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  1. Life & Culture

These celebrities live around Tampa Bay

From Kirstie Alley to Robin Zander, here are the famous folks who call the Tampa Bay region home.
Clockwise from top left: Kenan Thompson, John Cena, Sara Blakely, Dave Bautista, and Tom Cruise. All live around Tampa Bay.
Clockwise from top left: Kenan Thompson, John Cena, Sara Blakely, Dave Bautista, and Tom Cruise. All live around Tampa Bay. [ Times files ]
Published Feb. 3
Updated Feb. 3

Super Bowls of the past typically mean celebrities popping up at local parties and clubs and in box seats. While the pandemic could put a damper on the event’s usual festivities, that doesn’t completely nix the chance of spotting the rich and famous. There are plenty of A-listers who live right here in Tampa Bay. Here’s a rundown on some of the famous entertainers, athletes, entrepreneurs who call this region home.

Kirstie Alley, Clearwater

Kirstie Alley at the 2017 Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg.
Kirstie Alley at the 2017 Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg. [ Times (2017) ]

Kirstie Alley won accolades for her breakout role as Rebecca Howe on the sitcom Cheers. A prominent member of the Church of Scientology, Alley made her move to Clearwater in 2000 after buying the 5,200-square-foot waterfront mansion of former Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley.

Dave Bautista, Tampa

Dave Bautista was the grand marshal during the 2020 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates.
Dave Bautista was the grand marshal during the 2020 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]

The WWE star-turned-Guardians of the Galaxy actor makes Tampa his home. Tampa Bay Times reporter Christopher Spata described his house in a 2019 profile:

“Bautista’s fortress-like house — gray, split-block, with actual flaming torches on the outer walls — is in the blue-collar neighborhood of Port Tampa, close enough to MacDill Air Force Base to hear the trumpets playing reveille each morning and the Star-Spangled Banner at night.”

Sara Blakely, Clearwater

Spanx founder and Clearwater native Sara Blakely at International Plaza in Tampa.
Spanx founder and Clearwater native Sara Blakely at International Plaza in Tampa.

Sara Blakely was called the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire by Forbes in 2012. She graduated from Clearwater High and attended Florida State University before being rejected for a Disney World acting gig as Goofy. Blakely invented Spanx after selling fax machines and office supplies in the Florida heat inspired her to cut the feet off her pantyhose.

In 2011, Blakely purchased $8.8 million of undeveloped land on Clearwater Beach. According to a 2012 Tampa Bay Times interview, she wanted to build a home close to her mother, grandmother and childhood friends.

Tom Brady, Davis Islands

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) in action against the Chicago Bears during the first half of an NFL football game in 2020.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) in action against the Chicago Bears during the first half of an NFL football game in 2020. [ KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI | AP ]

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is living in Derek Jeter’s Davis Islands home — at least, until a buyer swoops on the $29 million listing that popped up in the fall.

Wrote Times real estate reporter Emily Mahoney: “The home has seven bedrooms, eight full bathrooms and eight half-baths, as well as a clubroom with a full-service bar, a billiards and game table with a glass corner wall overlooking the water. It also features a wine cellar, movie theater, gym, in-law suite, au-pair wing, air-conditioned six-car garage, scullery and a full-home generator. Its expansive outdoor area includes 9,000 square feet of covered porches and balconies, a dock with two boat lifts, a heated spa and an 80-foot saltwater lap pool.”

Related: What’s it like selling Derek Jeter’s Tampa house while Tom Brady lives in it?

John Cena, Land O’ Lakes

John Cena on top of a horse in Pasco County.
John Cena on top of a horse in Pasco County. [ Ginger Hollow ]

The WWE legend and actor owns a grand mansion in the private Land O’Lakes community of Nature’s Reserve.

According to Famous Entertainment, his 3,700-square-foot home has undergone several renovations since he bought it for $525,000 in 2005. The pop culture YouTube channel listed a number of amenities in Cena’s home, including a gentleman’s cigar room and pools decked out with a rock cave and water slide.

