Portland was home base to one of very few regional theater companies thriving outside of New York at the turn of the century. The Baker Stock Company performed all over Washington and Oregon. Run by George Baker, who went on to serve four terms as Mayor of Portland, the Baker Stock Company employed Herbert Heyes,William Powell, Eugene Pallette, and Edward Everett Horton all of whom went on to Hollywood fame.
Portland also was a pit stop for Hollywood superstars John Gilbert and Clark Gable, although they appeared with other theater companies, not Baker’s.
A list of more recent stars who used Portland as a lilypad from which to leapfrog to fame would include Eric Bogosian and Miranda July. Any others?