CrochetWithDee.com

Cheering for the Art of Crochet

Famous Crocheters: Past & Present

Have you ever wondered what famous people, past & present, enjoy crocheting like us?  This most comprensive list is the result of many years worth of compiling & confirming.  Each time I learn of someone famous who also enjoyed/enjoys to crochet, after researching & confirming, I add them here.  

Honoring my copyright is very much appreciated.  If you like what you see here, please share a link to my website, http://www.crochetwithdee.com/.  If you know of someone who should be added to the growing list, please feel free contact me.

Thank you.

Get to know them: Famous Crocheters
Compiled by Dee Stanziano -- copyright 2003-2011 All Rights Reserved


Susan Wittig Albert: 1940 -
As the author of
THE TALE OF HILL TOP FARM, the first book in the BEATRIX POTTER COTTAGE TALES, she also enjoys knitting and crocheting. She received her PhD at UC Berkeley and was a college teacher and administrator before becoming a full-time writer, sometimes using the name of Robin Paige. While writing the book INDIGO DYING (one of the China Bayles mysteries), she became interested in working with raw wool: preparing the fleece, combing, carding, spinning, and dyeing. She now enjoys spinning and dyeing her own yarn.

Patricia Arquette: 1968 -
Patricia was suspected as being a crocheter since her appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  She showed Jay a Sock Monkey costume she created but never revealed if she knitted it or crocheted it.  When she got involved in the 2008 "Knit One, Save One" campaign it was confirmed.  She began her acting career at the age of 18, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the television show "Medium."

Anne Bancroft: 1931- 2005
a versatile actress, Anne Bancroft has actually had two film careers. The first, which took place during the 1950s, was generally undistinguished and featured her in films that usually failed to fully utilize her talents. The second, which began in the early '60s, established her as an actress of great acclaim in films like The Miracle Worker and granted her screen immortality with roles such as that of the iconic Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate. It's in the movie, The Miracle Worker that she can be seen crocheting. To learn more about her
CLICK HERE.

Clara Barton: 1821 -1912
A former teacher from the state of Massachusetts, Clara started a free school in New Jersey but was overlooked for the position to head the school. So she set her sights to the Patent Office in Washington, D.C., where she became the first woman to receive clerkship. During the Civil War she declined her salary from the government and aided the military on the front lines by receiving supplies from all over the country, later being named the "Angel of the Battlefield." Her biggest contribution as a humanitarian was to take the concept of the "Red Cross" from the Treaty of Geneva, ralling to have America sign it and then vowed to establish the Red Cross here in America. America signed the treaty in 1882. Clara was the most decorated American woman, receiving the Iron Cross, the Cross of Imperial Russia and the International Red Cross Medal, and worked closely with Susan B. Anthony and others. Clara used her sewing kit, which included crocheting hooks, to mend her own clothing as well as clothing that would be used to aid those that lost everything during national disasters. To learn more about Clara,
click here and here. (Thank you, Brenda, for this Famous Crocheter addition!)

Rebecca Bross: 1993 -
This American Cup champion loves to do crafts, especially crochet, as a way to unwind. She says, “It’s a time-passer for me.”  To read the article appearing in the Apr/May 2010 issue of Inside Gymnastics, click here.  (Dee's thoughts on the article: it's cool Rebecca enjoys crocheting.  It is uncool the author of the article is biased against crochet.) 

James Buchanan: 1791 - 1868
James, our 15th President who served 1857-1861 was our only President to remain unmarried. The running joke to this is that perhaps having a spouse would have created friction over yarn stashes. You can learn more about him by
CLICKING HERE.  He wasn't the only one in the White House that loved this art form, also see Edith Galt Wilson.

George Washington Carver: 1864-1943
George, known as an inventor and chemist was also a crocheter having learned from Susan Carver.
CLICK HERE to see an image of his work or to read more about him, CLICK HERE

Madonna Louise Ciccone: 1958 -
Dropping her middle and last name, Madonna rose to stardom by becoming a pop diva in the early 1980s, with many of her song releases reaching the "Top 40." Madonna also ventured into becoming a film actress by playing the lead in the movie, "Evita," where she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress (Musical or Comedy.)
It is in a news article about "One-handed 'loopers" that Madonna is reported as being a crocheter.

