Some famous children of
Hungarian immigrants :
Tony Curtis, the actor and painter. (born in 1925 as Bernard Schwartz, d.
September 29, 2010).
and son of a Hungarian immigrant.
Gene Simmons, of the band "Kiss" (born Chaim Witz in Israel) son of a
Hungarian Jewish mother who survived a Nazi concentration camp.
Leslie Howard, actor (b. Lászlo Steiner on 3 April 1893 in London,
England, d. 1 June 1943 in the Bay of Biscay...casualty of WWII) Born of
Hungarian immigrant parents, he worked as a bank clerk prior to WWI. In 1917 he
was diagnosed with "shell shock" advised to take up acting as "therapy." His
most well known role was as Ashley Wilkes, in Gone With the Wind. When WWII
began, he returned to England to help with the war effort and in 1943 was shot
down by Nazi fighter planes returning from Portugal.
George Cukor, Oscar winning director (b. 7 July 1899 in New York, d. 23
January 1983 in Los Angeles) Director of Jer's 2nd all time favorite movie "The
Philadelphia Story" and Oscar winning films "My Fair Lady" and "Wizard of Oz",
he made many films over a 50 year career. Born to Hungarian Jewish immigrant
parents, he was talented (and discreet) enough to be a successful director in
spite of working at a time when being gay could be a big hindrance to a
Brent Spiner, the actor who played "Data". (b. 2 February Houston) son of
a Hungarian Jewish immigrant.
Mariska Hargitay, actress who was Cynthia Cooper on E.R. etc. (b. 23
January 1964 in Los Angeles) Speaks English, French, Hungarian and Italian. The
daughter of Hungarian immigrant Micky (Miklós) Hargitay (actor and Mr. Universe
1955) and Jayne Mansfield the blond bombshell.
Rachel Weisz, actress known for such parts as Evelyn Carnahan
O'Connell/Princess Nefertiri in "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns" (b. 7 March
1971) daughter of a Hungarian immigrant father.
Uri Geller, phsycic, actor & entertainer (b. 20 December 1946 in Tel
Aviv, Israel) son of Hungarian immigrant Tibor Geller.
Mark and David Knopfler, musicians/singers in band Dire Straits (b. 12
August 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland) sons of Erwin Knopfler, a Hungarian Jewish
architect who fled Hungary from the Nazis in 1939.
Don Adams, Emmy award winning actor of Get Smart fame and voice of
Inspector Gadget and Tennessee Tuxedo (b. Donald James Yarmy on 13 April 1926 in
New York City, died 25 Sept. 2005 in Los Angeles) son of a Hungarian Jewish father and Irish Catholic mother.
Ernie Kovacs, actor, broadcast pioneer and comedian and 3-time Emmy award
winning tv personality. (b. 23 January 1919 Trenton, NJ, d. 13 January 1962) He
was the son of Hungarian immigrants and had a long and very successful career.
Alanis Morrisette, singer/songwriter and winner of 7 Grammy awards (b. 1
June 1974 Ottowa, Ontario Canada) she is the daughter of a Hungarian mother.
(and sings the song "Mercy" in Hungarian on her album called "Prayer Cycle." Ok
it's with an accent but she made the attempt!)
Freddie Prinze, Sr., actor of "Chico and the Man" fame (born Frederick Karl
Pruetzel on 28 January 1954 in New York city, d. 29 January 1977) he was the son
of a Hungarian Jewish father. He often referred to himself as a "Hungarican."
Jerry Seinfeld, actor and comedian (b. 29 April 1954 Brooklyn, NY) Hugely
successful tv star and comedian. Son of Hungarian Jewish Kalman Seinfeld and his
Paul Simon, musician, singer and songwriter (b. 13 October in Newark, New
Jersey) - Of Simon and Garfunkel fame, and a long solo career. Winner of 12
Grammy awards and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, and son of Hungarian Jewish
immigrants Louis and Belle Simon.
