Amazing Canadian talent in Hollywood

by brandon1930 | created - 10 Feb 2011 | updated - 04 Apr 2011 | Public

Considering Canada's small population, they've really contributed a lot of big names (in front of, and behind the camera) to Hollywood cinema. It's also amazing how many of these people are, or were, dominant names in comedy.

1. Jim Carrey

Actor | Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color (1990) but leading roles in Ace Ventura: ...

The embodiment of versatility in my opinion. He got his start in some over the top, ridiculous (and hilarious) comedies, and has transitioned wonderfully into more dramatic roles. He hasn't been nominated for an Oscar yet, but with all the snubs in the past, that doesn't mean much.

2. Mike Myers

Actor | Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Michael John Myers was born in 1963 in Scarborough, Ontario, to Alice E. (Hind), an officer supervisor, and Eric Myers, an insurance agent. His parents were both English, and had served in the Royal Air Force and British Army, respectively.

Myers' television career really started in 1988, when he ...

3. Seth Rogen

Actor | This Is the End

An actor, comedian and writer, Seth Rogen has come a long way from doing stand-up comedy as a teen.

Rogen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Sandy (Belogus), a social worker, and Mark Rogen, who worked for non-profits. His father is American-born and his mother is Canadian. He is of Russian...

4. Ellen Page

Actress | Juno

Ellen Grace Philpotts-Page was born on February 21, 1987, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Martha Philpotts, a teacher, and Dennis Page, a graphic designer. Page wanted to start acting at an early age and attended the Neptune Theater School. She began her career at the age of 10 on the award-winning ...

5. Michael Cera

Actor | Superbad

Canadian actor Michael Cera was born in Brampton, Ontario, to parents who worked for Xerox. His mother, Linda, who is from Quebec, has English, Irish, Scottish, and Dutch ancestry, and his father, Luigi Cera, is Sicilian. Michael is the middle child between two sisters. He was educated at Conestoga...

6. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

7. David Cronenberg

Director | The Fly

David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father, Milton Cronenberg, was a journalist and editor, and his mother, Esther (Sumberg), was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early...

8. Eugene Levy

Actor | A Mighty Wind

Eugene Levy is an award-winning actor, writer, and producer. He has appeared in more than 60 motion pictures to date, eight of which having topped the $100M mark. The box office success of films such as Bringing Down The House, Cheaper By the Dozen 2, and Father Of The Bride Part II have ...

9. Will Arnett

Actor | The LEGO Batman Movie

Will Arnett is a Canadian-American actor, voice actor, and comedian. He played George Oscar "Gob" Bluth II in the Fox series, Arrested Development (2003). He also appeared in films, such as The Lego Movie (2014), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows ...

10. Dan Aykroyd

Writer | The Blues Brothers

Daniel Edward Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to Lorraine Hélène (Gougeon), a secretary from a French-Canadian family, and Samuel Cuthbert Peter Hugh Aykroyd, a civil engineer who advised prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Aykroyd attended Carleton University in 1969, where...

11. Martin Short

Actor | The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

Martin Short was born on March 26, 1950 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada as Martin Hayter Short. He is an actor and writer, known for The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), Inherent Vice (2014) and ¡Three Amigos! (1986). He was previously married to Nancy Dolman.

12. Neve Campbell

Actress | Scream 2

Neve Campbell was born and raised in Guelph, Ontario, to Marnie (Neve), a Dutch-born psychologist and yoga instructor (from Amsterdam), and Gerry Campbell, a Scottish-born teacher (from Glasgow). Campbell first came to our TV screens in the hit Drama series Party of Five (1994). Described as TV's ...

13. Hayden Christensen

Actor | Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Hayden Christensen was born April 19, 1981 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His parents, Alie and David Christensen, are in the communications business. He is of Danish (father) and Swedish and Italian (mother) descent. Hayden grew up in Markham, Ontario, with siblings Kaylen, Hejsa, and ...

