The city has been home to a number of celebrity residents, including the late Merv Griffin. Griffin was the driving force behind the annual La Quinta Arts Festival, one of the country’s leading plein air art shows, and was instrumental in the development of Griffin Ranch, La Quinta’s first equestrian-oriented resort residential neighborhood.
Two city restaurants are owned by notable residents including professional golfer Arnold Palmer, The Arnold Palmer Restaurant, and Devane’s Old Town, owned and operated by actor William Devane. Both restaurants are located in the La Quinta Village.
Additionally, the musician/actor Tyler Hilton, professional golfer Anthony Kim, and singer/dancer Aubrey O’Day of Danity Kane were also former residents of La Quinta, and all three attended La Quinta High School.
Colonel Mitchell Paige is a World War II Medal of Honor veteran who resided in nearby Palm Desert and had a middle school in La Quinta named for him.
NFL Football player Jeff Webb of the Kansas City Chiefs went to La Quinta High School, though he lived in Indio. Another local and pro football player, Oscar Lua played for the New England Patriots. Current NFL player James Dockery grew up in neighboring Palm Desert and attended Palm Desert High School.
Scott Burcham, a baseball player in the Colorado Rockies organization, was born and grew up in La Quinta.
The band Yawning Man formed there.
Singer and TV personality Andy Williams resided in La Quinta with his second wife Debbie in addition to owning a house in Branson, Missouri, where his Moon River theatre was located.
Olympic ice figure skater Dorothy Hamill lived in La Quinta.
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard lived in secret on a ranch in La Quinta from 1978 to the early 1980s.
The singer Jack Jones lives in La Quinta.