You know many of them, maybe all of them. They are your favorite actors, musicians, models and other and these famous people have one thing in common – they are the celebrities of Czech origin.
If you’ve been reading Czechology for some time, you might have already read two articles about the celebrities of Czech origin. However, since there were more than one and it’s time to add some names to the list, why not make a “compilation”? And so here it is.
If you like the list, you might also want to read about the international celebrities who speak Czech (with videos), 10 most famous Czech models and some of the Contemporary Czech Musicians 1 and Contemporary Czech Musicians 2 are internationally famous as well!
Here comes the list of celebrities of Czech origin:
Table of Contents
Jan Tříska, the legend of Czech theatre and movies, later also a Hollywood legend definitely belongs to our list of Czech celebrities who became famous behind the borders of Czechia. He emigrated to the USA in his 40ies and starred in movies like Highlander, Ronin, The People vs. Larry Flint or Apt Pupil. In Czech Republic he’s famous especially for his role in the movie Obecná škola or of King Lear in the Shakespeare play of the same name. Later in life he came back to Czech Republic and starred in many more movies.
Tříska liked relaxing sitting on Charles Bridge in Prague, which became fatal to him in September of 2017. He fell into the Vltava river and died two days later.
Both Novak’s parents were Czech (her mother’s maiden name was Král, meaning “king”) which makes this Hollywood beauty 100% Czech! The star of Hitchcock’s Vertigo ultimatelly chose a painter’s carrer. She visited Czech Republic in 2015 to inaugurate the exhibition of her paintings in the Strahov Monastery in Prague.
Her ancestors supposedly come from a little village called Tukleky in South Bohemia.
This elegant lady with a beautiful Czech name worked as Special Assistant of several US-presidents. Born into a prominent Prague family of bankers which was later prosecuted by communists, Hašková had to flee the country with her mother and younger brother to join her father in the USA.
She retired from the government service in 1990. Since then she actively involves in organizations cultivating ethics and the Czech-American relations. She often speaks at international conferences and in 2003 she was awarded as “Outstanding Czech Woman in the World” by the Senate of the Czech Republic.
When it comes to the world of sport celebrities, we mustn’t forget this handsome Czech guy. This right winger is without any doubt the most famous Czech ice-hockey player. He comes from the city of Kladno and he made his carreer not only in Czech teams but also in the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and several more. He holds such records like the oldest player to score a gole in the World Cup(43 years), more than 10 NHL records including most winning goals (135) and 8 New York Rangers records.
In the Czech republic he is known for his pleasant public demeanour as well as for dating famous Czech and Slovak models.
Irglová was the surprise of the Academy Awards in 2007 together with her then-boyfriend, the Irish songwriter and singer Glen Hansard. They received an Oscar for their song “Falling Slowly” for the movie “Once”.
After breaking up with Hansard she married the American bass guitar player Tim Iseler whom she divorced in 2013. She’s been living in Iceland since 2012 with her husband Sturla Mio Thorisson and their three children.
Georgina Bouzova is a British TV-drama actress and a 2006 participant of “Strictly”. She’s also known for her role of Ellen Zitek in the BBC series “Casualty”.
She speaks Czech thanks to her father Ivan Bouza and although she was born in Surrey, she was given the surname following the Czech law according to which female descendants add the ending -ová to the male version of the surname.
All tennis fans know Ivan Lendl. Born in Ostrava in 1960 he represented Czechoslovakia and since the 1990ies his new home, the USA. He helped the Czechoslovak team to Davis Cup winning in 1980 and he left for the USA just six years later. Lendl won all the Grand Slam tournaments except Wimbledon and he remains the most successful Czech tennis player to this day.
Since his retirement as tennis player he’s worked as tennis couch and he’s a collector of the posters by the famous Czech painter Alfons Mucha.
Let’s stay with tennis for a while longer. Martina Hingisová is a former Swiss tennis player born to a Czech mother and a Slovak-Hungarian father. She was born in Czechoslovakia and after her parents divorced, her and her mother emigrated to Switzerland just two years before the Velvet revolution. She was later naturalized in Switzerland. At the age of 12, she became the youngest Grandslam junior champion and she later won all the Grand Slam tournaments in doubles and mixed doubles and all but French Open in Singles.
She lives in Feusisberg, Switzerland, with her husband and daughter.
Herbert Lom was a Czech-British actor and his full name was Herbert Karel Angelo Kuchačevich ze Schluderpacheru. He was the first inspector Dreyfuss in the movie series The Pink Panther, Dr. Corder in The Human Jungle and he also starred in the famous German movie Der Schatz im Silbersee. He played more than 100 movie characters all over the world, often portraying criminals or villains.
