Tinseltown or Bike Town? | The Source Weekly - Bend

Tinseltown or Bike Town?

A few celebrities that have made their way through the area.

Rainn Wilson

Claim to Fame:

Had his stapler ensconced in Jell-0 by John Krasinski, aka Jim Halpert.

Last Known Location:
Universal’s sound studio

Wilson, i.e. Dwight Schrute from NBC’s The Office, showed up in Sisters a few years back. A Northwest native who grew up in Seattle, Wilson keeps a relatively low-profile, but has made at least one cameo appearance on the Les Schwab stage in Bend. He walked out onstage with Portland’s The Decemberists and feigned as if to lead the band’s opening song. A few years earlier, Wilson riffed hilariously on Late Night with Letterman about a snake encounter at his Sisters-area home.


Matthew Fox


Claim to Fame: Put up with all Kristin’s emotional baggage and Bailey’s drinking.

Last known location: 10 Barrel Brewing

Some members of TV nation met Fox way back in the 1990s when Fox played the reluctant patriarch of a semi-dysfunctional band of over-privileged Bay Area orphans on Party of Five. But most Americans got acquainted with Fox when he landed the role of Jack Shepard on the sci-fi serial Lost.  Fox bought a home in Bend during the post-Boom era during the taping of Lost. Fox, who is married with kids, made headlines off the screen when a dancer at a local strip club reported to the National Enquirer that she had an affair with the actor. Fox denied the allegations.

Drew Bledsoe

Claim to Fame: SuperBowl winning quarterback with New England Patriots

Last Known Location: Posting up at the Bend Athletic Club

Fun Fact: Once drafted his replacement Tom Brady in a fantasy football league.

Bledsoe was a star quarterback at Washington State University before going on to a storied NFL career that saw him under center in New England, Buffalo and Dallas. Bledsoe was one of the more prolific pocket passers of the past two decades who threw for more than 4,000 yards in 1994, 1996 and 2002. He tossed more than 250 TDs in his 13-year career. Bledsoe, who was born in Ellensburg, Wash., is now a partner in a successful vineyard and winemaking business. A dedicated downhill skier, Bledsoe recently helped start a high-end ski manufacturing business, the Montana Ski Company in Whitefish, Mont.

Steve Williams

Claim to Fame: Tiger Woods’ bagman through his glory years

Last Known Location: Atlanta Athletic Club

Back when Tiger was stalking the fairways of the PGA and striking fear into the hearts of competitors, it was “Stevie”  Williams on his hip and in his ear. When Tiger’s world and his career came crashing down through a combination of injury and personal scandal, Stevie was among the casualties. A part-time resident of Sunriver, and a damn fine golfer in his own right, Williams was a regular participant in men’s club events during his short-lived unemployment. It wasn’t long before the phone rang and Williams was back in the ring on the bag of Tiger’s rival, Adam Scott. Of course it was Williams' pointed off-color comments about his former BFF and employer that elevated him from a looper to a celebrity.

Dan Fouts

Claim to Fame: Hall of Famer and six-time Pro Bowl quarterback with the San Diego Chargers.

Fun Fact: A member of the Ducks Hall of Fame, Fouts was one of the first pro athletes to sign an endorsement contract with the fledgling Nike shoe company in the 1970s.

Last Known Location: CBS Sports NFL gameday studio

Although best known by the current generation of football fans as a college football announcer, Fouts was one of the most prolific passers of the late 1970s who threw for over 43,000 yards and 250 touchdowns in his 15-year career. A standout at the University of Oregon, Fouts was one of those rare players who spent his entire career with one team, the San Diego Chargers, and his legacy is forever intertwined with the Southern California franchise. Fouts and his wife Jeri settled in Sisters before the more recent wave of celebrity football retirees discovered Central Oregon. The couple has donated generously to the community with Jeri founding the Starry Nights concert benefit series.

Gary Zimmerman

Claim to Fame:  Former pro bowl guard who protected John Elway

Last known location: Summit High School Track meet with wife and coach, Lisa Zimmerman.

Another University of Oregon standout who has made his way back to the state, Zimmerman was among the top professional linemen in the late 80s and early 90s with the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos. Zimmerman was inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame in 2008. Zimmerman has lived in Bend with his wife Lisa and daughters since retiring in 1998.

Mike Belloti

Claim to Fame: Former U of O athletic director and the winingest football coach in school history.

