Many celebrities have interesting childhoods, but some of them took place in different countries, while they American parents were working there. Find out more about the celebrities who were born abroad, either as American citizens or part of different nationalities.
Discover some of the most surprising celebrity birthplaces, and find out more about which stars had American citizenship at birth and which ones only got it later.
Born in Vicenza, a city in northeastern Italy, Amy Adams didn’t move to North America until she was 8 years old. Her father, a U.S. Army veteran, moved the family from base to base, until they finally settled in Colorado.
Amy wasn’t the only in her family born abroad, she also has two sisters and four brothers, some of whom were also born in different countries.
Even though her American accent is impeccable and she’s been living in the U.S. since she was 19, Charlize Theron is one of the celebrities who were born abroad. The “Mad Max: Fury Road” star is originally from South Africa and has an ancestry that includes French, Dutch and German roots.
Few Americans can say they’ve been baptised at the Vatican as a baby, but that’s exactly what happened to Joel McHale. The “Community” star and “The Soup” host was born in Rome, Italy. His father was working as a dean at the Loyola University Rome Center when Joel was born. Once the family moved to the US, McHale grew up in Seattle, Washington.
Many celebrities who were born abroad have dual citizenship, and Natalie Portman (born Neta-Lee Hershlag) is one of them. The actress was born in Jerusalem, as the only child of an American mother who is now her agent and an Israeli father. Portman moved to the US when she was just 3 years old, and she grew up in Washington D.C., Connecticut and Long Island.
See also: Celebrities Who Adopted Internationally
The action star was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and grew up in Canada. With an American father and an English mother, Keanu traveled all over the world as a child, living in New York City and in Australia, before moving permanently to Toronto. The actor has Native Hawaiian, Chinese, and Portuguese ancestry on his father’s side of the family.
Born in the U.K., Lily Collins has modeled and acted, even though she majored in broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California. Her father is Phil Collins, and her mother, the singer’s second wife, is American. Collins is one of the celebrities who were born abroad but grew up in Los Angeles, where she moved with her mother at the age of 5.
Puerto Rico hasn’t yet achieved full statehood, but it was an American territory when Joaquin Phoenix was born in San Juan in 1974. The actor’s family was part of the Family International (Children of God) religious movement, and once Joaquin was 6 years old, they traveled as missionaries in Mexico and South America.
Born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, Nicki Minaj was raised by her grandmother until she was 5. She’s one of the celebrities who were born abroad without American parents, but she moved to Queens with her mother, and grew up in New York City. After three successful mixtapes, she released her first album in 2010 and became the most-charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100.
See also: Celebrities Who Hate Being Famous
Known for “Bag Boys” and “Big Momma’s House”, Martin Lawrence was also an army brat. His father was serving in the U.S. military and was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. After moving to the U.S. Lawrence attended multiple high schools in Maryland. It wasn’t until he moved to New York City that his career took off.
Portia de Rossi
Many celebrities who were born abroad only made it big in the U.S. even if they moved there later in life. Born Amanda Lee Rogers, Portia de Rossi chose her new showbiz name at the age of 15, and continued to use it once she moved to Los Angeles in 1994 to pursue her acting ambitions. She’s married to Ellen is known for her roles in “Arrested Development” and “Scandal”.