Movie star Ava Gardner lived in Newport News in the 1930s.

Satchel Paige pitched two innings for the Peninsula Grays at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton in 1966 at the age of 59.

Irene Morgan, a Gloucester African-American, was arrested in Saluda for refusing to move to the back of a bus for a white couple in 1944, 11 years before Rosa Parks' similar action. The Morgan case led to the first Supreme Court decision overturning a segregation law involving interstate transportation.

Glenn Close, theater and movie star, attended the College of William and Mary and starred in several productions there in the 1970s.

Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," also is a College of William and Mary alum, as is Bill Lawrence, the creator of the television comedy, "Scrubs."

Jay Pharoah, a 2005 graduate of Indian River High School in Chesapeake, is a featured cast member on"Saturday Night Live." Check out the sketches when he plays the character of Principal Frye — that character is based on Indian River principal Jimmy Frye.

Marcel Desaulniers, co-founder and executive chef of The Trellis restaurant in Williamsburg, has award-winning cookbooks that have brought his creations, such as the tempting "Death by Chocolate," to international fame.

Hip-hop artist and producer Missy Elliott is from Portsmouth.

Hip-hop producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, better known as the Neptunes, in addition to Timbaland grew up in Virginia Beach.

Chris Brown, the pop-R&B singer famous for numerous hits as well as his tumultuous relationship with Rihanna, grew up in Tappahannock.

Pro Football Hall of Famers Henry Jordan, Dwight Stephenson, Lawrence Taylor, Bruce Smith, Clarence "Ace" Parker and Chris Hanburger are among the many NFL players from the region.

Former NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd grew up in Chesapeake.

Michael Vick, who currently plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, grew up in Newport News.

Norfolk native and former Williamsburg resident Curtis Strange won two U.S. Opens and is enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Pernell "Sweetpea" Whitaker of Norfolk won world championships in four weight classes and was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Active Major League Baseball players David Wright (Mets), Mark Reynolds (Orioles), Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals), Michael Cuddyer (Rockies) and brothers B.J. (Rays) and Justin (Diamondbacks) Upton played high school ball in Hampton Roads.

Mike Tomlin, a Denbigh High and William and Mary alum, became the youngest coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl when he led the Pittsburgh Steelers to the championship in 2009 in just his second season as head coach.

Nancy Lieberman-Cline and Anne Donovan played their college ball at Old Dominion University. Both have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Allen Iverson starred on the basketball court and the football field for Bethel High School in Hampton before joining the NBA. He's played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and the Memphis Grizzlies.