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These Hollywood stars have German roots


They are among the absolute top stars in the glamor world of Hollywood, and are regulars at award ceremonies. And they all have a connection to Germany.

They are among the absolute top stars in the glamor world of Hollywood, and are regulars at award ceremonies.

And they all have a connection to Germany.

Munich - Some of Hollywood's most famous stars have German roots.

While some have only a loose connection to Germany, some stars even speak our language.

1. Angelina Jolie


Actress Angelina Jolie.


One of the biggest stars in Hollywood is Angelina Jolie.

The film adaptation of the computer game "Tomb Raider" brought her the breakthrough.

Later she also had success with films like "Maleficent", "Wanted" and "Salt".

Jolie comes from a family of actors, her parents Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand also stood in front of the camera.

And both have partly German roots.

Angelina Jolie supports people in need


Angelina Jolie.

© IMAGO / Landmark Media

In addition to her acting career, Angelina Jolie has also campaigned for humanitarian issues.

She has also worked as a director, producer and screenwriter for film.

Her private life also hit the headlines after her marriage to actor Brad Pitt, who divorced in 2019.

2. Michael Fassbender


Actor Michael Fassbender at a PK.

© Lee Jin-Man / dpa

Actor Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, he has a German father.

When he was two years old, his family moved to Ireland, his mother's home.

But he still speaks a few words of German today.

Michael Fassbender


Actor Michael Fassbender.

© Jörg Carstensen / dpa

Michael Fassbender has already appeared on the big screen in numerous blockbusters.

These include Quentin Tarantino's “Inglorious Basterds”, as well as “12 Years a Slave” and some films from the “X-Men” series.

He made his breakthrough with his role in the television series "Band of Brothers".

3. Doris Day


Actress Doris Day.

© dpa

She was one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood during the 1950s and 1960s.

The name Doris Day was just her stage name.

Her real name was Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff and she was the child of two German immigrants.

Day took part in well-known films such as "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and "Bed Whispering".

Her role in the latter work earned Day an Oscar nomination.

Doris Day had a heart for animals


The star of Doris Day on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

© Krysta Fauria / dpa

At the start of her career, Day was mainly active as a singer.

Then in 1947 she got a contract with the Warner Brothers film studio, mainly as a musical actress.

A great film career followed, after which Day devoted himself to animal welfare.

The Hollywood legend died on May 13, 2019 at the age of 97. 

4. Kirsten Dunst


Actress Kirsten Dunst on the red carpet.

© Joel Ryan / dpa

Thanks to the comic adaptation of "Spiderman", Kirsten Dunst gained international fame.

However, she celebrated her breakthrough in Hollywood as a child.

In 1994 she played the child vampire Claudia on the side of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in "Interview with a Vampire".

Kirsten Dunst - roots in the city of Haften


Actress Kirsten Dunst in front of her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

© Richard Shotwell / dpa

The actress has roots in Hamburg, where Dunst's relatives still live today.

Her father is a native German, the mother has Swedish and German ancestors.

Dunst himself was born in New Jersey and grew up in the United States.

5. Sandra Bullock


Sandra Bullock at the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

© Chris Pizzello / dpa

Because of Mama Helga Meyer, Hollywood star Sandra Bullock spent the first twelve years of her life mainly in Nuremberg.

There her mother worked as an opera singer at the State Theater.

In addition, Bullock's father was stationed in Germany as a US soldier.

The actress now has both American and German citizenship.

The list of successful films in which Bullock took part is long.

In the 1990s she played in “Demolition Man”, “Speed” and “While you were sleeping”.

Sandra Bullock also has a Franconian side


Actress Sandra Bullock.

© Warren Toda / dpa

After the turn of the millennium, Sandra Bullock delighted cinema fans in comedies such as “Miss Undercover”, “A Boss to Fall in Love with”, “Even the Bride” or “Tough Girls”.

But Bullock can also be serious, as she showed in her roles in “LA Crash” or “Blind Side - The Great Opportunity”.

In 2010 she received the Oscar for best actress for the latter film.

By the way, Bullock still speaks passable German - with a slight Franconian accent.

6. Leonardo DiCaprio


Actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

© Chris Pizzello / dpa

At least since James Cameron's movie epic “Titanic”, Leonardo DiCaprio has been an absolute superstar and heartthrob.

But the actor also showed other facets and was finally rewarded with an Oscar for his role in "The Revenant" after years of waiting.

Leonardo DiCaprio cares about the environment


Leonardo DiCaprio with elephants.

© Paul Hilton / dpa

In addition to acting, Leonardo DiCaprio also worked as a producer.

In addition, the Oscar winner is strongly committed to environmental protection.

