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Famous Folks Manchester’s Hall of Fame

Famous Folks: Manchester’s Hall of Fame

Nobody can argue that most of the most talented people in history came from England. Some noteworthy examples are the members of the Beatles, Elton John, and Freddie Mercury. 

Not only that, but there are also tons of influential people in history that came from the UK. But did you know that most of these famous folks are Mancunians?

That’s right, there are a lot of popular Mancunians that you might not even know are from Manchester in the first place. 

Some of the most famous people that came from Manchester are:

  • Noel Gallagher
  • Danny Boyle 
  • Bernard Hill 
  • Tony Warren
  • Ian Brown
  • Emmeline Pankurst

It’s truly exciting to talk about these celebrities and influencers, and I’m one who is engrossed about their lives and what made them famous to begin with. Let’s peer into the fascinating lives of these people and why they are some of Manchester’s best! 

Famous People Born in Manchester 

I’m sure that you’ll be surprised that some of these names are even included on the list of famous Mancunias. Can you identify a few of these familiar faces are actually from Manchester? Check these out! 

Tony Warren 

Tony Warren's Homepage
Image credits: Manchester Evening News 
Place of birth:Pendlebury, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom 
Date of birth:July 8, 1936 – March 1, 2016
Famous for:Tony Warren is famous for acting and screenwriting for the popular soap opera ‘Coronation Street’.

If you’re a fan of British television shows, then you’ve probably heard of Coronation Street. The man behind this genius entertainment was Tony Warren himself who is best known for more screenplays and soap operas during the peak of his career. 

Coronation Street has been on air for over five decades, and its most loyal fans are still watching old reruns to this day. Some of his biggest fans are also fellow celebrities and royal family members who enjoy watching his shows on a regular basis. 

Among these avid fans is Prince Charles who once appeared as a cameo during the show’s 40th anniversary. 

Tony was only 24 years old when he first came up with the idea of a series that will centre around the working-class streets of England where he once grew up. Initially, he wrote the first 13 episodes of the soap opera. 

Aside from the well-revered Coronation Street show, he’s also famous for works like ‘Inspector Morse’ and ‘The War of Darkie Philbeam’. Both shows didn’t reach the height of Coronation Street’s success, but they still garnered a lot of fans throughout the years. 

Unfortunately, he passed away in March of 2016 at the age of 79 due to a short illness. Despite his timely passing, Tony’s creative works are still celebrated for their ingenuity and imagination that capture the essence of what great films are supposed to be. 

L.S. Lowry 

L.S. Lowry's Homepage
L S Lowry contemplating Stockport.” (CC BY 2.0) by Smabs Sputzer (1956-2017)
Place of birth:Stretford Trafford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Date of birth:November 1, 1887 – February 23, 1976 
Famous for:L.S. Lowry is most famous for his industrial art landscapes and water mill picturesques.

L.S. Lowry is one of many Mancunian artists that revolutionised the industry moving forward. While he is most famous for his works like his mill scenes and opaque abstracts, he is also renowned for other works such as famous landscapes and seascapes he painted throughout the years. 

During his youth from 1905 to 1915, and later from 1915 to 1925, he pursued painting and drawing at the Municipal College of Art and Salford School of Art while holding down a day job as a rent collector.

He began his artistic process by making rough outdoor sketches on scraps of paper, such as envelopes. Later, he would create more polished drawings, and from 1910 onwards, he worked exclusively in his workroom at home, rather than in a traditional studio. 

His palette consisted of just five colours: flake white, vermilion (red), ivory black, yellow ochre, and Prussian blue.

Lowry spent years painting and showcasing his art in and around Manchester and Salford before earning his first solo exhibition in London in 1939. He achieved national renown and passed away at the age of 88 in 1976, just months before the opening of a retrospective exhibit at the Royal Academy.

Arguably his most famous art piece is the ‘Coming from the Mill’ that showcases the abundance of people walking in what seems to be his hometown in Manchester. You can also see a portrayal of the working class people strolling to their usual day jobs in the painting. 

