Although the population of Lithuania is just under 3 million, numerous celebrities have Lithuanian heritage. From talented musicians to famous actors, authors, and even a fictional character thrown in for good measure, Lithuanians rank among some of the world’s most recognized stars. Some of the 12 celebrities included on this list just may take you by surprise!
Born in Joniskes, Lithuania in 1929 to a Jewish family, Laurence Harvey and his family fled to South Africa in 1934. As a teenager, he joined the South African army, working in the entertainment unit. He then began acting and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He was cast in numerous movies including The Good Die Young (1954), Butterfield 8 (1960), The Alamo (1960), and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Laurence Harvey died at the age of 45 in 1973.
Jack Sharkey was a Lithuanian-American boxer famous for his title as heavy weight boxing champion in 1932. One of his most famous matches was against champion Jack Dempsey in 1927, which Sharkey surprisingly lost. Sharkey was born in New York in 1902 to Lithuanian parents and spoke Lithuanian at home. He died in 1994 at the age of 91.
Okay, she may only be a tiny bit Lithuanian, but she still counts Lithuanian along with Irish, German, and Jewish as her heritage. Pink is a famous American pop star, singer, and song writer. Her albums include Can’t Take Me Home, Missundaztood, Try This, I’m Not Dead, and Funhouse. Her most recent album is Rose Ave which is a collaboration with Dallas Green.
Born in the US in 1962, Anthony Kiedis is the singer of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anthony Kiedis’ grandfather is Lithuanian, but Kiedis is also of Greek, English, French, Dutch, and Mohican heritage. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
The lead singer of the Killers, Brandon Flowers, is also of Lithuanian heritage, as his grandmother is from Lithuania. Flowers became well known in the early 2000s with Hot Fuss (2004), Sam’s Town (2006), Sawdust (2007), and Day & Age (2008). Flowers has also had some top 10 solo albums.
Ruta Sepetys is the well known American-Lithuanian author of Between Shades of Gray, Salt to the Sea, and Out of the Easy. Her three novels are New York Times bestsellers and Between Shades of Gray is currently being turned into a movie. Her stories about Lithuania (the first two titles) tell tales of Lithuanian children and delve deep into Lithuania’s difficult recent history.
Frank Lubin was a Lithuanian-American basketball player who was brought to Lithuania to coach the newly formed men’s basketball team for the EuroBasket. With Lublin’s coaching, the Lithuanian team (which was considered the underdog), came out on top and the Lithuanian team went home with gold. This success quickly led basketball to become the nation’s favorite sport.
Hannibal Lecter, the villain and main character of The Silence of the Lambs, though fictional, was born in Lithuania. The book’s author, Thomas Harris, created his famed character as a Lithuanian who moved to the US and over time earned his US citizenship before becoming a serial killer. Harris and his famous evil character are commemorated with a plaque on Literatu g. in Vilnius, a street that highlights authors and famous novels related to Lithuania.
Jason Sudeikis is an American actor and comedian who shot to fame on Saturday Night Live in the 2000s. Sudeikis is a quarter Lithuanian and also has German and Irish ancestry. Recently, he has starred in Masterminds (2016), Colossal (2016), and Sleeping with Other People (2015). He has several movies scheduled to be released in 2017.
John C. Reilly
John C. Reilly is an American of Lithuanian and Irish descent who is a hilarious comedian and actor. He is well known for his roles in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), The Hours (2002), Chicago (2002), and more. He also impressed audiences with his performance in The Grapes of Wrath and Othello on Broadway.
Antanas Kazimieras Žemaitis
Known as Tony Zemaitis, this Lithuanian-British guitar maker has crafted guitars for famous musicians including George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and more. Zemaitis specialized in creating 12-string acoustic guitars and made numerous improvements to the sound quality. Zemaitis was born in 1939 and died in 2002, but his guitars live on.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.