Ellen Corby: 1911- 1999
Born Ellen Hansen in Wisconsin, she started her film career in the mid-1930s, including a roll in the Christmas classic film "It's a Wonderful Life." Ellen is best remembered on "The Walton's" that aired on television from 1972-1979; she played the part as Esther "Grandma" Walton. It is on that television series that it is reported she can be seen crocheting on the front porch. (Thank you, Pat, for this Famous Crocheter addition!)

Jennifer Cruise: 1949 -
Is a former Elementry and junior high teacher turned romance author while on a leave of absence to complete her PH.D. Her first five hardcover novels from St. Martin's--Tell Me Lies, Crazy For You, Welcome to Temptation, Fast Women, and Faking It were all voted Top Ten Favorite books of the year. Jennifer admitted on the DIY (do it yourself) cable series that she "prefers hobbies that don't require a lot of thinking, such as crocheting ..." In a 2002 German interview (click here) she states, "I also sew and crochet; my first degree was in fiber and fabrics."

Bette Davis: 1908 - 1989
She was an actress known for her stage and silver screen performances -- and especially for her eyes. On the silver screen, in the 1939 movie "Dark Victory" her eyes help carry the story line when she exaggerates her blinking. Even songs have been sung about her eyes. In the 1940 movie, "The Letter," as the character of Leslie Crosbie, Bette can be seen crocheting as she awaits trial -- ah! but is she?! Bette was known for her incredible acting skills having once said, "I think that one should know one is acting. I always believed that acting is larger than life.” I'll leave it up to you to watch the movie and come to your own conclusion of whether she was a crocheter, or a just great actress.

Kelley Deal: 1961 -
Born in Ohio, she is 11 minutes older than her twin sister Kim.  As teens, the twins formed the band The Breeders with Kim on acoustic guitar and Kelley on bass; they opened for Steppenwolf in 1977. Kelley would become a technical analyst and not become the lead guitarist for The Breeders until 1989.  In 1993 they recorded Last Splash which became a commercial success.  On the website Etsy, Kelley shares that it was her mother who taught her how to crochet.  Having battled an addiction to heroin and drinking, today Kelley uses crochet & knit to help her with her soberity, and has authored the knitting book, "Bags that Rock"  [thank you Nanda of Ravelry]

Meredith Deane: 1990 -
She's a child-actress, having played the roll of Zoe Manning (1999/2000) in the ABC television drama, "Once and Again." In an article, Meredith stated that "a hairdresser on the show taught me how to crochet, which is fun because it's faster." To learn more about Meredith
Click here.

Kassie DePaiva: 1961 -
Born Katherine Virginia Wesley, she spent time singing including doing backup vocals for soul singer Bobby Womack during two United States and one Great Britain tour . It was then that she decided she liked entertaining and turned to movies and televison. She is best know for playing the roll of Blair Cramer on the soap opera "One Life to Live," where it's in her contract that she gets to sing twice on screen per year. She was featured in an article that appeared in the
November 2005 issue of Crochet! magazine.

Estelle Getty: 1923 - 2008
An actress best known for her roll as Sophia Petrillo on television's "Golden Girls" series, for playing the roll as the mother of Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur) for seven years on NBC (even though in real life she is only 2 1/2 months younger than Bea). It is on one of the 182 filmed episodes she can be seen crocheting. She also appeared in the well known movie classics "Tootsie," and "Mask." Estelle won an Emmy in 1988; she retired in 1998 after going public that she had Parkinson's.

Kelly Goldsmith: 1980? --
From the CBS hit show called "Survivor," Kelly appeared in the reality series known as "Survivor Africa." She was on the "Moto Maji Tribe" and as her "Luxury Item" for the reality series game, were "Crochet Needles and Yarn." She was voted out on the eighth show.
Click here to visit the official CBS website and learn more about her and the show.

Rosie Grier: 1932 -
A former New York Giant and Los Angeles Rams football player in the 1960s, Rosie enjoyed crocheting.(Corning Leader,NY) In 1973 he published, Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men. He also became an actor (The Thing with Two Heads), and sang pop tunes & gospel classics in the 60's & 70's, including the song "It's Alright to Cry," on the album "Free to be You and Me," by Marlo Thomas. To learn more about Rosie and the New York Giants, check out the book Giants: In Their Own Words, or
CLICK HERE to learn of his football career stats.

