Notable Community Members

This community has produced individuals who have become notable in their fields as actors, musicians, athletes, politicians, business leaders and other endeavors. This page provides a brief description of their accomplishments and links to their individual and family pages.


Sharon Gless: (born May 31, 1943) She is an acclaimed actress of stage, film and television. She has won two television Emmy awards for her role as Sgt. Christine Cagney in the 1980s series Cagney & Lacey as well as numerous other awards and nominations. She is a direct descendant of the pioneer Gless and Amestoy families. Two of her great great grandfathers, Gratian Gless and Domingo Amestoy were among the very first Basques in Southern California. Her grandfather Constant Simon Gless was the son of Simon Gless and Juanita Amestoy . Her official website and biography can be found at


Pete Coscarart: (born June 16, 1913 - died July 24, 2002) He played 2nd base and was a 9 year Major League Baseball player after graduating from San Diego State University. He played 3 years for the Brooklyn Dodgers and was known as the "Bounding Basque". In the later years of his life he fought Major League Baseball on behalf of himself and other players for rights to a pension. His father, Pedro Coscarart was a Basque immigrant from the village of Urepel, France.

Andy Etchebarren: (born June 20, 1943) He played catcher and was a 15 year Major League Baseball player. He played for the Baltimore Orioles, California Angels and Milwaukee Brewers and was on the Orioles' World Series Championship teams of 1966 and 1970. He was the grandson of Jean Etchebarren , who immigrated from Urepel, France and Grace Itcaina.

John Huarte: (born April 6, 1944) He was winner of the Heisman Trophy for college football in 1964 as the quarterback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He was the grandson of Martin Huarte and Pilar Arostegui, Basque immigrants from Navarre, Spain.

Manuel Laraneta: (born Sept 12, 1903 - died Jan 9, 1969) He was a 3-sport star at USC. He lettered in football for 3 seasons (1924-25-26) as a fullback, where he played in the Trojans' first bowl game (the 1925 Christmas Festival) and set the school career interception record (13) that stood for 15 years. His parents were Manuel Larraneta Sr. and Jeanne Marie Elissetche

Business Leaders:

Jean Baptiste Leonis: (born Aug 20, 1872 died Oct 19, 1953) He arrived in the U.S. to work for his uncle Miguel Leonis but developed his own business pursuits. He purchased land near Los Angeles that he was later able to create the City of Vernon of which he is considered the founder. Leonis attracted many industrialist to his small city, he served as banker to his businesses and was mayor and councilman for the city for 45 years.

This page still under development. Additional individuals to be added.