Ok, so maybe they're not all talented...

14. Lorne Michaels

Producer | Saturday Night Live

Lorne Michaels was born on November 17, 1944 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as Lorne Michael Lipowitz. He is a producer and writer, known for Saturday Night Live (1975), 30 Rock (2006) and The Kids in the Hall (1988). He has been married to Alice Barry since 1991. They have three children. He was ...

15. Tommy Chong

Actor | Up in Smoke

Tommy Chong was born on May 24, 1938 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada as Thomas B. Kin Chong. He is an actor, known for Up in Smoke (1978), Zootopia (2016) and Cheech and Chong's Next Movie (1980). He has been married to Shelby Chong since 1975. They have four children. He was previously married to ...

16. Catherine O'Hara

Actress | Best in Show

Born March 4, 1954 in Ontario, Canada. Attended Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute. Began career with starring on television series SCTV (1976). Notable films roles include: the over-dramatic and self-centered Delia Deetz in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice (1988), Kate McCallister, Macaulay Culkin's ...

17. John Candy

Actor | Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Candy was one of Canada's greatest and funniest character actors. His well-known role as the big hearted buffoon earned him classics in Uncle Buck (1989) and Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). His career has handed him some dry spells but Candy always rebounded.

Born in Newmarket, Ontario, in ...

18. Rick Moranis

Actor | Spaceballs

Rick began his career as a radio DJ while he was still at high school which led to him writing, producing and being on air in his own show. He joined the Canadian TV series SCTV (1976) winning an Emmy for writing and portraying the character Bob McKenzie which became the basis for the film _Strange...

19. Dave Thomas

Writer | The Blacklist

Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, Dave was the eldest son of John and Moreen Thomas. John Thomas (deceased) was a PHD in Philosophy (Duke), noted medical ethicist, head of Philosophy Department at McMaster University, and author of several books including: "Matters of Life and Death," "Well ...

20. Elisha Cuthbert

Actress | The Girl Next Door

Elisha Ann Cuthbert (born November 30, 1982) is a Canadian actress and model. She became internationally known for playing Kim Bauer in the series 24 (2001); Danielle in the teen comedy film The Girl Next Door (2004) and Carly Jones in the 2005 in of House of Wax (2005). She was voted the sexiest ...

21. Michael J. Fox

Actor | Back to the Future

Michael J. Fox was born Michael Andrew Fox on June 9, 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to Phyllis Fox (née Piper), a payroll clerk, and William Fox. His parents moved their 10-year-old son, his three sisters, Kelli Fox, Karen, and Jacki, and his brother Steven, to Vancouver, British Columbia, ...

22. Brendan Fraser

Actor | The Mummy

Brendan James Fraser was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Canadian parents Carol Mary (Genereux), a sales counselor, and Peter Fraser, a journalist and travel executive. He is of Irish, Scottish, German, Czech, and French-Canadian ancestry. As his parents frequently moved, Brendan can claim ...

23. Rachel McAdams

Actress | The Notebook

Rachel Anne McAdams was born on November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario, Canada, to Sandra Kay (Gale), a nurse, and Lance Frederick McAdams, a truck driver and furniture mover. She is of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish descent. Rachel became involved with acting as a teenager and by the age of 13 ...

24. Leslie Nielsen

Actor | Airplane!

Leslie William Nielsen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and raised in Tulita (formerly Fort Norman), Northwest Territories. His mother, Mabel Elizabeth (Davies), was Welsh. His father, Ingvard Eversen Nielsen, was a Danish-born Mountie and a strict disciplinarian. Leslie studied at the Academy of ...


25. Christopher Plummer

Actor | Beginners

Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer was born in Toronto, Ontario. He is the only child of Isabella Mary (Abbott), a secretary to the Dean of Sciences at McGill University, and John Orme Plummer, who sold securities and stocks. He is a great-grandson of John Abbott, who was Canada's third Prime Minister...