1930 ”Coming from the Mill” L S Lowry
1930 ”Coming from the Mill” L S Lowry” (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by mrrobertwade (wadey)

He also worked on other famous works like ‘The Cripplies in 1949’ and ‘Portrait of Ann in 1957’. His art style is distinctly peculiar that any art critic and enthusiast will immediately identify his works. 

Man Lying on a Wall
Man Lying on a Wall” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by The Lowry, Salford

The way he paints his characters and sceneries are so distinct and unique that you can only tell that it came from him when seeing his art works for the first time. Personally, I love his style and even used one of his paintings called ‘Man Lying on a Wall’ as my desktop wallpaper! 

Morrissey 

Morrissey's Homepage
Place of birth:Davyhulme Urmston, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom 
Date of birth:May 22, 1959 
Famous for:Steven Patrick Morrissey is famously known as an indie pop artist who wrote songs like ‘Suedehead’ and ‘Everyday is like Sunday’.

Who doesn’t love music? If you’re looking for a Mancunian indie pop artist, then Morrissey should be on the top of that list. He has fabulous songs for any listener and he also conducts concerts from time to time that don’t cost an arm and a leg to go to. 

You can listen to some of his tunes in your spare time, but I personally love ‘First of the Gang to Die’ and ‘Let Me Kiss You’. I have almost all his songs on my playlist listed in Spotify. 

Before he went solo and made a singles album, he was part of the band called ‘The Smiths’ that was formed during the early 1980s. Since his departure from the band and going for his solo career, he topped indie charts across the board and became the number one artist for multiple occasions. 

Image credits The Rolling Stones
Image credits: The Rolling Stones 

In fact, four of his albums from both the Smiths and his solo records appeared on popular magazine, The Rolling Stones, and were placed under the top 500 lists of popular albums. 

Over the course of his illustrious career, Morrissey has deservingly earned a lot of accolades and acclaim as one of the most talented and respected Mancunian lyricists in music history. 

Aside from his musical genius and success, he is also a vocal advocate of vegetarianism and animal rights. Due to his strong voice in this space, the central animal welfare organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), honoured him with the Linda McCartney Memorial Award during their 25th anniversary. 

Emmeline Pankhurst 

Emmeline Pankhurst's Homepage
Image credits: David Dixon 
Place of birth:Moss Side, Manchester, United Kingdom 
Date of birth:July 15, 1858 – June 14, 1928
Famous for:Emmeline Pankhurst formed the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in Great Britain to combat the unfair treatment of women during the suffrage era.

Let’s go back to the past century and honour one of the most significant Mancunians who reshaped the modern world. Sadly, women weren’t empowered during the old days and have fewer rights than their male counterparts.

They weren’t allowed to vote, drive, and even pursue an education. Women like Emmeline Pankhurst fought for these fundamental rights and paved the way to more empowering times for women all over the world. 

The best part about it is it all happened in Manchester! She directed one of the UK’s most prolific women’s suffrage movements, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and campaigned against boycotting the votes for the declared political candidates . 

Emmeline Pankhurst

From 1908 to 1909, she was jailed at least three times— once for handing out pamphlets that showed ‘Rush the House of Commons’ on it. 

All her hard work paid off after a better world was formed where women can have equal rights, and she succeeded in doing so alongside the hundreds of strong women who wouldn’t settle for less. 

Thank you Emmeline for your dedication, I am deeply honoured to have lived today as a free and independent woman— all because of your strong commitment to abolish the unequal tirades of the past! 

Noel Gallagher 

Noel Gallagher's Homepage
Place of birth:Longsight, Manchester, United Kingdom 
Date of birth:May 29, 1967
Famous for:Noel Gallagher is most famously known as a singer and songwriter. He was also a lead guitarist and co-lead singer for a famous band called Oasis. 

Arguably the most famous Mancunian on this list, Noel Gallagher is a talent that should not be understated. During his tenure with the Oasis rock band, he was one of the most popular members of that group which helped skyrocket their success as a musical ensemble. 

