Famous Chilean People

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 1 
Pablo Neruda
(Chilean poet)
Pablo Neruda
55
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 12, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Parral
Died: September 23, 1973

Chilean poet-diplomat and politician, Pablo Neruda, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He was a versatile writer and his works include surrealist poems, historical epics, political manifestos, and love poems. He is considered the national poet of Chile. As a politician, he served a term as a senator for the Chilean Communist Party and held several diplomatic positions.

 2 
Isabel Allende
(Chilean-American Author Known for Her Novels: ‘The House of the Spirits’ and ‘City of the Beasts’)
Isabel Allende
34
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lima
Chilean author Isabel Allende is known for her bestselling Spanish-language novels The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts. The Chilean National Literature Prize-winner explores women’s perspectives and includes magic realism and autobiographical aspects in her works. She has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
 3 
Pedro Pascal
(Actor)
Pedro Pascal
93
Birthdate: April 2, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Santiago
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
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 4 
Alexis Sanchez
(Chilean Professional Football Forward)
Alexis Sanchez
108
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 19, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tocopilla

Chilean professional footballer Alexis Sanchez currently plays for Serie A club Inter Milan and the Chile national team. He plays as a forward. He is Chile’s all-time leading goalscorer and helped Chile win the the 2015 Copa América tournament, marking one of the greatest achievements of his career.

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 5 
Cote de Pablo
(Actress, Singer and Co-Host of the Latin-American Talk Show ‘Entertainment Tonight’)
Cote de Pablo
100
Birthdate: November 12, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Santiago

Cote de Pablo is a Chilean-American singer and actress. She is best known for playing Ziva David in the popular action police procedural TV series NCIS. After co-hosting episodes of a Latin-American talk show titled Control, at the age of 15, Cote de Pablo went on to establish herself as a successful actress and musician.

 6 
Arturo Vidal
(Chilean Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder)
Arturo Vidal
38
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 22, 1987
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Joaquín
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 7 
Lorenza Izzo
(Chilean Model and Actress)
Lorenza Izzo
21
Birthdate: September 19, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Santiago
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 8 
Salvador Allende
(28th President of Chile)
Salvador Allende
25
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 26, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santiago
Died: September 11, 1973
Salvador Allende was a physician who later became the Chilean president, this becoming the first Marxist president of a Latin American nation. His policies included nationalization and collectivization. He committed suicide after delivering a farewell speech over radio, to escape General Augusto Pinochet’s coup to oust him from the government.
 9 
Iván Zamorano
(Chilean Former Professional Footballer Who Played as a Striker)
Iván Zamorano
10
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 18, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Santiago
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 10 
Santiago Cabrera
(Chilean-British Actor )
Santiago Cabrera
15
Birthdate: May 5, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Caracas
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 11 
Alejandro Jodorowsky
(Chilean-Born French Film Director and Screenwriter)
Alejandro Jodorowsky
12
Birthdate: February 17, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tocopilla

Chilean-French filmmaker and artist, Alejandro Jodorowsky, is best known for his avant-garde films. A multifaceted personality, he is also a novelist, poet, musician, composer, and spiritual guru. His films are filled with surreal images and mysticism. A much-revered figure in international cinema, he is the recipient of the Jack Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF).

 12 
Claudio Bravo
(Chilean Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Goalkeeper)
Claudio Bravo
18
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 13, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Viluco
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 13 
Manuel Pellegrini
(Chilean Professional Football Manager and Former Football Centre-Back)
Manuel Pellegrini
9
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Santiago
 14 
Leonor Varela
(Chilean Actor and the Daughter of Biologist and Neuroscientist Francisco Varela García)
Leonor Varela
6
Birthdate: December 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Santiago
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 15 
José de San Martín
(Military Leader, Politician)
José de San Martín
20
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 25, 1778
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Yapeyú
Died: August 17, 1850

José de San Martín was an Argentine general who played an important role in the Spanish American wars of independence. San Martín is considered a national hero of Peru and Argentina. The Order of the Liberator General San Martín, the highest honor conferred by the government of Argentina, was created in his honor.

 16 
Horatio Sanz
(Chilean-born American Comedian and Actor)
Horatio Sanz
4
Birthdate: June 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Santiago
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 17 
Nicolás Massú
(Chilean Former Professional Tennis Player)
Nicolás Massú
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 10, 1979
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Viña del Mar
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 18 
Gary Medel
(Chilean Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Centre-Back and a Defensive Midfielder)
Gary Medel
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 3, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Santiago
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 19 
Gabriela Mistral
(Chilean poet)
Gabriela Mistral
10
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 7, 1889
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vicuña
Died: January 10, 1957

Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet and educator Lucila Godoy Alcayaga was better known by her pseudonym, Gabriela Mistral. The suicide of her first love inspired her poem Dolor. Her diplomatic assignments later took her to places such as Madrid and Lisbon. She is remembered for her emotional verses and her feminism.

