20 Celebrities Who Shunned Hollywood for Small Town Life

Look out for these celebs on your next Target run.

20 Celebrities Who Shunned Hollywood for Small Town Life

Look out for these celebs on your next Target run.

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Not every celebrity who makes it big wants to put down roots in Hollywood. For every camera-hungry Kardashian, there are a handful of stars who, wanting to hold on to some semblance of normalcy and live life out of the spotlight, have taken a pass on Tinseltown and opted for a much quieter existence in small towns and commuter cities. So keep an eye out, here’s a list of bold face names you might run into in your local Starbucks or on your next Target run. And for more amazing celeb fun facts, here are 20 Crazy Things Celebrities Have Already Done in 2018.

meryl streep golden globes Small Town Celebrities

1
Meryl Streep; Salisbury, Connecticut

The actress with the most Oscar nominations in history—a head-spinning 21 nods in all— has never “Gone Hollywood” in any sense of the word. She raised her family and still spends most of her time in Salisbury, Connecticut. Located in leafy Litchfield County, it’s a typical New England town whose residents take pride in counting the acting legend as a citizen—but have always respected her privacy. And for more great celebs coverage, here are the Celebrities Way Older Than You Thought.

 Blake and Ryan Small Town Celebrities

2
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively; Bedford, New York

This impossibly good-looking couple probably turn more than a few heads every time they venture out to the local supermarket with their two kids in tow, but they love the quiet life in tony Bedford, New York. The Westchester suburb, known for its low key but luxurious vibe, is home to plenty of media and Wall Street millionaires who have better things to do than gawk at the down to earth actors in their midst. Love Ryan and Blake? Don’t miss the couples’ 13 Best Marriage Tips.

julia roberts Small Town Celebrities

3
Julia Roberts; Taos, New Mexico

Yes, the actress has multiple homes, but it’s her ranch in Taos, New Mexico that she and husband Danny Moder consider their family homestead where they live with their twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and son Henry. Located in the stunning Sangre de Cristo mountains, Taos is an artsy, boho spot that appeals to Roberts’ inner hippie. And for more on America’s favorite A-Lister, Here’s Proof That Julia Roberts Is an Eternal Goddess.

Bill Murray, Small Town Celebrities

4
Bill Murray; Charleston, South Carolina

The funnyman must have gotten his fill of New York during his SNL days because he is now a proud citizen of Charleston, South Carolina. While not exactly a small town, it’s hardly a bustling metropolis. Murray co-owns Harold’s Cabin restaurant, a local favorite, and as well as Charleston’s minor league baseball team, the RiverDogs. Not surprisingly, he’s been known to photobomb selfie-loving locals and visitors. So if you’re in the area, be on the lookout. Maybe you’ll make our list of 30 Most Hilarious Bill Murray Encounters. 

David Letterman Late Night Small Town Celebrities

5
David Letterman; North Salem, New York

That Unabomber beard tells you everything you need to know about the notoriously private talk-show host—do not disturb. He and his family spilt their time between two off-the-beaten path homes. One is in blink-and-you miss it North Salem, New York (the town doesn’t even have a Main Street) and the other, a ranch just outside Choteau, Montana. And for more on the lovable talk-show host, check out the 11 Mind-blowing Things George Clooney Just Revealed to David Letterman. 

dave chappelle

6
Dave Chapelle; Yellow Springs, Ohio

Comedian Dave Chapelle’s appearance at this year’s Oscars were surprising for more than one reason. He’s stayed largely out of the limelight for years—and he had made the trip to the ceremony from his home in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he’s lived with his family since 2006. There he keeps a low profile, but he made a public appearance last year when he spoke at a village council meeting advocating for police reform. And for more great coverage of your favorite big names, know that This Soccer Player is So Big You Can’t Fly a Plane Over His House.

Bruce Willis Small Town Celebrities

7
Bruce Willis; Bedford, New York

The Die Hard star hasn’t lived in Hollywood in decades. When he was married to Demi Moore, the couple raised their daughters in Hailey, Idaho. Now married to actress Emma Heming (and raising a second family), he snapped up two huge parcels of land totaling 22 acres in Bedford, New York in 2014 for a cool $12 million.

