List of Hungarian Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of notable Hungarian Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.

Many Hungarians emigrated to the United States during the Second World War and after the Soviet invasion in 1956 during Operation Safe Haven.


Actors, performers, and comedians[edit]

  • Don Adams - (1923–2005) born Donald James Yarmy in New York. His father was of Hungarian descent. Best known for the television show Get Smart.
  • Morey Amsterdam - (1908-1996) born Moritz Amsterdam to Austro-Hungarian parents in Chicago, was an American comedy writer, actor and comedian. Best noted for his role as Buddy Sorrell on The Dick Van Dyke Show from 1961 to 1966.
  • Eszter Bálint - (1966-) born in Budapest is an accomplished musician and actress. She appeared in several films including Stranger Than Paradise (1984) directed by Jim Jarmusch and Shadows and Fog (1991) directed by Woody Allen. She is the daughter of avant garde playwright Stephan Bálint.
  • Vilma Bánky - (1901-1991) born Koncsics Vilma in Budapest. The silent film actor appeared opposite Rudolph Valentino in The Eagle (1925) and The Son of the Sheik (1926). She also appeared in several films co starring Ronald Colman.
  • Drew Barrymore - mother is a Hungarian immigrant.[1][2]
  • Judith Barsi - daughter of Hungarian parents
  • Oscar Beregi Jr. - (1918-1976) Hungarian-born film and television actor. Son of actor Oscar Beregi Sr.
  • Mayim Bialik
  • Alex Borstein
  • Ferike Boros - (1873-1951) born in Nagyvárad, Austria-Hungary, was a stage and movie actress with a long career on Broadway from 1909 through 1927. She went to Hollywood in 1930, acting in character roles for several studios.
  • Fanny Brice - (1891-1951) born Fania Borach in Manhattan to a Hungarian mother. A celebrated comedienne, singer, actor and radio personality, she was best known as the creator and star of the top-rated radio comedy series The Baby Snooks Show. The stage and film musical Funny Girl (1964) and 1968) both starring Barbra Streisand was based on her life.
  • Adrien Brody - (1973-) Academy Award Best Actor winner for The Pianist (2002). His mother is the noted Hungarian born photographer Sylvia Plachy.
  • Agnes Bruckner
  • Louis C.K. - Comedian
  • Jamie Lee Curtis - (1959-) actor and daughter of actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Her paternal grandparents were Hungarian Immigrants.
  • Tony Curtis - (1925-2010) born Bernard Schwartz in New York. Father of actor Jamie Lee Curtis. Best known for Sweet Smell of Success (1957), The Defiant Ones (1958), and the comedy Some Like It Hot (1959). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the last two films.
  • Matthew Daddario - actor, his mother has Hungarian/Slovak, German, and English ancestry.
  • Alexandra Daddario - actress, her mother has Hungarian/Slovak, German, and English ancestry.
  • Bill Dana - (1924-2017) born William Szathmáry to Hungarian immigrant parents. An early television performing comedian and comedy writer appearing regularly on the Steve Allen Show. He had his own NBC sitcom, The Bill Dana Show (1963–1965).
  • Rodney Dangerfield[3]
  • Lili Darvas - (1902-1974) born in Budapest was an actress noted for her stage work in Europe and the United States and, later in her career, in films and on television. She was married to playwright Ferenc Molnár.
  • Dolly Sisters - Rosie Dolly (1892-1970) born Rózsika Deutsch and Jenny Dolly born Janka Deutsch (1892-1941). Vaudeville dancer identical twin sisters. Famous stage performers in the 1920s.
  • Marta Eggerth - (1912- 2013) born in Budapest. She was a Hungarian actress and singer from "The Silver Age of Operetta". Many of the 20th century's most famous operetta composers, including Franz Lehár, Fritz Kreisler, Robert Stolz, Oscar Straus, and Paul Abraham, composed works especially for her.
