Some of Hollywood’s most endearing and charismatic artists hail from the Great White North, having established themselves in American cinema. Many of these talented actors have had successful careers in Canada and the United States, showcasing their likability and talent while garnering loyal and passionate fans along the way. Often these people leave for famous places like Los Angeles or New York, hoping to make a career in entertainment in Tinsel Town or in shows and plays on Broadway. star trek Legend William Shatner traveled to the Big Apple in 1954, for example, leaving his home behind in search of greener pastures and opportunity.
Two of comedy’s most respected and brightest stars hailed from Canada, with Mike Myers and Jim Carrey being born in Toronto and Newmarket, Ontario, respectively. Their hilarious contributions to the big and small screen have earned the comedians accolades, appreciation, and deep status in the entertainment industry. While many know that singers like Celine Dion and Justin Bieber have roots in Canada, some may not realize just how many exceptional artists call the country home. These are some of the best actors you didn’t know were Canadian.
Famous for his roles in thundering comedies like Knocked up, Pineapple Express, and Neighbors, the hilarious and always entertaining Seth Rogen has created quite an impressive acting resume since his debut on Judd Apatow’s cult classic show Freaks and Geeks. Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Rogen met his future writing partner Evan Goldberg. at bar mitzvah classes, with the duo writing a draft for super bad only 13 years old. Together they would take Hollywood by storm with iconic pranks like super bad and It is the end, as well as an adaptation of the popular comic Preacherand would produce a variety of successful projects, including The boys,
Born in London, Ontario, the dynamic and talented Rachel McAdams discovered her passion for the stage when she was only seven years old, attending Disney and Shakespeare summer camps while participating in productions of the Original Kids. Theater Company, London throughout his teenage years. The actress made her Canadian film debut in the 2002 comedy My name is Tanino before going to Hollywood cinema in the farce of Rob Schneider The hot chick, appearing as a villainous high school student who switches bodies with Schneider’s character. McAdams went on to an illustrious career with memorable roles in Mean Girls, The Notebook, Marriage Breakers and Doctor Strange.
Acting Chameleon Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, before moving to Toronto at a young age, where he grew up throughout his teenage years. The movie star attended four different high schools growing up, after being kicked out of Etobicoke School of the Arts because he was “just a little too rambunctious and kicked the ass once too many times…I wasn’t usually the most oiled machine in school.”
Reeves then attended Avondale Secondary Alternative School as he tried to become an actor, eventually dropping out at age 17 and getting his green card to move to Los Angeles three years later. He has since become a movie lover, starring in a series of famous movies like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Matrix film series, and the titular assassin in the John Wick franchise.
With an outstanding career spanning seven decades, William Shatner is perhaps best known for his iconic portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the groundbreaking sci-fi franchise. star trek. Born in Montreal, Quebec, the renowned entertainer made his acting debut in Canadian films and television shows, beginning in 1951 with a small role in the Canadian comedy-drama. The butler’s party, before moving to New York in 1954 in hopes of building a stage career on Broadway. Shatner’s first major Hollywood photo was of Alexei in the 1958 drama The Karamazov Brothers, which led to later roles in movies like The Intruder, Incubus and spaghetti western White Comanche; he nabbed the character of Captain Kirk in 1966, a role he has since become synonymous with, but gave great performances elsewhere, notably in Boston Legal.
Revered for her commanding performances as determined and headstrong characters like Dr. Christina Yang in the mega hit medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy and British intelligence agent Eve Polastri in the spy thriller Kill Eve, Sandra Oh is a decorated and esteemed actress on the big and small screen. Born in Nepean, Ontario to South Korean immigrant parents, Oh began acting at age four, joining the drama club and appearing in the Canadian Improv Games and comedy group Skit Row High.
The actress rose to prominence with the lead role in the 1994 Canadian drama double happiness, for which she won the Genie Award for Best Actress and received critical acclaim. In 2019, Oh became the first Asian Canadian woman host Saturday Night Live and she became a naturalized US citizen in 2018.
Comedic genius Mike Myers first gained wide recognition when he joined the beloved sketch series Saturday Night Live in 1989, establishing himself as one of the program’s most adored and charismatic performers. Weekly entertainment praised the rising star, expressing how he “quickly became one of the show’s biggest draws thanks to his talent for crafting quirky characters with memorable catchphrases.” Before landing a spot in longtime comedy, Myers got her start in her hometown of Toronto, landing roles on Canadian shows like King of Kensington, Wide Awake Club and city limits while performing with Canadian touring company The Second City. Myers continued to perform in Wayne’s world, the Shrek animated franchise and as the titular spy in the Austin Powers movies.
Born and raised in London, Ontario, the talented Ryan Gosling first rose to prominence as a child star at just thirteen years old when he appeared on the Disney Channel variety show. The Mickey Club, featuring future musical sensations like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. Gosling would star in children’s programs like Are you scared of the dark? and Goose bumps before starring in the psychological thriller Murder in numbers and independent drama The slaughter rule.
The performer gained mainstream recognition when he appeared alongside fellow Canadian Rachel McAdams in the acclaimed romantic drama Notebook, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. Gosling continued to demonstrate his impeccable acting skills in films like Blue Valentine, La La Land, Drive and Crazy, Stupid, In Love.
Admired for his hilarious and high-energy burlesque performances, talented comedian and actor Jim Carrey grew up in Newmarket, Ontario, where at the age of eight he discovered a talent for impressions and making funny faces in front of a mirror. He started stand-up at just fifteen in 1977, testing out his stage act in downtown Toronto before auditioning for the 1980-81 season of saturday night live, ultimately being refused.
Carrey moved to Hollywood permanently in 1983, performing at the Comedy Store and eventually landing a role in the ensemble comedy series. In living color from 1990 to 1994. He would achieve worldwide fame in hit films of the 90s like The mask, dumb and mute and Ace Ventura: animal detectiveand later he established himself as a dynamic actor in films like The Truman Show, Bruce Almighty and Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.
Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, funny and charismatic Ryan Reynolds has been a constant presence in Hollywood since landing the lead role in the 1998 sitcom. Two guys and a girl, creating an impressive and colorful acting resume for nearly 25 years. After starring in comedies like National Lampoon’s Van Wilder and Wait…, Reynolds continued to appear in blockbuster hits like The proposal, buried and The Croods, before landing the role of the titular foul-mouthed mercenary in the hit 2016 superhero film Dead Pool.
The charming performer would go on to headline thrilling pictures as Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, Free Guy and red notice, cementing his status as a highly fashionable leading man and lucrative box office draw; he is one of the highest-grossing movie actors of all time, raising over $5 billion worldwide.
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