Notable and famous immigrants in film, TV and theater
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Famous & Notable Actors, Directors, Producers & Others in TV or Movies

Among the most visible of all notable and famous immigrants are those in film, TV and theater. We take a look at them here.
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Austrian-born Actor, Bodybuilder
From Bodybuilder champ to movie star to governor of California: Arnold Schwarzenegger embodies the American dream. Read about his career highlights and the history of Austrian immigration to the United States, including other notable immigrants.
Elizabeth Taylor (ACTRESS)
She is considered one of the great actresses of Hollywood�s golden years, as well as a larger-than-life celebrity.
William Shatner (ACTOR/singer)
Canadian-born William Shatner has spent an impressive 50-years-plus in front of the camera.
Claudette Colbert, French Actress, 1903-1996
This Parisian-born beauty migrated to the US, grew up in NYC, became a stage star and then graduated to film.
Frank Oz (PUPPETEER/DIRECTOR-the muppets)
Oz did join the Muppets in 1963, and since then has become one of the greatest puppeteers of our time as well as a superb comedy director.
Ted Koppel - anchorman
Koppel started working at ABC in 1963, first as a foreign correspondent for the network. He is most widely known as the long-time lead anchorman for Nightline, a position he held when the program began in 1980. Koppel gave up that position on November 22, 2005.
Alex Trebek (TV-game show host)
Alex Trebek, an amazing Jeopardy host who has skillfully guided contestants through the challenging game for 16 years.
Angela Lansbury (ACTRESS)
British-born Landsbury is the daughter of an actress and granddaughter of a high-ranking politician. She started studying acting as a youth and departed for the United States as the Second World War began. She has become an institution in American theatre and television having starred in many shows and films over the last sixty years.
Greta Garbo (ACTRESS)
Regarded as one of the greatest and most inscrutable movie stars ever produced by the Hollywood studio system. She was ranked as the fifth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.
Pamela Anderson � Canada � TV
A native of Canada, Pamela Anderson was discovered at a football game. She went on to grace the cover of Playboy several times. She starting acting as the tool time girl on Home Improvement and later Baywatch and many movie roles. She's been married to rockers Kid Rock and Tommy Lee.
Ann Margaret (Actress/Singer)
Ann-Margret has dazzled screen and stage audiences as few entertainers in our time.
Frank Capra, Italian Immigrant, Film Director 1897-1991
Born in Siciliy, Italy, Capra migrated to the US, studied chemical engineering, served in the armed forces and later became a leading Hollywood director.
Andy Garcia, Cuban-born Actor
"The only thing missing from my life is Cuba," says this Latin Lover, Cuban exile and American film star. Garcia's family fled Cuba when Castro came into power, and his first break came at 25, in a Hill Street Blues episode. The rest, as they say, is history.
Peter Jennings - TV anchorman
Peter Jennings was the face of ABC television's "World News Tonight" for over 25 years.
Lee Strasberg � Austria � theater
Lee Strasberg revolutionized the art of acting. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his first film role in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather, Part II."
Warner Oland � Sweden � Film
Warner Oland was a Swedish actor most remembered for his role as Charlie Chan. Although Oland did act in other films, the enormous worldwide box office success of his Charlie Chan film led to a Charlie Chan industry with Oland starring in sixteen films in total.
Mike Nichols first rose to fame in the late 1950s as one half of a popular comedy act with Elaine May. Following the break up he turned his attention to directing. He went on to direct such classics as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Graduate. Nichols has been married to TV newswoman Diane Sawyer since 1988.
Edward G. Robinson � Romania � film
Emanuel Goldenberg, memorable for his tough impersonation of gangster boss Rico Bandello in Little Caesar (1930) and many others.
Michael J. Fox, Canadian-born Actor
Fox dreamed of being a hockey player, an author, an artist and a professional guitar player before settling on acting. He had roles in Canadian programs, and then American productions shooting in Canada before moving to Los Angeles to launch a higher-profile acting career.
Al Jolson � Lithuania � Show Business
Who else could claim a career that spanned stardom in minstrelsy, vaudeville, Broadway, Hollywood and radio? He was one of the greatest stars show biz will ever know and would have been the first to insist that history should remember him.
Billy Wilder (DIRECTOR)
He is among an elite group of five directors who have won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay (Original/Adapted) for the same film. In 1961 he won all three for The Apartment (1960).
Bob Hope, British-American Actor
He came from England arriving at Ellis Island in 1908, and a legend in show biz was born.
Charlie Chaplin (ACTOR/DIRECTOR)
Charlie Chaplin, was one of the most famous performers in the early to mid Hollywood cinema era, and also a notable director and musician.
Ricardo Montalban, Mexican-born Actor
Montalban migrated to the US as a teenager and later became one of the highest profile Hispanic movie stars of the '50s and �60s. But most people today know him best for his later-life roles as Mr. Roarke on �Fantasy Island� and as Captain Kirk�s arch nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh in �Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
Elia kazan � turkey � Director
One of the most revered directors of his era, Elia Kazan was also one of the most -- arguably the most -- controversial.
Iman, Somalia-born Model, Actress, Author, Advocate for Minority Women
Daughter of an African diplomat, Iman grew up speaking five languages and was "discovered" as a model while studying politics in Nairobi. She had appeared in a number of television shows and movies, has authored two books and has her own cosmetic line. She's an active advocate for minority women of all races.
Wayne Wang, Hong-Kong born Director
Born in Hong Kong and raised there, Wang came to the US at 17 to study painting, filmmaking and TV production. He contributed to today's indie film trends with Chan Is Missing, and directed many other films about the Chinese experience in Americam including the commercial success, The Joy Luck Club.
Arthur Tracy � Russia � music/film
He gained tremendous popularity on his radio show, "The Street Singer," which premiered in 1931.
Mike Mazurki � Ukraine � sports/film
With an intimidating face like craggy granite, and his towering 6' 5" solid, frame Mike Mazurki (born Mikhail Mazurski) was one of the cinema's first serial thugs and he specialized in playing strong arm men, gangsters and bullies for over fifty years on screen.
Rudolph Valention � italy � film
By the year of his death, Valentino, the movies' first "Latin lover" and premier sex symbol, had become the idol of millions. Valentino's screen personality and his early death, both surrounded by mystery, made him a cult figure.
Von Trapp Family, Austrian-American Stage Performers
The family depicted in musical and movie, Sound of Music, escaped from Nazi Austria to a life in the USA.
Mary Pickford - 1893-1979 - Canada � Actress
Mary Pickford gained stunning success in the first decades of her career and then continued to reign as the godmother of Hollywood.
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