  • Peter Falk - (1927-2011) born in New York of Hungarian ancestry on his mother's side. This multi Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner is best known for his role as Lt. Columbo which ran for several decades. There is a statue of Falk in his role as Columbo in Budapest.
  • Sherilyn Fenn
  • Eva Gabor - (1919-1995) born Gábor Éva in Budapest she was an actress, businesswoman, singer, and socialite. Best known for her role as Lisa Douglas, the wife of Eddie Albert's character, Oliver Wendell Douglas, on the television sitcom Green Acres, 1965–1971.
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor - (1917-2016) born Gábor Sári in Budapest she was an actress and socialite. She is noted for her beauty, wit and nine marriages. Zsa Zsa was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. One of her few leading film roles was in the John Huston-directed film, Moulin Rouge (1952). Her sisters were actresses Eva Gabor and Magda Gabor.
  • Steven Geray - (1904-1973) born István Gyergyay. The prolific Film Noir character actor appeared in over 100 noted films including Spellbound (1945), Gilda (1946), All About Eve (1950), Affair in Trinidad (1952), etc.
  • Olga Grey - (1896-1973) born Anna Zacsek in New York to Hungarian parents was a silent film actor appearing in Birth of a Nation (1915) her first film, Intolerance (1916) Macbeth (1916) among other films.
  • Mariska Hargitay - (1964-) born Mariska Magdolna Hargitay in Santa Monica. Her parents were actor Jayne Mansfield and body bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay. She is best known for her role as New York Police Captain Olivia Benson on the long running NBC drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
  • Shawn Hatosy
  • Goldie Hawn - maternal grandparents were Hungarian Jews
  • Paul Henreid - (1908-1992) born in Trieste, Austro-Hungary. The actor is best remembered for two films: Casablanca and Now, Voyager, both released between 1942 and 1943.
  • Kate Hudson - two maternal great-grandparents were Hungarian Jews
  • Robert Hegyes
  • Ina Balin - Hungarian mother
  • Elizabeth Kaitan
  • Katalin Karády - (1910-1990) born in Budapest as Katalin Mária Kanczler was a Hungarian actress and noted singer. She received the posthumous Righteous medal from the Yad Vashem Institute for rescuing a number of Hungarian Jews. She left Hungary in 1952 and in 1968 she finally received a visa to the US after Ted and Robert Kennedy intervened on her behalf.
  • Robert Karvelas - cousin of Don Adams and Dick Yarney
  • Chris Kattan
  • Natalie Kingston - (1905-1992) born Natalia Ringstromin, was an American actor during the silent and early talkie film era and worked with Mack Sennett, Harry Langdon and others. She was granddaughter of Agoston Haraszthy, founder of California's wine industry.
  • Robert Klein - (1942-) noted comedian and actor. Both sets of grandparents were Hungarian. Part of The Second City comedy improv theater, he hosted Saturday Night Live several times in the 1970s and had his own show, Robert Klein Time on USA network 1986–1988. He appeared in several films and released numerous comedy albums.
  • Charles Korvin - (1907-1998) born Géza Korvin Kárpáthy. Noted Hungarian-American film noir actor, stage and television actor, cinematographer and still film photographer.
  • Ernie Kovacs - (1919-1962) American comedian, actor, writer and early television innovator. His father was a Hungarian immigrant. Known for his wacky characters on the Ernie Kovacs Show for the DuMont Television Network. His best known film roles were in Bell, Book and Candle (1958), Our Man in Havana (1959), and Strangers When We Meet (1960).
  • David Krumholtz - (1978-) born in Queens, New York. He is an actor whose mother is a Hungarian 1956 refugee.
  • Lisa Kudrow - ancestors emigrated from Hungary.
  • Hedy Lamarr - (1914-2000) born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria. Her mother was Hungarian. She was an actor, inventor, and film producer who gained world recognition in Ecstasy (1933). With her friend, George Antheil she created a frequency-hopping signal that couldn't be tracked or jammed. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, an updated version of their design was installed on Navy ships.
