Top 10 movie stars to visit Utah

The top 10 actors who have visited Utah — plus Lassie

By Ronald Fox

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Jan. 20 2011 4:00 p.m. MST

Lassie and actor Jimmy Stewart visit the Deseret News offices with Deseret News staffer Howard Pearson, left.

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Sundance is here, so let's remember the actors who have visited Utah over the years. Here are our own top 10 and some photos.

These actors who have visited Utah are all on the American Film Institute's list of 25 greatest male actors.

And for good measure, we've included Lassie, who also has visited the state.

No. 11: Lassie

Lassie was a fictional charter created by Eric Knight for a short story in the Saturday Evening Post in December 1938. There are 11 Lassie movies, and a Lassie radio show ran from 1947 to 1950.

A TV series ran from 1954 to 1973, and dozens of books were printed.

No. 10: Robert Redford (1936-)

Born Charles Robert Redford Jr., he is now a Utah resident and founder of the Sundance Film Festival.

He has appeared in many movies, including "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Candidate," "The Sting," "The Way We Were," "Out of Africa" and "The Natural."

No. 9: Jack Benny (1894–1974)

Born Benjamin Kubelsky, he was big in vaudeville, radio, TV and film. Mary Livingstone was his wife and co-star.

One of his running gags: When stopped by a robber, he was asked, "Your money or your life?" After a long pause, he would answer, "I'm thinking."

His radio and TV cast included Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, singer Dennis Day, band leader Phil Harris, announcer Don Wilson and "man of a thousand voices" Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and many more.

Before he died, he had arranged to have a red rose delivered to his wife every day for the rest of her life.

No. 8: Vincent Price (1911–1993)

Born Vincent Leonard Price, he was a radio, TV and film star, as well as a well-known art lover and collector.

Among his roles were Joseph Smith Jr. in the movie "Brigham Young" and Baka the master builder in "The Ten Commandments."

A king of horror movies, he appeared in "House of Wax," "The Fly," "House on Haunted Hill," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "House of Usher," "The Raven" and "Edward Scissorhands."

He may be best known for his short appearance in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video or Egghead in TV's "Batman" series.

No. 7: Robert Young (1907-1998)

Born Robert George Young, he was a radio, TV and film star who made more than 100 movies, beginning in 1931.

Some of them are "Tug Boat Annie," "Northwest Passage," "Western Union," The Canterville Ghost," "Sitting Pretty," "Crossfire" and "That Forsyte Woman."

He was even better known for his TV work. His series "Father Knows Best" and "Marcus Welby, M.D." totaled more than 370 episodes.

No. 6: Buster Keaton (1895-1966)

Born Joseph Frank Keaton, he was a vaudeville, film and TV star.

Because of his deadpan acting, he was called the "Great Stone Face" and was a pioneer of silent comedy.

He starred in "Steamboat Bill, Jr.," "Sherlock, Jr." and his greatest film, "The General." He was also known for doing his own stunts, which were quite dangerous. He was reduced to smaller roles in the shift to talking movies.

He later made a comeback in movies like "Beach Blanket Bingo," "Pajama Party" and "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini." His final films are classic comedies: "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

No. 5: The Marx Brothers (1887-1979)

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