Lom was born in Prague into a family of nobility. Probably nobody thought that he would become one of the most internationally-cast Czech movie celebrities. He lived in Great Britain since 1939 (where he went to escape the nazis) and used to return to Prague a lot at the end of his life.
Václav Havel was the last president of Czechoslovakia (after the Velvet revolution) and the first president of the Czech Republic (2 terms). He was friends with many important statemen around the world and a strong friendship connected him also to the former US-State secretady Madeleine Albright. Originally a playwriter he became one of the leading figures of the Velvet revolution and probably the most famous Czech politician ever.
Although internationally recognized as a human rights fighter, at home he was criticized by many for his extensive amnesties in which he gave freedom to thousands of criminals including brutal murderers and for supporting the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. He was also known for his Bohemian lifestyle including lots of alcohol and heavy smoking.
After his passing in 2011 there was a 3-day-long official mourning. In 2020, the movie Havel about his life was released.
If you’re a sucker for Miss World celebrities, you must know this beautiful lady. Taťána Gregor Brzobohatá, then Taťána Kuchařová, won the Miss World in 2006. She remains the only Czech winner of this pageant to this day. Since then she’s been a model and a charity worker, she also starred in several movie projects and she was the president of the Czech Miss pageant for two years.
She married a son of one of the most famous Czech actors, their divorce was a public spectacle. She has a charity helping the elderly.
Dominik Hašek, also called The Dominator, is another Czech ice-hockey player who reacher international success. As a goaltender he played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and several more. Together with Jaromír Jágr, he was part of the winning Czech team at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
He retired from ice-hockey twice, finally retiring to practice other sports. Hašek became the oldest Czech player to win the title of champion of the extraliga.
Jan Hammer is a music composer and a multi-instrumentalist. He was born in Prague into a family of jazz-musicians. Hammer left the country as a 20-year-old and moved to the USA. There he became a member of the legendary jazz-rock formation Mahavishnu Orchestra.
He composed the music of the series Miami Vice and released several albums with the orchestra as well as solo.
You probably know Karel Gott if you come from a German-speaking country and he might very well be the most famous Czech person to you. He was almost as popular in Germany as he was in the Czech Republic and fairly popular also in Austria, especially because of the fact that he sang the theme song of the children’s series Maya the Honey Bee (Včelka Mája in Czech, Die Biene Maja in German). Gott was and still is without the slightest doubt the most popular Czech singer. He won every year of the Czech music awards Český slavík since it’s start in 1996, except for 2 years. Gott often had concerts in Germany. He re-sang many of his songs in German and in 2017 he received the Golden Hen (Goldene Henne) in Germany for his life work. The singer passed on October 1, 2019 and was mourned by the whole country. He received a funeral with state-honors. Just before his passing he sang a duet with his daughter written by another musician as a good-bye song when Karel Gott – in Czechia ofter also called just mistr (master) – knew he had only short time to live. Listen to it here.
You probably had no idea that John Kerry belonged to the celebrities with Czech roots but yes, the former US-Secretary of State has a bit of Czech blood, too! His ancestors came from Horní Benešov in Silesia, a town which awarded John Kerry with honorary citizenship in 2004. There’s a memorial plate at place where the house of Mr. Kerry’s grandfather used to stand.
This charming lady from Brno is one of the most prominent opera singers. Her mezzosoprano astonishes people all around the world in pieces like Bizet’s Carmen or Dvořák’s Biblical Songs. She released more than 20 albums. She interprets especially Baroque and Classical period operas, however, she has appeared in Romantic and contemporary arrangements as well. Her husband is the British conductor Simon Rattle.
Bill Zabka is the ultimate Hollywood teen bully when it comes to acting. He was one of the main characters in the movie Karate Kid and plays the main carater in the movie’s spin-off Cobra Kai. But have you known that he also produced an award-winning short movie called Most (The Bridge) played by Czech actors? Zabka whose surname is originally written Žabka and means “little frog” is in touch with his Moravian origins. He speaks fluent Czech and after filming Most he told the press than after he travelled to Prague he felt at home there.
Karolína Kurková i sone of the most successful models ever. She is a former Victoria’s Secret Angel and also acted a little. She was born in Děčín, Czech Republic.
This world-renowned movie director sadly passed away in 2018. He was born in the town of Čáslav and emigrated to the US as an adult. He directed such movie hits as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus or Goya’s Ghosts. A fun fact: he had 4 sons – 2 pairs of twins.
Here’s Forman talking about his encounter with some geese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1RSHxR7ek0&ab_channel=BioIllusion
The most famous “Carrie” ever is Czech from more than one side of her family. Her surname would be written Špaček in Czech and it doesn’t have anything to with space, it means “starling”.