  • Peter Lorre - (1904-1964) born László Löwenstein. Famous character actor best remembered for Fritz Lang's M (1931), Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1934, John Huston's The Maltese Falcon, 1941 and Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca, 1942
  • Jon Lovitz
  • Bela Lugosi - (1882-1956) born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó. Hollywood actor known most notably for portraying Count Dracula.
  • Paul Lukas - (1894-1971) born Pál Lukács in Budapest. A suave actor with a successful stage and film career in Hungary, Germany, and Austria, where he worked with Max Reinhardt. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor in the film Watch on the Rhine, 1943.
  • Ali MacGraw =maternal grandparents were of Hungarian descent
  • Ilona Massey - (1920-1974) born Hajmássy Ilona in Budapest. A stage, screen and radio actor, she acted in three films with Nelson Eddy including Rosalie 1937, and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, 1943, as Baroness Frankenstein.
  • Paul Newman - father was of Hungarian and Polish Jewish descent, maternal grandparents were Slovaks from Hungary.
  • Marisol Nichols
  • Elsa Pataky - her mother is a publicist of Hungarian descent from Transylvania.
  • Michael Pataki
  • Joe Penner - (1904-1941) born Pintér József in Nagybecskerek, Austria- Hungary, (now Zrenjanin, Serbia). He was a noted 1930s-era vaudeville, radio and film comedian.
  • Joaquin Phoenix - maternal grandmother was of Hungarian descent
  • River Phoenix - maternal grandmother was of Hungarian descent
  • Rain Phoenix - maternal grandmother was of Hungarian descent
  • Summer Phoenix - maternal grandmother was of Hungarian descent
  • Liberty Phoenix - maternal grandmother was of Hungarian descent
  • John Paul Pitoc - father is an immigrant of Hungarian descent
  • Ted Raimi - Jewish American actor, Xena, Warrior Princess; ancestors came from Russia and Hungary
  • Soupy Sales - (1926-2009) born Milton Supman in Franklinton, North Carolina. His father was a Hungarian immigrant. Sales was a comedian in radio, television and film. Noted for his pranks and antics.
  • Jerry Seinfeld - (1954-) born Jerome Allen Seinfeld in Brooklyn, New York. Comedian noted for his eponymous television sitcom Seinfeld (1989-1998). His father was of Hungarian descent.
  • William Shatner - Canadian-American actor, of Hungarian descent
  • Shaun Sipos
  • Bobbi Starr - pornographic actress
  • Szőke (S. Z.) Szakáll - (1888-1955) born Jakab Grünwald in Budapest. Nicknamed “Cuddles”, he was already a noted cabaret performer and film actor in Europe, and later became a staple of Hollywood's Golden Age productions after emigrating to the US.
  • Cynthia Szigeti - comic actress and comic teacher
  • Jessica Szohr - paternal grandfather was of Hungarian descent
  • Jeffrey M. Tambor - (1944-) American actor and comedian of Hungarian ancestry. A winner of two Emmy awards. Appeared in dozens of films and television series. Most noted for his role in Transparent as transgender divorced parent Maura Pfefferman.
  • Victor Varconi - (1891-1976) born Várkonyi Mihály in Kisvárda, Austria-Hungary. Hungarian silent film actor later relocated to Hollywood. He was in The King of Kings (1927), and later in numerous roles as a character actor.
  • Johnny Weissmuller - (1904-1984) born János Weissmüller in Szabadfalva, Austria Hungary, now a district of Timisoara, Romania. He was a competition swimmer, water polo player and actor, known for playing Tarzan in a dozen films of the 1930s and 1940s and for having one of the best competitive swimming records of the 20th century.
  • Cornel Wilde - (1912-1989) born Kornél Lajos Weisz, he was a Hungarian-American actor and film director. Noted for his Film Noir leading roles.

