Some Famous People Born in Hungary


In the Arts :

Joseph Kleitsch (b. 6 June 1882 Banat, Hungary, d. 16 November 1931 Laguna Beach, California)- Award winning painter of landscapes done of the Laguna Beach, California area. Works by Joseph Kleitsch can be found at the Laguna Beach Museum of Art and in important private collections.

Liszt Ferenc/aka Franz Liszt( 1811-1886)- Composer and one of the greatest pianists ever. He also established the Hungarian Music Academy.

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)- Composer, pianist, music educator and member of the Hungarian Academy. After 1940, he lived in New York.

William Fox (born Vilmos Fried, 1 Jan. 1879, Tulchva, Hungary, d. 5 Aug. 1952, New York)- producer and media mogul of the early 1900s and founder of Fox Studios.

Adoph Zukor (b. 7 January 1873 Ricse, Hungary, d. 10 June 1976) - Founder of Paramount Pictures and Leow's Theatres, special Oscar winner. Started out with a series of "penny arcades" in 1903, and then moved on to theatres. In 1914 he produced the first American made feature film, "The Prisoner of Zenda." During his very long career he was credited for bringing to the screen some of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

Michael Curtiz (b. Manó Kertész Kaminer on 24 December 1898 in Budapest, d. 10 April 1962 in Hollywood) - Oscar winning director ("Casablanca") To name just a few other famous films: Mildred Pierce, Cabin in the Cotton, Adventures of Robin Hood, and White Christmas. He began acting and directing films in Hungary in 1912, he moved to Hollywood in 1926 and started making films for Warner Brothers. He is credited with some 172 films, under his various names.

Bela Lugosi (b. Béla Ferenc Deszö Blaskó on 20 October 1882 in Lugos, Hungary, in the Bánát, formerly Hungary known as Lugoj,Romania, d. 16 August 1956)- actor and the original Count Dracula, helped to organize the Screen Actors Guild in the mid 1930s. He was buried in his full Dracula costume, including a cape.

Peter Lorre (born Lászlo Loewenstein, 26 June 1904 in Rozsahegy  Hungary now Ruzomberok, Slovakia, d. 23 March 1964)- great and well known Hollywood actor.

Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz on 24 March 1874, Budapest, d. 31 October 1926, Detroit, Michigan)- great magician, actor and pilot. He was the first person to make a successful aircraft flight in Australia on 18 March 1910.

Gábor Csupó (b. 1952, Budapest)- co-founder of Klasky-Csupo animation studio who produce such shows as "Rugrats" and "The Simpsons" among others.

Johnny Weissmuller (b. 2 June 1904, Szabadfalu, Hungary, now Timisoara, Romania d.20 January 1984, Acapulco, Mexico)- 5 time Olympic gold medalist for swimming and the most famous on-screen Tarzan.

Sir Georg Solti  (b. 21 October 1912, Budapest, Hungary, d. 5 September 1997, Antibes, France)- legendary conductor with record number of Grammys.

Paul Lukas  (b. Pál Lukács on 26 May 1887 Budapest, Hungary), d. 15 August 1971) Oscar winning actor, who started acting in Hungary and later went to Hollywood appearing in almost 100 movies and guest starring many times on tv. One of his most famous roles was Athos in the Three Musketeers (1935).

ZsaZsa (Sari) Gabor, (b. 6 February 1918, Budapest)- celebrity and actress.

Eva Gabor (b. 11 February 1920, Budapest, d. 7 April 1995)- celebrity and start of tv series "Green Acres" in the 1960s.

Joseph Pulitzer (b. 12 April 1847 Mako, Hungary, d. 29 October 1911) - Great newspaperman who emigrated to the USA in 1864 to fight in the Civil War. Late in life he bequeathed funds to establish the Columbia University's School of Journalism and the Pulitzer Prize for excellence in journalism, letters, and music. He also was largely responsible fore getting the unassembled Statue of Liberty put up when the New York government refused to pay for it. (he used "snob appeal" factor and put the name of people donating money for this fund in his newspaper)

Miklós Rózsa (b. 18 April 1907 Budapest, d. 23 July 1995) - composer of many award winning film scores along with fellow Hungarian born Alexander Korda. (movies such as "El Cid", "King of Kings", "Ben-Hur", "Lust for Life" and many others) He also did the music for "Dragnet", being the person to come up with the famous "dum da dum dum...dum da dum dum dummm" sound at the begining!

