I noticed this on MyHeritage this afternoon – 11 Famous Americans with Irish Roots – MyHeritage March 11, 2020: https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/03/11-famous-americans-with-irish-roots/. Over 1,700 words in the original article.
- by Esther March 11, 2020
Our research team also dove into our historical record collections in search of information about the Irish roots of 11 U.S. celebrities. Here’s what we found:
1. Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick is an actress and singer famous for her starring role in Pitch Perfect and her supporting roles in Up in the Air and The Twilight Saga. Born in Maine, Anna began her career as a child, and when she was just 12, she scored a Theater World Award and a nomination for the Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards for her role in the 1998 Broadway production High Society.
2. Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds has also starred in numerous films and shows, but is best known for his role as the superhero Deadpool. Born in Vancouver, Canada, he became a U.S. citizen in 2018 — but he is not the first in his family to live in the U.S.
3. Saoirse Ronan
Saoirse Ronan is a Golden-Globe-award-winning actress, noted for her roles in Atonement, Lady Bird, and most recently in the starring role as Jo March in the 2019 production of Little Women. Saoirse was born in the Bronx, New York, to Irish-born parents from Dublin.
4. Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro is one of the most acclaimed actors in Hollywood, known for his roles in The Godfather II, Taxi Driver, New York, New York, and many, many others. He has won numerous awards, including 2 Oscars. He was born in Manhattan, New York City.
5. Meryl Streep
Another beloved Hollywood veteran beloved for her remarkable versatility, Meryl Streep holds the record for the highest number of Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. She won Academy Awards for her roles in Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, and The Iron Lady. She also won 8 Golden Globes and 2 Emmy Awards. Meryl was born in New Jersey and holds an MFA from Yale.
6. George Clooney
George Clooney is also a Hollywood veteran, with 3 Golden Globes and 2 Oscars under his belt. His most successful film was Ocean’s Eleven, which went on to become a trilogy. He also starred in Syriana, Argo, and The Ides of March, and in 2009, was included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. George was born in Kentucky.
7. John Travolta
John Travolta rose to fame as an actor, singer, and dancer in the successful films Saturday Night Fever and Grease. After a lull in his career, he rose again in prominence for his role in Pulp Fiction, and went on to star in many more movies. He was nominated for 2 Academy Awards and won a Golden Globe for his role in Get Shorty. John was born in New Jersey, the youngest of 6 children.
8. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is one of America’s most beloved singers, celebrated for her 5-octave vocal range, vocal runs, and signature use of the whistle register — the highest register of the human voice. One of the best-selling artists of all time, she is the only artist to have their first 5 singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Mariah was born on Long Island, New York.
We found this photo of Mariah’s great-great-grandparents, John Edward Hickey and Ellen Cantrell. Both were born in Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland.–snip–
9. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is an accomplished American singer-songwriter. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Taylor was the youngest artist to be signed by Sony/ATV Music publishing house at age 14, and signed her first record deal at age 15. She is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, has won numerous awards, and set 6 Guinness World Records.
10. Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson’s acting career has spanned more than 60 years and has included an incredible range of roles, from comedy to romance to horror. He is best known for his roles in films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Shining, and Something’s Gotta Give. He has been nominated for the Academy Award 12 times, more than any other male actor in history, and is one of only 3 male actors to win 3 Oscars. He was born in New Jersey.
11. Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller is celebrated for his roles in films such as Zoolander, Meet the Parents and There’s Something About Mary. Born in New York, he was the son of two veteran actors and comedians. His father is Jewish and his mother came from an Irish Catholic background.
The Irish people have had a profound impact on American society and the world at large. Through the above examples, we can see that some of the most famous and influential figures in the United States have Irish roots. This Irish-American Heritage month, we celebrate them and their ancestors.