Polish roots reached every part of the world. You can find fabulous, talented people whose families come from Poland or who were born in Poland in every single part of the world. Here is a short list of people you perhaps didn’t know that have Polish roots or were born in Poland:
1. Jan A.P. Kaczmarek – musician and composer
Although his surname is obviously Polish, many people believe that this talented composer and an author of the soundtrack to the movie Finding Neverland comes from the USA. It is not true and although this fabulous composer lives in the USA for many years, he had never broken up with Poland. He still visits Kraków very often.
2. Gwyneth Paltrow – actress
Perhaps the most surprising person on this list. Most of the people who are familiar with her biography are aware that she has Jewish roots. However, most of the people don’t know that her paternal relatives were immigrants from Belarus and Poland and the grandfather’s surname was “Paltrowicz”. It sounds perfectly Polish and as far as she speaks about her roots, it seems that Gwyneth is proud to have Slavic blood in her veins.
3. Meg Ryan – actress
Paltrow isn’t the only famous blonde actress whose roots are Polish. Meg Ryan, née Hyra, well known of the cutest romantic movies in the history of the cinema also has Polish genes. Apart from Polish roots, she has also Irish and German blood, but during the interviews with Polish journalists, she always confesses that her roots were very interesting to her since the youngest years. Her father, Harry Hyra, brought to her family home memories of Polish cuisine and traditions.
4. Ray Manzarek – keyboardist and co-founder of The Doors
Manzarek is an American musician who admitted that he has strong Polish family roots and he is familiar with the Polish culture. He visited Poland for a few times and according to media, he enjoys Polish culture and cuisine. Manzarek is famous as a co-founder of famous group The Doors. Although he didn’t live in Poland during the times of the greatest fame of The Doors, his music strongly influenced young generation of people who lived during the difficult times of socialism in Poland.
5. John Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora
Sometimes you might hear complainings from your Polish friends who believe that Polish rock singers don’t make an international career. If you want to cheer them up, please remind them that two charismatic musicians of the famous band Bon Jovi have Polish roots. Every time they come to Poland, they are truly interested in their roots trying to explore more details. John is well known as a person who always tries to speak Polish. They always surprise the fans knowing about the country of their ancestors much more than expected.
6. Max Factor
The creator of one of the most famous cosmetic brands of the world, Max Factor, was born in Zduńska Wola in 1877. His real name was Maksymilian Faktorowicz. He largely developed the modern cosmetics industry in the United States and popularised the term “make-up” in noun form based on the verb. As a businessman, beautician, and inventor he created at least a few signature looks. Famous Clara Bow’s bob, Jean Harlow’s platinum hair and Lucille Ball’s false lashes and red curls were his inventions.
7. Martha Stewart
Famous TV star whose advice for housewives made her rich and famous has Polish roots. Before she became a famous TV host, she was known as Marta Kostyra. She started her career from being a model. She is well known as a host of two long-running syndicated television programs, Martha, which ran from 2005 to 2012, and Martha Stewart Living, which ran from 1993 to 2005. Apart from this, she is a writer and businesswoman. She is an icon of DIY in the USA, but she often says that many things she shares with her viewers she learned from her Polish family.