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The Ultimate Guide

5 Buffalo actors who made it big

You can take the actor out of Buffalo, but you can’t take the Buffalo out of these actors who have made it big in theater, television and movies. Read more

Stephen McKinley Henderson

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Henderson made his way to Buffalo in 1987 to take a job teaching at the University at Buffalo after appearing in several Studio Arena Theatre productions. He still holds that job today, but he’s also become a highly sought-after film, TV and Broadway performer, appearing in lauded productions of “Fences,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” in Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and HBO’s “The Newsroom.”

Bethany Moore

Known as a quadruple-threat on Broadway, Moore, a 2007 graduate of the University at Buffalo’s theater and dance program, has quickly made a name for herself. Her appearances in “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” and the Broadway hit “Pippin” have earned her a big following.

Jesse L. Martin

As a Theatre of Youth alumnus, Martin constantly credits his upbringing in the Buffalo theater scene with helping to give him the skills and confidence to make it nationally in film and theater. After originating the role of Tom Collins in “Rent” in the mid-’90s, he went on to become a familiar face on Broadway and TV, where he played the role of Detective Ed Green on "Law & Order" from 1999 to 2008.

Wendie Malick

Perhaps best known for her role as the viper-tongued boss on NBC’s “Just Shoot Me,” Malick, a Williamsville High School graduate, has a huge list of TV and film credits. She also maintains a close connection to her hometown, having returned to perform with Dan Lauria of “The Wonder Years” for a 2007 performance of “The Guys” at Studio Arena Theatre.

Christine Baranski

Born in Buffalo and educated at Cheektowaga’s Villa Maria Academy, Baranski first stepped onto the New York stage in 1980, won her first Tony Award in 1984 and went on to become a familiar face on TV’s “Cybill” and "The Good Wife" and in films including “The Birdcage,” “Chicago” and “Mamma Mia!”

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  • Rollo Tomasei

    Seriously!...political correctness run completely amok!...Stephen Mckinley Henderson was not even born here!!!!!!..And you don't have Bill Fitchner on this list?...Bethany Moor was only a student here..and you don't have Jeffery Demunn?...Why?..because they are not female or a minority?..yet they both were born and raised here and are much more recognizable then the previous two who were mentioned.