Cena has also been spotted taking horseback riding lessons in Pasco County.

Chick Corea, Clearwater

Chick Corea is a Clearwater resident.
Chick Corea is a Clearwater resident.

The recipient of 23 Grammys, legendary jazz fusion pianist and composer Chick Corea been coming to the Gulf Coast since becoming involved with Scientology about five decades ago. He has lived in Clearwater for over two decades, with a recording studio on Fort Harrison Avenue right around the block from the old Fort Harrison Hotel.

Tom Cruise, Clearwater

Actor Tom Cruise.
Actor Tom Cruise.

Another prominent Scientologist, Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise has a home in the penthouse of a Clearwater development called the Skyview. According to the Sun, the Skyview was built by wealthy Scientologist property developer Moises Agami and boasts “a roof deck complete with a luxury 39-foot infinity pool, solarium, hot tub and bar.”

Cruise takes up space on the ninth and 10th floors of the building. Architectural Digest reported that his penthouse includes ”a passageway leading to a secret smaller condo on the second floor,” where he can work out in the gym, read scripts in the office, or use the flight simulator. He also enjoys amenities such as a nine-car parking space and private car elevator.

Jon Gruden, Tampa

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, in Las Vegas. [ ISAAC BREKKEN | AP ]

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head football coach and current head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders owns a home in Tampa’s swanky gated community, Avila. According to a 2013 Tampa Tribune report, Gruden bought his five-bedroom house for $3.3 million. Other notable Avila residents over the years have included Tony Dungy, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Vince Naimoli.

Hulk Hogan, Clearwater

Hulk Hogan takes the stage during a Wrestle Mania announcement on March 7, 2019 at Raymond James Stadium.
Hulk Hogan takes the stage during a Wrestle Mania announcement on March 7, 2019 at Raymond James Stadium. [ Times (2019) ]

Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, owns a 5,000-square-foot home on Eldorado Avenue on Clearwater Beach just south of the Carlouel Yacht Club.

The retired professional wrestler’s $3.3 million dollar home overlooks the gulf and includes an elevator, fireplace, pool and two spas. In 2016 it was also an attractive spot for porch pirates, who were caught on camera stealing a package at his place.

Chris Jericho, Odessa

Wrestler Chris Jericho pose for a portrait at his home in Odessa, Chris Jericho has lived in the area for more than 20 years.
Wrestler Chris Jericho pose for a portrait at his home in Odessa, Chris Jericho has lived in the area for more than 20 years. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times ]

Christopher Irvine, aka Chris Jericho, has lived in the Tampa Bay area for two decades. The former WWE star has reinvented himself many times — as a podcaster, bestselling author, Dancing With the Stars contestant, actor and hard rock singer in the group Fozzy.

The father of three lives in a gated lakefront estate in Odessa that he purchased for $3.255 million in 2019.

“Situated on 6.5 acres on Lake Keystone, the 8,569-square-foot house has five bedrooms, six full bathrooms, a six-car garage and tennis court,” wrote the Times in 2019. “Amenities include wine storage for 500 bottles.”

Before the big move, he invited fans to an estate sale on social media to get rid of old cardboard cutouts, furniture, fishing poles and hockey cards.

“The next thing I know,” he told the Times in 2020, “people are showing up in droves, buying my underwear.”

Brian Johnson of AC/DC, Sarasota

Singer Brian Johnson performs next to guitarists Malcolm Young and Angus Young of Australian legendary hard rock band AC/DC at the Palais Omnisport of Paris Bercy, on September 15, 1984 in Paris.
Singer Brian Johnson performs next to guitarists Malcolm Young and Angus Young of Australian legendary hard rock band AC/DC at the Palais Omnisport of Paris Bercy, on September 15, 1984 in Paris.

The legendary AC/DC lead singer, who reunited with his band for a new album in 2020, makes his home on the Sarasota Bay island of Bird Key. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Johnson and his wife Brenda have been spotted hanging out at music venues around town and donated property they owned to the local nonprofit All Star Children’s Foundation in 2019.