Aretha Franklin: 1942 -
Aretha is well known as "The Queen of Soul," having won the most Grammys for any female, including one for Lifetime Achievement.  She is the first female artist to be entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was the featured singer at Barack Obama's 2009 Presidential inauguration, and had sung at the funeral for Martin Luther King.  Along with being recognized for her singing, such as her #1 Billboard Hot 100 single, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T,"  Aretha is also a song-writer and a pianist.  It is reported that Aretha enjoys crocheting, especially maneuvering subtle pumpkin and pineapple stitches.  (If anyone has information about those two stitches, please contact me.)

Rosemary Harris: 1930 -
Rosemary debuted as a film actress in 1954 starring opposite of Elizabeth Taylor in the movie, "Beau Brummell." While appearing in many films, she played the roll of the widowed matriarch Valerie in the movie "Sunshine" where the younger incarnation of Valerie is played by Harris' own daughter, Tony-winning actress Jennifer Ehle. It is in the movie "Spiderman" in the roll of Peter Parker's aunt that she can reportedly be seen crocheting with a Tunisian crochet hook. Harris is an eight-time Tony Award nominee for her theather work, and received a Golden Globe award for her performance in the television program "The Holocaust."

Sally Kirkland: 1944 -
Having a career span television, the silver screen and radio, she garnered the 1987 Motion Picture Academy's Best Actress Nomination for her performance in "Anna." Sally also enjoys being an artist -- mixing her mediums, including with crochet. To learn more,
CLICK HERE.

Rose Wilder Lane: 1886 -1968
Rose was the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder. She became a noted writer and journalist writing about on her pioneering family's history and on world travels. She also wrote about crochet and was published in The Women's Day Book of American Needlework, and was once a resident of Danbury, Connecticut. To learn more about her
CLICK HERE.

Elizabeth Lawarence: 1922 - 2000
Born in Huntington, West Virginia, she started her acting career in 1947, and had played over 100 roles by the time of her passing.  During World War II she served in the Navy as a Specialist 1st class, but is best remembered for playing Myra Murdock Sloane on the ABC televison soap, "All My Children."  She can be seen crocheting in the 1991 movie, "Sleeping With the Enemy," starting actress (and knitter) Julia Roberts.

Steven Lenhart: 1987 -
Born in Jacksonville, Florida, this 6-foot-4 athlete, while playing for Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer, stated he "spends time crocheting beanies." Quoted from The Columbus Dispatcher, Lenhart states," "I crochet a bunch, dude," Lenhart said. "I made my mom a blanket for Christmas."
 
Eva Longoria: 1975 -
Eva, born in Corpus Christi, Texas, is a Mexican-American actress best known for her role on the television series, "Desperate Housewives;" although her first television role was on the famed "Beverly Hills, 90210" show. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at Texas A&M University, and won the title of Miss Corpus Christi in 1998. When Eva is shooting movies, she likes to spend her time in her trailor
crocheting.

Alyssa Milano: 1972 -
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Alyssa started her acting career at the tender age of 8, after landing a role as an orphan in the first national tour of Annie; and two years later playing the roll of Samantha Micelli in the television show, "Who's the Boss."  From 1998-2006, she played the roll of Phoebe Halliwell in the television show "Charmed."  She was a NY Yankees fan until she moved to California where she became a Dodgers fan; in 2009 she wrote the book, "Safe At Home," where she briefly details her crochet experience.[Thanks, Sandi!]  She can be seen crocheting in the first 20 minutes of the movie, "Wisegal" [Thanks Donna Lynn!]  Alyssa Milano confirmed via Twitter she enjoys crocheting.


Ida Saxton McKinley: 1847 - 1907
Born in Niles, Ohio, she was the wife of William McKinley, becoming First Lady when William was elected to office as the United States twenty-fifth President (1897-1901 when he was assassinated). Ida, due to health problems, was primarily a private person and enjoyed crocheting for charity. To see slippers she crocheted for a "Puritan Fair" for the First Congreational Church in Springfield, MA, click here.

Debra Messing: 1968 -
A summa cum laude graduate from Brandeis,with a masters degree in fine arts from NYU, Debra is best known for her role as Grace on the TV show Will & Grace. She also made appearances on the TV show Seinfield. It was reported in USA Weekend magazine that she "knitted" a square for a celebrity charity blanket, but upon investigation, the square appears to have been crocheted (clusters).
Click here to check it out.

