It’s no secret that among Hollywood celebrities there are immigrants from Ukraine. We know, only, perhaps, Mila Jovovich and Mila Kunis. But few people know that in fact, there are many more of them, and even the actors who played world favorites like Rocky and Bond Girl have Ukrainian roots.
Leo DiCaprio never hid that Italian, German and Russian blood flowed in his veins. Leonardo’s grandmother, Elena Smirnova, soon after the revolution, her parents were taken out of Odessa and married in Germany. She lived with her German husband for a short time and emigrated to the USA after a divorce. There she started a love affair with an Italian, who left her pregnant mother Leonardo – Elena. About Leo’s grandmother left the most wonderful memories.
Screenwriter and film director Steven Spielberg knows where Ukraine is on the world map, in particular, Odessa. Both Stephen’s grandfathers were from Ukraine, on the maternal side – from Odessa, on the father’s side – from a small village near Kamenetz-Podolsky. The director has repeatedly said in his interviews that the Russian language was constantly heard in his family as a child, and my grandmother sang Russian lullabies to little Spielberg. The roots of the famous Hollywood director acknowledges and says that for many years his favorite dish is Ukrainian borscht. At the age of 59, Spielberg visited Ukraine for the first time, although he never reached the native lands of Odessa, but, barely getting off the plane, he declared: “Finally I am on my native land!” At the same time, representatives of the Odessa City Hall presented the director with the honorary award “For Merit to the City”.
Actor Sylvester Stallone was born in New York to the family of hairdresser Frank Stallone, who came to the States from Sicily, and astrologer Jacklin Stallone-Leibofish, born in the Jewish family of Odessa. The actor’s great-grandmother was from a wealthy Jewish Leibowitz family who owned several weaving mills and apartment houses in the very center of Odessa. Later, the great-grandmother and her husband emigrated to the United States, but she concealed her background, preferring to say that they were from Russia. In the mid-80s, the mother of Sylvestre Jacqueline decided to find relatives in Ukraine by all means. And Mikhail Gorbachev helped her in this. The Secretary General asked her to compile an individual horoscope for him, she, having a reputation as a good astrologer, agreed and in return asked to arrange her a trip to her homeland. Today, a Ukrainian relative of the Stallone family still lives in Odessa and is successfully engaged in business.
Mila Kunis is familiar to many. Milena Markovna Kunis’s family moved to the United States in 1991 in search of a better life. Father Mark, a mechanical engineer by profession, took on any job in the States: he delivered pizza, worked as a painter – in general, he did everything to make his family worthy, and the children received an education. Time of moving to another country Mila still remembers with horror: “I cried every day, did not understand people, culture, my English was far from perfect.” To tighten the language of the girl enrolled in acting classes. This was a turning point in the life of a future star. Today Mila Kunis is extremely grateful to her parents for this happy start in life, but she perfectly remembers where she came from.
53-year-old American actor David Duchovny recently learned that he is directly related to Ukraine. On the pages of his Twitter, the actor said that all his life he had thought that his ancestors came from Russia. And only after Ukraine, thanks to Euromaidan, became world-famous, and Ukrainians were finally no longer confused with Russians, Dukhovny declared that he now realized that he had become a Ukrainian. The father of the actor is a well-known journalist and writer Amram, an emigrant from Kiev, and his family moved to the United States, fearing Stalin’s repression. David writes on his Twitter: “I grew up thinking that I was Russian, but only now I realized that I’m actually a Ukrainian. It’s never too late to change.”
The namesake of Kunis, actress Mila Jovovich, also knows where Ukraine is. She was born in Kiev, went to kindergarten in Dnepropetrovsk, and at the age of five, with her family, she moved first to London and then to the USA. By nationality, Mila is American, but in her heart she considers herself an American Ukrainian.
Another American actress, known for the films “Drama”, “I would be in heaven.”, she was nominated for an Oscar, she starred in a movie next to George Clooney, and Martin Scorsese invited her to play with Leonardo di Caprio. Behind it all Ukrainian roots, which she emphasizes in almost every interview. Vera was born in the USA, but both parents are Ukrainians. Mother Lubov is a teacher, father Michael is a computer analyst. The family was big – besides Vera there were six more children, each of them had a Ukrainian name: Victor, Stepan, Alexander, Nadya, Larisa and Taisiya.All the Vera’s childhood was shrouded in Ukrainian culture, and she learned English only at the age of 6, when she went to kindergarten. Next – the Ukrainian Catholic School, “Plast” and the circle of Ukrainian folk
In Hollywood there are still many famous people from Ukraine. For example, Winona Ryder, whose roots are in Kharkov, wants to make a film about the Second World War and the lives of their relatives from Ukraine. Olga Kurylenko regularly visits her native Berdyansk, where her mother still lives. And Dustin Hofman leads his family tree, among his relatives there are even Zaporizhzhya Cossacks.
Did you know that someone from the above is actually a Slav?