Famous Hungarian Film & Theater Personalities

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 1 Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor
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Famous As: Socialite, Actress
Birthdate: February 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: December 18, 2016
Zsa Zsa Gabor was a stage actor and also became Miss Hungary before she moved to the U.S. Fans loved her in Moulin Rouge and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3. She was known for her flamboyant lifestyle and her nine marriages, including one to hotelier Conrad Hilton. 

 2 Eva Gabor

Eva Gabor
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Famous As: Played Lisa Douglas, the wife of Oliver Wendell Douglas, on the hit TV show Green Acres
Birthdate: February 11, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: July 4, 1995

Apart from being the sister of renowned actor Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eva Gabor was a talented actor in her own right. Known as Lisa Douglas from the sitcom Green Acres and its sequel, she was also famous for her voice roles in Disney movies. She later launched a fashion collection, too.

 3 Bela Lugosi

Bela Lugosi
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Famous As: Actor
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.
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 4 Peter Lorre

Peter Lorre
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 26, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Austria-Hungary
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.

 5 Mickey Hargitay

Mickey Hargitay
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Famous As: Actor
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.

 6 Marton Csokas

Marton Csokas
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Invercargill, New Zealand

New Zealand actor Marton Csokas was born to an Australian mother and a Hungarian father. Known for his roles in series such as Shortland Street and films such as The Equalizer, he chiefly plays the villain. He has his own theater company and has played an award-winning role in the play Uncle Vanya.

 7 Michael Curtiz

Michael Curtiz
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: December 24, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: April 10, 1962
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 8 Magda Gabor

Magda Gabor
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Famous As: Actress
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.

 9 Otto Preminger

Otto Preminger
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Famous As: Director
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.  

 10 Tommy Ramone

Tommy Ramone
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Famous As: Record Producer
Birthdate: January 29, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: July 11, 2014

Tommy Ramone was a Hungarian-American record producer, musician, and songwriter. For four years, he served as the drummer for the punk rock band the Ramones. The band was often cited as the first true punk rock group and was highly influential. Even though he left the group in the late 1970s, he maintained good relations with his former bandmates. 

 11 Cornel Wilde

Cornel Wilde
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 13, 1912
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prievidza, Hungary [now Slovakia]
Died: October 16, 1989

Starting his career with Broadway, Cornel Wilde later gained fame for his Academy Award-nominated role of Frédéric Chopin in A Song to Remember. Though he had made it to the US Olympic fencing team in 1936 and had also joined Columbia University to become a physician, he decided to focus on acting instead.

 12 Ahna Capri

Ahna Capri
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Famous As: Actress
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.

 13 Béla Tarr

Béla Tarr
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Film director
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.

 14 Michu Meszaros

Michu Meszaros
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Famous As: Best remembered as a performer with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
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.

 15 Sir Alexander Korda

Sir Alexander Korda
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: September 16, 1893
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Túrkeve, Hungary
Died: January 23, 1956

Hungarian-British filmmaker Sir Alexander Korda initially worked as a journalist and launched film magazines such as Pesti Mozi. He later moved to Hollywood and then to England, where he launched his production company. Known for producing classics such as The Thief of Baghdad, he was the first filmmaker to be knighted.

 16 S. Z. Sakall

S. Z. Sakall
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Famous As: Actor
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.

 17 Paul Lukas

Paul Lukas
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Famous As: Actor
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.

 18 Vica Kerekes

Vica Kerekes
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Famous As: Actress
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.

 19 Vilmos Zsigmond

Vilmos Zsigmond
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Famous As: Cinematographer
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.

 20 Angelica Bella

Angelica Bella
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 15, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tiszalök

Hungarian brunette beauty Angelica Bella began her career in the porn industry as Gabriella Dari. Initially a favorite of German producers, she later became a huge name in Italy. Known for her hardcore porn films that included anal sex, she has  now retired and runs an online sex shop.

 21 Andrew G. Vajna

Andrew G. Vajna
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Famous As: Film producer
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.

 22 Zita Gorog

Zita Gorog
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Famous As: Actress
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.

 23 Eva Bartok

Eva Bartok
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 18, 1927
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Budapest, 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.

 24 Georg von Habsburg

Georg von Habsburg
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Famous As: Hungary's Ambassador to France since 2020
Birthdate: December 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Starnberg, Germany

 25 Livia Zita

Livia Zita
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Famous As: Singer
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.

 26 Geza Rohrig

Geza Rohrig
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Famous As: Actor
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.

 27 Anna Thynn, Marchioness of Bath

Anna Thynn, Marchioness of Bath
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Famous As: Actress
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.

 28 Laszlo Toth

Laszlo Toth
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Famous As: geologist
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.

 29 Katalin Vad

Katalin Vad
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Famous As: Actress
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.

 30 George Pal

George Pal
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Famous As: Animator
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.

 31 Andrea Osvárt

Andrea Osvárt
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Famous As: Actress
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.

 32 László Kovács

László Kovács
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Famous As: Cinematographer
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

 33 László Nemes

László Nemes
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Famous As: Film Director
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.

 34 Emeric Pressburger

Emeric Pressburger
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Famous As: Screenwriter, film director, and producer, best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell
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.

 35 John Zápolya

John Zápolya
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Famous As: King of Hungary and Croatia (1526–1540)
Birthdate: 1487 AD
Birthplace: Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia
Died: July 22, 1540

King John Zápolya of Hungary was initially the governor of Transylvania, where he suppressed a peasant revolt. After Louis II was killed by the Ottomans, Louis II’s brother-in-law, Ferdinand I challenged John for the throne of Hungary and acquired a part of the country. Eventually, a childless John named Ferdinand his successor.

 36 André de Toth

André de Toth
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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.

 37 Charles Vidor

Charles Vidor
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Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: July 27, 1900
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: June 4, 1959

 38 Vilma Bánky

Vilma Bánky
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Famous As: Actress
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.

 39 Katica Illényi

Katica Illényi
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Famous As: Singer, Composer
Birthdate: February 17, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest

Renowned Hungarian thereminist and violinist Katica Illényi was born into a musical family and is now best known to international listeners for her video Once Upon a Time in the Wild West, which went viral on social media. Apart from classical music, she has also experimented with jazz and folk music.

 40 Ilona Massey

Ilona Massey
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Famous As: Actress
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.

 41 Istvan Szabo

Istvan Szabo
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: February 18, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

 42 Eszter Balint

Eszter Balint
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Famous As: Singer
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.

 43 Kornél Mundruczó

Kornél Mundruczó
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Famous As: Film director
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.

 44 Jules White

Jules White
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: September 17, 1900
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died: April 30, 1985

 45 Steven Geray

Steven Geray
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Famous As: Actor
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.

 46 Erika Marozsan

Erika Marozsan
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Famous As: Actress
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.

 47 Zoltan Korda

Zoltan Korda
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Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: June 3, 1895
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pusztatúrpásztó, Hungary
Died: October 13, 1961

 48 Tibor Kalman

Tibor Kalman
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Famous As: Graphic designer
Birthdate: July 6, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: May 2, 1999

 49 Miklos Jancso

Miklos Jancso
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Famous As: Film director
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.

 50 Edina Ronay

Edina Ronay
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Famous As: Fashion designer
Birthdate: December 31, 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.