Following the success of our previous post, we thought to gather some more famous people of Hungarian descent, who are either known for their extraordinary achievements or have had a great impact on our society. You will be in for a surprise learning how many celebrated artists and acclaimed scientists had/have Hungarian ancestors or came directly from our beautiful country! Let’s have a look!
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Known for her iconic role as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and for playing other loveable characters in the ‘90s and early 2000s teenage flicks, the blonde Hollywood’s sweetheart has a large fan base all over the world. The Emmy Award-winning actress is a born New Yorker and comes from a pretty mixed family background. What is known is that her father, Arthur Gellar, who worked in the garment industry, was of Russian Jewish descent. Her mother, however, was the daughter of Hungarian Jewish immigrants. Sarah’s maternal great-grandmother was called Rosa Frishman/Frischmann, whose father was born in Sátoraljaújhely, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and mother in Berczel, Szabolcs, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg.
Everyone’s favorite animal activist movie star made a name with so many blockbusters that it is hard to even count. With an Oscar and numerous Golden Globe and Bafta awards under his belt, the charming actor is a true Hollywood veteran. His most well-known movies are Joker, Gladiator, Signs and The Restless. However, not many people are aware of the fact that he is one of the many famous people of Hungarian origin. His maternal grandmother was called Margit Lefkowitz. Unfortunately, her exact place of birth is not known to the public though.
Theodore von Kármán
The name of Theodore von Kármán must sound familiar for science buffs. The Hungarian-American mathematician, aerospace engineer, and physicist, who was born in the late 19th century, was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. The son of Hungarian Jewish parents, von Kármán finished his studies in Budapest, in an institute that is today known as the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He was given numerous prestigious awards for his extensive work in aeronautics and astronautics.
The Hungarian American actor can be only mentioned in superlatives as his career spanned nearly six decades in the movie industry. Born as Bernát Schwartz in the Bronx, the Jewish descent conquered Hollywood at a young age with such box office hits as Some Like it Hot, Spartacus and Sex and the Single Girl. His father came from Mátészalka, in Northern Great Plain region of eastern Hungary. Curtis was reportedly bullied as a kid for his Hungarian origin in the neighbourhood where he grew up.
Remembered by many as the greatest combat and adventure photographer in history, Robert Capa captured five wars in incredible snaps over the course of his lifetime. He saw the day of light in Budapest and originally bore the name Endre Ernő Friedmann. The Robert Capa Gold Medal award, which is annually given to the best of the industry, was created in honor of the fearless photojournalist.
– Eleonora Jobst –