Famous Hungarian Film & Theater Personalities

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 1 
Bela Lugosi
(Best Known for His Role as 'Count Dracula' in the 1939 Film ‘Son of Frankenstein’)
Bela Lugosi
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lugoj, Romania
Died: August 16, 1956
Hungarian-American actor Bela Lugosi is best remembered for his iconic performance as Dracula on Broadway and in the 1931 film of the same name, based on Bram Stoker’s novel. He also appeared in films such as The Black Cat, The Raven, and Son of Frankenstein, along with Boris Karloff.
 2 
Peter Lorre
(Best Known for His Role as the Psychotic Child Murderer in the Thriller Film ‘M’)
Peter Lorre
3
Birthdate: June 26, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ružomberok, Slovakia
Died: March 23, 1964
Hungarian-American actor Peter Lorre went from stage-acting in Vienna to working in films in Germany. He soared to fame with the films M and The Man Who Knew Too Much. He left Germany during the Nazi rule. Fans loved him as Le Chiffre in the TV version of Casino Royale.
 3 
Mickey Hargitay
(Hungarian-American Actor and the 1955 Mr. Universe)
Mickey Hargitay
3
Birthdate: January 6, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 14, 2006
Former Mr.Universe, Mickey Hargitay made his way into showbiz with Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Husband of actress Jayne Mansfield, he was also a proficient football player. He earned the Joe Weider Lifetime Achievement Award; he was the first one to recieve that honor. During World War II, he was an underground fighter.
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 4 
Magda Gabor
(Hungarian-American Actress and Socialite)
Magda Gabor
3
Birthdate: June 11, 1915
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: June 6, 1997

The elder sister of Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor, Magda Gabor was an actor who had appeared in the film Modern Girls and on a few TV shows. She was rumored to be the mistress of the Portuguese ambassador to Hungary and had later married 6 times.

 5 
Michael Curtiz
(Film Director)
Michael Curtiz
2
Birthdate: December 24, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: April 10, 1962
 6 
Otto Preminger
(Director and Producer Best Known for His Film ‘Anatomy of a Murder’)
Otto Preminger
3
Birthdate: December 5, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vyzhnytsya, Ukraine
Died: April 23, 1986

While he initially wished to follow in his prosecutor father’s footsteps to be a lawyer, Otto Preminger later discovered his love for theater. A master stage director, he later signed with Fox as one of its first independent filmmakers. He soared to fame with the 1944 film Laura.  

 7 
Ahna Capri
(Actress)
Ahna Capri
2
Birthdate: July 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: August 19, 2010

Starting as a child actor, Ahna Capri later soared to fame with her role of Tania in the movie Enter the Dragon. Her other notable roles were in films such as Piranha and Payday and in series such as Dan August. She died in a fatal car crash.

 8 
Béla Tarr
(Screenwriter, Film director)
Béla Tarr
2
Birthdate: July 21, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pécs

Legendary Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr initially relied on cinema verité to portray the lives of ordinary people in his films. He later gained international fame with iconic films such as Sátántangó and even launched a film school in Sarajevo. He is also known for his signature long takes and long-running movies.

 9 
Michu Meszaros
(Best remembered as a performer with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus)
Michu Meszaros
2
Birthdate: October 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: June 12, 2016

Known for his 2’9” frame, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros initially gained fame in the Hungarian National Circus and later as part of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He is best remembered for his portrayal of an alien, wearing a full-body costume, in the NBC series ALF.

 10 
Vica Kerekes
(Actress)
Vica Kerekes
2
Birthdate: March 28, 1981
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fiľakovo, Slovakia

Hungarian-origin Slovak actor Vica Kerekes started her career with the Slovak movie Konečná stanica. Also known as Vica, she later soared to fame with her award-winning roles in films such as Ki/Be Tawaret and Seven Days of Sin. She also appeared in the popular Slovak-Czech series Odsúdené.

 11 
S. Z. Sakall
(Hungarian-American Actor)
S. Z. Sakall
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Birthdate: February 2, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: February 12, 1955

Renowned character actor S. Z. Sakall lost all of his 3 sisters in Nazi concentration camps. A talented stage actor in both Austria and Germany, he later gained international fame with his roles in movies such as Casablanca and Ball of Fire. He earned the nickname Cuddles for his affable appearance.

