Famous Uticans – Living & Dead
Have you ever wondered where your favorite celebrity was from or how cool it would be to learn he/she was from your own hometown? From politicians and athletes to musicians and actors, Utica is the birthplace to many famous people, both living and dead.
According to Wikipedia, here are some people you may not have known are from Utica ...
Born in Utica in 1855, Sherman served as mayor of the city from March, 1884 - March, 1885. He's most notably known for being the 27th Vice-President of the United States from 1909 - 1912 under William Howard Taft. He passed away in Utica at the age of 57 on October 30, 1912.
Joe was born on May 8, 1977 in New Hartford and is a blues and rock singer. At the age of 12, Bonamassa opened for the late BB King. He's released 15 albums, 11 of which have reached #1 on the Billboard Blues charts.
Although not born in Utica, Dick Clark did have ties to our area. In the mid 1940's, he worked in the mailroom at WRUN Radio, which at the time was owned by his uncle and managed by his father, Dick Clark Sr. While attending Syracuse University in Syracuse, Clark worked at a Syracuse area station, WOLF-AM. After graduating from SU, he returned to the Utica area to once again briefly work for his uncle and father at WRUN before receiving his first television job at Utica's WKTV television. Dick Clark died at the age of 82 in 2012.
Best known as former lead singer of the band Orion the Hunter and Boston. Cosmo was born Francis Cosmo Migliaccio on October 17, 1956 in Utica. He sang lead vocals on Orion the Hunter's record "So You Ran" and a number of Boston's songs such as 1994's; "I Need Your Love" and "Walk On".
DeCarlo was born April 23, 1965 in Utica and is the current lead singer of the group, Boston. He was such a fan of the band, he started recording covers of their songs and posting them to Myspace featuring him on vocals.
Born in Utica on October 22, 1942, Annette began her professional acting career at age 12 and is best known as one of the most popular "Mouseketeers" on the original Mickey Mouse Club. As an adult, she became a film actress starring alongside Frankie Avalon in the 1960's film "Beach Party". Annette died from complications of Multiple Sclerosis in 2013 at the age of 70.
Best known as "New York" given to her by rapper Flavor Flav when she participated in VH1's Flavor of Love reality show. Pollard was born January 6, 1982 in Utica. She attended John F. Kennedy Middle School and graduated from Utica's Thomas R. Proctor High School.
Other notable Utica athletes include:
Major League Baseball player Mark Lemke: Born August 13, 1965. He grew up in Utica and attended the former Sacred Heart Elementary Catholic school and graduate of Notre Dame High School. Lemke was second baseman for the Atlanta Braves from 1988-1997
Andy Van Slyke
Andy Van Slyke was also a Major League Baseball player. He was born in New Hartford on December 21, 1960. Van Slyke was a center fielder and played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Another famous athlete includes the late Will Smith. Will was born on July 4, 1981 in Queens, NY but was raised in Utica and graduated from Thomas R. Proctor High School. He attended Ohio State University and was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft. Sadly, Will was 34 when he lost his life during a traffic accident altercation in 2016.