Bred and Buttered in the Bronx
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Attended Bronx Science High School, then earned his BA in Physics from Harvard and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia. He is currently the Chief Astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium Rose Center at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Host this summer of the PBS series NOVA scienceNOW. A frequent guest on the Colbert Report. If only he had been my physics teacher in high school…oh my, I would certainly be blogging on another subject. He is a hero in our household.
65th United States Secretary of State /12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / 16th National Security Advisor / Retired General in the United States Army
Born in Harlem, grew up on Kelly Street in the Hunts Point / Longwood neighborhood (Longwood has a very beautiful historic district), attended Morris Park High School.
Of the husband wife duo Ashford and Simpson, born in the Bronx, songwriter and producer of so many classic hits, including “I’m Every Woman”, the Supremes’ “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Could a rolling hill or peak in the Bronx have been her influence? Ashford and Simpson had opened a restaurant, The Sugar Bar on the Upper West Side. But I’m not sure if it is still open?
Known as Edgar when a student at Bronx Science High School, his novels “Billy Bathgate” and “World’s Fair” portray life in the Bronx during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Signed copies of these novels are buried in the Bronx Time Capsule to be unearthed in 2089. In the dedication of the capsuled “Billy Bathgate” Doctorow wrote: “Is there still reading? And will you understand this? Or will you read it all too well and smile for the primitives we were.”
Attended William Howard Taft High School in the South Bronx, director of films “Dr. Strangelove”, “2001 A Space Odyssey, “A Clockwork Orange”, “The Shining” and “Full Metal Jacket”.
Television Producer, Director
born in the Bronx, older brother to actress Penny Marshall, their mom ran a tap dance studio in the Bronx, attended DeWitt Clinton High School, graduate of The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (my alma mater!), donated the funds for Northwestern’s Barbara and Garry Marshall Studio Wing and The Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center named for his mother. He wrote for “The Lucy Ball Show”, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Odd Couple”, created “Happy Days” and Laverne and Shirley”, directed the films “Beaches”, “Pretty Woman”, “The Runaway Bride”, “The Princess Diaries 1 and 2”.
Born in the Bronx, sister to Garry Marshall (see above), played Laverne DeFazio in late 70s TV sitcom “Laverne and Shirley”, director of several films including “Big”, “A League of Their Own” and “The Preacher’s Wife”.
Born in the Bronx, as was his father Carl Reiner, Rob is most famous for his role as “Meathead” on the 1970’s sitcom “All in the Family”, directed “This is Spinal Tap” and “When Harry Met Sally” (the first movie my sister and I saw when we moved to New York).
Grew up in the South Bronx, performed in “Moonstruck” and “Do The Right Thing”, he’s also a singer and recently released an album in the vein of Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Louis Prima.
Born and raised in the Bronx, directed, “True Love” about Italian-American life in the Bronx, won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1989, “Dogfight”, “Household Saints” and “The 24-Hour Woman”. I once heard her speak at a Learning Annex workshop and liked her a lot.
Born in the Bronx, most known for her role as the unfaltering teacher Annie Sullivan in the “Miracle Worker” and Mrs. Robinson in the “The Graduate”. Married to Mel Brooks. I stayed up late one night recently watching “The Miracle Worker” and was absolutely stunned at the physical intensity of her scenes wrestling with Patty Duke’s Helen Keller. Amazing. I could feel that pain in a way I certainly do not when watching a contemporary high action film.
Actor / Dancer / Singer
Born and raised in the Castle Hill neighborhood of the Bronx. She was a one of the “Fly Girls” on “In Living Color” in the early 90s. We adored this show. The Fly Girls moved like dancers we had never seen before. And everyone on it, Damon Wayans, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Kim Wayans, David Allan Grier, Jim Carrey, was hilarious.
Born in the Bronx and grew up in the Moshulu Parkway neighborhood. His father Leo, owned a small grocery store in Harlem on Lenox Avenue. He spent many childhood afternoons with mother Flore, in his grandmother Molly’s tiny dress alteration shop on Bainbridge Avenue. Took art classes at P.S. 80 on Moshulu Parkway, attended New York’s High School of Industrial Fashion in Manhattan. Couldn’t wait to finish high school to get out of the Bronx. Graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology. He almost became the owner of a string of grocery stores with boyhood friend and fellow Bronxite, Barry Schwartz. Creator of the eponymous designer jean and their provocative television and print ads. Sold his company Calvin Klein in 2003.
Born in the Bronx, né Ralph Rueben Lifshitz. Grew up in the Mosholu Parkway area, attended DeWitt Clinton High School. Changed his name to Lauren when a teenager. Introduced a line of men’s ties 40 years ago. His ties were wide when the trend was for narrow ties. They were instantly successful. Never went to design school. Never played polo. Creator of the Polo Ralph Lauren brand.