Famous Residents of Pleasant Hill03/11/21
Pleasant Hill's vibrant community and unique charm have drawn many notable people to the area, and some even call Pleasant Hill home.
From exceptional artists to race car drivers and innovative creators, Pleasant Hill's residents consist of some of the most outstanding individuals in their fields.
Artists & Performers
Pleasant Hill’s arts and entertainment scene has always been an important part of the city’s character, so it is no surprise that some of the most accomplished actors and musicians are from here.
Celebrated by Hollywood and decorated with awards for his acting, Tom Hanks grew up and spent a lot of time in the Pleasant Hill area. Hanks has been quoted speaking fondly of the area's beauty and has referred to his nearly 2 decades in the Bay Area as "seminal." He is best known for his roles in celebrated films such as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Toy Story, and so many more. Now an academy award winner, Hanks has credited his time growing up here for exposing him to the dramatic arts.
Bob Wilson, a Pleasant Hill native, is an accomplished blind musician known for his singing, songwriting, and guitar talents. Wilson joined the Pleasant Hill High School Big Band in 1959 and released original music that went on to have great success just a year later. Wilson's discography has performed well all over the country and has even made waves in places as far as Australia!
Pleasant Hill's access to outdoor adventure and recreation is extensive and has drawn athletes and adventurous personalities to the area for years. Here are a few of our favorite Pleasant Hill athletes who have made their mark on professional sports:
Ron Wotus, a Pleasant Hill resident, is a former Major League Baseball player who currently serves as the San Francisco Giants' third-base coach. Wotus was first drafted in 1979 and has since made an incredible career out of the sport.
Leslie Smith, another Pleasant Hill resident, is an American professional female mixed martial artist. She currently competes in Bellator MMA and has formerly fought in Invicta FC and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Smith and her team train and fight out of the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu training facility, located right here in Pleasant Hill! Smith has had an amazing career and even has a documentary named Fight For It that highlights her early career.
Bob "Bobke" Roll is a former professional cyclist, author, and television sports commentator from Pleasant Hill. He was a member of the 7-Eleven Cycling Team until 1990 and continued on to compete for the Motorola Cycling Team and Greg LeMond's Z team. Since retiring from professional riding in 1998, Roll has written several books and published quite a few news columns about the sport. He now continues to ride recreationally and serves as a road cycling commentator for the NBC Sports Network.
Mike Guasch is a professional racecar driver and entrepreneur from the Pleasant Hill area. Guasch has accomplished an inspiring amount and has had incredible success in the sport. His racing career highlights involve 17 wins, including a few LMP Championships and Man of the Year at the European Le Mans Series. Guasch has also been a part of several successful companies, including one national brand of protective chemicals for the outdoor market, which he sold to a Fortune 500 company!
Pleasant Hill is a striking city with access to unique activities, outdoor adventures, and creative outlets. It's no surprise that such extraordinary people are drawn to the magic of our area.