 12 
Paul Lukas
(Hungarian Actor Best Known for His Performance in the Film 'Watch on the Rhine')
Paul Lukas
2
Birthdate: May 26, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: August 15, 1971

While actor Paul Lukas initially ruled the Hungarian stage and worked in several productions of Austrian filmmaker and theater director Max Reinhardt, he later moved to the US. He is best remembered for his Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning portrayal of Kurt Muller in the film Watch on the Rhine.

 13 
Aleska Diamond
2
Birthdate: August 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Komló, Baranya, Hungary

Known for her voluptuous figure, Hungarian beauty Aleska Diamond started her journey in the adult entertainment industry with girl-on-girl and solo porn and later moved on to more hardcore porn. The AVN Award winner is a former sex worker and now works as an aerial acrobatics instructor.

 14 
Vilmos Zsigmond
(Cinematographer)
Vilmos Zsigmond
2
Birthdate: June 16, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Szeged
Died: January 1, 2016

Best known for his Academy Award-winning work in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond was regarded as a prominent pillar of the American New Wave movement. He was also known for his signature use of colors, natural light, and the technique of flashing or pre-fogging.

 15 
Andrew G. Vajna
(Film producer)
Andrew G. Vajna
2
Birthdate: August 1, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Budapest

A Jewish Hungarian, Andrew G. Vajna fled to Canada alone at age 12, helped by Red Cross, and later met his parents, who had fled to LA. Initially a wig maker, he later owned 2 production companies and introduced the Hungarian National Film Fund, which financed the Oscar-winning movie Son of Saul.

Anna Thynn, Marchioness of Bath
2
Birthdate: September 27, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Apart from being the Marchioness of Bath, Anna Thynn was also a fine actor, known by her stage name, Anna Gaël. She had started dating Alexander Thynn, Viscount Weymouth, known to be a womanizer, while still married to French director Gilbert Pineau. She has also previously worked as a reporter.

 17 
Eva Bartok
(Hungarian-British Actress Who Acted in American, British, German, Hungarian, French and Israeli Films)
Eva Bartok
1
Birthdate: June 18, 1927
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kecskemét, Hungary
Died: August 1, 1998

Though she married a Nazi officer at age 15, to avoid deportation, Hungarian Jewish actor Eva Bartok was later hounded by Hungarian Communists. She then moved to the US and gained fame with movies such as The Crimson Pirate. She also claimed to have had a daughter with singer Frank Sinatra.

 18 
Zita Gorog
(Actress)
Zita Gorog
2
Birthdate: September 27, 1979
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nagybátony, Nógrád County, Hungary

Hungarian model Zita Gorog began modeling at 18 and later traveled to over 20 countries, working for brands such as Mont Blanc, Benetton, Nivea, and Nissan. She has also been featured in publications such as Playboy, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan, and has appeared in movies such as the Underworld franchise.

 19 
Andrea Osvárt
2
Birthdate: April 25, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian actor and model Andrea Osvárt is also a linguist, well-versed in a number of languages, such as Italian and German. She has also been interested in dance since age 13. After appearing in countless commercials, she bagged a role in the Brad Pitt starrer 2001 movie Spy Game.

 20 
Georg von Habsburg
(Hungary's Ambassador to France since 2020)
Georg von Habsburg
1
Birthdate: December 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Starnberg, Germany
 21 
Katalin Vad
(Actress)
Katalin Vad
1
Birthdate: January 16, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hungary

Best known for her works with the Private Media Group, Hungarian porn star Katalin Vad is also known as Michelle Wild. She once maintained a column on FHM and hosted a radio show. The AVN and Venus Award winner is now a mother and has vowed never to return to porn.

 22 
Livia Zita
(Singer)
Livia Zita
1
Birthdate: December 21, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Apart from being a rock and heavy metal singer, who has also worked with the Danish band King Diamond, Livia Zita is also a talented voiceover artist who specializes in accented English for commercials. She has also lent her voice to video games and animation films.

 23 
Anette Dawn
(Make-up artist)
Anette Dawn
3
Birthdate: May 9, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Salgótarján, Hungary

Anett Bocsi, better known by her pseudonym Anette Dawn, was a make-up artist earlier and stepped into the porn industry at 23. While she initially only filmed solo and lesbian porn with Eastern European models, she later quit the adult industry and became one of the highest-paid luxury escorts in Hungary.

