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Famous People from Prairie Village, KS

A city as lively as Prairie Village is bound to be vibrant. Its charm, coupled with the rich history and natural beauty draws people from all over to it. Some even happen to be celebrities! Well, there are a lot of notable people that associate themselves with Grand Prairie, KS. Some were born here, others grew up/ schooled here, and the rest reside here. Let us have a look at some of the most famous people from this fine city.

Nancy Carol Opel

This American actress and singer was born in December 1956. She was raised in the communities of Leawood and Prairie Village and later graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School. She went to train in Juilliard nad in 2002, and she got a nomination for the Tony Award (Best Leading Actress) for her performance in the musical ‘Urinetown.’ She has starred in several other movies, including Evita, Sunday in the Park with George, Teddy & Alice, Triumph of Love, Anything Goes, Memphis, Fiddler on the Roof, 2012 Cinderella and many more.  

Between November 2014 and April 2015, she made appearances on Broadway in ‘Honeymoon in Vegas,’ a musical, and in 2015, got nominated for that year’s Drama Desk Award for the Outstanding Featured Actress. Some of her TV credits are ‘Law & Order: SVU’ and ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Today, she is an acting coach who strives to teach her students to relax, get out of their heads, and delve right into their instincts, back to the spark that had gotten them there in the first place.

Eric Darnell

Darnell is a self-made American writer, occasional voice actor, songwriter, director and incredible animator is most famous for co-directing ‘Antz’ together with Tim Johnson as well as co-writing and co-directing the famous ‘Madagascar’!was born in Prairie village in the year 1961 and he schooled at Shawnee Mission East High School in this same city. While here, he was a writer for the ‘Harbinger,’ the school newspaper. He pursued broadcast journalism at the University of Colorado, and after his graduation in 1893, he worked on experimental films for four years in his basement. This really helped him in getting accepted to the California Institute of Arts for the Experimental Animation Program.

After graduating, Darnell got a job with Pacific Data Images as a character animator for the film ‘The Last Halloween.’ At around the same time, he directed and animated ‘Gas Planet,’ which saw him win the 1995 Ottawa International Festival Special July Prize. He later left PDI and joined DreamWorks Animation, where he helped with the development and research work for ‘The Prince of Egypt.’ Soon afterward, DreamWorks and PDI merged, a move which saw him get assigned to direct his first-ever feature film, ‘Antz,’ where he worked together with Tim Johnson.