Cobb County, Ga. Is No Stranger to Limelight

Some of the world's most famous people are from Smyrna, Marietta and Kennesaw, all Atlanta suburbs. The long list may surprise you.

Photo by: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage Julia Roberts left Smyrna for New York in 1985, the same year she posed for this picture with her sister Lisa, brother Eric and actor Jon Voight. 

Photo by: Holly Aguirre If you've ever lived in Cobb County or been lost there, someone has given you directions starting with the words, "Okay, now, head towards the big chicken..."

On the heels of the Atlanta Braves’ announcement that they plan to move the team to a new (yet to be built) baseball stadium, Cobb County has been thrust into the national spotlight – again. What you may not know is that the Atlanta suburb has produced far more than its fair share of Oscar-winning celebrities, athletes, rock stars, writers and politicians. Even the Braves skipper Fredi González currently lives in Marietta.

We’re sure that there are some really important folks we omitted, but here is a brief rundown of those who called Cobb their stomping grounds at one time in their lives. Many of them still call it home and will have no problems getting to the new stadium. Notice that many of them were at one time classmates!

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, most these folks we rounded up have probably stood in the shadow of the Big Chicken at one time or another.

Julia Roberts

Photo by: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images Roberts won the Oscar for her portrayal of activist Erin Brokovich, a far cry from her role as waitress at Smyrna's Chuck E. Cheese. 

The Oscar-winning actress grew up in Smyrna and graduated from Campbell High School. Actor Walton Goggins, another Oscar-winner, went to Campbell but graduated from Lithia Springs. Also in her class were Lt. Col. Shane Kimbrough (Griffin Middle School) and Brit Turner of Blackberry Smoke. Her sister, actor Lisa Roberts Gillan and Richard Turner, bass player for Blackberry Smoke, also graduated from Campbell as did local DJ Ryan Cameron, John Barge, State School Superintendent (and candidate for Governor) and Braves stadium announcer Casey Motter. Lastly, our favorite voice of Cartoon Network and Space Ghost fame (Zorak, Moltar), C. Martin Croker, graduated from CHS. 

Walton Goggins

Photo by: Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/Getty Images Walton Goggins (far right) picked up an Oscar in 2002 alongside Ray McKinnon and Lisa Blount. He went to the same high school as Julia Roberts in Smyrna.

Many know Goggins from The Shield and Justified but do not know that this Southerner won an Oscar in 2002 or that he once walked the same halls as many other celebrities. Goggins still comes home to visit his mother and friends in Lithia Springs, also in Cobb County. 

Blackberry Smoke

Photo by: Rick Diamond/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Brothers Brit and Richard Turner of Vinings, Ga. (far right, respectively) also attended Campbell High School with Oscar winners Julia Roberts and Walton Goggins. 

Though their hair was much shorter, Brit and Richard (Dickie) Turner of Blackberry Smoke were known to rock an IZOD down the halls of Smyrna's Campbell High. They also were both pretty darn good soccer players.

Lt. Col. Shane Kimbrough

Photo courtesy of NASA Lieutenant Colonel Shane Kimbrough grew up in Smyrna, Ga. and was a classmate of Julia Roberts and Brit Turner of Blackberry Smoke. 

From rockers to rockets: Kimbrough and Brit Turner were friends and classmates at Teasley Elementary and Griffin Middle School. They both report feeling weightless but for totally different reasons. Kimbrough's mother was a favorite teacher at Griffin Middle School and (no doubt) played a role in shaping the lives of this successful group of individuals from Smyrna. 

Alan Ball

Photo by: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Ball won a screenwriting Oscar for American Beauty and created the HBO hit True Blood. He is from Marietta, Ga. 

It's hard to believe that the mind that created True Blood and Six Feet Under once called gentile Marietta home sweet home. Ball's American Beauty was once screened for a group of seniors at a Marietta retirement community who wanted to experience their favorite son's Oscar-winning accomplishment. Needless to say, they ended up watching Cocoon, for the fifth time. 

Joanne Woodward

The Oscar-winning and Emmy-winning actress called Marietta, Ga. home in her formative years. 