Stephen King, Sarasota

This May 22, 2018, file photo shows Stephen King at the 2018 PEN Literary Gala in New York.
This May 22, 2018, file photo shows Stephen King at the 2018 PEN Literary Gala in New York. [ EVAN AGOSTINI | Evan Agostini/Invision/AP ]

In the late ’90s, horror author Stephen King and his wife Tabitha rented on Longboat Key. But according to Sarasota Magazine, the couple wanted a place where they could walk their dogs on the beach. King achieved this in 2001, when he purchased a home on Sarasota’s Casey Key for $8.9 million, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“In buying the 10-year-old, three-bedroom home from a venture capitalist, King paid a record price for a house in Sarasota County,” the Tribune reported. “The 7,500-square-foot contemporary home, on 3 secluded acres on the northern tip of the exclusive barrier island of Casey Key, is made of concrete and glass and has a copper roof, swimming pool and views of the Gulf of Mexico.”

King’s waterfront surroundings influenced his 2008 novel Duma Key, set in a fictional Florida town. In 2009, King told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune “We liked Sarasota because it was funky ... I just go around and hang out and people generally don’t bother me, and if they do they’re pleasant.”

Titus O’Neil, Lutz

WWE wrestler Titus O'Neil gave 13-year-old Mitchell Richison brand new shoes to donate to kids in need.
WWE wrestler Titus O'Neil gave 13-year-old Mitchell Richison brand new shoes to donate to kids in need. [ Courtesy of Angie Frey-Richison ]

Thaddeus Bullard, aka WWE superstar Titus O’Neil, lives in Lutz with two sons, Titus and Thaddeus Jr. A Delray Beach native, O’Neil is now a philanthropist who regularly visits local schools and attends charity events.

Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sarasota

Joe Perry, lead guitarist of Aerosmith, poses for photos with his wife, Billie Paulette, in their home in Duxbury Mass., in 2005. Perry also has a home in Florida.
Joe Perry, lead guitarist of Aerosmith, poses for photos with his wife, Billie Paulette, in their home in Duxbury Mass., in 2005. Perry also has a home in Florida. [ CHITOSE SUZUKI | AP ]

Joe Perry owns a beachfront condo in Sarasota with his wife Billie. According to WBUR, the couple came to their Florida home to hunker down, order takeout and take beach walks during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020.

Kenan Thompson, Tampa

Comedian Kenan Thompson, who lives in Tampa.
Comedian Kenan Thompson, who lives in Tampa. [ EVAN AGOSTINI | Invision via Associated Press ]

Saturday Night Live’s longest-running cast member calls Tampa his home base. According to the New York Times, comedian Kenan Thompson spends time here with his wife, Christina Evangeline, when SNL takes a break during the summers. He’s also been spotted chowing down at Datz.

Dick Vitale, Bradenton

Basketball analyst and Rays fan Dick Vitale.
Basketball analyst and Rays fan Dick Vitale.

Basketball sportscaster and noted Tampa Bay sports fan Dick Vitale enjoys life in a 12,000-square-foot home in Lakewood Ranch with his wife of five decades, Lorraine. The couple live within five minutes of their daughters, former Notre Dame tennis players Terri and Sherri.

Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, Safety Harbor

Inductees Robin Zander, left, and Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick perform at the 31st Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center on Friday, April 8, 2016, in New York.
Inductees Robin Zander, left, and Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick perform at the 31st Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center on Friday, April 8, 2016, in New York. [ CHARLES SYKES | AP ]

Cheap Trick musician Robin Zander moved to Florida with his wife Pam in the early ’90s. The couple raised two children, son Robin Taylor and daughter Robin-Sailor, in Safety Harbor. According to a 2016 Tampa Bay Times profile, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer loves the charming town because of its proximity to Pam’s family and a major airport.

“Zander has made friends here,” wrote Times reporter Jay Cridlin in 2016. “He supports local charities. He roots for the Bucs, Rays and Rowdies. He calls Tampa Bay ‘paradise.’”