Friday, April 5, 2013

Snapshot: Actor Jeremy Renner

The Snapshot series will highlight prominent people, places, or events of Stanislaus County and surrounding areas. Have a piece of interest to be highlighted in our Snapshot spot? Send an email to

To celebrate the birth of his new baby girl, we will be taking a brief look at actor Jeremy Renner and his ties to Stanislaus County.

Jeremy Renner was born on January 7, 1971, in Modesto, California. His parents are Lee Renner and Valerie (Tague) Cearley. Jeremy is a graduate of Byer High School in Modesto, and he also attended Modesto Junior College before his career in acting took off.

Jeremy Renner is a 6th generation American on his father's side. His immigrant ancestor (possibly Henry Renner, as stated on the death record of Levi Renner, Jeremy's 3rd great-grandfather ) came from Germany according to the census records.

1. Levi Renner (born circa 1827, Pennsylvania, died 23 April 1911, Camden, New Jersey) married Mary Ann Rose in January 1849 with their first child being born in January the following year. According to census records, he worked as a saddler from at least 1850 to 1880, living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania until sometime between 1880 and 1900 before moving to New Jersey.

2. John F. Renner, son of Levi and Mary Renner, was born in January 1850 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He married Cecelia Godfrey circa 1869, probably in Philadelphia. He lived there until about 1879 according to the birth of his son Lewis Godfrey Renner, after which he and the family moved to Camden, New Jersey.  After arriving in Camden, he worked in a woolen mill, becoming a constable by at least 1896 and later a fireman.

3. Levi "Lee" Renner, born in Camden, New Jersey 20 Oct 1881, son of John F. and Cecelia Renner, he married Lucy E. (?) circa 1905. presumably in Camden, New Jersey. He worked as a clerk for the railroad in 1910 and by 1917 he is shown on his WWI draft card as being a machinist at the Victor Talking Machine Company until at least 1930. By 1930, Lee and Lucy had separated as he is living with his brother Lewis, listed as married, and she is living with two of her children, and listed as widowed.

4. Oscar H. "Art" Renner, son of Levi and Lucy Renner, was born 6 Mar 1906 in New Jersey and died 3 Jul 1972 in Modesto, California. He came to California sometime after serving in the military in 1942. He married Ruth A. Simpson circa 1944, possibly in New Jersey, and was in Nevada County, California by at least 1945. By 1959 he resided in Merced and was the manager of Modesto Bowl which was located at 1120 13th Street. In 1960, Art moved to Modesto and was managing both Modesto Bowl and McHenry Bowl.

5. John Lee Renner, son of Oscar and Ruth Renner, was born 10 Sep 1948 in Nevada County, California. He married Valerie Ann Tague on 14 Jul 1970 with Jeremy Lee Renner being born the following January. He managed McHenry Bowl reportedly in the 1980s, and though he divorced Jeremy's mother 10 years after their marriage, it is stated that they have had an amicable relationship over the years.

6. That brings us to Jeremy Lee Renner, famous actor, born right here in Stanislaus County. To learn about Jeremy's filmography click here

** Proper source citations available upon request, but the long and short of it is that all above referenced information can be found on Google searches,,,, and at the Stanislaus County Library main branch.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. We did not realize Jeremy Renner was born in the 70's!

    We hope he has continued success as a representative of Modesto!


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