 24 
Geza Rohrig
1
Birthdate: May 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Best known for his performance as Saul Ausländer in the Academy Award-winning movie Son of Saul, Hungarian actor Geza Rohrig grew up in foster care and was initially interested in music. He is also a talented poet, who has dealt with themes such as the Holocaust in his works.

 25 
George Pal
(Hungarian-American Animator, Film Director and Producer)
George Pal
1
Birthdate: February 1, 1908
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cegléd, Hungary
Died: May 2, 1980

Born to stage-entertainer parents, Hungarian-American animator and filmmaker George Pal scripted history as the second-most-nominated exiled Hungarian at the Academy Awards. He is best remembered for his Puppetoons series and his sci-fi and fantasy movies such as The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine.

 26 
Laszlo Toth
(geologist)
Laszlo Toth
1
Birthdate: July 1, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pilisvörösvár
Died: September 11, 2012

Though Hungarian geologist Laszlo Toth moved to Australia to pursue his career, his lack of English skills had him working at a soap factory. He later made headlines for damaging Michelangelo's Pietà at the Vatican with a hammer, screaming that he was Christ. He was sent to an asylum later but wasn’t charged.

 27 
László Kovács
(Cinematographer)
László Kovács
1
Birthdate: May 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cece, Hungary
Died: July 22, 2007

Remembered for his contribution to the development of American New Wave films, László Kovács was a Hungary-born American cinematographer, known for his work on films like Easy Rider, and Five Easy Pieces. Recipient of three Lifetime Achievement Awards, he had worked with many reputed directors and was a member of the board of directors of the American Society of Cinematographers

 28 
Monique Covét
(Adult film star)
Monique Covét
1
Birthdate: July 14, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian porn actor Monique Covét, also known as Monika Visi, was scouted by French hardcore porn director Pierre Woodman while on a modeling assignment in Paris. The Venus Award winner is now a certified sex therapist and offers online consultation on sexual and personality issues.

 29 
László Nemes
(Hungarian Film Director and Screenwriter Best Known for His Film 'Son of Saul')
László Nemes
1
Birthdate: February 18, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Best known for his Academy Award-winning debut film Son of Saul, Hungarian director László Nemes is the son of director András Jeles. A Sorbonne alumnus, he later assisted director Béla Tarr. His other notable projects include Napszállta, or Sunset, and the short film With a Little Patience.

 30 
Emeric Pressburger
(Screenwriter, film director, and producer, best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell)
Emeric Pressburger
1
Birthdate: December 5, 1902
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Miskolc, Hungary
Died: February 5, 1988

While he initially studied math and engineering, Emeric Pressburger later quit studies due to his father’s sudden death. He worked as a journalist and screenwriter in Berlin but had to flee to England after being chased by the Nazis. He later collaborated with Michael Powell to produce films such as Black Narcissus.

 31 
Charles Vidor
(Film director)
Charles Vidor
1
Birthdate: July 27, 1900
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: June 4, 1959
André de Toth
1
Birthdate: May 15, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Makó
Died: October 27, 2002

After earning a law degree, André de Toth decided to become an actor and was prominent in the Budapest theater scene before becoming a filmmaker. His eyepatch once led him to be interrogated in Egypt by people who thought he was an Israeli military leader. His best-known works include House of Wax.

 33 
Ferenc Molnár
( Hungary’s Most Celebrated and Controversial Novelist and Playwright Known for His Novel 'The Paul Street Boys')
Ferenc Molnár
1
Birthdate: January 12, 1878
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: April 1, 1952

Known for his short stories and plays reflecting the life in Budapest, author Ferenc Molnár never identified with any particular literary movement. His best-known works include the short story anthology Muzsika and the novel The Paul Street Boys. Initially an aspiring lawyer, he later worked as a war correspondent.

 34 
Vilma Bánky
(Actress)
Vilma Bánky
1
Birthdate: January 9, 1901
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nagydorog, Hungary
Died: March 18, 1991

Known as The Hungarian Rhapsody in the US, actor Vilma Bánky was a star of silent films such as The Son of The Sheik. She was also an avid golfer who had won club championships and dealt in real estate, too. She also funded a children’s foundation with her husband.

 35 
Ilona Massey
(Actress)
Ilona Massey
1
Birthdate: June 16, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: August 20, 1974

Initially known as “the new Dietrich,” actor and opera singer Ilona Massey grew up amid poverty and funded her singing lessons by working as a dressmaker’s apprentice. From performing on radio and in night clubs, she later rose to be the quintessential temptress in films such as Love Happy.

