College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Famous English Majors

(With credit to gatherings by Departments of English at Mississippi State University and University of Arkansas at Little Rock.)

  • Douglas Adams (writer—Hichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
  • Alan Alda (actor, writer)
  • Russell Baker (journalist)
  • Dave Barry (humorist, writer, actor)
  • Joy Behar (writer, comedienne, co-host of "The View")
  • Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (television writer/ producer—"Designing Women")
  • Gwendolyn Brooks (Pulitzer prize-winning poet)
  • Carol Browner (former head of the Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Edward Burns (actor, director, producer, writer)
  • James Cameron (director, editor, producer, screenwriter—Titanic)
  • Johnny Carson (talk show host)
  • Chevy Chase (comedian, actor, writer)
  • Tom Clancy (writer)
  • Mario Cuomo (former governor of New York)
  • Joan Cusack (actor—Grosse Point Blank)
  • Matt Damon (actor, screenwriter)
  • Vin Diesel (actor, director, producer, screenwriter)
  • David Duchovny (actor, "X-Files")
  • Michael Eisner (Walt Disney CEO)
  • Harrison Ford (actor)
  • Jodi Foster (actor, filmmaker)
  • Kathryn Fuller (World Wildlife Fund-U.S. CEO and President)
  • A. Bartlett Giamatti (President, Yale University, and Commissioner of Baseball)
  • Allen Ginsberg (poet—"Howl")
  • Cathy Guisewite (cartoonist—"Cathy")
  • Mary Hart (co-host of "Entertainment Tonight")
  • Joseph Heller (writer—Catch 22)
  • Don Henley (singer, songwriter, musician, environmental activist)
  • David Henry Hwang (playwright—M. Butterfly)
  • Chris Isaak (songwriter, singer)
  • Ken Jennings (software developer and milliondollar winner on "Jeopardy")
  • Catherine Keener (actor—Being John Malkovich)
  • Garrison Keillor (humorist, author, host of NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion")
  • Stephen King (writer, novelist)
  • Kris Kristofferson (singer, songwriter, musician, actor)
  • Tommy Lee Jones (actor)
  • John Mahoney (actor—Marty on "Frasier")
  • Arthur Miller (playwright—Death of a Salesman)
  • Toni Morrison (novelist—Beloved, Jazz)
  • Paul Newman (actor, activist, food entrepreneur/ philanthropist)
  • Joyce Carol Oates (fiction writer—You Must Remember This)
  • Conan O'Brien (talk show host, writer)
  • Randy Owen (singer, songwriter, musician)
  • Joe Paterno (football coach, Penn State)
  • David Hyde Pierce (actor—Niles on "Frasier")
  • Christopher Reeve (writer, director, actor—Superman)
  • Sally Ride (astronaut)
  • Joan Rivers (comedienne)
  • Richard Rodriquez (journalist, TV commentator)
  • Geoffrey Rush (actor, director, playwright, musician)
  • Susan Sarandon (actor—Thelma and Louise, Dead Man Walking)
  • Fred Savage (actor—"The Wonder Years")
  • Diane Sawyer (broadcast journalist)
  • Martin Scorsese (director—Raging Bull, Taxi, Gangs of New York)
  • Marty Shottenheimer (former coach of Kansas City Chiefs)
  • Paul Simon (songwriter, singer)
  • Sting (singer, songwriter, musician, actor, environmental activist)
  • Steven Spielberg (filmmaker)
  • Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodor Geisel (children's author)
  • Amy Tan (writer—Joy Luck Club)
  • Brandon Tartikoff (television executive)
  • Clarence Thomas (U.S. Supreme Court Justice)
  • Emma Thompson (actor, producer, screenwriter–Sense and Sensibility)
  • Grant Tinker (TV executive and producer)
  • John Updike (fiction writer—Witches of Eastwick, Rabbit Run )
  • James Van Der Beek (actor—"Dawson's Creek")
  • Harold Varmus (Nobel Laureate in medicine, Director of National Institute of Health)
  • Barbara Walters (broadcast journalist)
  • Sigourney Weaver (actor—Alien saga)
  • Eudora Welty (fiction writer—Delta Wedding)
  • Pete Wilson (former governor of California)
  • Reese Witherspoon (actor)
  • Bob Woodward (journalist, writer—All the President's Men)
  • Renee Zellweger (actor—Chicago, Cold Mountain)

 

Department of English, PO Box 645020, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5020, 509-335-2581, Contact Us