He is currently one of the highest paid Hollywood actors.

His mother, who was born in Germany, is sure to be happy too.

But DiCaprio not only has German ancestors on his mother's side, his father can also show these - besides Italian ones.

7. Charlize Theron


Actress Charlize Theron.

© Michael Gruber / dpa

The daughter of a German mother, Charlize Theron grew up in South Africa.

At the age of 18 she moved to Los Angeles, USA.

There, an agent discovered Theron in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard - the start of a successful acting career that was ready for a film.

Charlize Theron: Courage to be ugly brought Oscar


Charlize Theron.

© Matt Crossick / dpa

At first, Charlize Theron was mostly committed to the role of the good-looking woman.

But in 2003 it showed a completely different face.

In the movie "Monster" Theron played the US serial killer "Aileen Wuornos".

The actress was showered with prizes for her performance, in 2004 she won the Golden Globe and the Oscar in the category 

Best Actress


8. Bruce Willis


Actor Bruce Willis.

© Ian West / dpa

Bruce Willis is known around the world as an action hero.

The actor is particularly associated with the role of John McClane in the "Die Hard" series.

What not everyone knows: Willis was born in Germany.

The Hollywood star was born in 1955 in Idar-Oberstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, as the son of a US soldier stationed there and his German wife.

Willies spent the first two years of his life there before the family moved to the United States.

Bruce Willis is also successful as a musician


Bruce Willis is playing a concert.

© Amy Harris / dpa

Bruce Willis has been front line Hollywood for several decades.

According to the US magazine Forbes, he is one of the highest paid actors ever.

He has also tried his hand at singing and musicians several times, and his debut album "The Return of Bruno" even achieved platinum status in the United States.

9. Johnny Depp


Actor Johnny Depp.

© Aaron Chown / dpa

Just like his fellow actor Michael Fassbender, Johnny Depp also has German and Irish relatives.

When asked about the not particularly flattering meaning of his German surname Depp, he is said to have said ...

Johnny Depp - the specialist in special characters


Johnny Depp in his role as "Sweeney Todd".

© Warner Bros. / dpa

"I think the name suits me perfectly." Well then ... Depp is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood.

The role of the eccentric pirate "Jack Sparrow" brought him extreme popularity, and Depp played the pirate captain in the film series "Pirates of the Caribbean". In 2008 Depp received an Oscar for his work in "Sweeney Todd - The Devilish Barber from Fleet Street" best leading actor.

10. Uma Thurman


Actress Uma Thurman.

© Christophe Ena / dpa

Uma Thurman achieved worldwide fame as the leading actress in Quentin Tarantino's multi-part masterpiece "Kill Bill".

The success of the two-part also brought her lucrative advertising contracts with brands from the cosmetics and fashion industries.

With director Quentin Tarantino, who had already worked with her on “Pulp Fiction”, Thurman also had a private relationship at times.

Uma Thurman - her mother emigrated to the USA


Uma Thurman at a film premiere.

© Andy Kropa / dpa

Actress Uma Thurman's grandfather was German.

The actress also has Swedish ancestors through her grandmother.

She owes Thurman to her mother that she was born in the USA.

This emigrated from Europe to the United States.

11. Kevin Kline


Actor Kevin Kline at the Tony Awards.

© Michael Zorn / dpa

Actor Kevin Kline only found out about his German roots through his father.

Kline revealed in an interview that he once told him that his great-grandfather was from Bavaria.

"Somewhere deep inside of me lies German DNA," stated the Hollywood star.

Kevin Kline a renowned stage actor


Actor Kevin Kline is a guest on “Wetten dass”.

© Ingo Wagner / dpa

His best-known films include "A Fish Called Wanda" and "French Kiss".

Kevin Kline has also made a name for himself in theater circles.

In the 1980s he played the title roles in various Shakespeare plays in New York. 

12. Terrence Hill


Actor Terrence Hill.

© Sebastian Kahnert / dpa

As an actor, he became known under the stage name Terence Hill.

The Italian with German roots was born as Mario Girotti.

The son of a German has now taken on US citizenship.

According to his own account, until he was six years old he only spoke German, which Hill describes as his mother tongue.

Terrence Hill and Bud Spencer: a powerful duo


Terrence Hill and Bud Spencer.

© Imago / Everett Collection

At the side of Bud Spencer, Terrence Hill struggled through many a film.

The duo messed up their opponents in numerous comedies such as "Four Fists for a Hallelujah" or "Two for Pech and Sulfur".

Hill also played in various spaghetti westerns.

13. Brad Pitt


Actor Brad Pitt at a film premiere.

© Jordan Strauss / dpa

In the family of Hollywood superstar Brad, there are a few tendencies.