Noel, who hails from the suburbs of Manchester, had a tough upbringing. His father was an alcoholic who frequently beat him and his siblings, leading his mother to flee with her children in 1982. 

Despite leaving his father behind, Noel’s childhood continued to be a challenging one. He was expelled from school at 15 and gained notoriety with the local police. 

However, it was during this period that he found solace in rock music and began playing the guitar. He even wrote some of his future hit songs, such as ‘Live Forever,’ while still in his teens. 

By his early twenties, Noel’s musical confidence had grown to the point where he tried out for Inspiral Carpets, a band in Manchester that had recently lost their lead vocalist. Although he didn’t get the job, the band offered him a position as a roadie for their upcoming tour.

Now a musical sensation, he continues to inspire many others to be as passionate about music as he is and proceed to make incredible tunes for people to listen— I, for one, am among them! 

Bernard Hill

Bernard Hill's Homepage
Image credits: Everett Collections
Place of birth:Blackley, Manchester, United Kingdom 
Date of birth:December 17, 1994
Famous for:Bernard Hill is famous for his academy-award winning acting in roles like King Theoden from the Lord of the Rings movies. 

If you’ve never heard of Bernard Hill before, all it takes is a quick Google Search to find out that he once played the honourable King Theoden from the famous Lord of the Rings movies. 

While he also played the role of Captain Edward Smith from Titanic, I’ll always remember him in the LOTR franchise— especially his legendary speech before charging into battle in the fields of Pelennor Fields. 

He’s a renowned British actor who was born in 1944. Hill has worked in all film, television, and stage productions, and Mancunian television viewers will remember him best for his role as Yosser Hughes in the revolutionary 1982 TV drama Boys from the Blackstuff. 

Alongside his popular role in the LOTR trilogy, he was also known for his portrayals as the Warden of San Quentin Prison in True Crime, a film directed by Clint Eastwood. 

Interestingly, Hill has the distinction of being the only actor who has appeared in multiple films that have won 11 Oscars each. Additionally, he is one of only three actors who’s acted in more than one film that has grossed over $1 billion, namely The Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. 

Furthermore, Hill has been a part of three Best Picture-winning films: Titanic, The Return of the King, and Gandhi. 

Danny Broyle 

Danny Broyles' Homepage
Place of birth:Radcliffe Borough of Bury, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Date of birth:October 20, 1956 
Famous for:Danny Broyle is famous as a British director of films like Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, and 127 Hours. 

If you’re an avid moviegoer like me, you’ve probably heard of Danny Broyle’s best films like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘The Beach’. My personal favourite is his 2019 film, ‘Yesterday’ which tells a story about a world without the Beatles in it.

Like many Hollywood affiliates, Broyle started his film career in theatre where he served as an artistic director at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs. He also worked as a deputy director for numerous theatre guilds like the Royal Court Theatre. 

In 1987, he began his directorial debut for a small screen film called ‘Scout’. Soon after, he directed countless other projects like ‘Shallow Grave’ and made a breakthrough in the 90s with his first feature film called ‘Trainspotting’— another personal favourite of mine. 

He is among the top echelon of directors that include Michael Scorscese, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, and Christopher Nolan as some of the most renowned directors in the modern day. 

Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher's Homepage
MuseReading270817-3” (CC BY 2.0) by Raph_PH
Place of birth:Burnage, Manchester, United Kingdom 
Date of birth:September 21, 1972 
Famous for:Liam Gallagher made his fame through his tenure with the rock band, Oasis, as the lead vocalist. 

Another Gallagher peers on this list of famous Mancunians like his brother who also played for the same band. Liam Gallagher was the lead singer of Oasis and was mostly responsible for the songs produced throughout their course as a rock entourage. 

Liam Gallagher was brought into this world in 1972 in Burnage, Manchester. Him being the youngest of three siblings, he also had two older brothers named Noel and Paul— the former of which is another band member who played as the lead guitarist. 

While Liam did not exhibit any particular interest in music early on, he began immersing himself in the works of the Beatles and the Stone Roses during his late teens. 

