Ilona Staller is a former porn star, singer, and politician. She achieved popularity by appearing in Telefono rosso, the first Italian hardcore pornography production, and then went on to pose nude in Playboy's editions around the world. In 1980, an erotic series titled La Cicciolina was made based on Ilona Staller's life and career.
Starting his music career with the Hungarian metal band Tormentor, Attila Csihar also worked with the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem after the suicide of its lead vocalist. Not known to many, the black metal vocalist is an electrical engineer and has also taught math and physics before venturing into music.
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.
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.
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.
Hungarian-born singer and drummer Leslie Mandoki is best known for as a vocalist for the German pop band Dschinghis Khan. He later released his solo work, under the alias Man Doki. He is known to fuse rock and jazz and has also worked as a producer for artists such as Phil Collins.
Imre Zámbó, better known as Jimmy Zámbó, was one of the best-selling pop artists of Hungary. Nicknamed The King, began his career with the State Radio Children's Choir and then performed in various US clubs, eventually running his own show. He died when he accidentally shot himself in the head.
Known as the Hungarian Janis Joplin, Sarolta Zalatnay started her career with teen pop and eventually graduated to rock music. Also known as Cini, she turned into a political activist in post-Communist Hungary. She later stunned her fans by posing nude for Playboy in her 50s.
While her mother had been an opera singer-turned-housewife, actor-singer Marta Eggerth’s father was also an amateur pianist-turned-banker. A prodigy, who made her theater debut at age 11, Eggerth later soared to fame with Broadway plays such as The Merry Widow and gained the nickname The Callas of Operetta.
Born Regina Klopfer, Hungarian opera singer Gitta Alpár changed her name when she began performing publicly. She later performed for the Berlin State Opera and married German actor actor Gustav Fröhlich. A Jewish cantor’s daughter, she was named to Hitler’s hitlist and fled to Austria, and then to England and the US.
Popular Hungarian singer and pianist Peter Mate was introduced to music at age 6 and is a sensation in the Hungarian music scene even years after his death at age 47. Known for his reckless lifestyle, he gained popularity in countries such as Cuba, Germany, and Canada, too.
At 16, Kathe von Nagy wanted to get married and thus her reluctant parents tucked her away to a convent to make her change her mind. She then wished to be an author but later became famous for her performances in French, German, and Hungarian films, and for her photo postcards.
A significant figure of the golden age of the Hungarian folk play, Lujza Blaha earned the nickname of The Nation’s Nightingale. Born to traveling actors, she stepped into acting at age 15 and later gained fame with plays such as Madame Sans-Gêne. She was also in the news for her sexually liberal outlook.
Known as Hungary’s first female opera singer, Déryné Róza Széppataki, better known as Déryné, was struck by poverty after her father’s death. Initially reluctant to let Déryné join theater, her mother later gave in. Though she was versatile in terms of roles, she gained immense fame as a comedian.
Best known for her appearances in Richard Wagner’s operas such as Tristan und Isolde, Hungarian opera singer Katharina Klafsky started her career as a chorus singer and a music trainer. Also known for her roles in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Beethoven’s Fidelio, she died of brain cancer at age 41.