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Famous People Who Graduated from UCSB

UCSB produces doctors, engineers, journalists—and celebrities! Check out this surprising list of famous people who roamed the same hallways as you.

UCSB’s roots go back to 1891, so it’s no surprise that a number of famous people once roamed the campus. From the oceanographer who discovered the wreckage of the Titanic to a groundbreaking electro house DJ, these former Gauchos will make you proud to go to UCSB.

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UCSB Celebrity: Robert Ballard

Graduation year: 1965

Major: Chemistry and Geology

Known for: Finding the Titanic

Robert Ballard is best known for finding the Titanic, but he also found other notable shipwrecks, such as the battleship Bismarck and John F. Kennedy’s PT-109. Looks like us Gauchos have a lot to live up to!

UCSB Celebrity: Gwyneth Paltrow

Graduation year: N/A

Major: Anthropology

Known for: Acting (Shakespeare in Love, Iron Man); founding Goop

Even though Gwyneth Paltrow dropped out of UCSB to pursue an acting career, we still consider her one of us. While she’s known for starring in blockbuster movies, she has also curated an envious lifestyle image as highlighted by her lifestyle brand, Goop.

UCSB Celebrity: Logan Green

Graduation year: 2006

Major: Business Economics

Known for: Inventing Lyft

Before inventing one of the best-known car transportation services, Logan Green served as a board member for IV Parks and Rec, created the Green Initiative Fund, and was the youngest member of the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District—all impressive precedents for UCSB Gauchos.

UCSB Celebrity: Benjamin Bratt

Graduation year: 1986

Major: Bachelor of Fine Arts

Known for: Acting (Law & Order, Miss Congeniality, Coco, and more)

We don’t exactly know what Benjamin Bratt studied while at UCSB (though theater is a good guess), but we do know that this Gaucho has some serious skills in the TV and blockbuster movie arenas. Beyond acting, his notable works include being active in the American Indian Movement as well as supporting the American Indian College Fund.

ucsb celebrities
© Jazmin Million/Flickr

UCSB Celebrity: Steve Aoki

Graduation year: Unknown

Major: Feminist Studies and Sociology

Known for: Music

Before Steve Aoki was playing on every major radio wave, he ran underground concerts out of his room in IV. Today he’s known for his record company and for producing electro-style music. At UCSB, Aoki was involved in student activism and founded a Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League chapter. Talk about getting a head start on your career!

UCSB Celebrity: Jack Johnson

Graduation year: 1997

Major: Film Studies

Known for: Music/Environmental Philanthropy

Jack Johnson might be the best-known UCSB alumnus based on how often we play Better Together while biking by the beach to surf. Or playing the song anywhere, really. Gauchos also love telling the true story of how Jack met his wife (on campus!), and we love mentioning that his song, Bubbly Toes, gives a shout-out to one of our dining halls:

Well I was eating lunch at the DLG

When this little girl came and she sat next to me

I never seen nobody move the way she did

Well she did and she does and she’ll do it again

(Note: Johnson didn’t actually meet his wife at DLG—they met at Ortega Dining Commons.)

UCSB Celebrity: Michael Douglas

Graduation year: 1968

Major: Drama

Known for: Acting, Producing

Before becoming an award-winning producer and actor in films such as Fatal Attraction and Ant-Man, Michael Douglas spent his college years at UCSB. And considering that he donated a full $500,000 to establish an endowed chair for the Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts in the College of Letters and Science, it’s clear that Douglas enjoyed his time as a Gaucho.

UCSB Celebrity: Jerry Trainor

Graduation year: Unknown

Major: Theater

Known for: Acting

You know him as Crazy Steve in Drake and Josh and Spencer in iCarly, but did you know Jerry Trainor went to UCSB? That’s right, our favorite American sweetheart walked these exact same steps on campus! What’s crazier is that the Camino Real Movie Theater is the same movie theater used for the external shot of where Crazy Steve worked in Drake and Josh.

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