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Sunnyvale Fun Facts

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Fun Facts about Sunnyvale


There's a long-standing legend in Sunnyvale of a ghost that haunts the town’s Toys"R"Us store. Purported psychic, Sylvia Browne, claimed to have made contact with the ghost on the 1978 TV show “That’s Incredible” and named him Johnny Johnson. This story was also explored in a 1991 episode of “Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories”. Sylvia Browne stated that the ghost had been a farmhand who worked in the orchard where the toy store now stands. He had an accident and injured his leg with an axe and bled to death. 

Notable people from Sunnyvale

  • Teri Hatcher (actress on television's Desperate Housewives and Lois & Clark) grew up in Sunnyvale. She attended Mango Junior High School (now known as Sunnyvale Middle School) and Fremont High School.
  • Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple Inc.) grew up in Sunnyvale and attended Homestead High School in Sunnyvale.
  • Peter Ueberroth (former Major League Baseball Commissioner and organizer of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games) attended Fremont High School (Sunnyvale, California).
  • Brian Boitano (Olympic figure skater) is from Sunnyvale, attended Ponderosa Elementary School and Peterson High School.
  • Andrew Fire (2006 Nobel Laureate in medicine) grew up in Sunnyvale, where he attended Fremont High School, Mango Junior High School (now Sunnyvale Middle School), and Hollenbeck Elementary School (now a Challenger school).
  • Benny Brown (Olympic gold medalist in the 1976 4×400 meters relay) attended Sunnyvale High School
  • Landon Curt Noll (astronomer, cryptographer and mathematician) was the youngest to get the world record for the largest known prime 3 times. He was also a former Sunnyvale City Council member.
  • Troy Tulowitzki (Major League Baseball player for the Colorado Rockies) grew up in Sunnyvale. He attended Columbia Middle School and Fremont High School.
  • Tully Banta-Cain (linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers) attended Fremont High School.
  • Mark Levin (nationally-syndicated talk show host) lived in Sunnyvale.
  • Imran Khan (Bollywood actor) moved to California to finish school at Fremont High School.
  • Sean Dawkins (former NFL player) lived in Sunnyvale while attending Homestead High School in Cupertino.
  • Francie Larrieu Smith (Olympic runner) attended Fremont High School.
  • JuJu Chang American Emmy Award-winning television journalist attended Peterson High School.
  • Nick Lazzarini winner of the first season of So You Think You Can Dance

Sunnyvale in popular culture

  • Sunnyvale is a subject of interest in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fans as "Sunnydale", the name of the show's fictional town. One of the show's authors even created a faux website that gave Sunnydale the same ZIP Code as Sunnyvale.
  • In the 1980s movie WarGames, the game company Protovision and NORAD's space division are located in Sunnyvale.
  • Sunnyvale was the location of the GAP store in the famous Gap Girls Saturday Night Live skits starring Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, and David Spade.
  • Sunnyvale's name was also used in the film Life-Size.
  • Sunnyvale was the setting for the 1993 made-for-TV movie I Can Make You Love Me starring Brooke Shields and Richard Thomas. The film was based on the real-life office shooting that occurred on February 17, 1988 at Sunnyvale defense contractor ESL. Richard Farley, a disgruntled former employee who was obsessed with co-worker Laura Black, shot and killed seven workers and wounded four more before surrendering to authorities.
  • Sunnyvale is the setting of the G4 Animated television series Code Monkeys.
  • Sunnyvale is the location of Cyberdyne Systems Corporation in The Terminator series.
  • A Sunnyvale furniture store is referenced in the opening credits of the 1978 movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes which was filmed in southern California.
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