Earlier this weekend, I was having a bit of fun with blog readers, coming up with our ideas for celebrities to feature on a season of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? In addition to genealogy, I have a passion for learning as much as I can about movie actors (and other media celebrities) who have their roots in Nebraska. I indulge my passion for Nebraska personalities and movies filmed in the state on my web site, NebraskaOnFilm.com. Someday, you might even spot me wearing an outfit that Kathy Bates wore in the Nebraska-based film, About Schmidt.
So, you ask, what does that have to do with genealogy? Well, once I get on Ancestry.com, I sometimes get distracted. If I can't find what I'm looking for (remember, all you have to do is look!), I will poke around and see what I can find about our Nebraska actors. Since I named Jane Fonda in my WDYTYA fantasy season, I was going through some of my old folders and found that I had already done some digging into her family history.
|The William B Fonda Family|
Omaha Nebraska, 1930 Census
|Henry Fonda's Occupation in Omaha|
|Marlon Brando, Jr., age 6|
Omaha, Nebraska 1930 census
Although not born in Nebraska, Johnny Carson always considered himself a Nebraskan, having grown up in Norfolk and graduating from the University of Nebraska. Where was he in 1930? He was four years old and living in Red Oak, Iowa with his parents, Homer ("Kit") and Ruth Carson, and his siblings Katherine and Dick, who worked with Johnny during much of his show business career.
|The Homer Carson Family of Red Oak, Iowa|
John W. "Johnny" Carson, age 4
Going back even farther, to 1900, we find the Austerlitz family of Omaha. Frederick Austerlitz was the son of Austrian immigrants and was born in Omaha on May 10, 1899. He and his older sister, Adele, went on to become dance partners in vaudeville until she married in 1932. You probably know him better by his stage name, Fred Astaire.
|The Austerlitz Family of Omaha, Nebraska|
It's always great fun when I can combine my two passions: genealogy and Nebraskans on film.