Famous People from San Mateo

Raziel Ungar

Raziel Ungar

March 30th, 2012 - 2 min read

Alicia Silverstone was born in San Francisco and attended Crocker Middle School in Hillsborough and San Mateo High School, but she didn’t complete her high school studies. When she was six years old, she began modeling and was subsequently cast in television commercials, the first being for Domino’s Pizza. She did some early modeling and advertising work and was eventually cast as "dream girl" Jessica on the episode "Road Test" of The Wonder Years.

Alicia has won numerous awards, beginning in 1994, when she won two MTV Movie Awards as the Best Villain and the Best Breakthough Performance for her work in the movie Crush. She went on to win the MTV Movie Award, the National Board of Review Award and the American Comedy Award for her role in the movie Clueless.

Tom Brady

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who tops the final Total Quarterback Ratings for the 2011 season in the AFC East was born in San Mateo and was raised in a family of gifted athletes. Brady graduated from Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo, California. Brady regularly attended 49ers games in the 1980s, where he became a fan of quarterback Joe Montana; since then, Brady has mentioned Montana as one of his inspirations and an idol.

Brady and Joe Montana are the only two players in NFL history to win the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Super Bowl MVP awards multiple times (2 NFL MVPs, 2 Super Bowl MVPs). In 2005, Brady was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year, and was named "Sportsman of the Year" by The Sporting News in 2004 and 2007.] He was also named the NFL MVP in 2007 and 2010 (becoming the first player to be unanimously chosen as MVP in the 2010 season) as well as 2007 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, the first time an NFL player has been honored since Joe Montana won in 1990.

Brady was also drafted as a catcher in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the Montreal Expos. He is married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

Merv Griffin

One of San Mateo’s most celebrated natives is singer, TV host, producer, and game show creator, Merv Griffin. Merv lived on El Dorado Street, attended San Mateo High School (where the Merv Griffin Quad is named in his honor), and the College of San Mateo. He frequently played the organ at Old Saint Matthew’s Catholic Church, and got his first break singing on the radio in San Francisco in 1945. He sang with Freddy Martin’s Orchestra from the late 1940s until 1951 and is best remembered for hosting the Merv Griffin Show from 1965 until 1986. He received 11 Emmy Awards during the show’s run. Merv is also the creator of two of the most popular game shows in television history: Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. When I was in college, I was fortunate enough to intern at Jeopardy and loved it!

At one of his nightclub performances, Griffin was discovered by Doris Day. Miss Day arranged for a screen test at Warner Brothers Studios for a role in By the Light of the Silvery Moon. Griffin didn't get the part, but the screen test led to supporting roles in other musical films such as So This is Love in 1953. The film caused a minor controversy when Griffin shared an open-mouthed kiss with Kathryn Grayson. The kiss was a first in Hollywood film history since the introduction of the Production Code in 1934.

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