George Pál (b. 2 January 1908, Cegléd, Hungary, d. 2 May 1980, Beverly Hills, California) - directer and pioneer of stop motion animation, winner of 6 Oscar awards. He developed methods of integrating animated special effects with live action such as he did with the Morlocks in 1960s "The Time Machine", and in "The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao."

Joe (Joszef) Eszterhás (b. 11/23/1944, Csákánydoroszló, Hungary) - novelist, Hollywood screenwriter of such movies as "Basic Instinct" and "Flashdance."

Robert Halmi, Sr. (b. 1924 Budapest)- photographer, tv producer and Chairman of Hallmark Entertainment.

Tommy Ramone (b. Thomas Erdelyi 29 January 1952 in Budapest) - Drummer and producer of Punk Rock group The Ramones. Like their style of music or not, The Ramones truly started the whole "punk rock" movement.


In the area of Science :

Edward (Ede) Teller (1909-)- Physicist, "father of the hydrogen bomb."

Leo Szilárd (b. 11 February 1898, Budapest, d. 30 May 1964, La Jolla, California)-Physicist - Co-developed the Atomic Bomb, patented the nuclear reactor, catalyst of the Manhattan Project.

Eugene Wigner (born Jenó Pál Wigner 17November 1902, Budapest, d. 1 January 1995, Princeton, New Jersey) - Nobel Prize 1963 Co-develped the atomic bomb and is known as a Founder of Nuclear Engineering. He shared his Nobel prize with parter Leo Szilárd.

Dennis Gabor (Dénes Gábor) (b. 5 June 1900 in Budapest, d. 9 July 1979 in London) - Nobel Prize winner in 1971 "For his investigation and development of holography." The father of the hologram was raised in Hungary, attended university in Germany, but later fled to England in 1933 when Hitler came to power where he lived the rest of his life.

Col. Ágoston Haraszthy  (b. 30 August 1812, Futak, Bacska County, Hungary, d. 6 July 1869)-a Hungarian aristocrat who moved to America and is known as "The Father of the Californa Wine Culture."

Ernô Rubik (b. 13 July 1944 Budapest -) -Mathematician, and Inventor of the Rubik's Cube in 1974.

Lajos Lóczy  (b. 2 November 1849 Pozsony, Hungary (now called Bratislava, Slovakia), d. 13 May 1920, Balatonarács, Hungary) - Geologist and Geographer who was the first to scientifically describe the area of the mountains bordering the Tibetan Plateau. In 1878 he was with a group who were the first western visitors to remote ancient Buddhist sites like the oasis town of Dunhuang at the edge of the Gobi desert.

Count Ede László Almásy (b. Borostyanko, Hungary 1895 now called BernsteinAustria, d. 1951, Salzburg) -the real life "English Patient" immortalized in the movie.He was an explorer and double agent.

Charles Fleischmann (b. 11/3/1834, Budapest, d. 12/10/1889, Cincinatti)-Founder of the Standard Brands Yeast Company of Fleischmann's Yeast fame.

Other :

Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory  (Born 17 August,1560, d. August 21, 1614)- the infamous "Blood Countess", murderer of hundreds of young peasant girls in her castle.

Mickey (Miklós) Hargitay  (b. 19 October 1927, Budapest, Hungary, D. September 14, 2006)-fled Hungary in 1947, later Mr. Universe of 1955, "B" actor, and husband of blond bombshell Jayne Mansfield.

Joe Bugner (b. 1950, Hungary)- (WBF) World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Australian Heavyweight Champion - Fought Muhammad Ali for the world title two times.

Peter Munk (b. 8 November 1927) Canadian industrial tycoon & founder of the Barrick Gold and and Canadian construction firm TrizecHahn. Born in Hungary, his family fled the Nazi takeover of Hungary and eventually they ended up in Canada.