Celebrity Spotting

Casey Key resident Jack Perkins, who hosted A&E's "Biography," now hosts "A Gulf Coast Journal," a weekly magazine show that airs on WEDU-TV in Tampa. Dick Vitale of Lakewood Ranch is among the local residents whom Perkins has profiled. The ESPN basketball analyst devotes himself to philanthropic pursuits during his off-camera time. Local often see him at The Broken Egg restaurants located near his home.

Many celebrities have lived and/or visited Sarasota & Her Islands in years past including Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Donna Summer and more. Famously, President George W. Bush read to Sarasota school children during the 9/11 terrorist attack. Every now and then, we read something about who lives here. Here are some other celebs who currently frequent our slice of paradise:

Dickie Betts, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, lives in Osprey. He was inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and also won with the band a best rock performance Grammy Award for his instrumental "Jessica" in 1996. Betts has been recognized as "one of the most influential guitar players of all time."

Nick Bollettieri founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy (NBTA) in 1978 and then joined with IMG to develop a multi-sport training facility, now known as IMG Academies, in Bradenton. He coached ten #1 players in the world – Agassi, Becker, Courier, Hingis, Jankovic, Rios, Seles, Sharapova and Venus and Serena Williams, as well as other world-class players.

Moody Blues Drummer and Songwriter Graeme Edge lives on the Manatee River in Bradenton. He is the only one remaining original member of The Moody Blues still performing in the band, which is in the midst of a 32-city U.S. tour titled  “The Moody Blues: The Voyage Continues – Highway 45” to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the album "Days of Future Passed."

Read more here: http://heraldbuzzworthy.blogspot.com/2012/03/moody-blues-graeme-edge-to-release-book.html#storylink=cpy

Marcella & Victor Hazan live on Longboat Key. She is considered one of the foremost authorities on Italian cuisine. Their son, Giuliano, and his family also live here.  He is also a noted cookery writer and teacher.

Brian Johnson, lead singer for the rock band AC/DC since 1980, lives on Bird Key where his pool is shaped like a guitar. Every now and then Johnson jams with musicians at the Irish Rover Pub in Sarasota.

Prolific novelist Stephen King and his wife Tabitha winter on the north end of Casey Key, which inspired the setting for his 2008 horror novel Duma Key. They frequent local book shops and participate in political demonstrations such as the Awake the State rally help in March 2011. 

Glee star Jane Lynch (photo at left) married New College professor Lara Embry a couple of years ago in Massachusetts. Lynch won a Primetime Emmy in 2010 for her role as Sue Sylvester on the Fox musical comedy as well as many other awards. Lynch and Embry visited The White House on June 22, 2012.

Japanese star Kei Nishikori, ranked No. 18 in the world in men's professional tennis, lives under the radar in Bradenton.

Joe Perry, lead guitarist for Aerosmith, and his wife own a condo on Longboat Key. When Perry hits town, he sometimes volunteers for local projects. Bandmates like Steven Tyler visit occasionally.

Piero Rivolta is known as Sarasota's Renaissance man. At age 26, he became the youngest CEO of a car-manufacturing firm, Iso-Rivolta. Since he moved his family to Bird Key, he has worked as a real estate developer, yacht manufacturer and novelist. Rivolta founded Sarasota's La Musica, an international music festival, which celebrated its 26th anniversary.

Tennis Great Monica Seles lives in Laurel Oak. During her career, she won nine Grand Slam singles titles.

Jerry Springer owns a house on Bird Key where he spends most of his off-camera time, according to The Longboat Observer (March 9, 2011).

Adrienne Vittadini, the fashion designer famous for women's knitwear, lives in Sarasota and designed several villas on the ultra-chic Westway Drive. She and her husband own several  condos here including one at The Ritz-Carlton's Beach Residences.

King of the Highwire Nik Wallenda was born into his acrobatic family right here in Sarasota. Following in his grandfather, Karl Wallenda's footsteps, Nik outdid his grandpa by keeping his footing as he took Niagara Falls from Canada to the United States one step at a time. We held our collective breaths as Nik avoided the fate of his forebear. Now he's unharnessed and wirewalking in Atlantic City. We hear that the Grand Canyon looms in Nik's future.

Photo by Louis Wery shows Nik Wallenda in St Armands Circle just before he and his wife, Erendira, thrilled crowds with their sway pole act at a FREE performance on August 20, 2010 for the people of his hometown.

To read more about Sarasota celebs, try The Civilized Life in Sarasota.

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