Last known location: ESPN Press booth

Belloti didn’t have the big game success of current head coach Chip Kelley, but he did set the stage for the program to make the next step when handed the reins over to his offensive coordinator Chip Kelley five years ago. Bellotti was an original investor in Pronghorn where he still reportedly maintains a part-time residence. Belloti found himself in the post football spotlight when it was revealed that the University provided him with a generous severance contract when he left the university to take a position with ESPN after just nine months on the job as AD. More recently, Bellotti was among roughly two dozen investors that sued Pronghorn over its decision to nullify an agreement that provided those initial investors with full golf and clubhouse privileges.

Gerry Lopez

Claim to Fame: Pioneer of big-wave surfing off the North Shore. Also a stand-up paddle board pioneer. Lopez also played Subotai, Conan's grunting sidekick in Conan the Barbarian.

Last Known Location: Stand-up paddling on Elk Lake.

Lopez, a native Hawaiian, grew up riding tubes at Bonzai Pipeline on the North Shore and quickly became one of the world’s best surfers. He won a heap of surf competitions, started shaping his own boards, dabbled in acting and, in the early 2000s revived stand-up paddle boarding. In Bend, Lopez has focused his creative and physical energies toward snowboarding, yoga and S.U.P.

William Hurt

Claim to Fame: Actor best known for his roles in A History of Violence, Into the Wild, Dark City, and, to a lesser extent, The Legend of Sasquatch.

Last Known Location: Portland's Artists Repertory Theater

Despite the Oscar-and-Emmy-award winning actor’s history of playing upper-class men, Hurt really does have blue-collar ties. Hurt, who keeps a ranch in Central Oregon, has worked as a truck driver and even spent a night in a maximum-security prison (researching an acting role).

Phil Knight

Claim to Fame: Co-founder of Nike and noted philanthropist with an estimated net worth of $14.4 billion, which makes him one of the world's richest dudes.

Last Known Location: The bank

In 1964 Knight, an accomplished University of Oregon runner, and Bill Bowerman started a shoe company. That company is Nike. Knight now has oodles of money but rather than horde his billions he has contributed graciously to education and athletics as well as to tax reform bills, which increased income tax on corporations and on uber-rich individuals.

Robert Maxwell

Claim to Fame: Earned the Medal of Honor in W.W. II after smothering an enemy hand grenade and thus saving the lives of his comrades.

Last Known Location: Being a selfless bad ass in Besancon, France.

During World War II, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell and three others, armed only with pistols, fought valiantly to repel an enemy attack in Eastern France. When a grenade was tossed in the direction of the allied fighters, Maxwell grabbed a blanket and jumped on top of it. The resulting explosion maimed Maxwell but saved the lives of his comrades. Now in Bend, Maxwell remains Oregon’s only living Medal of Honor recipient.

Chris Horner

Claim to Fame: Winner of the Tour of California (and a shit-ton of other big races), finished ninth at the Tour de France. Fastest American road racer.

Last Known Location: Riding off into the sunset.

At 40, Horner is one of the oldest guys in the pro peloton, but the part-time Bend resident has showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, the past couple of years have proved to be two of his best ever, and the RadioShack-Nissan Trek rider is already looking forward to next year’s Tour de France. Horner splits time between training near his San Diego home and his Bend abode, but we know which one he really prefers.

Myrlie Evers

Claim to Fame: Civil rights activist, married to Medgar Evers, fellow civil right's activist slain in 1963 and immortalized in Bob Dylan's “Only a Pawn in their Game.”

Last Known Location: Opening minds at Alcorn State University outside of Vicksburg, Mississippi

After the assassination of Medgar Evers, the Mississippi field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1963, Myrlie Evers worked tirelessly to bring her husband’s killer to justice. Mrs. Evers later became a chairperson for the N.A.A.C.P., remarried, and established a residence in Central Oregon. The civil rights activist continues to fight for equal rights for all.

Jimmy Torres

Claim to Fame: Original rockabilly pionner. In the 60’s, he played with the instrumental-heavy band, the String-A-Longs.

Last Known Location: Guitar pickin’ in Branson, Mo.

Torres co-wrote the 1961 hit single, “Wheels,” with his String-A-Long band mates before fading into relative obscurity. The guitar man’s contemporaries once included Waylon Jennings and Roy Orbison, but later a disillusioned Torres retreated to the high desert after a vicious assault in Amarillo, Texas left him near dead.

Photo submitted.