Who would have thought that the Canadian George of the Jungle has Czech blood in his veins! Well, he has although he’s only partially Czech and probably has no connection to his Czech origin.
Ivana Trump comes from the Czech city of Zlín and came to the US as an adult. She was the first wife of Donald Trump and as you could probably guess, she belongs to the Czech speaking celebrities. Subsequently, her children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka (meaning “little Ivana” in Czech) are half-Czech.
And here she is speaking Czech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp0um3TZbdY&ab_channel=denikblesk
Born Marie Jana Korbelová in Prague, the first female United States Secretary of State came to the US in her early teen years. Not only does she speak perfect Czech but curiously enough, it is said that it’s thanks to her and her father that Condoleeza Rice (also a US Secretary of State) understands Czech.
Madeleine Albright in one of the most popular Czech shows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1_tTPmcpxo&t=172s&ab_channel=ShowJanaKrause
The multiple Grand Slam winner was born in Prague where she spent her childhood. She asked for political asylum in the USA when she was 18 and was stripped of her Czech citizenship by the Czechoslovak communistic regime. She acquired Czech citizenship many years after the fall of communism.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being or The Book of Laughter and Forgetting are just some of the works of this French writer. Except he’s not really French…Milan Kundera was naturalized in France in his 50ies
Do you remember the gorgeous babe from the Wonderbra ad? She’s the Czech model Eva Herzigová and she was born in Litvínov, former Czechoslovakia. This tall beauty modelled all around the world and was featured in magazines like Sports Illustrated.
Maybe this name doesn’t sound familiar, but you definitely know this Czech actor from České Budějovice. He’s Rasputin in Hellboy, Gyorgy in Bathory and he also starred in Orphan, The Bourne Supremacy, Blade II and many more.
In case your memory needs refreshing, here he is as Rasputin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00fMhETHQME&ab_channel=MartinWrzario
The guitarist of The Cars was indeed part Czech. His last name means “little tail” in Czech and his wife was the Czech model Pavlína Pořízková (americanized as Paulina Porizkova) from Protějov.
This Hollywood star too has a little Czech blood in him. His mother was part Czech, therefore, he definitely belongs to the list of celebrities we can brag about!
The desperate housewife Teri Hatcher is also of Czech origin although probably just very little. Her mother was part Czech.
You know David Nykl if you’re a Stargate fan. He plays dr. Zelenka and you probably noticed that he sometimes speaks a “weird” language on the show. That language is Czech. Nykl comes from Prague but his family moved to Canada when he was just a baby.
Here’s the best of Nykl’s appearance in Stargate in Czech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CmaE4oILck&ab_channel=F.V%C3%A1clavek
Kutcher’s Czech heritage is very evident by his last name. The original Czech name is Kučera (pronounced “kutchera”) and it is a very common one. The Czech roots are on his mother’s side.
The American enterpreneur and daughter of the 45th president of the USA Donald Trump and his first wife Ivana, is half Czech. Though her name is Ivana Marie, she’s better known as Ivanka, which is the diminutive of the name Ivana. Fun fact, naming a child using a diminutive generally isn’t allowed in the Czech republic. Her two brothers Donald jr. and Eric are half Czech as well. Ivanka called her daughter Arabella which is the name of the main character from a beloved Czech fairy-tale series.
Pavlína Pořízková, also known as Paulina Porizkova, was born in 1965 in Prostějov and was the youngest model on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Her parents emigrated to Sweden in 1968 in response to the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia, leaving little Pavlína behind. She was able to join them in 1975 but after their divorced, she lived in poverty. Her friend sent her shots to a modelling agency in 1980 and three years later Pavlína travelled to the USA where she also appeared in Playboy and Harper’s Bazaar.
Although she is a Welsh comedian, her father was of Czech-Jewish origin and from the town of Teplice. Many of her relatives didn’t survive the holocaust.
Her real name was Hana Smékalová and she was born in a village near Most. This actress of Czech origin worked in Argentina, Hollywood and appeared in just one Czech movie.
This American actress is Czech after her mother. Because of her mixed Pakistani-Czech ethnicity and American nationality, Fakhri describes herself a “global citizen”.
Andrew Keegan is an American actor whose father is of Czech and German descent.
The guitar and bass player of Patti Smith Group was born in Prague.
David Boreanaz is half-Czech and half-Italian.
The actor who became famous especially for his role of the inspector Columbo is of Czech descent, his forefathers came from Kadaň. Some sources speak of his maternal line being Czech.
James Michael Peterik (original surname probably Peteřík) is an American musician, founder of the rock band Survivor and author or co-author of such hits as The Ides of March, Eye of the Tiger or the theme of Rocky III.
He performed for the Czech delegation led by the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies at the Czech Consulate General in Chicago in 2016.