15 Celebrities you didn’t know that are of Croatian heritage

Being successful in the entertainment industry takes only a bit of luck but a ton of hard work and charm. Some of the trendy names in the show business have their roots coming from Croatia, and that would explain the hard work and charm part of that. For some of them you may assume they might have Croatian origin by their surname, but what about the others?
Find out who are 15 celebrities that you probably didn’t know were of Croatian heritage!


Croatian heritage

John Malkovich- no need to present this famous actor who won several awards and was nominated for the Academy Awards. His grandparents come from a place called Ozalj in middle Croatia

Eric Bana- anyone heard of Black Hawk down or Hulk? This handsome Australian is a son of a Croatian immigrant who came to Australia in the aftermath of World War II.

Werner Herzog- a legend of German and world cinema. This half-Croatian (on his maternal side) is famous for his unique and dreamy movies and serves as an inspiration to many directors, actors, and screenwriters of the new generation.

Joe Manganiello – a perfect mix of Croatian and Italian parents, Joe Manganiello proved himself as an actor starring in movies like the Spider-Man trilogy and shows like ER, One Tree Hill, True Blood, and How I Met Your Mother plus his obvious Mediterranean charms made him a proud husband of one of the sexiest woman today, Sofia Vergara!



Jenna Elfman- funny and memorable role of Dharma in the hit show Dharma and Greg belongs to Jenna Elfman, granddaughter of a Croatian who emigrated from the town of Karlovac near Zagreb.

Krist Novoselic- rock history wouldn’t be the same if there wasn’t Nirvana, a cult grunge rock band that changed the rules in the music industry. And Nirvana wouldn’t be Nirvana without Krist Novoselic, a native Croatian from both sides of the family who played the bass in the band and spent a part of his life living in Zadar.

Lorde- this young musician hit the top Billboard charts with her hits such as Royals and Tennis court which you all probably already know, but did you know that her real name is Ella Yelich O’Connor and not only that she is half-Croatian but she also recently gained Croatian citizenship.

Miljenko Grgić Photo credit by Grgič winery
Miljenko Grgić, Photo credit by Grgič winery


Tony Robbins- an entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist, Tony Robbins is an American star of self-help books, seminars, etc. Hi is Croatian by both sides of his family.

Judah Friedlander- fans of the popular show 30 Rock know who Judah is as well as his character Frank Rossitano, but we doubt all of them know that he is actually of Croatian ancestry originating from his mother’s side.

Oscar winners, singers, famous actress, and actors

Rick Rossovich-   star of the hit movie Top Gun starring as Slider and also starring in The Terminator and Navy SEALs, and just like Joe Manganiello, he is a charming Moscenicka Draga.

Tony Butala- Lead singer of the vocal group The Lettermen who had 11 gold records and five Grammy nominations was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania and also is of Croatian heritage.

Ivana Miličević – American actress and model that is most remembered from the show Banshee were initially from Croatia when her family moved from there to the US over 20 years ago.

Tomo Miličević- guitarist of the favorite band 30 seconds to Mars (with Jared Leto as frontman) is the brother of Ivana Milicevic and also of Croatian heritage

Guy Mitchell – a musician that sold 44 million records and sang hits like Singing the Blues and Heartaches by the number, was a son of Croatian immigrants.

Johnny Mercer- co-founder of Capitol Records and a four-time Oscar winner for Best Original Song has Croatian heritage from his mother’s side coming from the island of Lastovo.

Michael Buble Crazy Love Tour by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Michael Buble Crazy Love Tour by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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