Welsh

What is that common thread that ties the rich and the famous like Anthony Hopkins, Richard Burton, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Courteney Cox, Dylan Thomas, George Herbert, and Christian Bale together? Well, it is their nationality. True that! From celebrated crooners and iconic movie stars to cutting-edge comedians and fine poets, Wales has produced abundant talent in course of its history. And if you think that is all, read further. You will be surprised to know that eminent personalities like Tom Jones, Roald Dahl, King Arthur and Bertrand Russell too called Wales their home. With such an awe-inspiring lot of talent to its credit, it is surprising how Wales has managed to understate its greatness on the face of the world all along. Let us pay tribute to the greatest Welshmen of all times in their biographies below. Read all about their timeline discover interesting trivia and dig some lesser-known facts about these famous Welsh people here.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta-Jones.
10
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 25, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Swansea

Catherine Zeta-Jones is one of the most popular and successful actresses from Wales. Starting out as a child actress, Catherine went on to cement her place in the American film industry with roles that accentuated her sex appeal. She is the recipient of several awards. Also a well-known humanitarian, she was appointed CBE for her humanitarian and film endeavors.

 2 Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins.
14
Birthdate: December 31, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port Talbot, Glamorgan, Wales

Highly renowned Welsh actor, Anthony Hopkins is best known for his portrayal of a cannibalistic serial killer in the movie The Silence of the Lambs. The portrayal earned him prestigious awards and also a place in the list of best villains of all time. Other notable films of the celebrated character actor include Remains of the Day, Nixon and Amistad.

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 3 Richard Burton

Richard Burton.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pontrhydyfen, Wales
Died: August 5, 1984
Richard Burton is remembered for his tumultuous affair with Elizabeth Taylor, whom he married and divorced twice. The Burton-Taylor duo is also known for their hits Cleopatra and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? A seasoned Shakespearean actor, Burton was known for his baritone voice. He became an alcoholic later.

 4 Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs.
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: November 29, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cardiff
Welsh midfielder Ryan Giggs has had a successful 24-year stint with Manchester United as a senior player and has also served as their interim coach. He has won 13 Premier League titles with the club and was the first player with two consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards.
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 5 Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell.
6
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 18, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trellech, Monmouthshire, Wales
Died: February 2, 1970

Bertrand Russell was a British polymath and Nobel laureate. His work, which is spread across various fields, has had a considerable influence on philosophy, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, linguistics, and logic. Russell is also credited with leading the revolt against idealism in Britain and is regarded as one of the founders of analytic philosophy.

 6 Taron Egerton

Taron Egerton.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1989
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Birkenhead

An award-winning actor, Taron Egerton is popular for playing real-life icons in biopics, such as Eddie the Eagle and Rocketman. Also known for his singing abilities, Egerton has appeared in a couple of music videos as well. Taron Egerton does not shy away from voicing his opinion on sensitive topics like misogyny and is a supporter of the LGBT community.

 7 Shirley Bassey

Shirley Bassey.
2
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tiger Bay

Shirley Bassey is one of the most popular Welsh singers of all time. Blessed with an expressive voice, Shirley Bassey is renowned for recording the theme songs of popular James Bond movies, such as Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever, and Goldfinger. In 2000, she was appointed a DBE for services to performing arts.

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 8 Luke Evans

Luke Evans.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 15, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pontypool, Wales

Luke Evans is one of the most successful and popular actors from Wales. Also a decent singer, he released his debut studio album, At Last, in 2019; he studied music under the tutelage of an established singing coach named Louise Ryan. Since he is openly gay, Luke Evans serves as an inspiration to the gay community around the world.

 9 Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas.
3
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Poet & Writer
Birthdate: October 27, 1914
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Swansea
Died: November 9, 1953

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh writer and poet who published popular poems, such as Do not go gentle into that good night, which was popularized in the 2014 movie, Interstellar, where Michael Caine's character recites the poem throughout the film. Dylan Thomas achieved tremendous popularity during his lifetime and remains popular after his untimely death at the age of 39.

 10 Terry Jones

Terry Jones
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, Wales
Died: January 21, 2020
Starting his career as a comedy writer, actor-director Terry Jones later soared to fame as part of the Monty Python comedy team. An avid historian, too, he wrote several books and presented TV documentaries on the topic. In his later years, the BAFTA Cymru award winner struggled with dementia. 

 11 Timothy Dalton

Timothy Dalton
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 21, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, Wales

 12 John Rhys-Davies

John Rhys-Davies.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 5, 1944
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Salisbury, United Kingdom

John Rhys-Davies is best known as Gimli and the voice of Treebeard from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He is also known for voicing Cassim in Aladdin and the King of Thieves. His other notable projects include Shōgun, Sliders, and the James Bond film The Living Daylights.

