Icelander

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The Republic of Iceland, despite being a small nation with a population of just over 320 thousand has produced a number of famous people who have made the nation proud on the international scenario. Icelandic literature is popular and Einar Benediktsson, an early proponent of Neo-romanticism is generally acknowledged as one of the great figures of the "Golden Age" in poetry. Literature thrived in the 20th century and writer Halldór Laxness went on to win the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature. In the field of visual arts, Þórarinn Benedikt Þorláksson was one of Iceland's first contemporary painters, the first Icelander to exhibit paintings in Iceland. Other notable artists include Einar Hákonarson and Ásgrímur Jónsson. The nation is also known for its rich musical heritage which includes vibrant folk and pop traditions. Some of its popular singers are Bubbi Morthens, Megas and Björgvin Halldórsson, while Björk Guðmundsdóttir is probably the most famous Icelander of them all. Famous for being one of the top three countries in the world for women to live in, Iceland was the first country in the world to have a political party formed and led entirely by women. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Icelanders.
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 1 
Bobby Fischer
(American Chess Grandmaster and the Eleventh World Chess Champion)
Bobby Fischer
55
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 9, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 17, 2008

Bobby Fischer began as a chess prodigy in his teens and went on to become the youngest "grandmaster," at 15. His participation in a politically controversial match in Yugoslavia led to the revocation of his U.S. passport and his arrest. He spent the final years of his life in Iceland.

 2 
Bjork
(Famous as the Lead Singer of Alternative Rock Band 'The Sugarcubes')
Bjork
25
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: November 21, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

Bjork is an Icelandic singer, record producer, songwriter, DJ, and actress. She is best known for her association with the now-defunct yet popular band, The Sugarcubes. The bestselling Icelandic singer-songwriter of all time, Bjork was named in Time magazine's most influential people in the world list in 2015. Over the course of her illustrious career, Bjork has received several awards.

 3 
Leif Erikson
(First European to reach North America)
Leif Erikson
15
Birthdate: 0970 AD
Birthplace: Iceland
Died: 1020 AD

Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer widely believed to have been one of the earliest Europeans to have set foot on North America, at least 500 years before Christopher Columbus. He is also credited with establishing a Norse settlement at coastal North America, as told in the sagas of Icelanders. He has been portrayed in films like The Viking (1928).

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 4 
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
(Icelandic Professional Strongman, Regarded as One of the Greatest Strength Athletes of All Time)
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
13
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 26, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is an Icelandic actor and former professional strongman. He inspired a number of Icelandic strongmen by becoming the first person to win the World's Strongest Man, Europe's Strongest Man, and Arnold Strongman Classic in the same calendar year. His popularity as a strongman earned him the role of Gregor Clegane in the popular series Game of Thrones.

 5 
Stefán Karl Stefánsson
(Icelandic Actor and Singer Best Known for His Role as ‘Robbie Rotten’ in TV Series ‘LazyTown’)
Stefán Karl Stefánsson
8
Birthdate: July 10, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Died: August 21, 2018

Stefán Karl Stefánsson was an Icelandic singer and actor. He is remembered for playing Robbie Rotten in the popular children's television series, LazyTown. In June 2018, he was honored with the Order of the Falcon. In August 2018, Stefán Karl died of cancer. The launch of a performing arts academy in his honor was announced after his death.

 6 
Hera Hilmar
(Actress)
Hera Hilmar
4
Birthdate: December 27, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Iceland
 7 
Magnús Scheving
(Creator of the Children's Television Series ‘LazyTown’)
Magnús Scheving
2
Birthdate: November 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Borgarnes, Iceland

Magnús Scheving is best known as the creator of the BAFTA-winning children’s series Lazy Town, which has its roots in Scheving’s first book and centers around children’s fitness. The Icelandic aerobic gymnastic champion is also a motivational speaker and has previously been a fitness trainer at a school.

Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
3
Birthdate: March 13, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Connecticut, USA
 9 
Heida Reed
(Actress)
Heida Reed
2
Birthdate: May 22, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Reykjavik, Iceland
 10 
Daði Freyr
(Icelandic Musician)
Daði Freyr
4
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 30, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

Daði Freyr is an Icelandic musician best known as the frontman of a musical band named Daði & Gagnamagnið. In 2021, Freyr represented Iceland at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 10 Years and finished fourth. 

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 11 
Jon Pall Sigmarsson
(One of the Greatest Strongmen of All Time)
Jon Pall Sigmarsson
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hafnarfjordur, Iceland
Died: January 16, 1993
The first person to win the World’s Strongest Man title four times, Icelandic bodybuilder Jon Pall Sigmarsson is remembered for his Herculean strength and his crowd-pulling aggression. He called himself a Viking and would chant at the audience mid-performance. He died of a heart attack while deadlifting in his gym.
 12 
Hildur Guðnadóttir
(Icelandic Composer and Musician)
Hildur Guðnadóttir
0
Birthdate: September 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

Hildur Guðnadóttir is an Icelandic composer and musician. A classically trained cellist, Guðnadóttir has recorded with popular bands like Throbbing Gristle, Pan Sonic, Stórsveit Nix Noltes, and Múm. Hildur Guðnadóttir is best known for her work in films like Joker, for which she received the Academy Award under the Best Original Score category.

 13 
Magnús Ver Magnússon
(Retired Icelandic Powerlifter Who Is a 4-Time World’s Strongest Man Contest Winner)
Magnús Ver Magnússon
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 23, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Egilsstaðir, Iceland

Retired Icelandic powerlifter Magnús Ver Magnússon not only won the World’s Strongest Man contest 4 times but has also been Europe's Strongest Man twice and Iceland's Strongest Man 8 times. He owns a gym, has launched a strongman competition, and judges powerlifting and strongman contests, too.

 14 
Anita Briem
(Actress)
Anita Briem
2
Birthdate: May 29, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
 15 
Katrín Davíðsdóttir
(The Second Woman to be the CrossFit Champion Twice)
Katrín Davíðsdóttir
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 10, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

Retired Icelandic gymnast and track athlete Katrín Davíðsdóttir scripted history as the second woman to be a CrossFit Games champion twice. She was 18 when she began her CrossFit career. She later appeared in the 30th season of the reality game show The Amazing Race.

 16 
Katrín Jakobsdóttir
(Prime Minister)
Katrín Jakobsdóttir
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
 17 
Gunnar Nelson
(Icelandic Mixed Martial Artist Who Competes for the UFC Welterweight Division)
Gunnar Nelson
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 28, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Akureyri, Iceland

Icelandic MMA fighter Gunnar Nelson, also known as Gunni, competes for the UFC welterweight division. A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he had been interested in football and ice hockey till age 13, when he began training in Gōjū-ryū Karate. He is a World Jiu-Jitsu Championship silver medalist.

 18 
Snorri Sturluson
(Historian, Poet, and Politician)
Snorri Sturluson
0
Birthdate: 1179 AD
Birthplace: Dalasýsla, Iceland
Died: September 22, 1241
 19 
Ólafur Arnalds
(Icelandic Multi-Instrumentalist and Producer)
Ólafur Arnalds
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 3, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mosfellsbær, Iceland

BAFTA-winning Irish multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds is known for his innovative experiments with electronic music. A trained drummer and pianist, he uses his customized software to mingle classical and modern notes. He is also known for his collaborative initiatives, such as his work with the techno duo Kiasmos.

 20 
Sara Sigmundsdóttir
(Icelandic Weightlifter Who Has Been Placed 3rd in the CrossFit Games Twice)
Sara Sigmundsdóttir
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 12, 1992
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reykjanesbær, Iceland

Icelandic weightlifter and CrossFit athlete Sara Sigmundsdóttir was placed 3rd in the CrossFit Games twice. She has also won the 2016 Dubai Fitness Championship and appeared in the documentary Fittest on Earth: A Decade of Fitness. She now works as a trainer at CrossFit Sudurnes in Reykjanesbaer.

