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Notable Alumni

Mike Adamle

sports anchor; former pro football player and TV host


Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actress, film and TV

Karen Attiah

Global Opinions Editor for the Washington Post

Warren Beatty

Academy Award-nominated actor, Academy Award-winning director, Reds

Richard Benjamin


Greg Berlanti

Emmy-nominated TV and film writer/producer, Everwood, Dawson’s Creek, Political Animals

Craig Bierko

Tony Award-nominated actor, The Music Man

Bill Bindley

writer, director

Ashley Nicole Black

Emmy Award-winning writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; Emmy-nominated writer for A Black Lady Sketch Show

Jeffory Blackard

founder and CEO, Blackard Global

Zach Braff

writer, director, actor for TV and film, Scrubs, Garden State; Grammy Award-winning producer of Garden State soundtrack

Clancy Brown

actor, The Shawshank Redemption, Highlander

Charles Busch

actor, Tony Award-award nominated playwright

Robert Olen Butler

author and winner of Pulitzer Prize for literature

Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow

founding general manager of WYCC-TV Channel 20/PBS and Chicago’s first female television general manager

Stephen Colbert 

Emmy Award-winning and Peabody Award-winning actor, writer and producer, The Colbert Report; host of CBS’s Late Show (as of 2015)

Lorraine Cole

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the U.S. Department of the Treasury; a 2020 recipient of the Service to America Medal (“Sammies”) People’s Choice Award

Stephanie Shemin D’Abruzzo

Tony Award-nominated actress, Avenue Q

Lydia Diamond

Award-Winning Playwright, Stick Fly, Smart People, The Bluest Eye

Laura Eason

playwright, founding ensemble member of Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company

Gregg Edelman 

four-time Tony Award-nominated actor

Rahm Emanuel

Former Mayor of the City of Chicago; former Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama

Debi Feinman 

managing director, Ogilvy & Mather

Ziwe Fumudoh

Writer, Comedian, Creator of Baited with Ziwe

Barbara Gaines

founder and artistic director, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

Frank Galati

Tony Award-winning, Oscar-nominated director; writer, actor, and retired Northwestern professor

Barry Gardner

professional football player

Ana Gasteyer

actress, Saturday Night Live, Suburgatory

Richard Gephardt

former House Democratic Leader in the United States House of Representatives

David Gersh

president and owner, Gersh Agency

Michael Greif

Tony-nominated stage director, Rent and Grey Gardens

Kathryn Hahn


Napoleon Harris 

member of the Illinois Senate; former professional football player

Aisha Harris

Co-host and Reporter for NPR’s “Pop Culture Happy Hour”

Deborah Hayes

director of audiology, speech pathology, and learning services at the Children’s Hospital-Denver, professor

Heather Headley

Tony Award-winning actress, Aida and Lion King; Grammy-nominated R&B singer

Marg Helgenberger

Emmy Award-winning actress, CSI, Intelligence

Charlton Heston

Academy Award-winning actor, Ben Hur

David Hollander

screenwriter and TV producer

Richard Hopple

former chairman and CEO, Unicast Communications Corporation

Jordan Horowitz

Academy Award-nominated film producer

Laura Innes

actress, ER, The Event

Donald J. Jackson

founder, chairman, and CEO, Central City Productions

Brian d’Arcy James

Tony Award-nominated actor, Sweet Smell of Success

Jennifer Jones

Academy Award-winning actress, The Song of Bernadette

Adam Kantor

actor and singer, Broadway’s Rent, The Band’s Visit, Fiddler on the Roof

Alex Kent

managing director, Symphonic Investments

Richard Kind 

Tony-nominated actor, The Big Knife

Ken Kwapis

Feature filmmaker and television director

Jeff Kwatinetz

founder of top Hollywood agency, The Firm; co-founder of entertainment management and production company Prospect Park

Sherry Lansing

former Chairwoman and CEO of Paramount Pictures

Martha Lavey

artistic director of Tony Award-winning Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Cloris Leachman

Academy Award-winning actress, The Last Picture Show

Harry Lennix

actor, the Matrix series

Richard J. Lewis

TV and film director

Attica Locke

Best-Selling Author, Writer/Producer on Netflix’s When They See Us and Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere

John Logan

Tony Award-winning playwright, Red, and multi-Oscar-nominated scriptwriter,The Last Samurai, The Aviator, Hugo 

Shelley Long 

Emmy Award-winning actress, Cheers

Tim Louis

co-founder, Desert Voices Oral Learning Center

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

most Emmy-nominated comedic actress in history; 11-time Emmy winner, Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, VEEP

Stephanie March

actress, Law & Order: SVU; philanthropist; entrepreneur

Meghan Markle

Duchess of Sussex, member of the British Royal Family. Former actress and star of Suits

Marshall W. Mason

famed Broadway director and recipient of the 2016 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

Renetta McCann

Chief Talent Officer, Leo Burnett; former CEO, Starcom North America

Grace McKeaney

writer and producer for the Lifetime television network

Laverne McKinnon

TV drama development executive

Susan Messing

performer, teacher, and director at Second City, ImprovOlympic, and the Annoyance Theatre

Seth Meyers

actor, Emmy-winning writer, host of NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers

Newton Minow

attorney, former FCC chairman

Judi Sheppard Missett

CEO and founder, Jazzercise

Jason Moore

Tony Award-winning director, Avenue Q; film director

Megan Mullally

two-time Emmy-winning actress, Will & Grace

Dermot Mulroney

actor, My Best Friend’s Wedding, August: Osage County

John Musial

founding member of Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company

Margaret Nagle

Emmy-winning writer,Warm Springs and Boardwalk Empire

Patricia Neal

Tony Award-winning and Academy Award-winning actress, Hud and Another Part of the Forest

George Newbern


Agnes Nixon

Lifetime Emmy Award-winning soap opera developer and writer

Denis O’Hare

Tony Award-winning actor

Jerry Orbach


Lee Overtree

Co-founder and Artistic Director of Story Pirates podcast and touring show

Jeff Pinkner

producer and writer, Fringe, Lost, Alias

Paula Prentiss


Charlotte Rae 


Tony Randall


Tony Roberts 


Tina Rosenberg

editorial board, The New York Times; Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author

Jeri Ryan


Kate Johnson Santhuff

vice president, 3rd Wave communications company

Alexis Sarkisian

Emmy Award-winning television producer, international marketing executive

Kristen Schaal

comedian, actress, voice artist, and writer

Rebecca Schnur

director of communications, Maine Hospital Association

David Schwimmer

Emmy-nominated actor, Friends, and founding ensemble member of the Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre

Melvin Sembler

former U.S. Ambassador to Italy

Jon Shapiro

IMAX film producer

Peter Shapiro

IMAX film producer

Kate Shindle

actress; Miss America, 1998

Francesca Spinelli 

executive coach, Spinelli & Co.

Joseph Staten

writer, creative director for gaming, Microsoft Studios

Peter Strauss


Nicole Sullivan


Ira Ungerleider

producer, writer, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Mixology

Allison Teichner Wallach

president, Jupiter Entertainment

Lois Weisberg

former commissioner, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

Jim Weitzer


Dawn Westlake 

actress/writer/producer; president, Ron de Caña Productions

Kimberly Williams-Paisley


Rocky Wirtz

Owner and chairman of the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks hockey team

Rachael Yamagata 

singer, songwriter

Mary Zimmerman

Tony Award-winning director, Metamorphoses, and Northwestern professor