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People From The Abilene Area Who Made It Big

Ethan Miller/Paul Hawthorne/Jared Wickerham, Getty Images

There are many people that are from the Abilene area who’ve not only been able to get out of the ‘black hole’, but make a very successful life and career in the process. Rocker Vinnie Paul, MLB pitcher John Lackey and pop star Jessica Simpson are included in this list of several people from Abilene who have made it big.


Michael Buckner, Getty Images
Michael Buckner, Getty Images
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Cris Judd is an actor and choreographer, but he is probably best known as marrying pop icon Jennifer Lopez (who is best known for her bodacious booty). I bet he has a lot of cool old pictures stashed somewhere. Anyway, Judd was born in Abilene in 1969.

 
IMDb
IMDb
 

Ann has played in several TV roles. However, I'll always associate her with a show I used to watch called "Threes Company". She was on that show and played this older sexy type lady that always wanted "Jack". If you ever watched the show, you know that she was a regular for a while but then disappeared without a trace. We still had Suzanne Somers though so I wasn't disappointed. It was later in life that I discovered she was like 50 something when she did that show. Ann was born in Abilene in 1935.

 
Jonathan Daniel/Gett Images
Jonathan Daniel/Gett Images
 

Danieal Manning is another person that has made it big. Born in 1982 in Corsicana Texas, he was a standout at ACU after transferring from the University of Nebraska. Manning has played for the Chicago Bears, and Houston Texans in the NFL. He currently plays for the Cincinnati Bengals.

 
realclearsports
realclearsports
 

Pro football Hall of Famer, Sammy Baugh, was born in Temple Texas in 1914. He played High School football in Sweetwater where he was a standout for the Mustangs. His college days were spent at TCU where he was named All-American in 1935 and 1936. The thing about Baugh, was that he was talented in more than football. In fact, he almost made a career in baseball before hurting his knee sliding into second base and his scholarship was taken back. He later went on to play for the Washington Redskins. Sammy Baugh died in Rotan, Texas on December of 2008 but his name will forever be associated with one of the greatest in pro football, and another from the Abilene area that made it big.

 
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
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Paige Moss is an actress and probably best known for her role in the show "Beverly Hills 90210". (No, never watched it) She was born in Maryland but raised in Abilene Texas. In fact, Shay Hill, from our sister station (KEAN), went to High School with Paige. This hottie made the list for obvious reasons, but she does provide another person from the Abilene area that has made it big.

 
IMDB
IMDB
 

Randal 'Tex' Cobb was born in Bridge City, Texas but raised in Abilene. He went to school at Abilene High School and spent his college days at ACU before dropping out to become a boxer. He won 13 straight fights after debuting in 1977. Later he would become an actor and star in films like 'Police Academy 4', 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective', 'The Golden Child', 'Liar, Liar' among many other movies. He'll always be remembered for the battle with Larry Holmes where he lost and later when asked if he would like a rematch, said, "I don't think his hands could take it" Not only is Tex one tough dude, but he's also very funny.

 
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
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Jessica Simpson

 
 

Every red blooded male knows who Jessica Simpson is. Jessica has never been thought of as one of the smartest women in the world, but man, she sure is hot! I think most of us would overlook her intellect. It was well known that she was Dallas Cowboy quarterback, Tony Romo's main squeeze for a bit. Some say it was because of her that Dallas lost in the playoffs that year. Regardless, I think we can all agree she is pretty dang hot. Jessica was born in Abilene, Texas back in 1980.

 
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
 

MLB pitcher, Johny Lackey, was born in Abilene in 1978. He starred at Abilene High School and later went to college at the University of Texas at Arlington. He was drafted by the Anaheim Angels (who later were the Los Angeles Angels) and is the current pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.

 
myspace
myspace
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Megan Ewing

 
 

Here's another hottie from the Abilene area that has made it big. She's pretty dang hot, right? Meet Megan Ewing. Megan was born in Abilene, Texas in 1984 and claims Brady, Texas as her home town. She has been featured in Abercrombie & Fitch as is the Guess jeans girl. Even if she wasn't from the Abilene area, I think I would put her on this list because she is just simply hot.

 
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Colt was born in New Mexico but went to school at Jim Ned, which is about 20 miles South of Abilene. He flourished as a quarterback for the Indians then later at the University of Texas. Colt McCoy was the starting quarterback for the Longhorns from 2006-2009 and won the 2008 Walter Camp Award and was the 2008 Heisman Trophy runner-up. He shattered many team records for the Longhorns and holds several NCAA records. Colt's time in the NFL has been less than stellar as he's traveled around a bit with a stint as a Cleveland Brown and as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. Currently, Colt is a backup for the Washington Redskins.

 
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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Vinnie Paul

 
 

Vinnie Paul anchored, in my opinion, the best metal band ever. Vincent Paul Abbott was born in 1963 in Abilene and had a heavy influence of music from his Dad, who was a country singer. Vinnie, along with his late brother, Darrell Lance Abbott (Dimebag) formed the band Pantera in 1981. I firmly believe the heavy metal scene changed forever because of them. Pantera went on to be one of the most influential bands of our time. In 2003, Pantera broke up for several reasons, but Vinnie and his brother would later form Damageplan and, in February 2004, released "New Found Power. In December of 2004, tragedy struck the Abbott family as well as the entire rock community, when Dimebag Darrell was shot on stage at a concert. After Dime's death, Vinnie Vinnie would later join Hell Yeah along with Chad Grey and Greg Tribbett of Mudvayne, Tom Maxwell from Nothingface, and Bob Zilla from Damageplan. Currently, Vinnie owns his own record label, Big Vin Records and continues to write music and tour with Hell Yeah.

 

 
Andy Lyons, Getty Images
Andy Lyons, Getty Images
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Justin Snow

 
 

Justin Snow, a Cooper Cougar graduate, went to college Baylor University then went on to play in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts as a long snapper and backup tight end. He put in 12 years for the Colts before he was released and picked up by the Washington Redskins. Snow has not played in the NFL since being released by the Redskins in 2012. He currently lives in Ft. Worth, Texas with his wife.

 
Brian Killian, Getty Images
Brian Killian, Getty Images
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Dominic Rhodes

 
 

Dominic Rhodes was a standout running back for the Cooper Cougars. He was an undrafted free agent that got his start in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts. Rhodes had 3 different stints with the Colts and also played for the Oakland Raiders before moving over to the UFL (United Football League). As a member of the Virginia Destroyers, he won a championship to become only one of four NFL players to win a Super Bowl and a UFL championship.

 
Tony Duffy, Getty Images
Tony Duffy, Getty Images
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Billy Olson

 
 

Billy Olson graduated from Abilene High as a champion pole vaulter who later went on to star at Abilene Christian University. He just missed a chance at going to the 1980 Olympics because of a U.S. boycott in Russia. At the time, he was the 2nd ranked pole vaulter in the world. In 1984 he tore ligaments in his foot and was never the same after that. Today, he owns Billy Olson Bail Bond.

 

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