The actor combines English, Irish, Scottish, Swedish, Dutch and German roots.

Brad Pitt celebrated his breakthrough thanks to his role in "Thelma & Louise" in the early 1990s.

A steep career followed ... 

Brad Pitt as a guarantee of success


Actor Brad Pitt.

© Joel C. Ryan / dpa

Brad Pitt's list of box office hits is very long.

The best known are "12 Monkeys, Seven Years in Tibet", "Fight Club", the "Ocean's Eleven" series and "Inglourious Basterds".

On the set of “Mr.

& Mrs. Smith “started a relationship with fellow actor Angelina Jolie.

The couple later married and have several children together.

Pitt and Jolie are now divorced.

14. David Hasselhoff


David Hasselhoff is leaning against part of the Berlin Wall.

© Daniel Naupold / dpa

His mega hit "I've Been Looking For Freedom" stormed the German charts in the late 1980s.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, US singer and actor David Hasselhoff even got the legend that he had contributed to it with his song.

“I never had anything to do with it, and I never said it.

No way.

This lie is still spreading today, after around 30 years, "said Hasselhoff of the

German press agency


David Hasselhoff - the most famous lifeguard in the world


David Hasselhoff in the midst of some lifeguards.

© Ian Waldie / dpa

Nevertheless, he also has a personal connection to the Federal Republic.

Hasselhoff's father has German roots in Völkersen in Lower Saxony.

As an actor, Hasselhoff celebrated his greatest successes on TV.

From 1975 to 1982 he was part of the cast of the US soap opera "The Young and the Restless".

This was followed by roles as private detective "Michael Knight" in "Knight Rider" and chief lifeguard "Mitch Buchannon" in the hit series "Baywatch".

15. Jodie Foster


Actress Jodie Foster.

© Chris Pizzello / dpa

Actress Jodie Foster also has German ancestors.

They come from her mother's family.

However, Foster never met her relatives from Germany - to her own regret, as she said in interviews.

Jodie Foster - Hollywood star fights for the downtrodden


Jodie Foster at a rally.

© Willy Sanjuan / dpa

The actress became a world star with the film “Silence of the Lambs” at the latest.

In the thriller, Jodie Foster played the FBI agent candidate Clarice Starling, who brings down a serial killer.

In her directorial debut "The Child Prodigy Tate" Foster also took on one of the leading roles.

The Hollywood star is also committed to human rights.

16. Diane Kruger


Actress Diane Kruger on the red carpet in Cannes.

© Alastair Grant / dpa

Diane Kruger was born in Algermissen, Lower Saxony.

First, she embarked on a modeling career when she was a teenager.

Later, the German, who has since taken US citizenship, switched to acting.

She made her breakthrough in Hollywood with the role of Helena in "Troy".

Diane Kruger: She speaks to herself


Actress Diane Kruger.

© Jens Kalaene / dpa

Blockbusters such as “The Legacy of the Knights Templar” (alongside Nicolas Cage) and “Sehnsüchtig” followed.

By the way, her last name Kruger is just a stage name.

Actually, the actress is called Diane Heidkrüger.

She synchronizes her film roles in the German language herself.

17. Katherine Heigl 


Katherine Heigl

© IMAGO / Future Image

Katherine Heigl's path into show business started early.

As a child model, she stood in front of the camera for the first time.

Your grandfather comes from the Baden-Württemberg city of Esslingen am Neckar.

In 2012 she visited the city from which her grandfather emigrated to the United States.

Katherine Heigl - As Isobel Catherine "Izzie" Stevens to world fame


Katherine Heigl celebrated her greatest successes in "Grey's Anatomy".

© Armando Gallo / Arga Images |


Heigl achieved the greatest successes of her career through her involvement in the television series "Grey's Anatomy".

In 2007 she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, followed by Golden Globe nominations in 2007 and 2008.

18. Cameron Diaz


Cameron Diaz

© Sebastian Kahnert |

picture alliance / dpa

Cameron Diaz went her own way early on.

At 16, she left home to live in Japan, Australia, Mexico, Morocco and France, among others.

She made her breakthrough as an actress with the comedy "Crazy About Mary", which became a box-office hit in 1998.

Diaz's mother is of English, Indigenous, and German descent.

Cameron Diaz: She received her star on the Walk of Fame in 2009


Cameron Diaz at a film premiere.

© C. Niehaus |

IMAGO / Future Image

Diaz had great successes in her career with comedies and good-mood films.

But serious roles also suit her, as shown in Martin Scorsese's hit film "Gangs of New York".

She received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in 2002, as well as for her role in "Vanilla Sky" the year before.

