It is no wonder that entertainment professionals flock to the United States since the country’s entertainment industries are among the world’s largest, whether in movies, television, music, books, or theater.
There are quite a few Hollywood celebrities who immigrated to the US before becoming citizens, in addition to a surprising number of refugees from foreign countries.
Let us introduce you to some celebrities’ early life and ethnic background about whom you would never know they were immigrants.
What’s the secret to becoming Governor of California after a childhood in Austria? It was a long journey for Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the most famous American immigrants. Schwarzenegger, who grew up in an abusive Catholic family with a former Nazi father, was forced to forge his path. After picking up his first barbell at the age of 13, he found his way into the world of weightlifting as an average student. The 17-year-old was already competing professionally.
After winning notable titles such as Junior Mr. Europe, the best-built man of Europe, and the youngest winner of Mr. Universe, he planned to move to America. In his own words, “Mr. Universe was “my ticket to America—the land of opportunity, where I could become a star and get rich.” His goal was to become a movie star, so he moved to Los Angeles. His success as a movie star led him to enter politics, and he became Governor of California.
Liam Neeson was born in Ireland. He first worked as an actor in Great Britain, then in Hollywood in the late 1980s. In 2009, he became a citizen of the United States.
When he first came to the United States, he had some difficulties, especially with acting. Regardless of his talent, casting directors would ask him to change his accent. Changing our accents is part of our job as actors, believed Neeson and started working on his accent. But he still remains a true Irishman.
Born in Ukraine in 1983, Mila Kunis moved to the US at the age of seven with her parents and siblings. That 70’s Show star and his family experienced many difficulties during their early days in the US. They had migrated after the collapse of the USSR with just $250 in their pockets. Her father worked as a cab driver. He delivered pizza and painted houses while her mother began studying pharmacy.
Kunis started taking acting classes at the Beverly Hills Studios after school at 9 years old, where she met Susan Curtis, who became her manager. She did many successful TV shows and movies during her career.
Neil Young is a Canadian who moved to the US in 1966, right around the time Buffalo Springfield made their first folk-style records. He was born in 1945 and came to the US as an undocumented immigrant without a work visa. As a result, Young was constantly fearful even for being pulled over for a traffic violation. He is a successful and widely known singer, musician, songwriter, and activist. He released many solo and trio music albums.
The world of comedy would never be complete without Carlie. Chaplin gave the silent film industry a substantial boost and became an iconic figure within the Hollywood film industry.
He is a director and actor best known for playing the character ‘The Tramp.’ By satirizing major political movements through this character, Chaplin satirized major political movements of the day. His most successful movie, The Great Dictator, mocks the rise of fascism and Hitler. Other prominent works of Charlie include The Kid, Modern Times, and The Immigrant.