Chris Pratt was born on the Iron Range

Chris Pratt from the Iron Range

Chris Pratt, born on the Mesabi Iron Range (PHOTO: Ernest Aguayo, Flickr CC)

Actor Chris Pratt was born on the Mesabi Iron Range (PHOTO: Ernest Aguayo, Flickr CC)

Last week, I joined the legions of Summer 2015 movie-goers to see “Jurassic World” starring  everyman action hero Chris Pratt. I also delighted in a little known connection between this film and the Iron Range of Northern Minnesota.

And no, it’s not this:

Though I had already heard this, it’s not widely known that Chris Pratt — who gained fame on the NBC show “Parks and Rec” before becoming one of Hollywood’s go-to action leads — was born on the Iron Range.

On June 21, 1979, Chris Pratt was born to Daniel and Kathleen (Indahl) Pratt in Virginia, Minnesota, at the same hospital where his grandmother Luella Indahl was an operating room nurse. His father was a home remodeler and one-time gold miner while his mother worked at a supermarket.

The family spent very little time in Virginia after Chris’s birth. Pratt was raised in Lake Stevens, Washington, where he would later quit after a semester of community college before spending a year essentially homeless in Maui. Waiting tables there, he was discovered by a casting agent.

Pratt’s grandmother, Luella Indahl, died in 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska, where she had worked for years after leaving Virginia herself. Pratt’s father, with whom he had a complicated relationship, died last year after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. Tabloids report that as of last year his mother, who had divorced his father, and siblings were still working low-paying jobs and that Pratt’s newfound fame and fortune had become a source of family discord. Still, Pratt seems to have a lovely family including his wife, actress Anna Faris, and young son, Jack. He’s certainly not the first affable Iron Range native to strike the big time, marry a pretty lady, and have trouble with the folks back home. That’s practically a trope in our little valley of blue collar upward mobility.

I could find no references to Pratt ever having been back to the Iron Range since he last chilled out in the nursery of the local hospital. I like to think he’d have a pretty good time if he came back here for a visit. That is, if the locals can keep their famous people behavior together, which they did NOT do when Christopher Lloyd was filming a movie here last winter. On the plus side, Pratt would fit in at any weight, and most Iron Range bars and coffee break rooms are filled with guys who think and talk pretty much like Minnesota accented versions of Chris Pratt.

Pratt will be keeping pretty busy, though. Rumors have him as the next Indiana Jones.

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