26. Anna Paquin

Actress | The Piano

Anna Paquin is the first millennial to have received an Academy Award nomination for acting, and the first to win.

She was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1982, to Mary (Brophy), an English teacher from Wellington, New Zealand, and Brian Paquin, a Canadian phys-ed teacher. Anna moved to her ...

27. Ryan Reynolds

Actor | Deadpool

Ryan Rodney Reynolds was born on October 23, 1976 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the youngest of four children. His father, James Chester Reynolds, was a food wholesaler, and his mother, Tammy, worked as a retail-store saleswoman. Between 1991-93, Ryan appeared in Fifteen (1990), a ...

28. Ryan Gosling

Actor | Blue Valentine

Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is the first person born in the 1980s to have been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar (for Half Nelson (2006)).

He was born Ryan Thomas Gosling on November 12, 1980, in London, Ontario, Canada. He is the son of Donna (Wilson), a secretary, and Thomas Ray Gosling, a ...

29. Fay Wray

Actress | King Kong

Canadian-born Fay Wray was brought up in Los Angeles and entered films at an early age. She was barely in her teens when she started working as an extra. She began her career as a heroine in westerns at Universal during the silent era. In 1926 the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers ...

30. Paul Haggis

Writer | Crash

Paul Haggis is the award-winning filmmaker who, in 2006, became the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back - Million Dollar Baby (2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, and Crash (2004) which he himself directed. For Crash (2004), he won Academy Awards for Best Picture and ...

31. Jason Reitman

Producer | Up in the Air

Jason Reitman was born on October 19, 1977 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is a producer and director, known for Up in the Air (2009), Thank You for Smoking (2005) and Juno (2007). He was previously married to Michele Lee.

32. Evan Goldberg

Producer | This Is the End

Evan Goldberg is a Canadian director, screenwriter and producer. Goldberg is known for his work on Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, Funny People, The Green Hornet, 50/50, Goon, The Watch, This is the End, Neighbors, The Interview and The Night Before. Goldberg works alongside longtime ...

33. Cobie Smulders

Actress | The Avengers

Cobie Smulders was born on April 3, 1982, in Vancouver, British Columbia, to a Dutch father and an English mother. As a girl, Cobie had set her sights on becoming a doctor or a marine biologist. In fact, it wasn't until high school that Cobie started to explore acting after appearing in several ...

34. Donald Sutherland

Actor | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The towering presence of Canadian actor Donald Sutherland is often noticed, as are his legendary contributions to cinema. He has appeared in almost 200 different shows and films. He is also the father of renowned actor Kiefer Sutherland, among others.

Donald McNichol Sutherland was born in Saint ...

35. Kiefer Sutherland

Actor | 24

Kiefer Sutherland was born in London, England, UK, to Canadian actors Shirley Douglas and Donald Sutherland, who moved to California shortly after his birth. His maternal grandfather, Tommy Douglas, was a Scottish-born Canadian politician who was a Premier of Saskatchewan for over 17 years and led ...

36. William Shatner

Actor | Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

William Shatner has notched up an impressive 50-plus years in front of the camera, displaying heady comedic talent and being instantly recognizable to several generations of cult television fans as the square-jawed Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise.

Shatner was born ...

37. Vincenzo Natali

Director | Cube

Vincenzo Natali was born on January 6, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is known for his work on Cube (1997), Cypher (2002) and Splice (2009).

38. Matthew Perry

Actor | Friends

Matthew Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, to Suzanne Marie (Langford), a Canadian journalist, and John Bennett Perry, an American actor. His ancestry includes English, Irish, German, Swiss-German, and French-Canadian.

Perry was raised in Ottawa, Ontario, where he became a top-ranked ...

39. Nathan Fillion

Actor | Castle

Nathan Fillion was born on 27 March 1971 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is the son of Cookie (Early) and Bob Fillion, both retired English teachers, and has an older brother, Jeff. In Canada, he attended Holy Trinity Catholic High School, Concordia University College of Alberta and University of ...