What does it mean to be influential? Being influential entails more than just having money, friends, and a large family; it entails ruling and making a statement wherever you go. In the state of Maryland, some names speak for themselves.
Those names are synonymous with power, fame, and influence.
Some people from various states and regions have worked their way to the top and become so influential in Maryland that even social media seems to give them a lot of credit.
People rise to positions of authority by making newsworthy statements or voicing contentious viewpoints that attract a lot of media coverage.
On the other hand, some people exercise power by working hard and finishing tasks. Look no further than our list to find the top influential people in Maryland.
Some of your role models and well-known business leaders, athletes, authors, poets, cartoonists, and activists were born in Maryland.
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Most Influential People in Maryland
#1. Edward Norton
Actor and director Edward Harrison Norton was born on the 18th of August in 1969. He has won and been nominated for many honors, including three Academy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award.
Norton was captivated by theatrical performances at nearby sites as a young child.
He worked in Japan for a few months following his 1991 Yale College graduation before relocating to New York City to pursue an acting career.
His acting debut in Primal Fear (1996) brought him immediate acclaim and fame, a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, and an Academy Award nomination in the same category.
He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1998's American History X for his performance as a former neo-Nazi. He is one of the most influential people in Maryland.
Social medial handle: @edwardnortonofficial(Instagram).
#2. William H. Macy
American actor William Hall Macy Jr. was born on March 13, 1950. He is one of the most influential people in Maryland. Although he has also acted in blockbuster movies, his cinematic career has been based on performances in modest, independent movies.
His most well-known leading parts may be found in the films Fargo (1996), Seabiscuit (2003), Thank You for Smoking (2005), and The Lincoln Lawyer, among others (2011).
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced on June 23, 2008, that Macy and his wife, Felicity Huffman, would each be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009. On January 13, 2009, Macy took Jeremy Piven's position in David Mamet's Broadway play Speed-the-Plow.
Social media handle: @williamhmacy(Instagram)
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#3. Montel Williams
Born on July 3, 1956, Montel Brian Anthony Williams is an American television personality, actor, and motivational speaker. The Montel Williams Show, which aired in syndication from 1991 until 2008, was noted for having him as its host.
He is the presenter of Lifetime's Military Makeover: Operation Career.
Williams founded the nonprofit MS Foundation in 1999 after learning he had multiple sclerosis. The organization is active.
He is also well-known for his involvement in the US Marine Corps and US Navy, from which he retired after 22 years of service. He is among the top influential people in Maryland.
Social media handle: @montel_williams(Instagram)
#4. Mike Rowe
Michael Gregory Rowe is an American television host and narrator born on March 18, 1962. He is well-known for his work on the CNN original series Somebody's Gotta Do It and the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs.
Returning the Favor, a Facebook-produced series he hosted, saw individuals making kind gestures and reciprocating by doing something for them. Additionally, he co-hosts the podcast The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe.
Rowe was the inaugural Best Reality Show Host winner of the Critics' Choice Television Award in 2011. The Boy Scouts of America presented Rowe with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in June 2012. Rowe is among the famous people in Maryland.
Social media handle: @mikeroweworks(Twitter)
#5. Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Koren Pinkett Smith, an American actress and talk show host was born on September 18, 1971. She is a co-host of the Red Table Chat talk program on Facebook Watch, for which she won a Daytime Emmy.
In 2021, Time magazine listed her as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world. She is also one of the most influential people in Maryland.
In the 1996 version of The Nutty Professor, Pinkett co-starred with actor and comedian Eddie Murphy as the love interest of a sympathetic university professor who is extremely fat.
The movie was a financial hit; it brought in $25 million in its first weekend in North America and $274 million overall.
Social media handle: @jadapinkettsmith(Instagram)
#6. Kathie Lee Gifford
Born on August 16, 1953, Kathryn Lee Gifford (née Epstein) is an American television host, singer, songwriter, sporadic actress, and novelist. She co-hosted the talk show Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee for 15 years (1985–2000), she gained the most notoriety.
She is well recognized for her 11-year stint co-hosting the fourth hour of NBC's Today Show with Hoda Kotb (2008–2019).
She was a member of the Today crew when she won her first Daytime Emmy in 2010, and she has been nominated for 11 Emmys in her career. Kathie is among the top influential people in Maryland.
Social media handle: @kathieleegifford(Facebook, Instagram)
#7. Toni Braxton
Next on our list of influential people in Maryland is Toni Braxton.
American R&B singer Toni Michele Braxton was born on October 7, 1967. She is among the best-selling female artists in history, with over 70 million records sold globally.
In addition to countless other honors, Braxton has won seven Grammy Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, and many more. Braxton was accepted to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2017 she was recognized with the Legend Award at the Soul Train Music Awards.
Along with being a personality and executive producer for television, Braxton. She participated in the Dancing with the Stars competition in its seventh season.
She served as executive producer and a cast member in the reality television series Braxton Family Values, which has been broadcast on We TV since 2011.
