Apparently, Montana is the desired place to be among the rich and famous. There are quite a few American icons living among us. So who are these people, and where are they?
Michael Keaton lives somewhere in the Big Timber area near Livingston, but his exact location is unknown. Helena’s Independent Record article from October 1986, reported that he owns a 565-acre ranch south of Big Timber. You might find him fishing with Tom Brokaw and relaxing on the great rivers of Montana.
Tom Brokaw, is a former broadcaster for an Omaha radio station, KMTV, and better known as the NBC’s anchor from 1982 to 2004. He now works as a Special Correspondent for NBC News, as well as making documentaries for other media outlets. Mr. Brokaw found his interest in Montana when he came to shoot a documentary and speak for The Montana Bar Association in the 1980s. The only fee he charged for speaking was to be dropped off “at a trailhead and picked up five days later.” After being brought back a second time a few years later for more work, he didn’t want to leave, leading to his purchase of West Boulder Ranch near Livingston. He was so committed to stay that he made the journey to and from New York for weeks at a time, which turned into months as the years rolled on.
Dennis Quaid was a famous movie star who came about in the 1980s, starring in a variety of drama and comedy movies. Some movies he plays in that you might recall are The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow, The Parent Trap, and a number of other box office hits. In the late-80s, Mr. Quaid bought a ranch near Livingston that was jointly owned by the actor Warren Oats and director Sam Peckinpah. His home was unique in that it had hardwood floors recovered from the Great Fire of Chicago of 1871. Sadly, he sold this beautiful $14 million estate in 2011.
Huey Lewis, a popular lead singer of Huey Lewis and the News from the 1980s, found his way to Montana in 1987. He bought a 500-acre ranch outside of Stevensville, where he lives comfortably today. Mr. Lewis has been known to contribute to the community in a variety of ways, one being his funding of the Missoula Jazz band. You’d also find him, as well as with many others on this list, fly-fishing along Big Sky’s rivers and streams.
You know David Letterman as a famous talk show host, but what you probably didn’t know that he is another fellow Montana lover. He owns a huge 2700-acre ranch located 35 miles outside of Choteau, Montana, neighboring Glacier National Park. He also owns a ranch in Ruby Valley, which is closer to the southwest corner of the state. Although he spends most of his time in Salem, New York, he shows interest in settling down in his Montana home as a permanent residence when he retires.
Another well-known name among Montana residences, but is sadly no longer with us, was Chet Huntley, the founder of what is now the largest ski resort in the nation, Big Sky Resort. Born on December 10, 1911, Chet Huntley passed several decades ago. He will be remembered as he contributed to a large part of the lives of many winter enthusiasts who come to enjoy the many slopes of Big Sky Resort. Chet Huntley attended the local college at Montana State University, from which he transferred to University of Washington and graduated in 1934 with a degree in both speech and drama. He then began his career at a Seattle radio station, moved around as he climbed the ladder, and then found his way to NBC news in 1955. With his love for skiing, he returned to Montana in summer of 1970. He then began work on the project skiers and snowboarders came to appreciate him for, the opening of Big Sky Resort. Sadly, Mr. Huntley wasn’t able to stick around to see the magnificent work he built. He passed away at 62 in March 1974, three days before the grand opening.
A list of other names can be found in the private community of the prestigious Yellowstone Club, tucked away in the mountains of Big Sky, Montana. This club was reported to have about 250 members, each of which are required to pay a minimum of $250,000 to join, in addition to the price of their $5 million to $25 million mountainside home. Notable members include a number of American celebrities & icons such as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Warren Miller, Phil Mickelson, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Dan Quayle, Greg LeMond, Jack Kemp, Tom Brady, Jeff Bridges, and of course, Bill Gates.
Apparently, Montana is the place to be. Justin Timberlake and his wife chose to move to a quiet place in Big Sky where they can raise their child away from the busy, big city life. There are a number of other unaccounted celebrities that live in and appreciate the beauty of Montana. When such icons as these all move to the same area, you know it must be a great location!