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They Lived in Denville, NJ: Famous Denville Residents of the Past

vintage photo of entertainers

Over the years, Denville has hosted a variety of people known for their contributions to entertainment, business, arts, and sports. Some were born here, and others came to the Morris County area later in life.

Here are a few of those famous names.

Famous entertainers

Denville provides easy access to New York City, so it is not surprising that some famous township residents were involved in the entertainment industry. These actors graced movie screens, televisions, and the Broadway stage.

  • Laura San Giacomo

While San Giacomo was born in West Orange in 1962, she grew up in Denville and graduated from Morris Knolls High School. Her film credits include movies such as Sex, Lies, and Videotape and Pretty Woman. Many viewers will recognize her from her role as Maya Gallo in the television series Just Shoot Me! in the late 1990s.

  • Lisa Rieffel

Lisa Rieffel was born in Denville in 1975. She started acting as a child and appeared in shows on Broadway and at the Lincoln Center. Rieffel had an active television career through the 80s and 90s. She was a regular on sitcoms like Empty Nest, Women of the House, and The King of Queens. She also made appearances on shows like Party of Five and NCIS.

  • Kevin and Danielle Jonas

Kevin Jonas is a member of the popular Jonas Brothers trio. During a hiatus from the group, he and his wife Danielle Jonas, nee Deleasa, starred in the reality series Married to Jonas. When he is not spending time with his family in Denville, Kevin continues to make music with his brothers. His wife Danielle is an entrepreneur, influencer, and founder of her own jewelry company, the Danielle Jonas Co.

Inventors and artists

Denville has been home to several creative figures over the years. These visionary artists and inventors helped change left their mark in unique ways.

  • Frank Stephen Baldwin

The late 1800s was a time of invention, and Frank Stephen Baldwin was a remarkable figure of this period. In his lifetime, he developed several mechanical calculating machines. His most famous inventions, the Baldwin Computing Engine and the Baldwin Recording Calculator, were precursors to modern computers. After living in several cities in the Northeast, he spent the rest of his life with his family in Denville.

  • Pete Abrams

Most people associate comics with printed media like newspapers and magazines, but Pete Abrams of Denville went in a new direction. He started his web comic, Sluggy Freelance, in 1997. Today he is one of the few artists of his kind who is successful enough make a living from his web comic.

  • Robert Lazzarini

Robert Lazzarini is a contemporary artist born in Denville in 1965. He is best known for sculptures that take everyday objects and present them in a distorted form using mathematical algorithms. Art lovers can find his works on display in museums across the country.

Famous athletes

It takes talent and dedication to become a professional athlete. Denville has cultivated these attributes and raised champions across the sporting world.

  • Lexie Fyfe

Born in 1969 in Denville, Mary Beth Bentley grew up to be the professional wrestler known as Lexie Fyfe. She won the NWA World Women’s Championship in 2005 and has appeared in several WWE Raw matches. Her latest bouts in the ring have been part of the Shine Wrestling series.

  • Vickie Paynter

Vickie Paynter graduated from Morris Knolls High School in 1989. After playing college tennis for the University of Texas, Paynter went on to a professional career as one of the top women’s doubles players in the country. Paynter retired in 1996 and now lives in Texas.

  • Kevin Walker

Kevin Walker was an NFL linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1988 to 1992. He was part of the team in 1989 when the Bengals met the San Francisco 49ers in Miami for Superbowl XXIII.

  • Babe Ruth

Although the Sultan of Swat did not play baseball in Denville, he would leave New York in the summers and enjoy time relaxing and fishing at a vacation home on Cedar Lake.

  • Jermaine Eluemunor

Born in London, England, Jermaine Eluemunor started playing for the Morris Knolls football team when his family moved to Denville. He has gone on to play as an offensive guard for the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and Jacksonville Jaguars. His current contract, renewed in 2022, is with the Las Vegas Raiders.

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