Who is Montana’s most famous movie star? The envelope please…

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There’s just something special about going to the movies. You go, you get your ticket, you get your snacks (I’m a Junior Mint guy), you buy your $8 soda and then you go get your seat and wait for the trailers. I mean, who doesn’t like going to the movies, right?

The other day we were talking about the greatest movies of all time based in Montana (by the way, the votes are in and A River Runs Through It was won by a landslide), so I thought, hey Well, what about Montana’s biggest movie star of all time? I mean Montana surely produced movie stars, right?

Yes, yes we have.

Not all of the stars on our list were born in Montana, however, they’ve all lived here at one time or another. So, let’s take a look, shall we?

First, Carroll O’Conner. Most people know Mr. O’Conner as Archie Bunker from All In The Family, however, he has starred in several films during his career. His last role came in 2000 when he appeared in Return To Me. O’Conner was a graduate of the University of Montana.

Portrait of Carroll O’Connor
Getty Images/Staff

Michelle Williams was born in Kalispell in 1980. Williams is a four time Oscar nominated actress who has appeared in critically acclaimed films like Brokeback Mountain, My Week with Marilyn, Manchester By The Sea and The Greatest Showman.

26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards – Arrivals
Getty Images Jon Kopaloff / Stringer

Oscar winner JK Simmons is also a University of Montana alumnus. Simmons is known not only for his commercials for Farmers Insurance, but also for being a scene stealer when it comes to movies. Simmons won his Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the 2015 film Whiplash. Simmons has appeared in blockbusters like the Spider-Man series, as well as several other films, and is one of the busiest men in the business.

Premiere of “War Dogs” by Warner Bros. Pictures – Arrivals
Getty Images Alberto E. Rodriguez / Staff

Christopher Lloyd spent a few years living in the Bitterroot Valley. Lloyd, who knows the most from his stint on the TV show TAXI as a weary hippie Jim, as well as Doc from the Back To The Future franchise. Lloyd also appeared in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

“Back to the Future” Special Anniversary Screening in New York
Getty Images Theo Wargo / Staff

Finally, there’s Hollywood legend Gary Cooper. Born in Helena, Copper, who was a cowboy at heart, enjoyed living and working on the family ranch in Craig, Montana. In fact, Cooper would have been content with the life of a rancher had it not been for a Bozeman teacher who suggested Mr. Cooper check out Debate and Dramatics. Cooper would later credit the teacher with a changing force in his life. Gary Cooper will start in silent cinema before moving on to “talkies” where he will become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Cooper would receive three Oscars, two for best actor and one as an honorary award.

Portrait of Gary Cooper
Getty Images Archive Hulton/Staff

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