 13 David Lloyd George

David Lloyd George.
5
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Former Chancellor of the Exchequer
Birthdate: January 17, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chorlton-on-Medlock
Died: March 26, 1945
David Lloyd George, or the 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, was the British prime minister from 1916 to 1922 and the first Welsh to hold the position. Though he was a Liberal, he was initially supported by the Conservatives. He was a key figure in the Paris Peace Conference.

 14 Jonathan Pryce

Jonathan Pryce.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 1, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Carmel, Flintshire

Jonathan Pryce is one of the most popular Welsh actors of all time. Renowned for his versatility, Pryce has contributed immensely across all the three major acting mediums: movies, television and theatre. Best known for his work in theatre, Pryce is a two-time winner of the prestigious Tony Award. In the 2009 Birthday Honours, Jonathan Pryce was appointed a CBE for services to drama.

 15 Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: December 26, 1990
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Caerphilly, Gwent, Wales

 16 Bonnie Tyler

Bonnie Tyler
3
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Skewen, Neath, Wales

 17 Perdita Weeks

Perdita Weeks.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 25, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cardiff, United Kingdom

British actress Perdita Weeks is known for her role in the CBS reboot series Magnum P.I. An alumnus of the Courtauld Institute of Art, she always knew she wanted to be an actress. She began acting as a child and her passion for the profession only intensified with time. She primarily acts on TV and a done a few films.

 18 Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Association football manager
Birthdate: November 1, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wrexham, Wales

 19 Ioan Gruffudd

Ioan Gruffudd.
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 6, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Llwydcoed, Aberdare, Wales

Ioan Gruffudd is a Welsh actor known for playing important roles in popular American films, such as 102 Dalmatians, Black Hawk Down, and San Andreas. An accomplished oboist and singer during his teenage years, Ioan Gruffudd gave up music in order to focus on his career as an actor.

 20 Aneurin Barnard

Aneurin Barnard.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ogwr, Mid Glamorgan, Wales, UK
Born to a factory worker and a coal miner, Aneurin Barnard began gaining recognition with roles in series such as Jacob's Ladder. His performance as Melchior Gabor in the musical Spring Awakening won him the Laurence Olivier Award. His portrayal of Richard III in The White Queen was also appreciated.

 21 Tom Cullen

Tom Cullen.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 17, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Aberystwyth, United Kingdom
Thomas Cullen soared to fame with his role in the series Downton Abbey. Fans also loved him as Sir Landry in the series Knightfall. He delivered an award-winning debut performance in the film Weekend. He co-founded the company Undeb Theatre and has also directed the film Pink Wall.

 22 Charlotte Church

Charlotte Church.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 21, 1986
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales

Charlotte Church is a Welsh actress, singer-songwriter, political activist, and television presenter. She achieved popularity after hosting her own chat show for Channel 4, The Charlotte Church Show. As a recording artist, Church has won many awards, including a Hollywood Reporters Young Star Award and Classical BRIT Award. She has also published an autobiography named Voice of an Angel.  

 23 Andy Whitfield

Andy Whitfield.
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Amlwch, United Kingdom
Died: September 11, 2011

Welsh actor, Andy Whitfield, gained international fame for his leading role in the Starz television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. A qualified engineer, he quit his corporate job to act in TV shows. He became popular within a few years and began acting in films as well. Tragically, he became ill with cancer and died at the age of 39. 

 24 Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins
0
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 29, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Neath, Glamorgan, Wales, UK

 25 Ruth Jones

Ruth Jones
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bridgend, Wales, UK

 26 Alex Jones

Alex Jones
2
Famous As: Television presenter
Birthdate: March 18, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ammanford, Carmarthen, Wales, UK

 27 Ray Milland

Ray Milland.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 3, 1907
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Neath, Glamorgan, Wales
Died: March 10, 1986

Welsh-American actor-director Ray Milland is best remembered for his Oscar-winning role of Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend. Fans also loved him in films such as Dial M for Murder and The Jungle Princess. He was previously part of the British Army’s Household Cavalry, as a marksman, pilot, and horseman.

 28 Gwilym Lee

Gwilym Lee
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 24, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 29 Craig Roberts

Craig Roberts
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 21, 1991
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bargoed, Wales

 30 Ian Whyte

Ian Whyte
1
Famous As: actor
Birthdate: September 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bangor

 31 Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: July 13, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cardiff

 32 Owain Yeoman

Owain Yeoman.
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chepstow
Welsh actor Owain Yeoman is best known as Wayne Rigsby from The Mentalist, as Steven Daedalus from Kitchen Confidential, and as Lucas Dalton from The Nine. He has also appeared in films such as Troy and American Sniper. He is a supporter of PETA’s campaign for vegetarianism.

