In Good Company: WNC’s Famous Residents Past and Present
Asheville has always been a popular spot for celebrities, and for good reason. Famous people have been spotted in our city for everything from concerts to filming movies nearby. Aside from exciting visitors, did you know Asheville has a long history as home to several well-known names? Let’s take a closer look at people who have been drawn to settle in our mountains, the past and present.
Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald
You can’t mention famous people in Asheville without including F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. The couple encapsulated the Roaring Twenties and spent quite a bit of time in Asheville. Fitzgerald is credited with writing “The Crack-Up” while he was in Hendersonville, NC, a three-part article that appeared in Esquire magazine in February, March, and April 1936. It is an autobiographical look at how he reached that point in his life.
In late 1937, Fitzgerald signed a contract with MGM Studios in Hollywood to work on screen writing and left western North Carolina for good. March 10th has been designated Zelda Fitzgerald Day in Asheville.
The late Harry Anderson left a joyful mark on the history of Asheville. This magician turned sitcom actor is best known for his time as Judge Harry Stone on “Night Court”. He and his wife moved from New Orleans to Asheville in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina and lived north of downtown. Harry Anderson passed away in his home in 2018 after suffering a stroke. His quiet presence in our town is missed.
Steve Martin, American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and musician, has a home in the WNC area. His house is in Brevard, NC, just 45 minutes South of Asheville. His home here isn’t the only connection to Asheville – Martin has played banjo with a local bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers, wrote a musical set in Asheville called “One Bright Star”. He recorded the music for this show at Echo Mountain Studio located downtown Asheville. Martin also recorded the song “When You get to Asheville” with his One Bright Star collaborator, Edie Brickell.
One of Asheville’s most famous residents these days is the Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight. While she was born in Atlanta, GA, Knight calls Fairview, NC home today. She purchased her mountain retreat in 2007 near where they own a community center, the former Reynolds High School in Asheville. Gladys lives a quiet life here with her husband. Why did she move from city life to the country? She credits her marriage to a man born and raised in Western North Carolina with turning her into a country girl.
You’re in good company when you choose to live in Western North Carolina. If you want to make this area your home, call the team at GoPrime Mortgage in West Asheville at 828-348-1907 to learn more today.