GHENT, WV (WVNS) — With humble beginnings in the Mountain State, actor Chris Sarandon is one of Beckley’s most notable names to ever come from Raleigh County, and although his career has lead him all over the world, his heart and spirit remain here in West Virginia.

Born in Beckley, West Virginia to Greek immigrants, Chris’ story ties a familiar knot that so many local West Virginians can relate to. His parents opened the Eat Well Café, a local Beckley eatery that accepted scrip and supplied the downtown work force until it closed it’s doors, while Chris went to high school at Woodrow Wilson High School.

With his first production being a role in the Theatre West Virginia classic “Honey in the Rock”, Chris Sarandon’s roots truly began in West Virginia.

Having the pleasure of working alongside one of the most notable names in stop-motion filmography, Henry Selick, Chris Sarandon solidified himself as one of the greatest voice actors with his role as Jack Skellington in the beloved Disney film “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Not only is Chris Sarandon the Pumpkin King, but his impressive roles pile high with a lead role in “Child’s Play”, English voice acting for the Studio Ghibili film “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” and the ever-charming role of Prince Humperdinck in “The Princess Bride”. These amazing roles make Chris Sarandon a West Virginian that anyone should be proud of.

One of the most beautiful parts of being a West Virginian is the sense of true community. You learn your neighbor’s family names, birthdays and everything about them and you take the time to remember it all because being a West Virginian is about being a place of community for any and everyone. While interviewing Chris Sarandon, it’s easy to see that even though his career has taken him far, West Virginia will always remain his home as he recounts friends’ names, familiar streets and the nuances of being a West Virginia hillbilly.

“One of the things that impressed in me because my family was Greek, is that you are apart of a culture that is centuries, centuries and centuries old that goes way back and the oral history of that culture is still being sung today. When I was growing up I always thought ‘oh I don’t want to be thought of as a hillbilly’ but the fact is, is that’s something that goes way back and something to be proud of. Be proud.”

Chris Sarandon | Actor & Beckley Native

To find more information on Chris Sarandon and his work, visit his official website. Be sure to tune into the full interview with renowned actor and West Virginia Chris Sarandon on 59New’s website.