Cover for post listing Who Was books about entertainers showing the Who Was books for Jim Henson, Stan Lee, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Walt Disney.

List of Who Was Books About Entertainers

Ad for bundle of Entertainer Unit Studies showing a hear graphic for Lucille Ball, a frog graphic for Jim Henson, and a Mickey Mouse graphic for Walt Disney.

Did you know that the Who Was series has over 210 books in it?  These books are great for creating “Study of the Month” units.  “Study of the Month” is a fun way to incorporate learning about different people and topics in your homeschool.  You might study an artist, a musician, a scientist, or an author each month.  Or anyone or anything else you can think of!

Then, over the course of the month you can learn about that person or thing through books, videos, and hands on projects!

The post below lists several Entertainers that would be fun to study.  There is a Who Was…biography for each entertainer, which are great for 8-12 year olds.  They average about ten chapters in each book and most children this age can usually finish them in a week.  When we do them as a family read aloud, they usually take three days.  Some of the entertainers listed below even have their own detailed unit studies that you can download!

And make sure to grab the FREE printable notetaking bookmarks at the end that you can use with any of the books!

*Note: ‘Musicians’ can definitely be considered ‘entertainers’, too, but since there are so many Who Was…? books about musicians, click here for their own separate list.

Check out this list of 19 Who Was books about entertainers throughout history. Make sure to grab the printable notetaking bookmarks at the end of the post. (No email necessary!)

(Note: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read our full disclosure.)

The List of Who Was…Books About Entertainers

PT Barnum, 1810-1891

Do your children love The Greatest Showman movie?  Then, they will love to read Who Was PT Barnum? and learn about curiosity museums and the circus!

Who Was P. T. Barnum?
  • Anderson, Kirsten (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 06/04/2019 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Harry Houdini, 1874-1926

If you have magic lovers in your home, then definitely grab Who Was Harry Houdini?  And for younger kids, include the Magic Tree House book, Hurry Up, Houdini!

Who Was Harry Houdini?
  • Sutherland, Tui (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 07/22/2002 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Hurry Up, Houdini! (Magic Tree House Merlin Mission)
  • Osborne, Mary Pope (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 08/25/2015 (Publication Date) - Random House Books for Young Readers (Publisher)

Charlie Chaplin, 1889-1977

Do you have a budding comedian?  Then introduce them to Charlie Chaplin!  Learn about silent films and more with his Who Was…? book!

Who Was Charlie Chaplin?
  • Demuth, Patricia Brennan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 12/06/2016 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Robert Ripley, 1890-1949

Have you ever taken your children to a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium?  I bet they will want to go after reading his Who Was…? book!

Who Was Robert Ripley?
  • Anderson, Kirsten (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 02/05/2015 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Alfred Hitchcock, 1899-1980

When thinking of entertainers to teach your kids about, Alfred Hitchcock might not jump to mind.  But, if you have children who like scary shows, this filmmaker can be lots of fun to learn about.  Grab his Who Was…? book and try watching Rear Window, which is rated PG.

Who Was Alfred Hitchcock?
  • Pollack, Pam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 12/04/2014 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Walt Disney, 1901-1966

Can you imagine a world without Walt Disney?  Learn about all of his creative projects and the early days of animation with his Who Was…? book.  Then grab his fully downloadable unit study in our Bundle of Entertainer Unit Studies.

Who Was Walt Disney?
  • Stewart, Whitney (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 04/16/2009 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Lucille Ball, 1911-1989

Learn about the Queen of Comedy with her Who Was…? book and this FREE unit study.  Or grab the fully downloadable version of the unit study with additional resources!

Cover image for Lucille Ball Unit Study showing Printable pages from the study.

Chuck Jones, 1912-2002

If your children love cartoons, then introduce them to Chuck Jones, the creator of many short cartoons that featured Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tom & Jerry and more!

Who Was Chuck Jones?
  • Gigliotti, Jim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 12/05/2017 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

The Three Stooges, Active from 1922-1970

The Howard brothers are known for their physical comedy.  Read their Who Was…? book and learn about vaudeville and their transition into the movies.

Who Were The Three Stooges? (Who Was?)
  • Pollack, Pam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 10/18/2016 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Stan Lee, 1922-2018

Have a Marvel fan in your house?  Learn about the man behind Marvel with the Who Was Stan Lee? book and this FREE unit study!

Cover for Stan Lee Unit Study showing book and several of the printable pages.


Mr. Rogers, 1928-2003

Mr. Rogers is a great person to help your children learn about being kind! Read his Who Was…? book and check out the How to Be a Good Neighbor Unit Study.


Cover image for How to Be A Good Neighbor Unit Study showing Who Was Fred Rogers? book and printables from the unit study.

Jim Henson, 1936-1990

Learn all about puppetry while reading Who Was Jim Henson?  Then have fun watching The Muppet Show (on Disney+) and making puppets with our unit study about Jim Henson!

Who Was Jim Henson?
  • Holub, Joan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 07/08/2010 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)


Bruce Lee, 1940-1973

If your children participate in martial arts, then introduce them to Who Was Bruce Lee?  And older kids may enjoy this biographical movie about him.

Who Was Bruce Lee?
  • Gigliotti, Jim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 05/01/2014 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

George Lucas, 1944-

Star Wars fans will love to learn about the filmmaker, George Lucas!  Check out his Who Is…? book.

Who Is George Lucas?: Who Was...?
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Pamela D. Pollack (Author) - Marc Cashman (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 02/02/2016 (Publication Date) - Listening Library (Publisher)

Steven Spielberg, 1946-

Have your children watched ET, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Back to the Future or Jurassic Park?  Then introduce them to Who Is Steven Spielberg?

Who Is Steven Spielberg? (Who Was?)
  • Spinner, Stephanie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 12/26/2013 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Oprah Winfrey, 1954-

Inspire your children with Oprah’s story about how she overcame big obstacles to become the ‘Queen of Media’ with Who Is Oprah Winfrey?

Who Is Oprah Winfrey? (Who Was?)
  • Kramer, Barbara (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 07/02/2019 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Jackie Chan, 1954-

Here is another option for children interested in martial arts…Who Was Jackie Chan?  And then watch the 2010 Karate Kid, which stars him!

Who Is Jackie Chan? (Who Was?)
  • Jensen Shaffer, Jody (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 02/04/2020 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Steve Irwin, 1962-2006

Steve Irwin was a fascinating person and is great to introduce to animal-loving kids!  Read his Who Was…? book and grab this FREE unit study.

Cover to blog post Steve Irwin FREE Unit Study showing printables and book.

Alex Trebek, 1940-2020

Alex Trebek hosted Jeopardy! for 37 years!  Learn all about him in Who Was Alex Trebek?

Who Was Alex Trebek? (Who Was?)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Pollack, Pam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 12/06/2022 (Publication Date) - Penguin Workshop (Publisher)

Grab the Notetaking Bookmarks

Click the picture below to open the pdf of notetaking bookmarks you can use with any of the books.

Notetaking bookmark with Who Was written at the top and place to fill in name, birthdate and other facts about the person.

Which of these books sounds most interesting to you?

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