 33 Roger Rees

Roger Rees
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 5, 1944
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Aberystwyth, Wales, UK
Died: July 10, 2015

 34 Ruth Ellis

Ruth Ellis
0
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: October 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rhyl, Flintshire, Wales, UK
Died: July 13, 1955

 35 Eve Myles

Eve Myles
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 8, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ystradgynlais, Wales

 36 Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan.
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Privateer, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica
Birthdate: January 24, 1635
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Llanrumney, Glamorgan
Died: August 25, 1688

Henry Morgan was a Welsh privateer who later served as lieutenant governor of Jamaica. He is best remembered for raiding settlements on the Spanish Main. From the wealth acquired through his raids, Morgan became a plantation owner, buying three large sugar plantations in the Caribbean. His life and career inspired several films, such as Captain Blood and Morgan, the Pirate.

 37 Erin Richards

Erin Richards
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 17, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Penarth, Wales, UK

 38 Paul Whitehouse

Paul Whitehouse
1
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 17, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stanleytown, Wales

 39 Henry Morton Stanley

Henry Morton Stanley.
2
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: January 28, 1841
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Denbigh
Died: May 10, 1904

Henry Morton Stanley was a Welsh-American explorer, journalist, colonial administrator, soldier, politician, and author. He is remembered for his exploration of central Africa and his search for the source of the River Nile. Stanley received an honorary title of knighthood in 1899. His life and career inspired the 1939 movie Stanley and Livingstone, where Stanley was played by Spencer Tracy.

 40 Desmond Llewelyn

Desmond Llewelyn.
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 12, 1914
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Died: December 19, 1999

Welsh actor, Desmond Llewelyn, is best known for his role as Q in many James Bond films over a span of four decades. Even though he originally wanted to be a minister, his interest shifted to acting while in high school. He served in the army during World War II and resumed his acting career afterward. 

 41 Sian Phillips

Sian Phillips.
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, United Kingdom

Sian Phillips is a respected Welsh actress whose achievements over the course of her career spanning over seven decades were honored with a Radio Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 BBC Audio Drama Awards. Sian Phillips, who has won prestigious awards, such as BAFTA TV Award, was appointed DBE during the New Year Honours in 2016.

 42 Frederick Louis, prince of Wales

Frederick Louis, prince of Wales
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Prince
Birthdate: February 1, 1707
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: March 31, 1751

 43 Robert Owen

Robert Owen.
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: May 14, 1771
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales
Died: November 17, 1858
While working as an apprentice to a clothes manufacturer, Robert Owen often spent hours reading at his employer’s library. He later explored the textile industry and led a Manchester firm. Remembered as a pioneer of the co-operative movement and utopian socialism, he improved the working conditions of factory workers.

 44 Aneurin Bevan

Aneurin Bevan.
3
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Former Secretary of State for Health
Birthdate: November 15, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tredegar, Wales
Died: July 6, 1960

Born into a working-class family, Aneurin Bevan quit school at 13 to start working at a colliery. He later won a scholarship to study in London and rose to become a Labour MP. He led the ministries of labor and health, and the left-wing of the Labour Party, the Bevanites.

 45 Marina Diamandis

Marina Diamandis.
1
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 10, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brynmawr
Welsh singer Marina Diamandis initially soared to fame as Marina and the Diamonds. Though she studied classic composition in university, she dropped out later to create her own music. She created the character Electra Heart to promote her album of the same name. She claims she is synesthetic.

 46 Tony Pulis

Tony Pulis.
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: January 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newport, United Kingdom

Tony Pulis is a Welsh former football player who played for teams like Bristol Rovers, AFC Bournemouth, and Newport County in a career that spanned 17 years. Pulis is better known for his career as a football manager, for which he was made an inductee to the LMA Hall of Fame.

 47 Bartholomew Roberts

Bartholomew Roberts
2
Listed In: Criminals
Famous As: Pirate
Birthdate: May 17, 1682
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Puncheston, United Kingdom
Died: February 10, 1722

 48 Owain Glyndŵr

Owain Glyndŵr.
2
Famous As: Defender
Birthdate: 1349 AD
Birthplace: Wales
Died: 1416 AD

Legendary Welsh hero Owain Glyndŵr was part of the last major Welsh attempt at overthrowing the English reign. With the help of local rebels, he declared himself the prince of Wales and even set up a parliament, ignoring Henry IV’s rule. He eventually disappeared and was presumed dead.

 49 Gethin Jones

Gethin Jones
0
Birthdate: 0000 AD

 50 Aimee-Ffion Edwards

Aimee-Ffion Edwards.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 21, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newport, United Kingdom

Initially aspiring to be a classical singer, Aimee-Ffion Edwards had her first stint with showbiz on the show Wawffactor. As a teenager, she was the only girl in a rugby team. She is equally at ease playing a working-class mother in The Left Behind and a gypsy in Peaky Blinders.