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5 Lesser Known Wisconsin Superstars

Jasmine Ferrell

Above: Revered Wisconsinite.
Above: Revered Wisconsinite.

There are certainWisconsinites who’ve given our state genuine bragging rights (Harry Houdini, Orson Welles, I’m looking at you), but they aren’t only people we should be proud of. Below are just some of the lesser known, but still influential Wisconsin natives. Pay your respects. 

1. Donald Goerke

Donald Goerke, a Waukesha homeboy, left Wisconsin only to impact the childhood of generations. As a Campbell Soup Company executive, he not only created the classic Chunky soup, but the iconic SpaghettiOs. That’s right, if it wasn’t for him, we’d have no choice but to eat spaghetti….with non-circular noodles. What a disgrace.

2. Joel Hodgson

In the town of Stevens Point, on a cold day in February in 1960, a man was born. That man would go on to create the cult classic Mystery Science Theater 3000. That man is Joel Hodgson. The Comedy Central show defined the technique of movie riffing and showed a positive example of a robot-human relationship.

3. Virginia Mae Morrow

Going back a little further in time, a controversial woman of the 1950s had roots in our dear capital. Virginia Mae Morrow underwent numerous hypnosis sessions that revealed a previous life as Irish Bridey Murphy. The detailed account of her previous life spawned a reincarnation sensation across the nation resulting in movies, books, and even themed parties.

4. Barbie

Fictional? Yes. Too iconic to ignore? Yes. The one and only Barbie was born in Wisconsin. As written in the fictional biography published in the early ‘60s, Barbie, or Barbara Millicent Roberts, was born in the fabricated town of Willows. She, of course, went on to accomplish pretty much anything possible. And impossible.

5. John Matuszak and BONUS! John Fiedler

Wisconsin is home to some pretty famous actors (Chris Farley, Gene Wilder, etc.), but two lesser known Wisconsinites were responsible for some of the most lovable characters in film and TV. Those actors would be ... John Fiedler, the voice of Piglet and John Matuszak, Sloth from The Goonies. Would the world have been the same without them?