Mizzou has been a college home to many of the rich and famous

Thursday, July 29, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

Incoming freshmen may not know that MU has been home to a number of famous celebrities and personalities.

Famous alumni include actors and actresses to writers, musicians, athletes and even a well-known cartoonist.

Here's a list from of notable alumni compiled by the MU Alumni Association

  • Sheryl Crow: The musician graduated from MU in 1984 with a degree in secondary education with an emphasis on music. She is a nine-time Grammy award winner. She has won awards for American blues rock singer, guitarist, bassist and songwriter.
  • Chris Cooper: The actor attended Stephens College and MU, where he double-majored in agriculture and drama. He graduated in 1976 and moved to New York to pursue a career in acting. Some of his most famous movies include "American Beauty," "Me Myself and Irene," "Bourne Identity" and "Remember Me."
  • William Least Heat-Moon: The writer attended MU where he earned his bachelor's degree in photojournalism as well as bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in English. He has been a professor of English at MU. Known for his non-fiction writing, he is the author of a bestselling trilogy “Blue Highways: A Journey Into America” (1982), “PrairyErth: A Deep Map” (1991) and “River-Horse: Across America by Boat” (1999).
  • Sam Walton: The founder of Wal-Mart graduated with a degree in economics from MU in 1940. 
After graduating, he served as a captain in the Army Intelligence Corps from 1942 to 1945.  Walton opened his first Walmart store in 1962, and the company went public in 1970.
  • Kate Capshaw: The actress graduated with an education degree in 1975 and taught special education classes at Rock Bridge High School. 
Her dream to be an actress drove her to New York where she landed a role on the soap "The Edge of the Night" (1956). She met her future husband, Steven Spielberg, while competing for the female lead in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) with 120 other actresses.
  • Mort Walker: The cartoonist graduated from MU in 1948. While in college, he was editor of the school magazine. 
He ventured to New York City to pursue his cartooning career. In order to survive, he worked as editor of three magazines for Dell Publishing Co. He continued to persist even after his first 200 cartoons were rejected. Editors finally began to recognize his talent and in two years he became the syndicated cartoonist with his long-running strip, "Beetle Bailey."
  • Elizabeth Vargas: The ABC-TV news anchor graduated with a degree in journalism from MU in 1984. 
  Vargas joined ABC News after working for NBC News as a correspondent and anchor, mostly for "Dateline NBC" and the "Today" show. Prior to joining NBC News, Vargas spent four years as a reporter and anchor for WBBM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Chicago.
  • Kellen Winslow: The NFL football pro graduated with an education degree from the university in 1987. He was captain of the football team at MU.
In 1979, he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers. He spent nine years with the Chargers and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995. Winslow appears on Fox Sports, ABC's Nightline, ESPN and other local and national radio and television sports talk shows.
  • Linda Bell Blue: The executive producer "Entertainment Tonight" graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1978. Before joining "Entertainment Tonight" in 1995, she served as executive producer of "Hard Copy." She has also worked for news stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Detroit.
  • John Hamm: The actor graduated in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in English. He taught eighth-grade acting before moving to Los Angeles in 1996. He struggled as an unemployed actor and was cast in several unsuccessful television roles. He is now known for his lead role in the television series “Mad Men,” but has also acted in “CSI: Miami,” “Numb3rs” and “The Unit.”
  • Brad Pitt: The actor began his studies in journalism and advertising in 1982. He left MU just two credits short of graduating to pursue a career in modeling and acting. He visited the university in October 2004 to encourage students to vote in the U.S. presidential election.

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