The Celebrities That You Had No Idea Were Born in Japan

  • Honestly – I’m not big on celebrity culture. I don’t follow the latest gossip or rush to the cinemas to see the next big hit of Hollywood’s best stars. However, when I recently discovered a favourite actress of mine was born in Japan, I decided to investigate how many celebrities have unexpected roots in Japan, despite not being Japanese.

    Olivia de Havilland (born in 1916 in Tokyo)

    While she was making movies up until 1988, de Havilland is best known for her earlier works. She starred in the 1935 version of ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’, and is also famous for her roles in ‘Gone With The Wind’ and ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood.’

    Joan Fontaine (born in 1917 in Tokyo)

    Sister to Olivia de Havilland, Fontaine was also born in Tokyo because of their father’s job at the International Settlement. Less famous than her big sister, Fontaine worked mainly on TV roles, but also starred in movies such as ‘The Witches’, ‘Suspicion’, ‘Rebecca’ and a 1943 version of ‘Jane Eyre’.

    Liv Ullmann (born in 1938 in Tokyo)

    While Ullmann was born in Tokyo, she travelled much when she was young and also spent her childhood years in Oslo, New York and Canada. She started out working on the stage before finding fame as a film actress, and her career really took off when she started making films with the eccentric Director Ingmar Bergman. Ullmann is best known for her roles in ‘Persona’, ‘Hour of the Wolf’ and ‘Pope Joan’.

    Victoria Principal (born in 1950 in Fukuoka)

    Of Italian and American descent, Principal’s father was in the United States Air Force and travelled a lot, which is why she was born in Tokyo. She hasn’t acted since 2001, but is remembered for her roles in the TV series ‘Dallas’, ‘Providence’ and ‘Family Guy’.

    Leisha Hailey (born in 1971 in Okinawa)

    Working mainly in television, Hailey is known for her roles in the TV shows ‘The L Word’, ‘American Dad’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.

    Richard T. Jones (born in 1972 in Kobe)

    While not an A-list celebrity, Jones has starred in Hollywood movies such as ‘Godzilla’, ‘Collateral’, ‘Event Horizon’ and ‘Phone Booth’.

    Samarie Armstrong (born in 1980 in Tokyo)

    While not exactly a household name, Armstrong has been in several movies that you’ve probably heard of if not actually seen, such as ‘Not Another Teen Movie’, ‘Just My Luck’ and ‘It’s a Boy Girl Thing’. She has also starred in TV shows such as ‘ER’, ‘CSI: Miami’ and ‘The Mentalist’.

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