Celebrities are often synonymous with Hollywood so much so that numerous other locations have occasional cameos in random discussions of their wealth and lifestyle. Hollywood and its glamor, fueled by countless celebrity videos, along with the Kardashian-Jenner’s cult-hit reality TV shows that portray it as the hub of all things great, have people wondering if there’s another place to go where the big names in the industry can be found, given the unmatched charm and allure of Hollywood, even consider settling down forever.
However, some of the industry’s A-list names broke from that norm and decided to venture south. It seems that the much-heard and discussed southern scenic beauty and hospitality has caught the attention of many celebrities, and one state that stands out from the rest is South Carolina, which has recently seen a transition from a vast area of natural beauty to a humble abode for a plethora of Hollywood’s famous names.
Areas like Charleston, Bluffton and Hilton Head Island can be considered LA equivalents due to the chance to encounter numerous celebrities on the streets. Some were born there and have declared their attachment to their hometown, while others are simply fascinated by every form of comfort, be it food, beaches and way of life, that the region has to offer. Here is a list of 7 celebrities who have chosen to live in South Carolina.
1. Darius Rücker
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The former Hootie & the Blowfish lead singer has admittedly been fascinated by his hometown of Charleston for quite some time. He loves it to the extent that he made the decision to live there. He lives in the city with his wife Beth and children in a large mansion designed by Charleston-based interior designer Angie Hranowsky.
Quite intimidating in structure, their lavish home captures many Southern values and features architectural styles such as a wide entryway, colorful interiors with white backdrops, and separate rooms for books and paintings by abstract artist Sally King Benedict.
Their home is indeed welcoming, which Hranowsky certainly vouched for by saying, “This is their year-round residence, so they wanted a home that was functional and welcoming, but also unique.” Overall, Rucker is very proud of his Southern heritage and is scheduled to attend the University of South Carolina Gamecocks football games. He has also appeared in a few videos that give a glimpse of the best things about Charleston. To this day, the Grammy Award winner lives with his family in their beautiful mansion in one of South Carolina’s largest cities.
2. Bill Murray
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Although the 72-year-old actor grew up in suburban Chicago, he’s clearly fallen in love with the sprawling beauty of South Carolina. In fact, if you ever decide to spend your time exploring Charleston then it wouldn’t be a complete surprise to stumble upon Bill Murray. In fact, Murray now calls Charleston home, where he is undoubtedly an active member of the Charleston community.
Interestingly, Murray has even been spotted at numerous cafes and restaurants across the city. One of his favorite haunts is Husk, voted “Best New Restaurant in America” by Bon Appetite for the artistry of traditional southern cuisine and service. Additionally, Kudu Coffee Craft Beer is Murray’s favorite local coffee shop, while The Gin Joint is considered his favorite cocktail bar.
In addition to his love of good coffee and good food, he is said to have been involved in the broad gastronomy of the region. Harold’s Cabin, a coffee shop he and John Schumacher jointly own in Charleston’s Fresh Market, and The Container Bar, a food truck he originally opened, reflect his interest in every little culinary detail that the region has to offer has to offer. He also chose O’Sullivan for his new home, which offers unadulterated southern traditions as the place is a mix of beaches, local restaurants, folklore and history.
3. James Brown
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The late American artist James Brown also contemplated in Beech Island, South Carolina. Brown was born in 1933 and raised in Georgia, but also spent much of his life in South Carolina. According to Brown, he felt most connected to the state and believed that it was there that his connection to the South was fulfilled. Although not much is known about Brown’s South Carolina residency, the only unlikely link is his accountant, Russell Bauknight.
Bauknight took over the task of managing Brown’s estate after his death in 2009, explaining that the place contains many significant parts of Brown’s life, including all the scandals involving his troubled childhood as well as alleged criminal activity and court cases. He spent a considerable part of his life there and was later buried in the home of one of his daughters on Beech Island.
4. John Mellencamp
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About 30 years ago, the Native American discovered the island of Daufuskie, South Carolina’s most pristine and untouched beauty. He was so intrigued by the history of the place and the tremendous amount of privacy (since it can only be reached by boat) that he decided to carve out a piece for himself.
The land lay barren for almost 10 years, after which Mellencamp decided to hire an architect to build a house. Neil Gordon designed the final product based on the architectural styles and designs of the Myrtle Beach Church, which inspired him to proceed with his decision to build a home.
Monique Gibson, who has worked with some of Hollywood’s most influential creative forces such as Elton John, designed the home’s interiors, which echoed a typically southern exuberance and warmth. The home is filled with artwork by Walt Kuhn, Marvin Cherny, and Jack Levin, as well as gorgeous leather upholstery and sculptural furniture.
Mellencamp considered South Carolina his home and shares many memorable experiences with his family and children Justice and Teddi, who grew up on Hilton Head and graduated from Hilton Preparatory School. His former colleague Jeff Vrebel said in an interview: “It’s the secret escape hatch of Mellencamp. Mellencamp sees Daufuskie like Walden or the outback or the island on Lost.”
5. Stephen Colbert
In addition to his sassy and sarcastic sense of humor, one of America’s most popular talk show hosts, Stephen Colbert, is also known for his love of the scenic state of South Carolina. Known as the presenter of The Colbert Report and The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert grew up in Charleston and graduated from the Charleston Porter-Gaud School, where he participated in a number of school activities.
Not much information has been revealed about his connection to his hometown of Charleston, other than that he built his 3,040-square-foot home on O’Sullivan Island, which is closer to the beach and surrounded by palm trees. The home is spacious with 3 bathrooms and 6 bedrooms meaning there is plenty of room for Colbert’s family and visitors. Although he resides in Montclair, New Jersey, Colbert is occasionally spotted in downtown Beaufort to show his connection to the area.
6. Danny McBride
Actor and comedian Danny McBride, best known for his roles on Despicable Me, Eastbound & Down and Pineapple Express, decided to relocate to South Carolina after completing two seasons of Vice Principals that were filmed in Charleston.
He first appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show to announce his decision to leave LA for Charleston. Speaking to Kimmel, he said, “I moved to Charleston two years ago. We shot Vice Principals in Charleston. We just loved it down there. We thought it was great.” He also shared his conversation with Kanye West, who apparently wanted to hang out with him.
McBride added, “I think he thought I live in Los Angeles and then I said, ‘No, I live in Charleston,’ and he was silent for a minute [then] he said, ‘Okay, I can go too.’” Most of the cast and crew on Vice Principals were based in Charleston, where the entire series was filmed. It was originally the brainchild of Bill Murray, whose greatest fascination with South Carolina led him to settle in the state and invest in the local restaurant business. It seems McBride, like many celebrities of his generation, based his decision to move south on the region’s charming appeal.
7. Reese Witherspoon
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The Oscar-winner has a special connection to her Southern roots, having decided to leave Hollywood for South Carolina after her divorce from husband Ryan Phillippe in 2008. The New Orleans-born Legally Blonde star has followed the paths of her celebrity cohorts in choosing Charleston as her safe haven at a time when she was splitting from Phillippe.
Reportedly disgusted with her marriage and life in Hollywood, she moved closer to her family. There she also enrolled her children in the local public school. Witherspoon currently lives with her husband in their mega mansion in Brentwood, California. This hasn’t detached her from her Southern roots, however, as she can occasionally be spotted shopping or dining at a local South Carolina restaurant.