Filmmakers, Cinematographers, Playwrights[edit]

Fine Artists and Photographers[edit]

  • John Albok - (1894–1982) Hungarian born photographer who immigrated to the US and documented street scenes in New York City during the Great Depression and later.
  • Robert Capa - (1913-1954) born Endre Ernő Friedmann in Budapest, photographer and a founder of Magnum Photos, brother of Cornell Capa.
  • Cornell Capa - (1918-2008) born Kornél Friedmann in Budapest, founder of the International Center of Photography in New York, brother of Robert Capa.
  • Elmyr de Hory - (1906-1976) born Elemér Albert Hoffmann. Noted artist and art forger. The 1977 Orson Welles documentary F For Fake is about de Hory.
  • Andre de Dienes - (1913-1985) born Andor György Ikafalvi-Dienes in Torja, Hungary, today Turia, Romania. Noted photographer of Marilyn Monroe, nudes, fashion and Native American culture.
  • Sari Dienes - (1898-1992) born as Sarolta Maria Anna Chylinska in Debreczen, Austria-Hungary, today Debrecen, Hungary was a prolific fine artist who studied in Paris with Fernand Léger. She was a significant influence on Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns and a pioneer in the Art of Assemblage.
  • Arnold Eagle - (1909-1992) born in Budapest. Noted New York City documentary photographer, Photo League early member and FSA photographer.
  • Pál Fried - (1993-1976) born in Budapest. He was a Hungarian-American artist best known for his eroticized paintings of female dancers and nudes.
  • Hugo Gellért - (1892-1985) born Hugó Grünbaum in Budapest was an illustrator and muralist. He was a member of the Communist Party of America and created work for political activism in the 1920s and 1930s. In the US his works were featured prominently in The Masses, The Liberator The New Masses, later he was at The New Yorker and was on staff at the New York Times.
  • Milton Glaser - (1929-2020) born in New York to Hungarian parents. He was a graphic designer and a co-founder of Push Pin Studios. His designs include the I Love New York logo, and the Bob Dylan poster.
  • Lajos (Louis) Jambor - post-impressionism painter, illustrator, muralist
  • Tibor Kálmán - (1949-1999) born in Budapest. Graphic designer and author.
  • Steven Kemenyffy - ceramic artist, known for his raku work.
  • André Kertész - (1894-1985) born Andor Kohn in Budapest. Noted for his pre World War II photography of Hungary, then his work in Paris with Brassaï, later for his photos of New York City.
  • Balthazar Korab - (1926-2013) born Boldizsár Koráb in Budapest, was a noted Architectural Photographer based in Detroit, Michigan
  • Joseph Kosuth - (1945-) born in Toledo Ohio, he's a relative of Lajos Kossuth, who achieved notability for his role in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. Kosuth is a noted conceptual artist, he was on the faculty of The School of Visual Arts in New York for many years.
  • László Moholy-Nagy - (1895-1946) born László Weisz in Bácsborsód, Hungary. Distinguished painter, designer, photographer and teacher at the Bauhaus School in Weimar, Germany. He was the founder of the New Bauhaus in Chicago in 1937.
  • Martin Munkácsi - (1896-1963) born Márton Mermelstein in Kolozsvár, Hungary, now Cluj, Romania. Originally a photojournalist, he became a fashion photographer and was known for shooting models in action. He photographed for all the famous magazines in pre Nazi Germany and left for New York in 1933 where he was signed by Harpers Bazaar.
  • Nickolas Muray - (1892-1965) born Miklós Mandl in Szeged, Hungary. He was a noted celebrity and fashion photographer and an Olympic saber fencer.
  • Albert Nemethy - painter, noted for being one of the Hudson Valley's most legendary art figures.[8]
  • Sylvia Plachy - (1943-) born in Budapest is a photographer. Noted for her weekly Untitled Tour series in The Village Voice. She has published many books and has exhibitions worldwide. She is the mother of Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody.
  • William Andrew Pogany - (1882-1955) born Vilmos András Pogány in Szeged was a prolific artist and book illustrator in the Art Novueau style.
  • Tamás Révész - photographer
  • Marcel Sternberger - (1899–1956) noted Hungarian born photographer who emigrated to the U.S. in 1938. As a skilled portrait photographer, he photographed the famous of the postwar era. The Roosevelt dime was based on his photograph of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He died suddenly in an automobile accident in 1956.
  • Suzanne Szász - (1915-1997) born in Budapest. Photographer of children, cats and family life, she published about a dozen books and is best known for The Silent Miaow: A Manual For Kittens, Strays, And Homeless Cats (1964) with author Paul Gallico. She was a founding member along with her husband Ray Schorr of the American Society of Magazine Photographers.
  • George Tscherny - (1924-) Budapest born graphic designer, photographer and educator. He establish the graphic design department at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and designed a series of posters to appear in the subways, and the school's current logo among other projects.
  • Frank Varga - sculptor
  • Ferenc Varga - sculptor
  • Ylla - animal portrait photographer


Scientists, Economists[edit]

Authors, editors, and journalists[edit]