Bette Midler: 1945 -
Bette earned four Grammy Awards including Song of the Year (1989: "Wind Beneath My Wings", 1990: "From A Distance") and Record of the Year (1989: "Wind Beneath My Wings"); two Academy Award nominations, three Emmy Awards, one Tony Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and nine American Comedy Awards. She said on the show Biography that she started crocheting when her daugher, Sophie, was born.

Shelly Morrison: 1936 -
Born in Bronx, NY, and best known today as the wisecracking character "Rosario" on the television program, "Will & Grace," actress Shelly Morrison has had a long career playing ethnic rolls stemming from the 1960s -- including on the popular show, "The Flying Nun." Shelly is an avid knitter and
crocheter.

 

Debra Norville: 1958 -
Born in Dalton, Georgia, Debra is a former Georgia beauty queen and a First Honor Graduate, Summa Cum Laude, of the University of Georgia.  She has written some books, including some children's stories.  She is best known as the anchor on the television program "Inside Edition;" and is a winner of two Emmy Awards.  On her website she announced her new yarn line, and on June 5, 2010, she helped 427 crocheters set the Guinness World Record for most people crocheting simultaneously at Citi Field.


Colleen Zenk Pinter: 1953 -
Since 1978 Colleen has been playing the roll of Barbara Ryan on CBS' As the World Turns.  She also has a background in dance & theatre. As a long time advocate of a large number of charities, Colleen partnered with the Oral Cancer Foundation when she was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2007.  She is now cancer free.  She is reported being a crocheter on the Getting Loopy Show with Mary Beth Temple.

Rosie Perez: 1964 -
Rosie, an actress with several awards and nominations, was nine years old and growing up in Brooklyn, NY, when she first learned how to crochet. She briefly discusses this in the book called,
Celebrity Scarves.

Raven-Symone: 1985 -
Getting her start on the television show "The Cosby Show," Raven started her acting career when she was three years old. In 2002 she starred in the series THAT'S SO RAVEN of which she can be seen crocheting. To learn more about her career CLICK HERE.

Carolyn Rhea: 1969 -

Carolyn, is best know for her role on the TV program, Sabrina, the Teen Age Witch, where she played an aunt. Later she became the substitue host for the Rosy O'Donnell Show. She admitted to being "...a crochet enthusiast" on her show when she featured Lily Chin, the "Fastest Crocheter in the World" as a guest.

 

  

 

Rebecca Romijn: 1972 -

Fashion model turned television & film actress, her most recent role was on the television program, "Ugly Betty."  Rebecca crocheted a cap for the 2008 "Knit One, Save One" campaign.


Jane Seymour: 1951 -
Born in England as Joyce Penelope and well known for her beautiful long hair, Jane has appeared in movies (as a James Bond Girl, "Kittycat;" and in "Wedding Crashers") and may be best known on television as "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." She states, "Ever since I can remember, I've been making my own clothes, embroidering, knitting, crocheting, and putting rooms together."(
Boston Globe) For more information about Jane, visit her official website here.

Ann Sheridan: 1915 - 1967
She started her acting career thanks to a beauty contest her sister entered her in; after that she soared in the movies, even becoming a favorite pin-up with the likes of Betty Grable. In the movie, "Kings Row" she co-starred with Ronald Reagan (he would become the 40th US President in 1981). It is in this movie that she can be seen crocheting.

Liz Smith: 1921 -
Lis Smith, the actress not the gossip columnist, started appearing in television programs and in the movies in the 1970s. It is in the 2005 movie version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in the roll of Grandma Georgina, that she can be seen crocheting.

Marvin Smith: 1910 - 2003
Marvin, photographer, whose precise diction was described as Shakespearean, became so expert at needlework that he designed crocheting patterns for McCall's magazine. The brothers were so close that Marvin never used the pronoun "I," much less claimed credit for a particular photo (New York Times). Learn more by
CLICKING HERE.

Vivian Stanshall: 1943 - 1995
He was considered the "court jester of the underground rock scene in the 1960s," and was an acomplished artist who's tallents included sculpting, painting, playing a number of instruments -- and crocheting. To learn more,
Click Here. ( Thank you, Vashti, for this Famous Crocheter addition!)

Meryl Streep: 1949 -
A Nine-time Academy Award winner, with a record of 12 Oscar Nominations, Meryl is reported as crocheter (of afghans) in a news article about
Sherry Ellis.

