Comic genius Jonathan Winters was born in Bellbrook and raised in Springfield-raised.

5 famous people you might not have known came from Springfield

Editor’s Note: This story first published on June 24, 2018.


When people ask about famous faces who were born and raised in Springfield, most people will say Grammy-winning singer and songwriter John Legend easily comes to mind.

But there are plenty more notable names who have called the Champion City home. Here’s a look at five you may not have known:

1. Justin Chambers

This small screen star was born in Springfield in 1970. One of the youngest among five siblings — along with his twin brother, Jason — Chambers started his career as a model for Calvin Klein fragrances.

He eventually moved to New York and studied acting for several years before getting his big break in the NBC soap opera “Another World.” Today, the 2017 People’s Choice Award winner plays Dr. Alex Karev in the popular ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy.”

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"Grey's Anatmoy" actor Justin Chambers has five children with wife Keisha: Isabella, twins Maya and Kaila, Eva and Jackson.
Photo: David Livingston

2. Wayne Embry

Many people might have heard of Wayne Embry thanks to the stretch of U.S. 40 near Tecumseh High School that bears his name, but some might not know of his legacy. Embry is a retired basketball player who spent his 11-year career playing center and forward for three NBA teams: the Milwaukee Bucks, the Cincinnati Royals and the Boston Celtics.

After his retirement, he became the first African-American general manager and team president in NBA history. He is now senior basketball advisor to the Toronto Raptors.

Wayne Embry- MIAMI UNIVERSITY FILE PHOTO, DATE UNKNOWN

3. Braxton Miller

Miller is well-known for playing football for Wayne High School in Huber Heights before heading on to Ohio State University, but the sports star was actually born in Springfield. Miller performed as OSU’s starting quarterback for several seasons before switching to wide receiver in 2015. He was chosen as a third round draft pick by the Houston Texans in the 2016 NFL Draft.

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Braxton Miller, the Wayne High School quarterback who has committed to play his college football at Ohio State, is one of the most outrageous athletic talents to come through the area in recent memory. Some services have ranked him the No. 1 overall recruit in the country. He looks at game film with offensive coordinator Brian Blevins, who is on Wayne’s staff for the first year after resigning as Fairmont High School’s head coach. Staff photo by Jim Witmer
Photo: Staff Writer

4. Griffin House

This born-and-raised Springfield musician has had his music featured in some of the country’s most popular shows. He came into the music scene in 2001, and his 2004 album, “Lost and Found,” got a rave review on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

Since then, he’s released eight more albums and had tracks featured in national advertising campaigns. House’s work was also featured on the popular CW dramas “One Tree Hill” and “Everwood.”

Griffin House will play solo acoustic songs and tell stories. SARA JAGFELD/CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

5. Jonathan Winters

Originally born in Bellbrook, Jonathan Winters was raised by his mother in Springfield. A legendary comedian in his own right, Winters was also a history-maker, becoming the first person broadcast on color videotape in 1956 and performing in the first color television show in 1957.

He went on to a storied career being featured on The Tonight Show and also starring in movies like the 1963 comedy “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. He passed away from natural causes in 2013 at the age of 87.

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Legendary comedian Jonathan Winters at his home in Montecito, California. Winters died in 2013. ARCHIVE
Photo: Michael Moriatis/Michael Moriatis 805.252.3696

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