 20 
Víctor Jara
(Chilean Teacher and Theater Director Who Was Tortured and Killed by Dictator Augusto Pinochet’s Men)
Víctor Jara
7
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: September 28, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Ignacio
Died: September 16, 1973

Legendary Chilean folk singer Víctor Jara was eventually gearing up for a career as a priest and later studied theater, eventually switching to music. He pioneered the nueva canción genre of music in the middle of extreme political turmoil. He was tortured and shot dead during dictator Augusto Pinochet’s reign.

 21 
Claudio Arrau
(Pianist)
Claudio Arrau
3
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: February 6, 1903
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chillán
Died: June 9, 1991
 22 
Roberto Bolaño
(Chilean Writer Best Known for His Award-Winning Novel 'The Savage Detectives')
Roberto Bolaño
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 28, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Santiago
Died: July 15, 2003

A vagabond who roamed around countries such as Chile, Mexico, and France, author Roberto Bolaño eventually settled in Spain, where he spent his days working odd jobs, such as garbage collection and dishwashing, and wrote at night. He is remembered for his Rómulo Gallegos Prize-winning novel The Savage Detectives.

 23 
Violeta Parra
(Composer)
Violeta Parra
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 4, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Carlos
Died: February 5, 1967
 24 
Marcelo Salas
(Chilean Former Footballer Who Played as a Striker)
Marcelo Salas
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Temuco
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 25 
Sebastian Pinera
(Former Chilean President)
Sebastian Pinera
12
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Santiago

Chilean president Sebastian Pinera not only boasts of a Harvard doctoral degree but is also a successful businessman, having introduced credit cards to the Chilean public through his company Bancard. His Fundación Futuro works for causes such as energy and water conservation. He is married to his neighbor Cecilia Morel.

 26 
Orlando Letelier
(Chilean Politician, Economist, and Diplomat)
Orlando Letelier
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 13, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Temuco
Died: September 21, 1976

Orlando Letelier was a Chilean politician, economist, and diplomat. After his arrest due to his participation in the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, Letelier was exiled from Chile. In 1975, Letelier left for Washington D.C., where he achieved popularity as an economist and teacher. Orlando Letelier was murdered in 1976 by agents of the Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional.

 27 
Mauricio Isla
(Chilean Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Right-Back and Midfielder)
Mauricio Isla
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 12, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Buin
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 28 
Fernando González
(Chilean Former Professional Tennis Player)
Fernando González
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 29, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Santiago
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 29 
Marcelo Ríos
(Chilean Former World No. 1 Tennis Player)
Marcelo Ríos
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: December 26, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Santiago
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 30 
Ana Tijoux
(Singer)
Ana Tijoux
3
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: June 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lille
 31 
Sammis Reyes
(Basketball player, American football player)
Sammis Reyes
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 19, 1995
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Talcahuano
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
 32 
Mon Laferte
(Singer known for her musical versatility, having composed songs in a wide variety of genres such as pop, rock)
Mon Laferte
9
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 2, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Viña del Mar
 33 
Mark González
(Chilean Former Professional Footballer Who Played as a Midfielder)
Mark González
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 10, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Durban

Mark González is a Chilean retired football player who was chosen to play three Copa América tournaments during his career. He also represented his national team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Renowned for his speed, Mark González helped his national team win their second Copa América Centenario in 2016.

 34 
Lautaro
(Mapuche War Leader Who Led the Indigenous Chile Resistance Against the Spanish)
Lautaro
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1534 AD
Birthplace: Treguaco
Died: April 29, 1557

Lautaro was a Mapuche war leader best remembered for spearheading the indigenous resistance against the conquest of Chile by the Spanish. He led the warriors of Mapuche to a series of triumphs against the Spanish. He was killed at the Battle of Mataquito in his early 20s. Lautaro is credited with developing tactics that were used even after his death.

 35 
Elías Figueroa
(Chilean Former Footballer)
Elías Figueroa
1
Birthdate: October 25, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Valparaíso
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 36 
Paloma Mami
(Singer)
Paloma Mami
9
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 11, 1999
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan

Chilean-American singer Paloma Mami first gained fame with the reality show Rojo, el color del talento. She then became the first Chilean singer to seal a contract with Sony Music Latin. She has universal following, as she sings in both Spanish and English, and mingles Latin R&B with pop and trap.

 37 
Roberto Matta
(Surrealist Painter)
Roberto Matta
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 11, 1911
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Santiago
Died: November 23, 2002

Legendary Chilean painter Roberto Matta is remembered as a significant figure of the abstract expressionist and surrealist art of the 20th century. The Praemium Imperiale-winning artist had initially studied architecture in Santiago and had then worked for Le Corbusier in Paris. His inscape works were influenced by Freud’s psychoanalysis.

