Legendary Austrian-American actor Theodore Bikel is best remembered for his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Sheriff Max Muller in the film The Defiant Ones. He had also ruled the stage with plays such as Fiddler on the Roof. As a folk singer, he sang in 21 languages and also played the guitar.
Somali model, writer, and women’s rights activist Waris Dirie is best known for her advocacy against female genital mutilation through the Desert Flower Foundation. Born into a poor nomadic family, she ran away at 13 to avoid marriage and then worked as a maid in London, before gaining a modeling contract.
Austrian-Jewish feminist and social worker Bertha Pappenheim founded the Jewish Women's Association (Jüdischer Frauenbund), mainly with the objective of improving women's experiences in the Jewish community. She was treated by Austrian physician Josef Breuer for nervous symptoms and her case study (under the pseudonym Anna O.) found place in Breuer’s book Studies on Hysteria, co-authored with Sigmund Freud.
Hungarian journalist Karl-Maria Kertbeny is best remembered for coining terms such as homosexual and heterosexual. The suicide of a gay friend after being blackmailed made Kertbeny study homosexuality in detail later. A prominent gay rights activist, he also believed homosexuality was inborn but didn’t live to see acceptance of his ideas.
Neo-Nazi Austrian author and poet Gerd Honsik, also known by his pseudonym, Endsik, was a prominent Holocaust denier. Jailed many times for his far-right extremism, he had also released anti-Semitic books and hate magazines. He was also a member of the now-banned far-right party NDP.