Meryl Streep, person who found Titanic are members of CT's Hall of Fame

The Connecticut Hall of Fame was unveiled in late January of 2005, but it hasn’t made any new additions since 2016.

It was started by then-Sens. Joseph Crisco (D-Woodbridge) and John McKinney (R-Fairfield) and then-Reps. Elizabeth Boukus (D-Plainville) and Michael Caron (R-Danielson). The figures included in the Hall of Fame are those that the state has chosen “to recognize the people who have contributed significantly to the state, the nation, the world, and mankind,” Crisco said in a February 2007 release announcing the first class of inductees. “We are truly blessed as a small state to have such a large number of individuals, who made so many great contributions.”

While the Hall of Fame has fallen to the wayside in recent years, here are a few of the famous names that share ties to Connecticut.

Related: Why hasn’t Connecticut added new inductees to the Hall of Fame?

Meryl Streep

This May 29, 2019 file photo shows actress Meryl Streep at the premiere of HBO's "Big Little Lies" season two in New York. Streep has been named as a co-chair of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. The actress was inducted to Connecticut's Hall of Fame in 2016.

This May 29, 2019 file photo shows actress Meryl Streep at the premiere of HBO's "Big Little Lies" season two in New York. Streep has been named as a co-chair of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. The actress was inducted to Connecticut’s Hall of Fame in 2016.

Evan Agostini / Evan Agostini /Invision /AP

Meryl Streep, whose name occupies a slot above Nathan Hale, Horace Wells, Gen. Henry Burbeck and Helen Keller in the Connecticut Hall of Fame, is one of the most recent inductees. The three-time Academy Award-winning actress has a home in Salisbury, but, her ties to the state run deeper and earlier: She studied at the Yale School of Drama, where she honed acting skills that led to her record-setting number of Academy Award (21) and Golden Globe (30) nominations and diversity of filmography. Streep was the only still-living person to be feted in 2016 by the Connecticut Hall of Fame. She did not attend the ceremony.

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson and wife Rachel pose in their Connecticut home in this 1962 file photo.

Jackie Robinson and wife Rachel pose in their Connecticut home in this 1962 file photo.

AP Photo /file

Jackie Robinson was among four Connecticut Hall of Fame inductees in 2008. Though he was the first Black man to play major league baseball as a 1955 World Series-winning member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Baseball Hall-of-Famer and his family had trouble being accepted outside the diamond. After being turned down for homes in Port Chester, N.Y. and Greenwich, according to the New England Historical Society, the Robinsons decided to build their dream home, and settled in Stamford. The family lived there until his death in 1972. His name is on the Connecticut Hall of Fame, but there’s also a Jackie Robinson Park of Fame in Stamford, as well as a statue of the famed baseball player there.

Paul Newman

(Original Caption) Close-up of actor Paul Newman sitting at table leaning on both arms crossed in front. He made trip here for TV special.

(Original Caption) Close-up of actor Paul Newman sitting at table leaning on both arms crossed in front. He made trip here for TV special.

Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

Paul Newman, inducted into the Connecticut Hall of Fame in 2009, one year after his death, is described by the Hall’s literature as “a legendary actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, professional racing driver and auto racing team owner.” But it’s Newman’s philanthropy that perhaps stands out best in Connecticut. As the founder of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, in Ashford, offers a summer camp experience free of charge for seriously ill children and their parents. Newman also lived in Westport and frequently contributed to the community and state. He was the only Hall of Fame inductee in 2009.

Robert Ballard

Dr. Robert Ballard, who lives in Lyme and is known for finding the Titanic, among many other discoveries.

Dr. Robert Ballard, who lives in Lyme and is known for finding the Titanic, among many other discoveries.

