Chances are there are many famous faces who were born in Ireland that you didn’t realise are actually Irish. Here are the top five celebrities you probably didn’t know are Irish.
The Emerald Isle has always punched above its weight when it came to producing talented celebrities and important famous figures.
While there are many famous Irish people that are vocal about their Irish heritage, there are many other notable residents of the Emerald Isle who you might be surprised to find out actually originally hail from the country and can call themselves Irish too.
In this article, we will list five celebrities you probably didn’t know are Irish.
5. Aidan Turner – electrician turned actor
Aidan Turner is perhaps best known for his role in The Hobbit trilogy in which he played the dwarf Kili who fell in love with an elven warrior.
Before he made it big on the silver screen, Turner was undertaking a very different career path. He was actually following in his father’s footsteps to become an electrician in his native town of Clondalkin, Dublin.
After graduating from The Gaiety School of Acting in 2004, he was cast in a number of theatre productions, which went on to gain him roles in various British TV series’.
As he grew in prominence within the acting world, he secured a leading role in the multi-acclaimed The Hobbit trilogy and is the first on our list of celebrities you probably didn’t know are Irish.
4. Kenneth Branagh – a classic Shakespearean actor
Kenneth Branagh is a famous actor who is primarily known for his career as a trained classic Shakespearean actor thanks to his adaptions and performances of Shakespeare’s most famous works.
While most would naturally believe he is English, he actually hails from Northern Ireland as he was born in Belfast.
Branagh grew up in a working-class family in Northern Ireland, an upbringing he is very proud of today, although this wasn’t always the case.
Known for his flawless British accent, Branagh claims he adopted it when he was in school to avoid bullying. However, he has always identified himself as an Irish man and has said, “I feel Irish. I don’t think you can take Belfast out of the boy”.
3. Sam Neill – best known for running from Dinosaurs
Sam Neill is an acclaimed actor with a whole host of impressive acting credits under his belt and he is next on our list of celebrities you probably didn’t know are Irish.
Most people would assume Sam Neill is from New Zealand, but he was technically born in Omagh, County Tyrone in 1947.
His father Dermot was an army officer who was stationed in Northern Ireland with the Irish Guards at the time of Neill’s birth. They emigrated to Dermot’s native New Zealand when Sam was just six years old.
While Sam Neill is most famous for his role as Dr Alan Grant in the famous Jurassic Park movie series, he has returned to his TV acting roots in recent years as he played Chief Inspector Campbell in the hit show Peaky Blinders.
While Sam Neill identifies himself mainly as a New Zealander, he does also hold Irish citizenship and is said to have fond memories of his childhood in Ireland.
2. Jackie Woodburne – the friendly neighbour
Jackie Woodburne is best known for her role as Susan Kennedy in the long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours, which is a fan favourite for TV viewers in Ireland.
While most people would be forgiven for assuming that Jackie is Australian, it turns out that she was actually born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland in 1956 so she had to make it onto our list of celebrities you probably didn’t know are Irish.
Jackie’s father was an RUC officer at the time, and when she was three years old, he was moved to Victoria, Australia, which is where Jackie went on to grow up.
1. Chaim Herzog – former President of Israel
Number one on our list of celebrities you probably didn’t know are Irish is Chaim Herzog. The former President of Israel was indeed actually born in Ireland of all places!
While he is famous for being the sixth President of Israel, few know that he was actually born in Belfast in 1918.