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12 Jun. 2023

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Ukrainians in Hollywood: famous actors with Ukrainian roots

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Ukrainians in Hollywood: famous actors with Ukrainian roots

Ukraine is rich in talented people, and some of them we regularly see on the big screen in movies, without even realizing that they are from Ukraine. Here are some world-famous movie stars with Ukrainian roots

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Ukraine has long been a part of the Hollywood family, as many famous movie actors with worldwide recognition come from Ukraine. Moreover, they are proud of their roots and publicly support the Ukrainian people and state amidst a terrible war. 


We are telling you about actors with Ukrainian roots who conquered Hollywood and achieved worldwide fame. We wrote more about contemporary directors from Ukraine who have achieved success in the global film industry here.


Olga Kurylenko


Film actress, model, and James Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko was born in Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia region. At the age of 16, she signed a contract with an international modeling agency and gained recognition in Europe, appearing on the covers of the most prestigious publications, including Vogue, ELLE, Madame Figaro, Glamour, and Marie Claire.




Today Olga Kurylenko can boast of an impressive filmography. Her most famous films include Quantum of Solace, where she played James Bond's lover, Oblivion with Tom Cruise, Seven Psychopaths, Hitman, The World of Oblivion, and Black Widow.


Sylvester Stallone


The maternal ancestors of the famous film actor Sylvester Stallone were immigrants from Odesa. They were a wealthy family that had a large business in Ukraine, but after moving to America, they were forced to hide their Jewish roots. The true origin of the family was revealed only many years later, after which Sylvester Stallone's mother decided to learn more about her homeland. Thus, she became a regular visitor to Odesa. Sylvester Stallone himself has repeatedly publicly supported Ukrainians, calling them incredibly courageous and strong.


The actor's filmography includes dozens of cult films, including Rambo, Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocky, The Expendables, The Grand Revenge, and others.


Vera Farmiga


Film and theater actress Vera Farmiga was born and raised in the American-Ukrainian community in New Jersey, but her parents are Ukrainian immigrants who moved to America. The actress also studied at a Ukrainian Greek Catholic school in New York City and later joined the Ukrainian dance ensemble Syzokryli. Vera is proud of her roots and publicly supports Ukraine at events on her social media.




Among the actress's most famous films, a special place is occupied by The Departed, The Passenger, The Spell, I Wish I Was in the Sky, and Hawkeye, 


Leonardo DiCaprio


A man who needs no introduction, because Leonardo DiCaprio has become one of the most famous movie actors in the world. The actor's grandmother, Olena Smirnova, was born in Odesa, but during the October Revolution she was forced to move to Germany, and later her daughter, Leonardo DiCaprio's mother, emigrated to the United States, where the actor was born. Leonardo DiCaprio himself has repeatedly spoken about his grandmother and noted that he is almost half Odesa native.




The actor's filmography includes dozens of cult films, including The Wolf of Wall Street, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Don't Look Up, The Great Gatsby, Titanic, Inception, Shutter Island, and many others.




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Milla Jovovich


The world-famous movie star was born in Kyiv and lived in Dnipro for some time. At the age of 5, her parents moved to the United Kingdom with little Milla, and later to the United States. The actress is proud of her roots, and despite holding an American passport, she calls herself an American Ukrainian. In addition, she has been actively supporting Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion and admits that it is indescribably difficult for her to see the suffering of the Ukrainian people.




Among her most famous films are The 5th Element, Resident Evil, Million Dollar Hotel, and Joan of Arc.


Dustin Hoffman


Dustin Hoffman's origins became known only in 2016, when he became a participant in the TV show "Finding Your Roots." It so happened that the Jewish history of the family was never discussed among relatives, and moreover, this topic was considered taboo. But as it turned out, Hoffman's paternal relatives were immigrants who moved to the United States from Bila Tserkva, Kyiv Oblast. Moreover, Hoffman's grandfather was shot while trying to take other relatives in 1918-1921.




The actor's cult films include: "Rain Man, Tootsie, and The Graduate.


Mila Kunis


Milena Markivna was born in Chernivtsi, but at the age of 7 she emigrated from Ukraine with her parents. However, the famous actress never forgot about her roots, and she came back to Ukraine many times, both on business and to show her husband Ashton Kutcher her homeland.


Mila Kunis's cult films include: "Black Swan", "American Psycho", "Max Payne", "The Third Man", "The Happiest Girl in the World", "Friendship Sex".


Ukrainians are a nation of brave, honest and unbreakable people who have proved to the whole world that no occupier or terrorist can overcome their desire for freedom. And even the world's most famous movie stars proudly declare that they are proud to have Ukrainian roots. 


We will survive. We will win!


Likewise, we would like to remind you that the literary achievements of Ukrainian writers are not limited to the borders of Ukraine, as their books find their readers all over the world. We told you about the authors who made a significant contribution to the popularization of Ukrainian literature and gained international recognition in our previous article.




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