Social media handle: @tonibraxton(Twitter)
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#8. Julie Bowen
Actress Julie Bowen Luetkemeyer was born in the United States on March 3, 1970.
She is most known for playing Claire Dunphy on the ABC sitcom Modern Family (2009-2020), for which she garnered praise from critics and received six Primetime Emmy nominations, winning in 2011 and 2012 for her performance.
Bowen played Claire Dunphy on the ABC series Modern Family from 2009 to 2020. She was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards six times in a row (2010–15) for her depiction, and she won the prize in 2011 and 2012. She is one of the most famous people in Maryland.
Social media handle: @itsjuliebowen(Instagram)
#9. JC Chasez
Joshua Scott “JC” Chasez, an American singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, and sometimes actor, was born on August 8, 1976.
Before becoming famous with NSYNC and composing and producing songs for artists like Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Basement Jaxx, David Archuleta, and Matthew Morrison, he began his career as a cast member of The Mickey Mouse Club.
He also participated in America's Best Dance Crew as a judge.
Chasez is one of the most influential people in Maryland. Although Chasez had a four-octave vocal range as a child, he was incredibly shy.
Chasez was also very musical. After a friend bet him $20 to enter a talent competition, he realized he liked performing, and at age 13, he won a national dance competition.
Social media handle: @jcchasezofficial(Instagram)
#10. Lewis Black
Lewis Niles Black is an American actor and stand-up comedian born on August 30, 1948. His comedic monologues frequently devolve into irate tirades criticizing politics, religion, history, or other cultural themes.
Since Craig Kilborn took over as program host, he has been delivering his “Back in Black” commentary segment on The Daily Show. He also served as the host of the Comedy Central series Lewis Black's Root of All Evil. He is one of the most influential people in Maryland.
He was ranked fifth in Comedy Central's Stand-Up Showdown in 2008 and eleventh in 2010; he was chosen as one of the top 100 stand-up comedians of all time by Comedy Central in 2004. He voiced the character of Anger in the 2015 Pixar movie Inside Out.
Social media handle: @thelewisblack(Instagram)
Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, better known by his stage name Ginuwine, is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor born on October 15, 1970. In the early 1990s, he signed up for Swing Mob, which was the start of his career.
Ginuwine joined forces with Tyrese and Tank in 2007 to form TGT, an R&B group that signed with Atlantic Records in 2012. Three Kings, their Grammy-nominated debut album, was released in 2013.
The album's first single, “Sex Never Felt Better,” was released on iTunes on February 14, 2013, in time for Valentine's Day. His widespread success puts him on the list of the most influential people in Maryland.
Social media handle: @giuniwine(Instagram)
#12. Goldie Hawn
Goldie Jeanne Hawn (born November 21, 1945) is an actress, dancer, producer, and singer from the United States. She rose to prominence on the NBC sketch comedy show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968-1970) before winning the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Cactus Flower (1969).
Hawn is among the influential people in Maryland. She remained a bankable star for over three decades, appearing in films such as There's a Girl in My Soup (1970), and Butterflies Are Free (1972), for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
Social media handle: @goldiehawn(Instagram)
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#13. Anna Farris
Another person on our list of the most influential people in Maryland is Anna Farris.
Anna Kay Faris (born November 29, 1976) is a well-known American actress. She rose to prominence as a comedic actress, most notably as Cindy Campbell in the Scary Movie film series (2000–2006).
She has appeared in films such as The Hot Chick (2002), May (2002), Lost in Translation (2003), Brokeback Mountain (2005), and Just Friends (2005),
Several publications have referred to Faris as one of her generation's “most talented comedic actresses”.
In 2010, Cosmopolitan magazine named her “the Cosmo's Fun Fearless Female of the Year,” and Tad Friend described her as “Hollywood's most original comedic actress” in The New Yorker.
Social media handle: @annafaris(Instagram)
#14. Joel Madden
Joel Rueben Madden (born March 11, 1979) is an American singer best known as the lead vocalist for the pop-punk band Good Charlotte. He is also a member of the pop rock duo the Madden Brothers, along with his identical twin brother Benji Madden.
Madden, his brother Benji, and a buddy formed their band in 1995 when they were all 16 years old. The group didn't last long, and the Maddens soon enlisted Billy Martin, Paul Thomas, and Aaron Escolopio from the same high school to form Good Charlotte.
They adopted the moniker Good Charlotte from Carol Beach York's children's book Good Charlotte: Girls of the Good Day Orphanage. Madden rose to stardom and became one of the most famous people in Maryland.
Social media handle: @joelmadden(Instagram)
#15. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Jennifer Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus is an American actress, comedian, and producer born on January 13, 1961. She is renowned for her role in the comedies Veep (2006–2010),
The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006–2010), and Saturday Night Live (1982–1985). Julia is one of the most influential people in Maryland.
Louis-Dreyfus made her comedic debut in Chicago, Illinois, with The Practical Theatre Company, and from 1982 to 1985, she appeared on Saturday Night Live as a sketch performer.
