You’d be surprised to learn that the following actors are famous Portuguese people in Hollywood. 

Do you know the nationalities of all your favorite actors, actresses, and football players? You’ll be surprised to know that some of these are famous people born in Portugal. 

In this list, you can find these people. 

Famous Portuguese Musicians

Musicians and singers including Shawn Mendes, Amália Rodrigues, and Salvador Sobral are some of these famous Portugal people.

Let’s look into details about each of them. 

Amália Rodrigues

Amália Rodrigues is one of the famous Portuguese people, who is a Fado singer. She is also called “The Queen of Fado”. She enabled Portuguese music to become popular in the world. Her grave is at the National Pantheon in Lisbon now. 

Salvador Sobral

Salvador Sobral was born in 1989, and he won the Eurovision contest in 2017. In total, he scored 758 points. This made him the highest score wins. After this occasion, he became quite popular. His prize enabled Lisbon to host the contest in 2018. 

Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado is another famous Portuguese singer. Both her parents are Portuguese. The family migrated to Canada from the Azores. She became famous in Canada. She’s known for her song “I’m like a bird” released in 2000.

Shawn Mendes

Mendes’ father is a Portuguese businessman; however, he was born in Canada. In 2018, Time magazine ranked him among one of the 100 most influential people in the world. 

Shawn Mendes is also nominated for two Grammy awards. His song “Señorita” has become popular quite recent time ago. 

Katy Perry

Born in 1984, Perry is one of the most famous Portuguese Americans in the world. She was born in California. She has also Portuguese, English, German, Scottish, and Irish ancestry as well. Her uncle is director Frank Perry. 

Interestingly enough, Katy Perry started singing firstly in a church. Her religious family had an influence on this. After the age of 15, she started visiting Nashville and started to write songs and record demos.

Portuguese Historical Figures

Historical figures such as Vasco Da Gama and Henry the Navigator are also famous Portuguese people. 

Let’s start with Vasco da Gama.

Vasco Da Gama

Vasco da Gama is known for discovering the sea route from Portugal to India. He started the sail in 1497 and it lasted for two years. At that time, his voyage was the longest one that also required strong navigation skills by boat. His grave is now at Jerónimo’s Monastery in Belém.

Henry the Navigator

As another important Portuguese explorer, he is also known as Infante Dom Henrique and he is the son of Portuguese King John I. The name Henry the Navigator was given by two German historians in the nineteenth century. Henry the Navigator died nine years before Vasco da Gama was born. 

His interest was mainly in the fields like Africa, The Azores, and the islands of Madeira. 

Famous Portuguese Footballers

Famous footballers like Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho are from Portugal. 

Cristiano Ronaldo

One of the most famous football players, Cristiano Ronaldo, was born in 1985 in Madeira. His parents were a chef and a gardener.

Ronaldo has received five FIFA Golden Ball awards. He is the only  European footballer that has won this amount of prizes. He is a top scorer in FIFA Club World Cup Leagues, UEFA European, and the UEFA Champions.

José Mourinho

José Mourinho is from Setubal and is now living with his family. He studied Sports Science at Lisbon Technical University. First, he played as a football player. Then, he wended his way to coaching.

Famous Portuguese Actors

You’d be surprised to learn that the following actors are famous Portuguese people in Hollywood. 

Let’s start with Tom Hanks.

Tom Hanks

Although he was born in California, his mother has entirely Portuguese ancestry. His father, however, comes from English ancestry. Although Hanks didn’t have acting experience in college, his luck turned after he auditioned for a community theater play. After being invited by the same play’s director to Cleveland, his acting career started. He’s mostly known for his role in the 1994 film Forrest Gump. 

James Franco

James Franco was born in 1978 in California. Although not born in Portugal, he’s one of the Portuguese American actors because of his parent. His father is of Portuguese and Swedish descent. 

Franco is well-known for his role in Freeks and Geeks (1999) and James Dean (2001).

Portuguese Writers

Let’s now have a glimpse of the famous Portuguese writers. 

Fernando Pessoa

Born in 1935, Pessoa is a poet who is loved by many in Portugal. He was born in and died in Lisbon. He published four works in total. Three of them were written in English. The poems he wrote at that time were considered extreme.

José Saramago

Saramago is a Portuguese novelist born in 1922 in Portugal, and he died in 2010 in Spain. In 1998, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.

Saramago also published poems as well. He also worked as an editor for a Lisbon newspaper between 1974 and 1975. 


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