shows, and is beloved for his intense and funny portrayal of Terry for eight seasons on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

Crews and his wife, Rebecca, have been married since 1990 and are the parents of five children.

Sandra Bernhard

Actress and comedian Sandra Bernhard was born in Flint in 1955. After high school graduation, she moved to Israel for a time, then to Los Angeles. She has spent her adult life in L.A. and New York for television and movie roles, Broadway and off-Broadway productions, and stand-up performances.

Her career started as a performer at The Comedy Store and as a supporting player in “The Richard Pryor Show” in 1977. Martin Scorsese cast her in “The King of Comedy” in 1983, and she won the National Society of Film Critics award for Best Supporting Actress. A long guest spot on “Roseanne” along with multiple stand-up routines have filled out her long career.

Though her family moved to Arizona when she was 10 years old, Bernhard has written about supporting Flint through the water crisis, and she has supported other infrastructure goals for the community. Bernhard has one daughter named Cicely.

Michael Moore

Provocative documentarian and political activist Michael Moore was born in Flint in 1954. His father and grandfather worked for General Motors, and his uncle was one of the founders of the first automotive labor union. He’s also an Eagle Scout. For his project, he made a slideshow about pollution.

Though he was accepted to the University of Michigan, Flint, he dropped out after his first year. At age 22, he founded an alternative weekly called The Flint Voice, which was later renamed The Michigan Voice when its coverage expanded to the whole state. Moore then became the editor of Mother Jones magazine but was fired after just four months over a publishing content dispute.

He found his voice in documentaries that opened viewers’ eyes to current events. His first film, “Roger & Me,” was about what happened to Flint after General Motors closed, and he followed up his critical success with films like “Bowling for Columbine,” “Fahrenheit 9/11,” and “Sicko.” These documentaries explored important topics like gun control in the United States, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and the American health care system. “Sicko” won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Moore has written several books and screenplays, and has appeared in movies, documentaries, and television shows.

Bob Eubanks

The charismatic game show host Bob Eubanks was born in Flint in 1938. His parents were from Missouri but moved to Flint during the Great Depression. Not long after Eubanks was born, the family moved to Pasadena, California, where Eubanks became a child model for advertising. Growing up, he loved the music of Frank Sinatra and actors like Cary Grant and Buddy Hackett. After high school, he attended Los Angeles Pierce College.

In 1956, he got his first job as a disc jockey, at KACY in Oxnard, California. He was quickly promoted and eventually settled into his long-term 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. time slot, and started producing concerts and performances for big acts like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Dolly Parton. In 1966, he got a call for the job that made him famous in American households. He was hired as the host of “The Newlywed Game,” which ran for 2195 episodes, from 1966 to 1974, and was ranked among the top game shows for many of its years on-air.

Eubanks has three children, who grew up on a working 26-acre cattle ranch.

Robert “Bob” Bell

Born in Flint in 1922, Bob Bell is perhaps most famously known as his alter-ego: Bozo the Clown. Bell enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II but never saw combat because of vision loss in his right eye. After his discharge, he became a radio announcer at Flint’s WMRP and later moved to South Bend, Indiana, and Cincinnati, Ohio, to join “The Wally Phillips Show.” He showed great aptitude for comedy, and in 1960, Bell was hired to play Bozo the Clown during a 30-minute weekday show, which later evolved into a one-hour live telecast called “Bozo’s Circus.”

The success of the show earned Bell an Emmy in 1970, and he performed as Bozo until his retirement in 1984. He was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in 1996. After his death in 1997, Bell received many posthumous honors: A section of Addison Street in Chicago was named Bob Bell Way, and April 18, 1998, was proclaimed “Bob Bell Day.” One of his Bozo costumes is included in the collection at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Bob Bell passed away in 1997. He and his wife, Carol, had four children.

So there you have our list of five famous people born in Flint, Michigan. All these people have been entertaining or educating others for decades. Is there anyone we missed that you’d like to see added to our list? Feel free to contact us and let us know about other fine people born right here in Flint.