This period in his life also marked the genesis of his unwavering admiration for John Lennon, which was so strong that he later paid homage to the late Beatle by naming his own son Lennon.

Ian Brown

Ian Brown's Homepage
Ian Brown And John Squire” (CC BY 2.0) by Man Alive!
Place of birth:Warrington, Manchester, United Kingdom 
Date of birth:February 20, 1963
Famous for:Ian Brown is a popular band singer from the band, The Stone Roses. He is also a talented multi instrumentalist who can play different degrees of instruments while performing. 

While not my personal favourite artists compared to Oasis, I still believe Ian Brown has a lot of merits in the music industry that makes him a legend in his own right. 

Ian Brown, the lead singer of the Stone Roses, was known for his arrogant and confident attitude. The band’s debut album in 1989 was highly influential, but they broke up after releasing only one more album in the early 1990s. 

After the band’s split, Brown started a solo career with his album Unfinished Monkey Business in 1998, which showcased a more varied emotional approach to music. He followed up with Golden Greats in 2000 and Music of the Spheres in 2001. 

In addition to music, Brown contributed to the Under the Influence series in 2003 and had a brief acting role in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. In 2004, he released Solarized, which was his most politically charged album to date. 

Brown collaborated with hip-hop producer Emile and an alternative supergroup for his 2007 album, The World Is Yours. His 2009 album, My Way, included a song originally intended for Rihanna and a cover of Zager & Evans’ ‘In the Year 2525’.

Household Names Who Once Lived in Manchester

Household Names Who Once Lived in Manchester
Image credits: David Dixon 

Here’s a serious question: Do you consider people who’ve been living in Manchester for a long time as de facto Mancunians? I personally do, and they are just as much as a Manchester resident than any naturally-born Mancunian in the area. 

I don’t want to leave them out of the picture, and I believe that they contributed to Manchester’s overall culture and success as much as anyone. Let’s discover some of these household names: 

Alan Turing

Alan Turing's Homepage
Alan Turing Statue” (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by Duane Wessels
Place of birth:Maida Vale, London, United Kingdom 
Date of birth:June 23, 1912 – June 7, 1954 
Famous for:Alan Turing is famously known as the father of computer science as he built the first ever computing machine known as the ‘Enigma’. 

You have Alan Turing to thank for your smart phones and computers that are widely used for instrumental daily activities like work and entertainment. 

Mathematician and inventor, Alan Turing, is known by history as the inventor of the computing machine which laid out the foundation of future iterations of personal computers and devices commonly used today. 

Turing was a measly professor and mathematician before his time with the British army where he was asked to make a contraption that disrupts German codes and data transmissions which were crucial in winning the war. 

If it had not been for Turing’s invention, the war would’ve been won by the Germans. Instead, he not only helped the British fleets win the second world war, but he also paved the way for how the computer processing unit (CPU) works in today’s technology. 

While not originally a Mancunian since he was born in London, his notable works and accolades came from Manchester where he worked as a chief deputy director for the local University, University of Manchester, in 1948. 

In fact, there is a statue built on his honour and prestige which stands right now at the Sackville Gardens, Manchester. 

Alan Turing Memorial
Alan Turing Memorial” (CC BY 2.0) by Bernt Rostad

Benedict Cumberbatch 

Benedict Cumberbatch's Homepage
Benedict Cumberbatch” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore
Place of birth:Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, London, United Kingdom 
Date of birth:July 19, 1976 
Famous for:Benedict Cumberbatch is a renowned actor in Hollywood for his roles of Doctor Strange, Sherlock, and Alan Turing. 

If you’ve been active in the movie scene for the past ten years, then I’m sure you’ve heard of Benedict Cumberbatch. He started as a television actor for big roles like BBC’s Sherlock with Martin Freeman as John Watson. 

As he grew in popularity, he was asked to play even bigger roles like the fiery dragon, Smaug, from the Hobbit trilogy. He picked up steam when he was again given the chance to portray famous Star Trek villain, Khan, in Star Trek: Into Darkness. 