For her success she got her star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood in 2009.

Recently, Cameron Diaz was quieter, her last major role was in 2014. Her friend Selma Blair announced in 2018 that Diaz had retired from acting.

19. Martin Lawrence


Martin Lawrence poses in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

© Jörg Carstensen |

picture alliance / dpa

Martin Lawrence was born in Frankfurt.

When he was six years old, his family moved to New York; his father had been a soldier in Germany in previous years.

The actor and comedian began his career with smaller roles in sitcoms and comedies, before making his breakthrough in 1989 with his own series "Martin".

In the years that followed, he became known to international audiences for humorous roles in Hollywood comedies.

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith: The "Bad Boys"


Martin Lawrence and Will Smith.

© Regina Wagner |

IMAGO / Future Image

Especially in his role as the drug cop "Marcus Burnett" in the film series "Bad Boys", he ensures that the cinemas are full.

At the side of Will Smith, Lawrence brought the third edition of the film series to the silver screen in early 2020.

20. Dominic Monaghan


Dominic Monaghan

© Susanna Saez |

picture alliance / dpa

Dominic Monaghan, born in Berlin, grew up in Düsseldorf-Lohausen, Stuttgart and Münster.

At the age of eleven he moved to England and started his acting career there.

From 2004 to 2007 he worked in the series Lost.

However, he celebrated his greatest successes on the side of Billy Boyd as the hobbit Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck in the "Lord of the Rings" saga.

Dominic Monaghan - The "Hobbit" with a heart for animals


Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd.

© Dave Starbuck |

IMAGO / Future Image

Monaghan last appeared in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" with.

In the music video for "Love the Way You Lie" by US music stars Eminem and Rihanna, the Brit can be seen at the side of fellow actor Meghan Fox.

In addition to his acting engagement, Monaghan is committed to animal welfare.

21. Christoph Waltz


Christoph Waltz

© Jens Kalaene |

picture alliance / dpa

Christoph Waltz is undoubtedly one of the interesting actors in Hollywood.

He was probably born with a talent for the screen: his grandmother Maria Mayen was an actress at the Burgtheater in Vienna.

Christoph Waltz and Quentin Tarantino: a congenial duo


Christoph Waltz and Quentin Tarantino.

© Mike Nelson |

picture alliance / dpa

The two-time Oscar winner also has German roots, his father came from Germany.

Waltz celebrated his international breakthrough with his participation in the Hollywood production "Inglourious Basterds".

For his role as "Hans Landa" he won the Oscar, Golden Globe, British Academy Film Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for best supporting actor.

Director and puller behind the cameras: Quentin Tarantino.

22. Daniel Brühl


Daniel Brühl

© Ralf Hirschberger |

picture alliance / dpa

Daniel César Martín Brühl González is the son of the German director Hanno Brühl and the Spanish teacher Marisa González Domingo.

At a young age he decided to pursue an acting career and found his way into the public eye with his roles in the television film “Sven's Secret” and the soap “Forbidden Love”.

Brühl became known to international audiences in 2003 through his role as “Alex” in the box office hit “Good Bye, Lenin!”.

Daniel Brühl - Ambassador for "Hear the World Foundation"


Daniel Brühl is committed to charitable causes.

© Jan Huebner / Lakomski |


During his career, Brühl took part in numerous international productions.

He was

celebrated in Spain

for his role in the film "Salvador - Fight for Freedom


, and in 2014 he was nominated for the Golden Globe for best supporting actor in the motorsport drama "Rush - Everything for Victory



Even away from the screen, Daniel Brühl stands out for his commitment.

He is an ambassador for the “Hear the World Foundation”.

The foundation aims to ensure equal opportunities and a higher quality of life for people with hearing loss.

23. Nicolas Cage


Nicolas Cage

© Jayne Russell |


Nicolas Cage celebrated his international breakthrough in the late 1980s with his role in the comedy "Moonstruck



In the following years Cage worked in countless productions as an actor and producer, Oscar and Golden Globe awards followed.

Nicolas Cage is the nephew of famous Hollywood director and producer Francis Ford Coppola.

Nicolas Cage - "World Citizen of the Year"


Nicolas Cage

© Ingo Wagner |

picture alliance / dpa

He himself was born in California, but his mother's ancestors come from Germany.

In 2006 Cage bought Neidstein Castle near Etzelwang in Bavaria.

However, the lord of the castle sold the feudal residence only three years later.

In addition to his real estate businesses, off the big screen, Cage is known for his humanitarian commitment.

He is considered a supporter of the human rights organization Amnesty International.

In 2009 he received the United Nations “World Citizen of the Year” award for his commitment.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-03-09

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