 21 
Markéta Irglová
(Czech-Icelandic Singer-songwriter and Actress Best Known for Starring in the Film 'Once')
Markéta Irglová
1
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 28, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Valasske Mezirici, Czechia

Marketa Irglova is a Czech-Icelandic musician, singer-songwriter, and actress. She is best known for starring in the 2007 Irish musical drama film Once, which earned Irglová numerous prestigious awards, such as an Oscar under the Best Original Song category for her song, Falling Slowly

Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson
0
Birthdate: February 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hafnarfjordur, Iceland
 23 
Johanna Siguroardottir
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 4, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
 24 
Ragnheiður Ragnarsdóttir
(An Olympian Swimmer Who Later Became an Actor and Starred in Vikings)
Ragnheiður Ragnarsdóttir
2
Birthdate: October 24, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

Ragnheiður Ragnarsdóttir, or Ragga Ragnars, was 19 when she became Iceland’s youngest swimmer at the Olympics. After making multiple national records in freestyle, she retired and started studying acting. She later gained fame as Gunnhild, an Icelandic Saga figure, in the popular historical drama TV series Vikings.

 25 
Thorfinn Karlsefni
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0980 AD
Birthplace: Iceland
 26 
Tómas Lemarquis
0
Birthdate: August 3, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
 27 
Alfreð Finnbogason
(Icelandic Footballer Who Has Had Successful Stints with Breiðablik and Olympiacos)
Alfreð Finnbogason
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 1, 1989
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grindavík, Iceland

Icelandic footballer Alfreð Finnbogason is a forward who began his youth career with teams such as Grindavík and later graduated to senior teams such as Breiðablik. He has also played for Dutch, Spanish, German, and Belgian clubs. He has won the Icelandic Cup with Breiðablik and the Super League Greece with Olympiacos.

Eysteinn Sigurðarson
0
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
 29 
Freydís Eiríksdóttir
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0970 AD
Birthplace: Iceland
 30 
Anníe Mist Þórisdóttir
(The First Woman to Become a 2-Time CrossFit Games Winner)
Anníe Mist Þórisdóttir
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 18, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

Anníe Mist Þórisdóttir scripted history as the first female to win the CrossFit Games twice. The former gymnast withdrew from the 2015 CrossFit Games due to heatstroke, but baring that occasion, she has never finished below top 13. She now owns Reebok CrossFit Reykjavik.

 31 
Kolbeinn Sigþórsson
(Icelandic Footballer Who Has Had a Successful Stint as an Ajax Striker)
Kolbeinn Sigþórsson
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 14, 1990
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Reykjavik, Iceland

Icelandic footballer Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, who started his senior career with HK, later had a successful stint with the Dutch club Ajax, winning the Eredivisie thrice and the Johan Cruyff Shield once. His 26 goals for the Iceland national team have made him the top joint national goal-scorer of all time.

 32 
Magnus Magnusson
(Journalist)
Magnus Magnusson
1
Birthdate: October 12, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Kingdom of Iceland
Died: January 7, 2007
 33 
Olafur Eliasson
(Artist known for sculptured and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer's experience)
Olafur Eliasson
1
Birthdate: February 5, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark

Olafur Eliasson is an Icelandic-Danish artist. He is famous for his sculptured and large-scale installation art. He established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin in 1995 and co-founded Studio Other Spaces in 2014. He represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. He was a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts for many years. 

 34 
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 15, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
 35 
Baltasar Kormakur
0
Birthdate: February 27, 1966
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
 36 
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 14, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ísafjörður
 37 
Aron Jóhannsson
(Icelandic-American Footballer Who Plays for the US National Team)
Aron Jóhannsson
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mobile

Born to Icelandic parents in the US, footballer Aron Jóhannsson moved to Iceland at age 3. Starting his senior career with Fjölnir, he later had successful stints with the Dutch club AZ and the Danish club AGF. While he initially represented the Iceland U21 team, he later switched to the US national team.