However, his most famous role is in Marvel’s series of movies like the Avengers films and Spider-man where he played the master of the mystic arts, Doctor Strange. From here, his career skyrocketed and he instantly became a household name within the Hollywood sphere. 

He may not be a Manchester-native, but he started his career in Manchester where he studied drama and theatre in the local university. A lot of Mancunians recognise Benedict as a party-goer and a happy-go-lucky person— one that you can attribute to any Mancunian in the city including myself! 

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling's Homepage
JK Rowling 08.03.2013” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by T_Marjorie
Place of birth:Yate, United Kingdom
Date of birth:July 31, 1965
Famous for:J.K. Rowling is a prestigious children’s book author who wrote the famous Harry Potter series. 

I’m certain that you’ve heard of the famous Harry Potter novels, and this imaginative and fantasy world all exists because of this creative woman. It was said that J.K. Rowling formed the concept of the wizarding world in a coffee shop.

This truly proves that creativity chooses no haven to be created. Likewise, the books sold billions and made a franchise that is still growing today. 

What makes J.K. Rowling is so popular in Manchester is because she moved to the city in the 90s where she worked for the Chamber of Commerce and the University of Manchester. 

After becoming successful, she constantly recalls her time in Manchester and how fascinated she was when she lived there. There were even anecdotes that Rowling wrote parts of the Harry Potter series in Manchester which makes the city much more significant in the world than most people would be led to assume. 

J.K. Rowling

How could we forget? Here are some popular blokes from the Manchester United Football Club!

You’re probably thinking by now: Where are the football players for the Manchester United football club? Aren’t they famous as well? Hold your horses for a second, as I absolutely know that you’ve probably waited for them to appear at some point on this list. 

How could we forget Here are some popular blokes from the Manchester United Football Club's Homepage

The Manchester United Football Club, or the ‘Red Devils’ are the most established English Premier League (EPL) football team in the world. They are the most storied franchise in the league as well— having hundreds of iconic legends playing for them throughout time. 

Some of their most famous athletes are:

Cristiano Ronaldo 

Place of birth:Funchal, Portugal
Date of birth:February 5, 1985
Position:Forward

Cristiano Ronaldo is often dubbed as the most successful and prolific football player of all time.

Most of his career in the EPL, Ronaldo played for the Red Devils as an offensive powerhouse who helped secure the team multiple titles during his tenure. While originally from Portugal, avid and passionate Man. United fans love Ronaldo and consider him as part of the Mancunian family. 

Ryan Giggs

Place of birth:Cardiff, United Kingdom
Date of birth:November 29, 1973
Position:Midfielder

Every time Man. United fans look back to the past and reminisce the times when they were most dominant, they’d always allude to one player in particular: Ryan Giggs.

Giggs is a fan-favourite in Manchester and he is always hailed as one of the best footballers in the world. If you visit Manchester for the first time and talk about the team, this is the player they’ll immediately refer to. 

George Best 

Place of birth:Belfast, United Kingdom 
Date of birth:May 22, 1946
Position:Midfielder

George Best is another beloved Red Devil who played for Manchester United. What gives fans the spark when talking about him was his amazing dribbling skills. 

Mancunians would quickly jump to his highlights from the past where he sped past defenders for an impressive goal. While not as decorated as some of the players on this list, he deserves to be on the top list of best players for hardcore Manchester United fans all over the city. 

How could we forget Here are some popular blokes from the Manchester United Football Club

Manchester is without a doubt one of the most coveted and beautiful places in the UK. With its rich history of famous names and influencers, it’s hard to pass on the significance of the city’s bright and talented people. 

For sure, the future of Manchester will forever be bright due to the potential its citizens hold. Will they make a mark in history once again like their current contemporaries and beloved ancestors? 

Only time can tell, but I’m certain that a few names will pop up in years time, and I’m here to check them out with you as we delve into their careers as great Mancunians. 

FAQs about the Most Famous People in Manchester 

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