 36 
Eszter Balint
1
Birthdate: July 7, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

The daughter of theater personality Stephan Balint, Hungarian-born violinist and performer Eszter Balint grew up with her father’s Squat Theatre troupe in New York. Apart from her critically acclaimed albums, such as Flicker, she is also known for her appearances in films and series such as Shadows and Fog and Louie.

 37 
Istvan Szabo
(Film Director)
Istvan Szabo
1
Birthdate: February 18, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
 38 
Kornél Mundruczó
(Film director)
Kornél Mundruczó
1
Birthdate: April 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gödöllő, Hungary

Hungarian filmmaker Kornél Mundruczó is best known for his award-winning film White God. He is married to screenwriter Kata Wéber, who often collaborates with him, and their miscarriage inspired his film Pieces of a Woman, which earned actor Vanessa Kirby an Academy Award nomination.

 39 
Jules White
(Film Director)
Jules White
1
Birthdate: September 17, 1900
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died: April 30, 1985
 40 
Steven Geray
1
Birthdate: November 10, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Uzhhorod, Ukraine
Died: December 26, 1973

Typecast in gentle and soft-spoken characters in films such as Gilda and Spellbound, Hungarian-American actor Steven Geray initially gained fame in the Hungarian stage circle, before performing in London and then moving to the US. Some believe he was forced to leave Europe after being hounded for impersonating Hitler and Mussolini.

 41 
Zoltan Korda
(Filmmaker)
Zoltan Korda
1
Birthdate: June 3, 1895
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pusztatúrpásztó, Hungary
Died: October 13, 1961
 42 
Erika Marozsan
1
Birthdate: August 3, 1972
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Újfehértó, Hungary

Hungarian actor Erika Marozsan has primarily starred in Hungarian films and German TV shows and has also appeared in international films such as Sniper 2. The green-eyed beauty is a trained ballet dancer. She was previously part of Hungary’s New Theater group and now performs as part of the Kaposvár Theater.

 43 
Tibor Kalman
(Graphic designer)
Tibor Kalman
1
Birthdate: July 6, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: May 2, 1999
 44 
Edina Ronay
(Fashion designer)
Edina Ronay
1
Birthdate: 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

The daughter of renowned Hungarian food critic Egon Ronay, Edina Ronay started her career as an actor, with roles in series such as The Avengers and The Champions. Now a fashion designer, she has her own label. She is also known as the mother of English actor/writer Shebah Ronay.

 45 
Miklós Jancsó
(Director & Screenwriter Whose Movies Frequently Focused on the Abuse of Power)
Miklós Jancsó
1
Birthdate: September 27, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vác, Hungary
Died: January 31, 2014

After earning a law degree, Miklos Jancso fought in World War II and eventually studied film direction. He gained international fame with his films The Round-Up and The Red and the White. His signature style of films were named political musical. He also repeated the characters Pepe and Kapa in his films.

 46 
Sylvester Levay
(Composer who was awarded with a Grammy for his 1975 song)
Sylvester Levay
0
Birthdate: May 16, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Subotica, Serbia
 47 
Amerigo Tot
(Sculptor)
Amerigo Tot
0
Birthdate: September 27, 1909
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fehérvárcsurgó, Hungary
Died: December 13, 1984

Renowned Hungarian sculptor Amerigo Tot was also a talented actor. Best known to international audiences for his role in The Godfather Part II, he spent most of his life in Rome, a city he had fled to during the rise of the Nazis. His ceramic works usually showcased abstract and mythological figures.

 48 
Bill Nagy
(Actor)
Bill Nagy
1
Birthdate: February 21, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hungary
Died: January 19, 1973

Hungarian-born actor Bill Nagy was raised in Canada and later settled in Britain, where he had most of his acting projects. A regular in the London stage circuit, he performed in West End shows and later bagged minor roles in many movies. He was initially a ballroom dancer.

 49 
Ephraim Kishon
1
Birthdate: August 23, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: January 29, 2005
 50 
Oscar Beregi
1
Birthdate: May 12, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: November 1, 1976

Born to popular Hungarian actor Oscar Beregi Sr., Oscar Beregi is best known to audiences for his recurrent appearances in various roles in The Twilight Zone. He initially managed a restaurant in Chile and later worked as a salesman in the US. He was also a breeder of Hungarian sheep dogs.