We seriously doubt that this Oscar-winner ever saw the Big Chicken, but we do know that this screen goddess called Marietta home. 

Travis Tritt

Photo by: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images Travis Tritt (with Chipper Jones) sang our National Anthem before the infamous playoff game with the St. Louis Cardinals on October 5, 2012. He attended Sprayberry High School as did Ty Pennington. 

Tritt has been known to attend his fair share of Braves games. We're not sure what he thinks of the latest stadium news or if he makes it back to the Sprayberry High School reunions. Fellow musicians Rick Richards of the Georgia Satellites, Michelle Malone and Robin Finck of Nine Inch Nails and Guns N' Roses also cut class at Sprayberry.

Chris Robinson

Photo by: Riccardo S. Savi/WireImage/Getty Images Lead singer of the Black Crowes Chris Robinson attended Walton High School in Marietta along with his musician brother Rich. He is seen here with ex-wife Kate Hudson. 

Robinson was voted most likely to rock a beard at Walton High School, which he attended until his parents shipped him off to an undisclosed location also known as "boarding school."

Jim Stacy

Photo by: Amanda Greene Stacy, host of Deep Fried Masters and owner of Pallookaville, attended Sprayberry High School along with Travis Tritt and Ty Pennington. 

Another Sprayberry graduate rocks a beard and was elected student body president. Stacy can be seen on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Thanksgiving weekend cooking for Jay and Quentin Tarantino. Check your local listings. We're not TV Guide

Ty Pennington

Photo by: Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Pennington attended Sprayberry High School as did country singer Travis Tritt. 

The most clean-shaven of the Sprayberry graduates, Pennington is often spotted out and about in the Atlanta area. You might catch him at a Drivin' N Cryin' show. 

Jesse James Dupree

Photo by: Gary Miller/FilmMagic/Getty Images Southern rocker and reality TV star Jesse James Dupree is lead singer of the band Jackyl and hails from Kennesaw, Ga. 

Dupree still calls Georgia home and his most famous routine involves playing a chainsaw. 

Lester Maddox

Photo by: Ann Limongello/Disney ABC Television Group/Getty Images Maddox, seen here in 1972 with Dick Cavett, was the one-term governor of Georgia (1971-1975) and an infamous segregationist. 

Maddox lived in Marietta and once ran a restaurant called the Pickrick. Maddox gambled his lifesavings on the establishment and then went into politics. It was located near the site of the proposed Braves stadium. 

Also from Cobb County: 

Former Speaker of the House, Republican Newt Gingrich is from Marietta. 

Tennis player Robby Ginepri attended Wheeler High School and now lives in Acworth. His best Grand Slam result was the semifinals of the 2005 US Open where he lost to Andre Agassi.

Larry Gene Nelson is professional golfer who has won numerous tournaments at both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour level and grew up in Acworth, Ga.

Wrestler Robert Ranger Ross went to North Cobb High School as did pretty boy Sean O'Pry, one of the world's most successful models

Ralph Tresvant is one of the lead singers in R&B act New Edition and resident of Acworth. 

Brian Voss of Kennesaw is a professional bowler and currently owns 25 PBA titles. He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1994 and the USBC Hall of Fame in 2007.

Alton Brown of the Food Network hangs his tongs in Marietta. Actor Daniel Byrd, of Cougar Town and A Cinderella Story grew up there. 

Dale Ellis of the Dallas Mavericks attended Marietta High School as did Cedric Henderson of the Atlanta Hawks. 

MLB player Jeremy Hermida went to Wheeler High School.

Tennis player Melanie Oudin of Marietta won the mixed doubles title at the US Open in 2011 with fellow American Jack Sock.

Jeff Small is the Chief Operating Officer of Dreamworks Studios and is from Marietta as is that scary and great actor from The Terminator, Robert Patrick.

Governor Roy Barnes hails from Mableton as does infamous baseball wife Anna Benson. Her estranged husband, New York Mets pitcher Kris Benson went to Sprayberry and currently lives in Smyrna. 

Singer Billy Joe Royal reportedly went to Marietta High School. 

Songwriter Pat Terry was born in Smyrna and still calls it home. 

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