The Bartian Chronicles

Famous Bartians! 


Morris McCorvey Poet and actor

An Arts Council of Oklahoma artist-in-residence, Morris McCorvey has made Bartlesville his home for the past twenty years. His one-man portrayal of Paul Robeson has received widespread critical acclaim, as has his poetry. He is founder of the Dustbowl Players/Westside Players, a theatre troupe for students.


Terrence Malick Film director

Wrote and directed The Tree of Life, one of Roger Ebert's Ten Greates Films of All Time. Filmed To The Wonder recently in Bartlesville.

Joe Sears 'Greater Tuna' star

As co-author and costar of the wildly successful Greater Tuna trilogy, Mr. Sears has been touring extensively with these productions for the past 22 years. His sixth tour of A Tuna Christmas included his Broadway debut for which he received a 1995 Tony Award-nomination for Best Actor in a Play. The first record-breaking year included a command performance for President and Mrs. George Bush at the White House. He made his movie debut with Tommy Lee Jones and Matt Damon in The Good Old Boys . Mr. Sears is the playwright for the Cherokee Nation's outdoor drama Trail of Tears, which runs during the summer months in Tahlequah, OK. Mr. Sears was awarded the "Theatre LA Ovation Award" for Best Actor 1999. He recently completed the Libretto (along with Mr. Williams) for the new Comic Opera Ochelata's Wedding commissioned by the OK Mozart International Music Festival. He and Austin-Nashville songwriter Kimmie Rhodes are now working on a new musical entitled Doin' God's Chores , an Austin workshop production. Mr. Sears also owns and operates Cody Stage, a summer stock theatre company in Cody, WY.

Gretchen Wyler Actress and animal rights activist

Bartlesville native Gretchen Wyler's distinguished theatrical career spans 50 years and encompasses eight Broadway shows, including the original "Guys and Dolls," "Silk Stockings," "Damn Yankees," "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Sly Fox" with George C. Scott. Wyler will be featured in the upcoming documentary film Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There. Of equal significance to Wyler's theatrical career are her nearly four decades of tireless devotion to animal-rights issues. Wyler is founder of The Ark Trust, an animal rights organization that bestows the Genesis Award each year.

Tyson Meade Rock musician

Tyson Meade, born and raised in Bartlesville, was front man of the awesome punk alt-rock band Chainsaw Kittens. "Arguably the best American band who never made it when alternative music suddenly became a huge proposition in the early '90s, the Chainsaw Kittens predated and outlasted that time with its own marvelous, energetic blend of glam-damaged energy, theatrical extremity, and punk rock basics" according to Ned Raggett of All Music Guide. He is currently in China recording a new album.


Mountain John Singer, songwriter, and storyteller

John Hilligoss is Mountain John, "America's Last Troubadour."



Becky Hobbs Country musician

"The Beckaroo" as she is called by her friends, was born and raised in Bartlesville. She started playing piano and writing songs when she was nine years old and formed her own all-girl band in high school. Becky has been performing ever since.

Becky has performed all over the world, including nine countries in Africa, and in Bosnia. She co-wrote the powerful "Angels Among Us" recorded by Alabama, which stayed on the Billboard Top Singles Sales Chart for over a year. She's written other songs recorded by Alabama, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, Glen Campbell, John Anderson, Janie Fricke, Lacy J Dalton, Moe Bandy, Shelly West, Hellen Reddy, Shirley Bassey, Jane Oliver, and Ken Mellons.


J Paul Getty Billionaire oilman and philanthropist

Getty made his first million by the time he was 24, but he made his very first dollar in Bartlesville -- selling newspapers downtown on Cherokee Avenue.





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