 38 
Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson
(Icelandic Professional Footballer Winger)
Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 27, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Reykjavik

Icelandic professional football-winger Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson made his senior-career debut with Breiðablik. Thereafter he played with AZ, with whom he won the 2012–13 KNVB Cup; and with Charlton Athletic before joining Burnley in July 2016. He represented Iceland in UEFA Euro 2016, where he assisted the country’s first-ever goal in a major tournament; and in 2018 FIFA World Cup.

 39 
Jón Daði Böðvarsson
(Icelandic Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Right Winger or Striker)
Jón Daði Böðvarsson
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 25, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Selfoss, Iceland

Icelandic professional footballer Jón Daði Böðvarsson made his senior debut with Selfoss. Thereafter he played with several other clubs before joining his present club Bolton Wanderers in January 2022. He played for Iceland at under-19 and under-21 level and became full international in 2012. He remained part of the national squad during UEFA Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup

 40 
Eiður Guðjohnsen
(Icelandic Footballer-Turned-Coach Who Has Played for Chelsea and Barcelona)
Eiður Guðjohnsen
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 15, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reykjavik

Icelandic former footballer and coach Eiður Guðjohnsen began his senior career with Valur and then had successful stints with clubs such as Chelsea and Barcelona as a forward/midfielder. The son of former striker Arnór Guðjohnsen, he had also led the Iceland national football team as its captain.

Björn Hlynur Haraldsson
0
Birthdate: December 8, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
 42 
Halldór Laxness
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 23, 1902
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
Died: February 8, 1998
 43 
Sjón
(Icelandic Poet, Lyricist, Screenwriter, and Novelist)
Sjón
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 27, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

Sjón is an Icelandic poet, lyricist, screenwriter, and novelist. He is best known for his frequent collaborations with singer-songwriter and composer Björk. Sjón's works are widely read and have been translated into many languages. Over the course of his career, Sjón has won several prestigious awards such as the Nordic Council's Literature Prize and DV Newspaper Culture Prize.

 44 
Emilíana Torrini
(Icelandic Singer and Songwriter)
Emilíana Torrini
1
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 16, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Iceland

Emilíana Torrini is an Icelandic singer-songwriter. Torrini is perhaps best known for performing Gollum's Song for the 2002 epic fantasy adventure film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Emilíana Torrini is also known for her single Jungle Drum and her third album Love in the Time of Science.

 45 
Gylfi Sigurðsson
(Icelandic Professional Football Player Who Plays as an Attacking Midfielder)
Gylfi Sigurðsson
11
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 8, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

Gylfi Sigurðsson is an Icelandic football player who plays for the Iceland national team and Premier League club Everton. He helped the Iceland national team reach the quarter-finals at UEFA Euro 2016, the team's first major tournament. He also represented the country at their first-ever FIFA World Cup in the year 2018. 

Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Norway
 47 
Ragnar Sigurðsson
(Icelandic Former Professional Football Centre-Back)
Ragnar Sigurðsson
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 19, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Reykjavik

Icelandic former professional football centre-back Ragnar Sigurðsson  made his senior-career debut with Fylkir and went on to play with several other clubs, most notably with IFK Göteborg, with whom he won Allsvenskan (2007), Svenska Supercupen (2008) and Svenska Cupen (2008). He won 97 caps while representing Iceland during 2007-20, which included representing the country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.  

Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson
1
Birthdate: November 22, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
 49 
Jóhann Jóhannsson
(Icelandic Music Composer)
Jóhann Jóhannsson
3
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: September 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland
Died: February 9, 2018

Jóhann Jóhannsson was an Icelandic music composer best remembered for his wide array of work for various medium like theatre, television, and film. He is perhaps best known for his work in the 2014 biographical romantic drama film The Theory of Everything, for which he received an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award. 

Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir
0
Birthdate: July 2, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland