Thousand Oaks, California is about an hour north of the city of Los Angeles, so it’s no surprise that more than a few celebrities have called this place home. Here’s a list of 9 famous men and women who either currently live in Thousand Oaks or have lived there at some point in their lives.
9. Amanda Bynes (Actress)
Amanda Bynes was born in Thousand Oaks and went on to become a successful actress, landing roles such as Holly Tyler in the sitcom What I Like About You (2002-2006), and roles in films such as Big Fat Liar (2002), She’s the Man (2006), Hairspray (2007), and Easy A (2010).
In 2010, Amanda announced that she was going on hiatus for an indeterminate amount of time due to her struggles with mental health and substance abuse. She was in a conservatorship from 2013 to March 2022. A conservatorship is when a legal guardian is appointed to take of someone’s finances and other personal things. They are most often put in place due to old age or mental instability.
In March 2022, Amanda filed to end her conservatorship, and her parents supported her decision and believed that she was ready to be in control of her own life again. Though the former child star now lives in Hollywood, Amanda Bynes will always have roots in Thousand Oaks.
8. Ellen DeGeneres (Actress)
Ellen DeGeneres is arguably one of the best-known talk show hosts, though she’s also known as a comedian, writer, actress, and producer. DeGeneres was originally born in Metairie, Louisiana, but shared a home in Thousand Oaks with her wife for a number of years. DeGeneres earned a Primetime Emmy Award for her role in the sitcom Ellen (1994-98), as well as 33 Daytime Emmy Awards for her television talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003-2022).
Even if some people have never seen her face, they most likely know her voice as a fond part of their early childhood. In addition to appearing on various other television shows, Ellen DeGeneres voiced the character Dory in the beloved children’s movies Finding Nemo (2003) and Finding Dory (2016). Ellen DeGeneres and her wife now live in Montecito, California.
7. Wayne Gretzky (Ice Hockey Player)
Wayne Gretzky, the Canadian-born ice hockey superstar, played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) and coached for several years as well. According to Dave Stubbs writing for the NHL, “Gretzky is the leading goal scorer, assist producer, and point scorer in NHL history”. Stubbs goes on to say that “based purely on statistics, there is no argument–the man is without peer, nor will he have one in the foreseeable future”.
Even now, more than a decade after the end of his career, hockey fans all around the world still refer to Gretzky as The Great One. Gretzky being the all-time best player is one of the few things that all hockey fans can agree on. He truly captured the hearts of millions who still adore him to this day. For any who may not be familiar with hockey, Wayne Gretzky is essentially the Peyton Manning or Michael Jordan of hockey.
Wayne Gretzky lived with his family in Thousand Oaks, California from 2013 until 2021. He has since moved back to St. Louis to be closer to family.
6. Dean Martin (Singer)
Born in 1917, Dean Martin rose to fame as an actor, singer, and comedian. Martin started his breakthrough career in comedy with Jerry Lewis but eventually turned his focus towards a solo career. He gained quite a bit of notoriety in Las Vegas and eventually formed the Rat Pack with fellow artists like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Some of Dean Martin’s best-known songs are “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head?”, “That’s Amore”, “You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves You”, and “Sway”. Over the course of his career, he was given the nickname “The King of Cool”.
Before he became the comedic crooner he was meant to be, Dean Martin took a few interesting detours. He dropped out of school in the 10th grade to work multiple part-time jobs. One of the most surprising of these jobs was his stint as a welterweight boxer. During this time he went by the name “Kid Crochet”.
His home in Thousand Oaks, California was built in 1930 and was sold in 1969 to Fletcher Jones, who would later sell the estate to Tom Selleck–another famous actor.
5. Olivia O’Brien (Singer-Songwriter)
Olivia O’Brien, a Thousand Oaks native, rose to fame for her collaboration with Gnash on the hit single “I Hate U, I Love U” (2016). Due to the widespread success of that song, O’Brien joined Island Records and released her first studio album Was It Even Real? in 2019. Since then, her album The Results of My Poor Judgement has become popular on TikTok, especially the track “Josslyn”.
O’Brien has since moved to Napa, California, though her first home will always hold a place in her heart.
4. Britney Spears (Singer)
Britney Spears, having sold over 150 million records worldwide, is no doubt one of the biggest pop stars of our time. Her first two albums Baby One More Time (1999) and Oops! I Did It Again (2000) catapulted her to stardom. Spears has released many albums including Blackout (2007), Circus (2008), Femme Fatale (2011), Britney Jean (2013), and Glory (2016).
From January 2008 to November 2021, Britney was involuntarily placed under a conservatorship by her father. In 2019, a “Free Britney” movement was formed to try and help Britney regain her personal rights and privileges, as many of her fans had grown to believe (correctly) that their beloved Britney was being horribly mistreated.
Upon her release, one of the first things Britney did was marry her long-time boyfriend, as under the conservatorship she was unable to get married or even control her own birth control. She has released several statements condemning her family for their actions as well as making claims of abuse during the 13 years she was under their legal power.
At first, Britney was firm on not rejoining the entertainment industry, and though saddened by this prospect, her fans supported her. However, in August of 2022, Britney Spears released a duet with Elton John titled “Hold Me Closer”. This song has led fans to start hoping again that Britney may be returning to singing after all.
3. Sylvester Stallone (Actor)
Sylvester Stallone became famous for his acting and screenwriting. After landing roles as side characters and extras for several years, Stallone caught his big break with the Rocky movie series (1976-present). Stallone not only starred in the films but also wrote screenplays for them. In 1977, Stallone was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor.
Sylvester Stallone became most famous for his action roles in films like First Blood and the Rambo movies (1982-2019). Stallone is the only actor in American cinema to have starred in a box office number-one film for six decades. Stallone first bought land in Thousand Oaks, California in 2008 and subsequentially sold his home there in 2011.
2. Hailee Steinfeld (Actress)
Hailee Steinfeld rose to prominence for her acting skills, but soon became known for her vocal ability as well. Steinfeld is the recipient of various awards such as the Peabody Award, Critics’ Choice Movie Award, and Billboard Music Award. Her true claim to fame came with a role in the 2010 film True Grit.
Some of her leading role films include Ender’s Game (2013), Romeo & Juliet (2013), Begin Again (2013), the Pitch Perfect film series (2015-2017), and The Edge of Seventeen (2016). Steinfeld has also voiced characters in animated films and has starred in multiple television series.
After her success with the Pitch Perfect franchise, Steinfeld started producing music. Some of her best-known tracks are “Love Myself”, “Starving”, and “Most Girls”. Steinfeld had lived with her parents in Thousand Oaks for many years but has recently bought a home in Encino.
Hailee had sort of first put her foot in the door in 2018 when she voiced Gwen Stacey in the animated Spiderverse film. However, it was in 2021 that Hailee Steinfeld officially entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Disney Plus’ hit tv show Hawkeye. In this show, she plays a highly intelligent and talented archer who has always admired the titular hero Hawkeye, one of the only superheroes without powers.
1. Christian Stephen Yelich (Baseball Player)
Christian Yelich is currently the left fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers in Major League Baseball (MLB). Yelich was selected in the first round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Miami Marlins.
Yelich made his debut for the Marlins in 2013. He played for the Marlins for a couple of years until he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in the offseason of 2017-2018. He is the recipient of a Gold Glove Award (2016), Silver Slugger Award (2016, 2018, and 2019), and the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award (2018). Yelich was born in Thousand Oaks but now lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona.