Famous people of Czech/Slovak origin??

Discussion in 'Culture' started by ta, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. ta

    ta Well-Known Member


    I am trying to put together (for my blog) a list of famous people that have Czech/Slovak origins. So far I came up with the obvious ones like Milos Forman, Kundera, Jason Varitek, Angelina Jolie (yes! Her father is half Czech)......I would REALLY appretiate your input...
    Anyone can add to the list?? That would be great!


  2. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    100% czechs: Václav Havel (politician, writer), Martina Navrátilová, Ivan Lendl (tennis), Petra Němcová (top model), Taťána Kuchařová (miss world 2006), Jaromír Jágr, Dominik Hašek (ice-hockey), Pavel Nedvěd (soccer), Ivana Trump (model, first wife ... you know who is Trump, don't you?), Emil Zátopek (athlete)

    czech origins: Madeleine Allbright (politician), Martina Hingis (tennis)

    Those "(notes)" are just for sure, who seems to be "famous" in here does not really must be well known enywhere else.

    Please, let us know who you knew (from those above) is (at least a little) czech :)

    So those are people you really might know, you can find many others, as usually, in wikipedia.

    Oh, one more thing, I've never heard about Jason Varitek, and never heard about Angelina Jolie being 25% czech either.
  3. jen

    jen Well-Known Member

    Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's

    Contact lenses were invented by a Czech (but I can't remember his name)
  4. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

    Professor Otto Wichterle

    Nobel prize:
    Jaroslav Heyrovský (polarography)
    Jaroslav Seifert (literature)
  5. ta

    ta Well-Known Member

    thanks so much for your quick answers you guys! I am sorry I should have been more clear: I am looking for Czechs/Slovaks (100% or just partial Czechs) that are living abroad. I would also like to inlcude those that are not among us anymore, like Ray Kroc.

    I found out about Angelina Jolie being partially Czech via the Czech newspapers (ceskenoviny.cz) when she was shooting her movie in PRague last year. Plus, it adds up quite nicely: what other women are that drop-down beautiful but the ones with Czech blood?? :wink:
    I also verified that info with wikipedia.

    You know who else is partially Czech?? Chloe O'Brian from 24!! Her real last name is Rajskub. And I am finding more and more of these "undercover" Czechs every day...it will be an interesting post.
    Keep it comin'!!
  6. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    Almost all of them are living abroad :).

    I did not know about it either. But what is funny, I saw her in two movies this week :), (Little Miss Sunshine; Hey dude, where is my car). World is small.
  7. Irena M

    Irena M Well-Known Member

    Martina Navratilova?
  8. ta

    ta Well-Known Member

    So do Hasek and Nedved live abroad as well?? I imagine if they do it's probably the US, right??

    *got Navratilova thanks
    *Saw miss Sunshine - great movie !!
  9. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    Hašek plays in NHL, so probably he stays with his team there.

    Nedvěd plays in Italy, so he probably stays there.

    But I am not expert in VIP's personal life :)
  10. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member

    Pavlína Pořízková
    Sissy Spacek
    Ric Ocasek (not sure?)
    Herbert Lom
    Jan Hammer
    Rudolf Firkusny
    Rudolf Friml
    Rafael Kubelík
    Anton Cermak
    Sonia Cervena
  11. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member


    are you including rusyns??? it was a part of czechoslovakia prior to wwii - if yes, then andy warhol and paul plishka (opera singer)
  12. ta

    ta Well-Known Member

    I have learned a lot from the last post!!! I had to google most of those names - I had so much fun finding out who they are/were!
    Except I could not figure out who Sonia Cervena was. The only thing that kept coming up on the internet was "toilet water" :) Can anyone enlighten me?

    Thanks again!
  13. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member

    i guess i sort of dated myself with my last post :D i also listen to classical music and opera a lot

    the last one Soňa Červená - opera singer - although i think she may have returned to the Cszech Rep.? i actually met her once when i was a wee bit younger (sometime in the 1970s) and she was singing in Carmen with the san francisco opera...

    found this bit:

    Soňa Červená
    She was born and studied in Prague and accepted her first opera engagement in Brno. Since 1954 she was a guest of the Theatre of Estates in the role of Cherubino and in the Smetana's Theatre she twice performed as Carmen. In 1958 she accepted an engagement in Berlin, first in Unter den Linden and later, in 1962, in Deutsche Oper. She exerted the experience of the past seven operatic years in Brno in new roles, especially in Monteverdi, Haendel, and Gluck, for whose Orfeo she was in 1961 decorated with the title chamber singer. Engagements inWestern Berlin, Frankfurt and San Francisco brought along roles, taken from the most demanding: Azucena, Ulrika, Amneris, Brangäna, Herodias and Klytaimnestra and of course more then 150 performances of her famous Carmen. Concurrently, Soňa Červená was a guest in numerous other roles all over Western Europe - Barcelona, Milano, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Glyndebourne, and from Los Angeles to Chicago in America. Partners of Soňa Červená have been for example Mario del Monaco, Franco Corelli, Renata Tebaldi, and Birgit Nilsson. She has cooperated with leading conductors Herbert von Karajan and Rafael Kubelík and with outstanding stage directors Walter Felsenstein, Wieland Wagner and David Pountney. Systematic interest in the 20th century work led her to more frequent interpretation of Berg, Stravinsky, Britten, Henze, Menotti, Nono, and Ligeti. Concurrently, she never stopped promoting Janáček - she sang Buryjovka, Kabanicha and Zefka in San Francisco, Wexford, York, Frankfurt, Lisabon, Trevir, Metach, Munich, Edinburg, Geneva, Bonn, Darmstadt, Brussels, Paris, and Berlin. For the opera house in Frankfurt and the Viennese Universal Edition she translated The Makropoulos Case into German. After as many as 2025 performances in 112 opera roles, being honoured for the second time as the chamber singer, she decided to leave the operatic stage. Even though she was offered a chair of operatic acting in Tokio, she preferred the invitation of the renowned drama theatre Thalia in Hamburg where she cooperated with stage director Robert Wilson and composers Tom Waits and Lou Reed. In this new engagement she also performed in New York, Hong Kong, and Rio de Janeiro. She has been performing in the Hamburg Thalia Theatre up to the present.
  14. ta

    ta Well-Known Member


    I love classical music too :wink:

    Sona is on the list now
    Plishka's roots come - unfortunatelly - from Ukraine :((

  15. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member

    with mr. plishka, i did ask if you were including rusyns - technically, his family did come from czechoslovakia - so i wasn't sure if you were including that group or not - things get confusing as borders are redrawn :(
  16. ta

    ta Well-Known Member

    Hi Meluzina,

    I don't think I am going to include the bordering regions, just to keep it "simple" (after all, I don't want any angry Russians knocking on my door because I did put "their" mr. Plishka on the list... :wink: )

    Thank you all for your help! I will be sure to mention you in my post (like what famous people do when they receive their Oscars... 8) )
  17. ta

    ta Well-Known Member

    Hi to all,

    and thank you so much for helping me create the list of famous Czechs/Slovaks living abroad! I have finally finished it so if you get a chance you can check it out on my Czechmate diary website which is listed bellow (as my signature).

  18. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    What Meluzina wanted to say is, that up to 1938, Czechoslovakia map looked like this:


    And Rusín isn't Russian, but Ruthenian.

    And at last, that region is now Ukraina, not Russia, so don't say it, if you don't want angry Ukrainians knocking on your door :)
  19. petri

    petri Well-Known Member

    Thanks Eso for this interesting map! Especially Slovakia seemed to be quite different in shape then (less in the southern direction and more in eastern direction).
  20. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    I guess Slovakia is quite same in shape as then :)

    The "more in eastern direction" part is not Slovakia, but Ruthenia (Subcarpathia, Transcarpathian Ukraine,...).



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