Robert Ballard / Contributed photo /

Robert Ballard, who famously discovered the wreck of the RMS Titanic in 1985, has deep ‘sea’-ted ties to Connecticut. The underwater archaeologist, explorer and oceanographer worked closely with the Mystic Aquarium for 15 years until his departure in 2014, four years after his 2010 induction into the Connecticut Hall of Fame. He lives in Lyme.

Katharine Hepburn

In this picture provided by The New York Public Library, Katharine Hepburn is seen in an undated photo promoting "Philadelaphia Story." The actress was born in Hartford.

In this picture provided by The New York Public Library, Katharine Hepburn is seen in an undated photo promoting "Philadelaphia Story." The actress was born in Hartford.

AP Photo /The New York Public Library

Actress and Connecticut native Katharine Hepburn was inducted as a member of the first class of the Connecticut Hall of Fame in 2007, alongside writer Mark Twain and helicopter designer Igor Sikorsky. Hepburn, a four-time Oscar and one-time Emmy Award-winner, was born in Hartford and died in Old Saybrook (Fenwick), a town that still honors with performances at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.

Stephen Sondheim

Connecticut resident Stephen Sondheim attends the Stephen Sondheim Theatre marquee lighting on September 15, 2010 in New York City.

Connecticut resident Stephen Sondheim attends the Stephen Sondheim Theatre marquee lighting on September 15, 2010 in New York City.

D Dipasupil / Getty Images

Stephen Sondheim, the master of musical theater whose ample honors include eight Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and multiple Grammys, also can count himself as a member of Connecticut’s Hall of Fame as of 2014. The composer and lyricist whose works include “Gypsy,” “West Side Story” and “Sweeney Todd,” has a home in Connecticut.

Helen Keller

Author Helen Keller, who is blind and deaf, is photographed holding an open Braille book in Jan. 1955.

Author Helen Keller, who is blind and deaf, is photographed holding an open Braille book in Jan. 1955.

AP Photo / Contributed photo

Helen Keller was born in Alabama, but she spent the last 30 years of her life in Easton, Conn., at a home she called Arcan Ridge. The deaf and blind Keller, “one of the most famous people in the world,” according to ConnecticutHistory.org, was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and traveled the world as a disability rights advocate. In 2006, she was posthumously inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame and, some 10 years later, into the Connecticut Hall of Fame when it was once again brought to light in 2016.

Harriet Beecher-Stowe

Author Harriet Beecher Stowe was inducted to the Connecticut Hall of Fame in 2010.

Author Harriet Beecher Stowe was inducted to the Connecticut Hall of Fame in 2010.

Library of Congress / Library of Congress

Also inducted into the Connecticut Hall of Fame in 2010 was author Harriet Beecher-Stowe, whose most famous work, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was a call to end slavery published worldwide. Beecher-Stowe’s Hartford home is now a National Historic Landmark and headquarters of the Harriet Beecher-Stowe Center, which “preserves and interprets Stowe’s Hartford home and the Center’s historic collections, promotes vibrant discussion of her life and work, and inspires commitment to social justice and positive change.”

Alfred Carlton Gilbert

Bobby Meyers of Clifton, N. J. plays with an erector set, Feb. 20, 1961 - one of the most popular inventions of Alfred Carlton Gilbert, head of the A. C. Gilbert Co. The inventor attended Yale Medical School.

Bobby Meyers of Clifton, N. J. plays with an erector set, Feb. 20, 1961 - one of the most popular inventions of Alfred Carlton Gilbert, head of the A. C. Gilbert Co. The inventor attended Yale Medical School.

AP photo / Contributed photo

After a two-year absence, the Hall of Fame was resurrected in 2013 with the addition of four men with lofty accomplishments to the list of names in the Legislative Office Building. The least recognizable, but perhaps most diverse in his accomplishments, is Alfred Carlton Gilbert, inventor of the Erector Set. The toymaker, who graduated from Yale Medical School and frequently rode the New Haven Railroad, also was a magician and Olympic gold medalist in pole vaulting, according to the Connecticut Hall of Fame.