 38 
Romina Malaspina
(Reality Star Who Appeared in Shows as Doble Tentación and Supervivientes)
Romina Malaspina
2
Birthdate: July 7, 1994
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mar del Plata
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 39 
Isabel Allende Bussi
(Chilean Politician and the First Woman to Serve as the President of the Chilean Senate)
Isabel Allende Bussi
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 18, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Santiago

Isabel Allende Bussi is a Chilean politician best known for her service as the President of the Chilean Senate from 2014 to 2015. She was the first woman to serve as the president of the Senate in Chilean history. An important and influential member of the Socialist Party, Isabel Allende is currently serving as Senator for Valparaíso.

 40 
David Pizarro
(Chilean Former Professional Footballer Who Played as a Midfielder)
David Pizarro
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 11, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Valparaíso
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 41 
Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
(31st President of Chile (1994 - 2000))
Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santiago

Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle served as the President of Chile from 1994 to 2000. Under his presidency, poverty in Chile decreased and improvements were made in education and health sectors. An important politician, Frei also served as the President of the Senate of Chile from 2006 to 2008.

 42 
Xiye Bastida
(Climate activist and member of the indigenous Mexican Otomi-Toltec nation)
Xiye Bastida
2
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: April 18, 2002
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Atlacomulco
 43 
Ariel Dorfman
(Celebrated Argentine-Chilean-American Author and Human Rights Activist)
Ariel Dorfman
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 6, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Buenos Aires

Argentine-born Chilean-American author Ariel Dorfman has not just served President Salvador Allende as his cultural advisor but has also taught at the University of Chile. During Augusto Pinochet’s rule, he was exiled to the US. His best-known written work is his play Death and the Maiden. He now teaches at Duke University.

 44 
Augusto Pinochet
(Former President of Chile)
Augusto Pinochet
50
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 25, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Valparaíso
Died: December 10, 2006
Augusto Pinochet was the president of the Chilean Military Junta from 1973 to 1981. He ousted the elected government of President Salvador Allende through a U.S.-supported coup and became the Chilean President in December 1974. Following this, he persecuted all political opponents and leftists and also advocated for Operation Condor
 45 
Andrés Bello
(An Exemplary Figure in the History of Spanish American Culture Noted for His Work as a Naturalist)
Andrés Bello
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 29, 1781
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Caracas
Died: October 15, 1865

Regarded as the intellectual father of South America, Venezuelan-Chilean poet Andrés Bello one taught revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar and also inspired the struggle for Venezuelan independence. He established the University of Chile and also penned masterpieces such as Las Silvas Americanas. As a legislator, he inspired the Chilean Civil Code.

 46 
Alexa Guarachi
(American-Born Chilean Tennis Player)
Alexa Guarachi
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 17, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fort Walton Beach
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 47 
Felicia Montealegre
(Chilean-American Actress)
Felicia Montealegre
6
Birthdate: February 6, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San José
Died: June 16, 1978

Felicia Montealegre was a Chilean actress whose professional achievements were overshadowed by her personal life, thanks to her marriage with popular American conductor, composer, and pianist Leonard Bernstein. She was married to Bernstein from 1951 until her death in 1978.

 48 
Adan Jodorowsky
(Musician)
Adan Jodorowsky
2
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 29, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris

Adan Jodorowsky is a French-Mexican actor, musician, and director. Apart from his work as a musician, Jodorowsky has earned fame as a director, winning critical appreciation and prestigious awards for his 2012 film The Voice Thief. In 2014, the movie was selected by Diane Pernet to compete at the world's first festival about fashion films, ASVOFF.

 49 
Michelle Bachelet
(33rd and 35th President of Chile)
Michelle Bachelet
14
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: September 29, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Santiago

Chilean politician Michelle Bachelet serves as 7th United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She became the first female politician in Chilean history who was elected as the country’s President and the first elected female leader in South America. She served as the 33rd and 35th President of Chile and held several other prominent positions during her expansive political career.

 50 
Caupolicán
(A Mapuche War Leader Who Died Defending His Land Against Spanish Invaders)
Caupolicán
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthplace: Palmaiquen
Died: 1558 AD

A 16th-century war leader of the Mapuche tribe of Chile, Caupolicán led the resistance against Spanish invaders. Equipped with a disorganized army of tribesmen, he was defeated, imprisoned by Capt. Alonso de Reinoso, and eventually executed. His heroics have been immortalized in the epic poem La Araucana.

The nation’s folk music was revived in the mid 20th century by composers like Raul de Ramon, Margot Loyola, Luis Aguirre Pinto, and Violeta Parra. Chileans call their country país de poetas — country of poets—and for good reason. The nation has produced writers like Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda who received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Chileans have also made their mark in the fields of cinema and sports. Manuel Plaza Reyes, Luis Vicentini and Estanislao Loayza are among the great sportsmen born in the nation. Read on to discover about the life and works of famous Chileans.