The list of famous people living in the greater Wilmington area has changed since Ben Steelman answered this question in 2009.
Alas, Linda Lavin, the Broadway actress who played “Alice” on the 1970s sitcom, has sold her things and moved to New York. Dennis Hopper, who filmed “Blue Velvet” here and bought a place in downtown Wilmington, has passed on. In fact, several of Wilmington’s most renowned celebrities have passed on in the last six years or so – movie studio president Frank Capra Jr. and character actor Pat Hingle, who played Commissioner Gordon in “Batman,” among them.
Here’s a list of some celebrities who own property in New Hanover, Brunswick or Pender counties – even though they might have a primary residence elsewhere.
Arts and entertainment
Joseph Gallison, who played Dr. Neil Curtis on the daytime drama “Days of Our Lives,” has lived in the area for many years and has been extremely active in local theater.
Actor Peter Jurasik, of “Tron” and “Babylon 5” fame, owns a home in the Masonboro area. Jurasik teaches at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Nina Repeta, a former N.C. Azalea Festival queen most famous for her role as Bessie Potter on “Dawson’s Creek,” lives in Wilmington.
Sydney Penny, most famous for roles on the soap operas “All My Children” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” owns a home in downtown Wilmington with her husband, Robert Powers.
Several cast members of NBC’s “Revolution” have made Wilmington a temporary home. With filming going on for up to eight months out of the year, you might find stars such as Tim Guinee hanging around Wilmington.
Henry Darrow, who played Manolito on TV’s “The High Chaparral” and who also appeared on “Santa Barbara,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The New Zorro,” lives in Wilmington.
Martha DeLaurentiis, filmmaker and widow of Dino de Laurentiis, has a home at Wrightsville Beach.
From Gary E. Trawick: Samm-Art Williams, who received a Tony nomination for his play “Home”; has received Emmy Award nominations for “Motown Returns to the Apollo” and “Frank’s Place.” He wrote for “Cagney and Lacey, “Miami Vice”, and the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” He appearred in the TV movie “Cook and Perry: The Race to the Pole” and in the title role in the PBS drama “Denmark Versey”. In 2010 he was inducted into the N.C. Literary Hall of Fame.
Athletes and coaches
Howie Long, pro football Hall of Famer and studio analyst for Fox’s NFL coverage, bought property on Bald Head Island in 2005, although he hasn’t built a home on the lot yet.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach and CBS football analyst Bill Cowher, who seems to be the subject of rumors whenever a football coaching opportunity arises, owns a home on Bald Head Island.
Wilmington native Trot Nixon, who played 12 years in the major leagues primarily with the Boston Red Sox, bought a home in Landfall in 2004 and still resides in Wilmington.
University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams owns a house on Lumina Avenue in Wrightsville Beach.
Former UCLA star and NBA All-Star Sidney Wicks has a home in Hampstead.
East Carolina University athletic director Terry Holland has a home at Figure Eight Island.
Business and industry
Some people are more influential than they are famous. There are also plenty of titans of business and industry who make Southeastern North Carolina home. Or their second home. Or maybe their third.
Among notable business leaders with homes in the area are Dr. Fred Eshelman, former CEO of the pharmaceutical research giant PPD Inc. and now founder and chairman of Furiex Pharmaceuticals, and Dennis Gillings, longtime CEO of the pharmaceutical services business Quintiles Transnational.
Lynn Beasley, former president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and her husband, Ron, bought a house in Landfall in 2007.
Bill Hawkins, retired chairman and CEO of Medtronic, owns a home at Wrightsville Beach.
John Mack, former CEO and chairman of the board at Morgan Stanley investment bank and brokerage firm, owns several parcels on Figure Eight Island. He has the distinction of owning the most valuable single-family residential property in New Hanover County. His Figure Eight home is valued at just over $6 million.
Paul J. Taubman, the co-president of Institutional Securites for Morgan Stanley, has a home on Figure Eight Island. Taubman helped broker billion dollar deals for Morgan Stanley but recently was passed over when the other co-president, Colm Kelleher, was promoted, Taubman’s consolation is a $1.7 million early retirement package. He also owns more than a million shares of Morgan Stanley stock.
Another Morgan Stanley connection exists. Gary G. Lynch, former chief legal officer and vice chairman for Morgan Stanley and currently an executive at Bank of America, bought a home on Figure Eight Island in 2007 for $3.9 million.
Dr. Nido Qubein, president of High Point University, author of 11 books and chairman of the Great Harvest Bread Company, owns a home on Figure Eight Island.
Frank Genovese, president and owner of the The Rothbury Corporation investment firm, has run nine corporations. He has a home on Figure Eight.
J. Eric Pike, president and CEO of Pike Energy Solutions bought a home on Figure Eight Island in 2007.
George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil, owner and operator of Biltmore Farms, has a home at Bald Head Island.
Bill Faber, who designs furniture lines for Century Furniture, has a home on Bald Head Island.
Simon Jose, president of Stiefel, a GSK company, has a home on Bald Head Island.
Ernest Mario, former CEO of Reliant Pharmaceuticals and other pharmaceutical companies and lead director at PPD, has a home at Figure Eight. The Rutgers University school of pharmacy bears his name.
David S. Congdon, CEO of Old Dominion Freight Line, has homes on Bald Head Island and Wrightsville Beach.
Martin Orlowsky, a consultant and retired CEO of Lorillard Tobacco Co., owns a house at Figure Eight. Forbes listed his total compensation for 2010 at more than $19.7 million.
Zack Bacon Jr., father of hedge fund magnate and billionaire Louis Bacon, owns a home on Figure Eight. Louis’ mother, Blanche Bacon, also owns a home on Figure Eight. Louis Bacon bought Orton Plantation in Brunswick County in 2010.
Bill Prestage, founder of Prestage Farms, owns a home on Figure Eight.
Monkee’s Franchising managing partners Brenda Maready and Deirdre Shaw each have a home at Figure Eight Island.
Norman Garrity, former president of Corning Technologies, has a home at Shell Island on Wrightsville Beach.
Tara Lebda, wife of Lending Tree founder, Doug Lebda, owns a home at Wrightsville Beach.
John Edwards, the former U.S. senator and presidential candidate, owns a home on Figure Eight Island.
Art Pope, North Carolina politician, chairman of the John William Pope Foundation and chief budget writer for Gov. Pat McCrory, has a home at Bald Head Island.
Vivian Pliner, senior political affairs officer for the United Nations, has a home on Bald Head Island.
Bill Brencick, senior adviser for the U.S. Dept. of State, has a home at Bald Head Island.
Clyde Edgerton, the New York Times best-selling author of such novels as “Raney” and “Walking Across Egypt,” owns a house in town and teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Author, actor, technician, inventor and humanitarian Jock Brandis has adopted Wilmington as his home.
Farina Wong Kingsley, an international culinary instructor and author of three cookbooks for Williams-Sonoma, has a home at Bald Head.
Celia Rivenbark, syndicated columnist and author of six books of Southern humor, lives in Wilmington.
Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Date posted: February 21, 2013