CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: MAINE'S BRUSH WITH FAME

Maine is seldom thought to be a home to celebrities. Given its rustic reputation, the fact that many famous people come from (and vacation in) Maine is a little-known, but true, fact. The state is home to, and the vacation destination of, an array of talented individuals - from A-list Hollywood actors and actresses, to influential artists and writers. There is privacy and seclusion in Maine; residents do not bother those who are well-known but rather seek to keep the famous under wraps. Given this unspoken secrecy, celebrities abound and do so without disguises. All the better for the heart-stopping, text-all-your-friends-simultaneously glimpse!



Actors

Don't be surprised if you brush shoulders with the likes of Anna Kendrick or Liv Tyler in Portland's downtown district. These two Hollywood celebrities call Portland their home and are rumored to return frequently. Anna Kendrick, most recently nominated for "Best Supporting Actress” at the Academy Awards, spent the first eighteen years of her life in Maine before moving to California, and Liv Tyler, daughter to famed rocker Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, also passed her teenage years in this seaside city.

And who knew attractive doctors with perfect hair can come from the Maine countryside? Before McDreamy (otherwise known as Patrick Dempsey) played a commitment-phobic neurosurgeon on Grey's Anatomy, he was winning the state ski championship in his hometown of Lewiston, Maine. Dempsey returns frequently to vacation in Harpswell, where his summer home is adjacent to his mother's farm. As they say, you can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy.

If you aren't tempted to visit Maine yet, how about the possibility of encountering Martha Stewart on Mount Desert Island, or John Travolta, Kelly Preston, or Kristie Alley on the island of Islesboro? Stewart has referred to her home on Mount Desert Island as her "favorite spot” and is rumored to enjoy hiking in nearby Acadia National Park. And when Travolta isn't busy irritating local residents with the sound of his jets flying overhead, he and his family are vacationing - and spending Christmas - on the secluded 14-mile long island of Isleboro. Rumor has it that Travolta doubles the population of the small island every December when he invites over fifty guests to spend Christmas in his seaside mansion. Local report that even Santa has a private flight to the island.

Authors

For lovers of literature, we can't speak of the fame Maine has produced without mentioning those great writers who called the state their home. Most notable is the author Stephen King, who resides both in Bangor and Lovell, Maine. King's home in Bangor is easily seen from the street, and many visitors to Maine make the trek to Bangor to visit the hometown of this country's favorite author of horror.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a famous poet of the 19th century, is gone by not forgotten. His home is a historic landmark in downtown Portland, open to visitors throughout the year.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, was born in Rockland. In her famous poem, "Renascence", Millay captures the essence of Maine's natural surroundings, writing, "All I could see from where I stood / Was three long mountains and a wood / I turned and looked another way / And saw three islands in a bay.”

It shouldn't be a surprise that many creative types are drawn to Maine: the state's secluded natural settings offer both solace and inspiration, a perfect mix of the novelty of vacation with the familiarity of home.

 

by Heather Clarke

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