Many famous and popular people have called Fontana their home

Columnist Amanda Carlos had her picture taken with musician Travis Barker in 2000. Barker, the drummer for Blink-182, is one of the most famous people to ever come out of Fontana.

Famous Fontana. 

Fontana is home to many notable "celebrities," making us one of the most "famous" cities in San Bernardino County.

Number 98 on my countdown of 100 fun facts and/or things to do in Fontana is our extensive list of professional musicians, athletes, and actors that have come out of this city.

Whether these famous Fontanans grew up here or lived here just temporarily, we are happy to have either been their host or their home.

Let's start with our professional athletes.

Greg Colbrunn, a strong hitter for several Major League teams during his fine career, is one of many local stars who have played professional baseball.  In fact, Colbrunn right now is the hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox, which earlier this week was the best offensive team in the American League and had the best record of any team in the majors.

Another baseball player is Jesse Chavez, a former Fontana A.B. Miller High School standout, who pitched in the majors at various times in recent years.

In the NFL, Nick Barnett, formerly of Miller, was a starter for the Green Bay Packers and later the Buffalo Bills.  Two brothers who graduated from Kaiser High School are also in the NFL — Chris Carter (Pittsburgh Steelers) and David Carter (Arizona Cardinals).

Corey Benjamin and Sean Rooks played for the National Basketball Association.

Other athletes include Alexis Serna (football), Leo Romero (skateboarding), Maurice Edu (soccer), and Chukwudi Chijindu (soccer).

We also have some actors and other noteworthy professionals.

For example, Charlyne Yi (comedian), Ken Prymus (TV star), Whitman Mayo (TV star), Sharon Jordan (TV star), Mike Davis (author and commentator), and the man behind the famous voice of Patrick Star from SpongeBob Squarepants, Bill Fagerbakke, were born in Fontana.

Last but not least, my favorite famous Fontana celebrities have to be our musicians.

Music producer and rapper Hit-Boy (Chauncey Hollis) was born in Fontana and has worked successfully with Jay-Z, Kanye West, and ASAP Rocky to name a few.  Earlier this year, Hit-Boy earned a Grammy Award.

Shelton Brooks (musician and writer) has called Fontana home.

This year's Fontana Days grand marshal, Sammy Hagar (Van Halen), grew up in Fontana.

And of course my favorite rock star, Travis Barker (Blink-182 and Famous Stars and Straps), is a Fontana High School graduate.

If anyone was left out of this star-studded list, it was not intentional. But the people that were listed have definitely made Fontana proud.

Whether they are on the field or on a stage, these famous Fontanans show that fame doesn't always start in Hollywood or New York City; sometimes, fame is in our own backyard.

Famous Fontana is 98 on the countdown celebrating 100 great things about Fontana.

Rock on, play ball, etc., you get the idea. Who knows, you may be the next star from our town.

(Amanda Carlos writes a column for the Herald News.)


(1) comment


While acknowledging all of these people and their accomplishments, I have to put in a plug for David Burnham, Broadway star and recording artist and Fontana High grad. David has starred on Broadway in "The Light in the Piazza" and "Wicked". He has 2 albums out and is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet! He is currently staring in "Sunset Boulevard" at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach!

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