18 times super-famous celebrities were spotted in and around Dayton

The Dayton region is no stranger to star sightings.

For decades, celebrities have been welcomed into our communities, whether on business or returning to their roots.

Shirley Temple drew a crowd outside Dayton’s Loew’s Theater in 1944, musician John Legend keeps closes ties with his Springfield alma mater and Butler County has become a mecca for making Hollywood films.

Here’s a look at the tip of the iceberg of celebrity visits to the region:

Bradley Cooper

Cooper was in Yellow Springs on Oct. 5, 2018, for a screening of his movie “A Star is Born” in Yellow Springs. The movie features Yellow Springs resident Dave Chappelle, who was also there and participated in a question-and-answer session with Cooper after the screening.

» RELATED: Bradley Cooper in town for private screening of ‘A Star is Born’ with his friend Dave Chappelle

Ron Howard

Howard was spotted at multiple locations in Middletown during the week of Sept. 30, 2018, while seeking locations for an upcoming movie based on the book “Hillbilly Elegy” by Middletown native J.D. Vance.

Howard posed for photos with multiple business owners who served him during his visit.

» RELATED: Filmmaker Ron Howard spotted in Middletown



Allison Janney

Actress Allison Janney was inducted into the Dayton Walk of Fame in 2017.

Raised in Oakwood, Janney is perhaps best known for her role as C.J. Cregg on the NBC series “The West Wing,” for which she received four Emmy awards and four Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards.

“I feel incredibly grateful, and I will never forget being cemented into the fabric of Dayton, Ohio,” she said during the September ceremony.

»  RELATED: Dayton native Allison Janney hosts Miami Valley students on LA set

Tom Hanks 

Tom Hanks, one of the most beloved Academy Award-winning actors of all time, helped dedicate the Tom Hanks Center of Motion Pictures at Wright State University in 2016.

“With a name on the outside of a building, I like to think I got in,” said Hanks, about WSU’s Motion Pictures Program.

The actor and producer told the audience they should have seen what he got on his SATs — spilled soda, he joked.

» RELATED: Tom Hanks dedicates Wright State's motion pictures center

Credit: George Clooney

Credit: George Clooney

George Clooney 

“Ides of March,” a political drama starring George Clooney and another mega celebrity, Ryan Gosling, was filmed at Miami University in Oxford in 2011.

The film prominently features Oxford in the first 20 minutes with scenes taking place in Hall Auditorium.

Harry Houdini 

Famed magician Harry Houdini made numerous trips to the area in the early 1900s, escaping from “torture chambers” built by NCR carpenters and pulling dozens of threaded needles from his throat.

In 1916 the illusionist escaped from a Dayton Police Dept. issued straight jacket as he hung by his ankles over the intersection of Fourth and Ludlow Streets.

» RELATED: Harry Houdin's history in Dayton: Neddles, tricks and escapes

James Franco 

In 2015, portions of James Franco’s movie, “The Long Home” were filmed in several southern Ohio locations, including Eaton in Preble County, Camp Kern in Warren County and around North Second Street of Hamilton’s Historic German Village.



Bryan Cranston 

Emmy award-winning actor Bryan Cranston and two of his siblings spent a day in 2015 at the Dayton VA Medical Center campus to film an episode of the TLC series “Who Do You Think You Are.”

Cranston, who starred in the television series “Breaking Bad,” is related to an ancestor who was a Union Army soldier. He toured the grotto, a museum and the adjacent Dayton National Cemetery.

Later he made stops at Thai 9 and Salar Restaurant and Lounge in the Oregon District.

Quentin Tarantino

Famed filmmaker Quentin Tarantino made a pilgrimage to Dayton in 1999 to view a movie in Cinerama.

Tarantino watched the 1963 film How the West Was Won at The Neon theater in downtown Dayton. The theater was the only one in the country operating Cinerama, a process that shoots movies with three separate cameras and projects them on a wide, curved screen.

“I'd always heard about Cinerama but had never seen it,” Tarantino said during intermission.