Her big break came in 1990 when she began a nine-season stint as Elaine Benes on Seinfeld, one of the most beloved and lucrative sitcoms ever.
Social media handle: @officialjld(Instagram)
#16. Martin Lawrence
Actor and comedian Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence was born in the United States on April 16, 1965. He rose to prominence in the 1990s and had a successful acting career in Hollywood.
He made his acting debut in What's Happening Now!! as Maurice Warfield (1987–1988). He starred as a starring man in the Bad Boys series, House Party, and the Fox television sitcom.
In 2020's Bad Boys for Life, the third film in the Bad Boys franchise, Lawrence recurred as Detective Marcus Burnett with Will Smith.
The movie was a commercial success, with $112 million in revenue in the first four days of release. Martin is currently among the influential people in Maryland.
Social media handle: @martinlawrence(Instagram)
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#17. Joan Jett
Joan Jett, an American singer, guitarist, record producer, and actress was born Joan Marie Larkin on September 22, 1958.
Jett is well known for her work as the lead singer of her band Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and for creating and singing with the Runaways earlier in her career, who is responsible for the hit song “Cherry Bomb,” which they recorded and published.
Along with drummer Sandy West, Jett joined the Runaways as a founding member when he was 16. Micki Steele, the band's singer, and bassist, only lasted a short time before being replaced by Jackie Fox, Lita Ford, and Cherie Currie, who completed the band's legendary line-up. Jett went on to become one of the most famous people in Maryland.
Social media handle: @joanjett(Instagram)
#18. Spike Jonze
Adam H. Spiegel, better known by his stage name Spike Jonze (born October 22, 1969), is an American actor, director, musician, and photographer.
His work can be seen in television, movies, music videos, skateboard videos, and advertisements. Spike Jonze is one of the most influential people in Maryland.
As a young man, Jonze started his career by co-founding the youth culture publication Dirt and taking pictures of BMX riders and skateboarders for Freestylin' Magazine and Transworld Skateboarding.
After switching to filmmaking, he started shooting street skateboarding movies, such as the significant Video Days (1991).
Frank Ocean's summer festival tour, which featured eight performances and stopped in various cities around the US and Europe, was directed by Jonze in 2017.
Along with Ocean and other creatives like Tom Sachs, Jonze also designed and produced an extravagant stage with a runway and a central platform for the same concert.
Social media handle: @the_old_imaginarium)
#19. Tori Amos
Tori Amos is an American singer-songwriter and pianist who was born Myra Ellen Amos on August 22, 1963. She has a soprano vocal range and has studied classical music.
Amos, the youngest individual ever admitted to the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, received a full scholarship at the age of five after having already started to compose instrumental piano works.
Amos had a collection of homemade demo tapes by the time she was 17, and her father frequently sent them to producers and record labels. Amos and producer Narada Michael Walden collaborated on some songs, but none were released.
After listening to one of the tapes, Atlantic Records eventually expressed interest. When A&R manager Jason Flom flew to Baltimore to see her in person, the label was persuaded and signed her. Amos is among the top influential people in Maryland.
Social media handle: @toriamos(Instagram)
#20. Christina Milian
Christina Milian is a stage name for Christine Marie Flores, an American actress, and singer born on September 26, 1981. She was raised in Maryland but was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and at the age of 19, she signed a deal with Murder Inc.
Records. Her self-titled first album, which included the hits “AM to PM” and “When You Look at Me,” Milian is one of the most famous people in Maryland.
Milian joined MySpace Records in 2008 after parting ways with Island Def Jam Music Group. She started working with various producers, such as Cool & Dre, J. R. Rotem, The Runners, Danja, Terry “MaddScientist” Thomas, T-Pain, Jim Jonsin, and Toby Gad, to write songs and record in the studio.
Dream in Color was the name of Milian's album, which she revealed on the cover of Rap-2008 Up's Winter edition (later retitled Elope).
Social media handle: @christinamilan(Instagram)
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Maryland known for?
Maryland is known for its blue crabs and the city of Baltimore, a significant historic trading port, baseball powerhouse, and the birthplace of the national anthem.
Is Maryland a friendly state?
Maryland Ranks 27th on the list of the most friendly states in America.
Is it expensive to live in Maryland?
Maryland is the seventh most expensive state in America. Prices are 24% higher overall than the national average, with housing prices 66% higher. In the state, the average single-family home costs $366,581.
Who are the top 5 celebrities from Maryland?
The top 5 celebrities from Maryland are:
Edward Norton, William Macy, Monte Williams, Mike Rowe, Jada Pinkett.
Who is the most famous YouTuber from Maryland?
The most famous YouTuber from Maryland is Jack Douglass.
Are you still interested in becoming an influential person? Well, as you can see, becoming influential is a process that takes time. Every powerful person on the planet had a vision and used it to become who they are today.
Everything you need to know about the most influential people in Maryland is listed above. I hope you found this helpful article.
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