Musicians, conductors, and composers[edit]


Arts, fashion, design, architecture, hospitality industry[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2006-06-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Drew's Biography". Archived from the original on 2006-10-10. Retrieved 2006-10-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Dangerfield, Rodney (25 May 2004). It's Not Easy Bein' Me. ISBN 9780066211077. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  4. ^ Walter Chaw. "The Thinking Man's Nimrod: Film Freak Central Interviews Filmmaker Nimrod Antal". Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  5. ^ "The Man in The Glass Closet". The New York Times. 15 December 1991.
  6. ^ "The Man in The Glass Closet". Query.nytimes.comaccessdate=2016-07-24. 15 December 1991.
  7. ^ a b "The Hungary Page – More Famous Hungarians". Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  8. ^ Albert Nemethy biography "Albert Nemethy biography". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2020-02-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link),
  9. ^ Prager, Joshua (August 14, 2011). "For Branca, an Asterisk of a Different Kind". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
  10. ^ "The Hungary Page – More Famous Hungarians". Archived from the original on 2 March 2006. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  11. ^ Sneddon, Steve. "NBA a realistic goal for Fazekas".
  12. ^ Reno Gazette-Journal, 2005-02-08, accessdate 2007-06-29[dead link] "Nick's grandfather, Albert Fazekas, who lives in the Denver area, has that fire in his heart. He was a freedom fighter in the Hungarian Revolution in 1956."
  13. ^ "Mickey Hargitay". Archived from the original on 9 May 2006. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  14. ^ "Mickey Hargitay at Brian's Drive-In Theater". Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  15. ^ "'Tourette's is a hurdle, but it's not a brick wall' – Telegraph". 3 February 2014. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  16. ^ "404 Error". 8 June 2008. Archived from the original on 8 June 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2017. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  17. ^ "Al Hrabosky – The Mad Hungarian". Archived from the original on 21 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Corvinus Library – Hungarian History". 4 February 2011. Archived from the original on 4 February 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Karch Kiraly Speaker – Book Motivational Celebrity Speaker Karch Kiraly and Other Corporate Entertainment". 15 May 2006. Archived from the original on 15 May 2006. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Bill O'Reilly: Book Club". Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  21. ^ Carlo Rovelli. "Used, New, and Out of Print Books – We Buy and Sell – Powell's Books". Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  22. ^ "News from Serbia: The American Hungarian Federation, founded 1906". Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Hungarian American travel, Hungary tourism guides, Hungarian culture". Archived from the original on 23 November 2007. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  24. ^ "Perfect for Once - Classic - ESPN". Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2006-05-15.
  25. ^ "The Hungary Page – More Famous Hungarians". Archived from the original on 20 September 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  26. ^ "Office of the General Faculty Home Page". Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  27. ^ Winkler, Allan. Life Under a Cloud, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999, p.11
  28. ^ Winkler, Allan. Life Under a Cloud, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999, p.68
  29. ^ "John von Neumann". Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  30. ^ [1][dead link]
  31. ^ Jessica Knoll. "Used, New, and Out of Print Books – We Buy and Sell – Powell's Books". Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  32. ^ "Kati Marton". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  33. ^ "Joseph Pulitzer Biography – life, name, story, school, son, information, born, tall, time, year, achievements, scandal". 1911-10-29. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  34. ^ Liukkonen, Petri. "Joseph Pulitzer". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 10 July 2006.
  35. ^ Stefanova-Peteva, K. (1993). Who Calls the Shots on the New York Stages?. p. 26. ISBN 9783718654383.
  36. ^ "Fender Artist:Bob Babbitt". Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  37. ^ Ian Carr (22 March 1992). Keith Jarrett: The Man and His Music. p. 6. ISBN 9780306804786. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  38. ^ "The Hungarian Legacy in America, Museum of the American Hungarian Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ – February 26 – March 26, 2006". Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  39. ^ "博愛と猫". Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  40. ^
  41. ^ "One and Four » Blog Archive » A Nation of Immigrants – My Great-Grandmother". Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  42. ^ "MODERN AMERICAN PATRIOT: EUGENE LANG". Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2016-07-24.

External links[edit]

Media related to American people of Hungarian descent at Wikimedia Commons