Famous Chicago Irish Americans

Chicago history is intimately tied to the rise of the Irish in America.  Shortly after incorporating as a city, Chicago’s population was one-fifth Irish immigrants.  From poor neighborhoods like Bridgeporton and Kilglubbin, Irish Americans rose to become one of Chicago’s most identifiable communities today.

As a result of Chicago’s great Irish history, many famous Irish Americans originated from Chicago or spent many important years in the city.  The following is a list of famous Chicago Irish Americans.

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Bill Murray
Anastacia | Singer and songwriter whose debut album, Not That Kind, achieved multi-platinum sales in Australia, New Zealand and much of Europe

Bill Murray | Actor and comedian best known for his role on Saturday Night Live and in the films Caddyshack (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), and Groundhog Day (1993)

Billy Corgan | Singer and lead guitarist of the grunge rock band, The Smashing Pumpkins

Bonnie Hunt | Actress, comedian, writer and host of The Bonnie Hunt Show

Brian Doyle-Murray | Comedian, screenwriter, and actor best known for his roles in Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day, in which he performed alongside his younger brother and actor, Bill Murray

Campbell McGrath | Poet who has written many full-length collections of poetry, including Seven Notebooks and Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Chris Farley
Chris Farley | Comedian and actor who was a member of Chicago's Second City Theatre and a cast member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live

Chris O'Donnell | Film and television actor best known for his role in two Batman films and the hit TV show, NCIS: Los Angeles

Colonel James Hickey | US Army leader of Operation Red Dawn which captured Saddam Hussein

Dean O'Banion | Chicago mobster and founder of the North Side Mob who engaged in brutal bootlegging wars with Johnny Torrio and Al Capone during Prohibition

Donald O’Connor | Dancer, singer, and actor best known for his role as Gene Kelly's friend and colleague in Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Frank McErlane | Chicago mobster and partner of bootlegger Joseph "Polack Joe" Saltis during Prohibition who is credited with introducing the Thompson submachine gun to Chicago's underworld

George "Bugs" Moran | Chicago mobster and last leader of the North Side Gang who has been credited with popularizing drive–by shootings

Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford | Film actor and producer best known for his role as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series

James M. Ragen | Chicago mobster involved in bootlegging and illegal gambling who co–founded the Ragen's Colts street gang

James Patrick "Big Jim" O'Leary | Chicago mobster and saloon owner involved in illegal gambling who was the son of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary, in whose barn the Great Chicago Fire is believed to have begun

James Thomas Farrell | Novelist whose work, the Studs Lonigan trilogy, was made into a film in 1960 was voted number 29 on the Modern Library's list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century

Jenny McCarthy | Model, comedian, and actress who was named Playboy Playmate of the Year and went on to become an activist against childhood vaccines

John C. Reilly | Film and theater actor, singer, and comedian who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Chicago

John Cusack
John Cusack | Film actor and screenwriter best known for his roles in Say Anything, Grosse Point Blank, and High Fidelity

Kathy Griffin | Actress, stand-up comedienne, television personality, and New York Times best-selling author who was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album

Lee DeWyze | Winner of the ninth season of American Idol

Lester Joseph Gillis aka Baby Face Nelson | Chicago bank robber and murderer who partnered with John Dillinger and became public enemy number one

Maurice "Mossy" Enright | Chicago labor racketeer and associate of the North Side Gang who was instrumental in the rise of mobster Johnny Torrio

Michael Flatley | Hosted the Irish dance shows Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, and Celtic Tiger

Myles O'Donnell | Chicago mobster and Prohibition bootlegger who founded the O'Donnell Mob

Neil Flynn | Actor and comedian best known for his roles in the TV shows Scrubs and The Middle

Roger Ebert
Patrick Stump | Singer and songwriter for the Chicago rock band, Fall Out Boy

Robin Tunney | TV and film actress best known for her lead roles in the movie The Craft and the television series Prison Break and The Mentalist

Roger Ebert | Film critic and longtime co-host of At the Movies who became the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism

Roger Touhy | Chicago mobster and Prohibition bootlegger who was framed for the 1933 faked kidnapping of gangster John "Jake the Barber" Factor and murdered one month after leaving prison

Roy Disney | Cofounded The Walt Disney Company with his younger brother, Walt Disney, and later became chairman of the company

Walt Disney
Terry "Machine Gun" Druggan | Chicago bootlegger and boss of the Valley Gang who was known for his diminutive stature, short temper and lisp

Vince Vaughn | Film actor, screenwriter, producer and comedian best known for his roles in Swingers, Old School, and Wedding Crashers

Walt Disney | Film producer, director, screenwriter, and animator who cofounded The Walt Disney Company with his older brother, Roy Disney