Jeffrey Tambor, actor (b. 8 July 1944 San Francisco, California) Mostly a
character part actor, he has appeared in many tv shows and films. He is the son
of Hungarian Jewish parents.
Andre Watts, classical pianist (b. 20 June 1946) First African-American
concert pianist to reach world stardom, he is the son of an American soldier who
was stationed in Germany and a Hungarian refugee mother.
Calvin Klein, fashion designer (b. 19 November 1942 New York) Hugely
successful clothing designer and son of a Hungarian Jewish immigrant parents.
George Pataki, governor of New York State (b. 24 June 1945) He is the
grandson of Hungarian immigrants.
Estee Lauder, cosmetics queen (b. Josephine Esther Mentzer 1 July 1908 in
New York, d. 26 April, 2004) Started her career selling face cremes in the 1930s
and it grew into a huge empire. Daughter of Hungarian Jewish immigrants Max and
Rose Schotz Mentzer.
*Some famous people associated with American sports are second or third
generation Hungarian Americans or Canadians!!
George "Papa Bear" Halas (b. 2 February 1895, d. 31 October 1983),
legendary Football Hall of Fame Coach and helped to found the NFL.
Larry Csonka (b. 25 December 1946 in Stow, Ohio) - Known by the nickname
"Zonk" this great running back's name was a household word, leading the Miami
Dolphins to a perfect 17-0-0 season in 1972, 3 Super Bowl appearances, and
earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors along the way. He later played for the New
York Giants, then again for the Dolphins, retiring in 1980. He is in the
Football Hall of Fame.
Don Shula (b. 4 January 1930 in Grand River, Ohio) - Hall of Fame coach,
and the most wins of any coach in NFL history!
Joe Namath (Magyar, Németh) (b. 31 May 1943 in Beaver Falls,
Pennsylvania) - After high school he was offered a baseball contract, but chose
college and football instead. He went on to become a great quarterback and was
inducted to the Football Hall of fame. After retirement from football, "Broadway
Joe" went into acting and commercial endorsements.
Lou Groza (b. 25 January 1924, d. 29 November 2000) - legendary place
kicker for the Cleveland Browns, Hall of Famer and 6-time all Pro. Known by the
nickname "The Toe" he was born to Hungarian immigrants.
Bernie Kosar (b. 25 November 1963 Youngstown, Ohio) - Superbowl winning
quarterback who has played for the Cleveland Browns, the Dallas Cowboys and the
Elvis Stojko (b. 22 March 1972 Ontario, Canada) - World class ice skater.
3-time World Champion, 7-time Canadian National Champion, and 2-time Olympic
Silver Medalist. His father came from Slovenia, his mother fled from Hungary in
1956 at the age of 19.
Charles Nagy (b. 5 May 1967 Fairfield, Connecticut) - World series
pitcher (Cleveland Indians) 3 time All Star and Olympics Gold Medal Winner.
Peter and Charlie Gogolak , All-Pro Football players who fled from
Hungary in the 1956 Revolution. Longest field goal and all-time leading scorer
in New York Giants history.
Joe Theismann (b. 9 September 1949 South River, New Jersey) - Superbowl
winning quarterback for the Washington Redskins, they retired his #7 when he
retired. His mother was Olga Tobias from Hungary.
Al Hrabosky aka "The Mad Hungarian" (b. 21 July 1949) - relief
pitcher who got his nickname from his wild look (a big fu manchu mustache and
long hair) and his angry stomping to the back of the pitcher's mound to psych
himself up. He is now a sports broadcaster.
Joe Medwick (b. 24 November 1911 Carteret, New Jersey, d. 21 March 1975)
- Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968. Nicknamed "Ducky" for his waddling gait, he
played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, NY Giants and the Boston Braves during his 17
year career. He had a lifetime batting average of .324 and topped the National
Leage in RBIs three straight years.