Gloria Steinem 

Feminist, peace activist and author Gloria Steinem was in Dayton to receive the 2015 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award at the 10th Annual Dinner & Awards Presentation of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Steinem was introduced to the audience at the event by longtime talk show host Phil Donahue who got his television start in Dayton.

» RELATED: Feminist Gloria Steinem named Holbrook winner

Rockers Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow 

Melissa Etheridge was in the area playing a show with Blondie at the Rose Music Center in Huber Heights in 2015. She stopped for lunch at Meadowlark Restaurant in Washington Twp.

Sheryl Crow has performed numerous times in the area over the years. When in town, she frequently stops at the Dublin Pub in Dayton’s Oregon District.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Danny Glover and Robert Redford 

Filming for the movie, “The Old Man and the Gun” took over the streets of Dayton and Hamilton in 2017.

Robert Redford and Danny Glover were spotted on the roof of the Talbott Tower in Dayton, and Casey Affleck was filmed on High Street in Hamilton for the film, which also stars Sissy Spacek.

During, filming Redford and Tom Waits were spotted having dinner at The Oakwood Club.

» RELATED: The history of downtown's Liberty Tower, soon-to-be movie star in a Robert Redford film



Charles Lindbergh 

On June 22, 1927 famed aviator Charles Lindbergh visited Orville Wright in Oakwood a month after setting a record for a solo flight from New York to Paris.

During the visit to Hawthorn Hill, the Wright family mansion, a crowd gathered on the lawn outside. Lindbergh briefly stepped out onto a balcony to greet the crowd.

» RELATED: 90 years later, Lindbergh grandson finally gets the Wright family mansion photo

Mark Zuckerberg 

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stopped in Dayton in 2017 for a community roundtable discussion on opioid addiction hosted by CareSource.

Participants spoke with Zuckerberg for about 90 minutes, and the group described the opioid crisis in the area and the struggles with addiction that many in the area face.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen 

Springfield native and Grammy and Tony award winner John Legend was recently spotted at a football game between Kettering Fairmont and Springfield high schools.

Legend was at the game with is supermodel wife, Chrissy Teigen and their daughter.

Afterward the family dined in Centerville, at which Teigen left a huge tip that made national news.

Legend has made other stops in the region over the years among them campaigning for presidential candidates and dedicating the John Legend Theater at the Springfield Center for Innovation: The Dome, formerly Springfield High School.

» READ MORE: You won't believe the tip Chrissy Teigen dropped on this Centerville waitress

Dave Chapelle’s celebrity pals

Resident celebrity Dave Chapelle can be seen strolling the streets of Yellow Springs, occasionally attending a village council meeting or stumping for political candidates in the area.

The comedian is also known to throw parties for his friends. A plane full celebrities partied down with residents at Dave Chappelle's two-day Juke Joint at Yellow Springs' Whitehall Farms.

The guest list included rappers D-Nice, Talib Kweli and Q-Tip, CBS News' Gayle King, actor Bradley Cooper, model/actress Naomi Campbell, comedian Donnell Rawlings and magician David Blaine.

Bradley Cooper returned to Yellow Springs and was seen with Dave Chapelle at Dino’s Cappuccinos.

Credit: Randy Ragsdale/Staff

Credit: Randy Ragsdale/Staff

Martin Sheen 

Actor and Dayton native Martin Sheen makes frequent visits to his hometown.

Among them, he has attended a 2006 unveiling of a portrait of Sister Dorothy Stang at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School and bagged groceries at the Foodbank in Dayton with Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2012.

In 2015 Sheen in Dayton to receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to peace, social justice, and human rights from the University of Dayton.

» RELATED: UD gives Martin Sheen honorary degree

Cast of The West Wing 

Much of the cast of the television show “The West Wing,” including Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, Dulé Hill, Joshua Malina and Mary McCormack and Allison Janney (AKA Toby, Josh, Charlie, Will, Kate and C.J.) canvassed Dayton for Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Dayton was one of six locations the TV show cast visited in Ohio. The group piled onto the back of a pickup parked behind a building on East First Street and urged supporters to volunteer.