Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Hefner Make Illinois’ Top Entertainers List | WBEZ
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Illinois Online Survey Picks The State’s Top Entertainers

Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, and Hugh Hefner are among the famous names with Illinois ties who have made a list of the state’s top 10 entertainers.

They were chosen by voters who went to an Illinois Top 200 project online survey. The state’s No. 1 entertainer, according to the list: Chicago native Disney. The youngest person on the list: south suburbs native and TV producer Shonda Rhimes.

The Top 200 is a joint project by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register, and the Illinois Bicentennial Commission.

Here’s who made the top 10:

1. Walt Disney

Animation innovator, movie producer and theme park developer. (AP Photo)

2. Bob Newhart

Stand-up comedian and actor, star of the hit TV shows The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart. (AP Photo)

3. Jack Benny

Star of vaudeville, radio, TV, and film. He is best known for portraying himself as vain miser who loved to play the violin – badly. He was born in Chicago and grew up in nearby Waukegan.

4. Richard Pryor

Stand-up comedian, movie actor. (AP Photo)

5. Oprah Winfrey

Star of her Chicago-based talk show, movie actress. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

6. Quincy Jones

Music composer and producer. (Drew Gurian/Invision/AP)

7. John Hughes

Director of movie hits including The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Weird Science. (AP Photo)

8. Hugh Hefner

Creator of Playboy magazine who also had nightclubs and television shows. (AP Photo/Kristian Dowling)

9. Bill Veeck

Owner of the White Sox and other baseball teams, installed an exploding scoreboard at Comiskey Park. (AP Photo/J. Walter Green)

10. Shonda Rhimes

Creator of TV hits including Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Ambriehl Crutchfield covers news for WBEZ. Follow her @ambriehlc.

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