Martha Stewart: 1941 -
Martha started her career as a model turned stockbroker. After settling in Connecticut her love affair with attention to detail mixed with cooking turned into a variety of books, a magazine, and a TV show called "Martha Stewart Living." It was while serving time in a federal prison for lying to investigators that she learned how to crochet.
Click here to read a bit on her biography.

Joan Sutherland: 1926 -
Born in Sydney, she won Australia's most important competition in 1951 that brought her to study at the Opera School of the Royal College of Music. She is a famous Operatic Soprano, one of the most celebrated opera singers of the 20th century, having received a Kennedy Center Honor for her career achievements. It is
here that references to her crocheting. In the book, Creative Needlepoint by Robert Capes, of inspirational ideas and techniques for creating original designs, the foreword is by Dame Joan Sutherland. ( Thank you, AltoBarb, for this Famous Crocheter addition!)

Queen Victoria, the longest reigning British monarch: 1819 - 1901
She was crowned Queen a year after her uncle William IV died childless in 1837, with her reign being the longest of any English monarch. When she was seen wearing crochet lace, even crocheting herself, she helped crochet become fashion thus aiding Ireland in their exporting of irish lace during what is known as the Potato Famine. You can learn more about her by
CLICKING HERE.

Vanna White: 1957-
Vanna, the everpopular Wheel of Fortune hostess has several books out on Crochet and donates portions of the proceeds to charity.
Vanna's Favorite Crochet Gifts is her latest book which came out in 2001.

Laura Ingalls Wilder: 1867 - 1957
Laura lived in the frontier days of the American midwest. Often using her experiences, she created a series of books known as "Little House on the Prairie" that followed in the 1980's with a television series.
CLICK HERE to learn more about her. 

Edith Galt Wilson: 1872 - 1961
Edith is considered as the "first US woman president" for virtually running the nation for over six months when her husband, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President, suffered from a severe stroke. Edith, a widow herself, was the second wife of Woodrow, having married about a year after the passing of his first wife, Ellen Axson Wilson. Using her skills as a hostess and business woman, she controlled which documents were passed on to her husband, in essence, controlling which issues were dealt with. PBS's program "Woodrow Wilson, The Redemption of the World" shows her crocheting as she thinks out Woodrow's marriage proposal. You can learn more about Edith by
Clicking here. ( Thank you, Grace, for this Famous Crocheter addition!)

Irene Worth: 1916 -
Irene initally started out as a teacher, having attended the University of California, before turning to theater. In 1942 she made her stage debut in a touring production called Escape Me Never. She received awards for her work, one of the highest was that of honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1975. She can be seen crocheting in the 1993 Neil Simon movie Lost in Yonkers. To learn more about her,
Click Here.

 

Trisha Yearwood: 1964  ~
Well known as a country singing star, she knew she wanted to sing since the age of five.  A graduate of Belmont University, along with singing, she also has appeared on the television program 'Jag," as a Navy forensic specialist.  In a Family Circle interview, Trisha revealed what her 'hidden talent' is: "When I was 15 I got a crochet kit--and I've been giving afghans as presents ever since!"  In 2005 she married Garth Brooks.  (Thank you, Darla!)

Catherine Zeta-Jones: 1969 -
Already an established musical theater actress in Europe, after arriving in America, film director Stephen Spielberg took notice of her and asked she play the roll of Elena in the movie "The Mask of Zorro." It was her roll as Velma Kelly in the 2002 movie "Chicago" that really showed off her dancing & singing talents which she won an Oscar for as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She is reported in the January 2005 issue of Craftrends magazine as a crocheter.


Looking to confirm:

  • Tyne Daly: Tyne has been confirmed as a knitter ... but does she crochet? 
  • Vicki Lawrence: reportedly crochets on the Carol Burnett Show
  • Julianna Marguiles (she had a pink hat and a crochet hook in her hand on an ER episode) [thanks Kim!]
  • Olivia deHavilland: holds a crochet hook in the 1939 movie, "Gone With the Wind"
  • Stevie Nicks: reportedly stated she crocheted while writing song lyrics.
  • Gloria Vanderbilt: Did she publish a crochet pattern book?  And if so, was it she who crocheted, or her design staff?
  • Lady Duff-Gordon: survivor of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic; she was a designer of the time. Publishings have her name on it but it is unknown if she actually crocheted, or if it was the work of her employee(s).