The house has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and overlooks the Croton Reservoir. It’s also got a 1,500-bottle, climate-controlled wine cellar, swimming pool with a heated cabana and outdoor shower, four-car garage and tennis court. Not bad for a former bartender who used to share a crash pad on gritty 10th Avenue in Manhattan.

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman Small Town Celebrities

8
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban; Leipers Fork, Tennessee

Maybe she just wanted to get as far away as possible from the Scientology mothership in Los Angeles haunted by her ex-husband, Tom Cruise. Red carpet regular Kidman loves living in Leipers Fork, Tennessee, with her country star husband on their 36-acre farm about 45 minutes from Nashville. The A-list couple are frequently spotted out and about in their close-knit community of about 650 people (too small to even be a town) with their two girls, and really enjoy their time far away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

Jeff Daniels Small Town Celebrities

9
Jeff Daniels; Chelsea, Michigan

The actor didn’t just bail on Hollywood—he moved back to his hometown of Chelsea, Michigan. The Newsroom star has said that he always believed his fame wouldn’t last, so he wanted to make sure he didn’t stray far from home. Talk about humble.

Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart Small Town Celebrities

10
Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart; Jackson Hole, Wyoming

These two spend as little time as possible in Lala Land decamping to their lavish spread in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. You never see this couple out in Los Angeles. Granted, the rustic region is not exactly the middle of nowhere, but it’s as far away culturally from Hollywood as you can get. And if all these secret hideaways have you jonesin’ for a vacation, here are the 15 Best Under-the-Radar American Escapes. 

Debra Winger Small Town Celebrities

11
Debra Winger; Weschester County, New York

The famously outspoken star of iconic films like An Officer and A Gentleman and Terms of Endearment walked away from Hollywood at the height of her fame. She guards her privacy so fiercely she wouldn’t even tell me what town in Westchester, New York, she calls home (it’s one of the “River Towns” overlooking the Hudson). When I spoke to her a few years ago for her film Rachel Getting Married, I asked her why she chose to live outside of Hollywood. She said, “the idea of the limelight upsets me.”

Jon Bon Jovi, cheating spouses

12
Jon Bon Jovi; Middletown, New Jersey

The legendary rocker, sometime actor and philanthropist has lived with his wife and four children in their Middletown, New Jersey mansion since 1999. He bought the land in 1995 and built a custom home for his family. For more from one of America’s all-time favorite rockers, here he tells Best Life about the fateful moment when he proposed to his wife. 

Brendan Fraser

13
Brendan Fraser; Bedford, New York

“What ever happened to Brendan Fraser?,” GQ asked in a headline this year. The answer: The star of the blockbusters like The Mummy and a string of 1990s comedy classics has relocated to the seclusion of upstate New York, where, in between acting gigs, he tends to his horse and partakes in archery to let off steam. His ex-wife and sons live nearby in Greenwich, CT.

Stanley Tucci Small Town Celebrities

14
Stanley Tucci; South Salem, New York

One of the best and busiest supporting actors in the business, Tucci was born in Peekskill in upstate New York and has spent the majority of his adult life in Westchester County. He went to Purchase Collage, a state university of New York, to study acting (so did Edie Falco). A few years ago, he sold his house in South Salem, but you can bet the farm he didn’t move anywhere close to Hollywood.

ashley judd ivy league schools Small Town Celebrities

15
Ashley Judd; Leipers Fork, Tennessee

It’s no surprise she doesn’t live in Hollywood considering her allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The native Kentuckian currently lives in Leipers Fork, Tennessee (the same town as Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban). That could change since she has emerged as one of the most high profile women of the #MeToo movement and has been welcomed back by many people in Tinseltown who always admired her talent. Just don’t look for her to pull up stakes and move to the West Coast any time soon.

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen

16
Ted Danson & Mary Steenburgen; Little Rock, Arkansas

Steenburgen first brought Danson to her hometown of North Little Rock before they were married in the early 1990s and the Arizona native immediately felt at home. Danson loves the food—particularly Doe’s Eat Place, a steakhouse that became popular among off-duty press during Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign—and Lindsey’s for their BBQ. “It has a little of the big city and a little of the rural, and I love that combo,” he’s said of his adopted homestead. “You have all of these amazing things at your disposal.” And for more on your favorite celebrities, Meet the Most Famous Celebrity of Every Decade Since 1900.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana The Secrets of Her Style.

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