Special Report

Most Famous Foreigners Who Became US Citizens

Can you imagine the airwaves without Eddie Van Halen’s guitar riffs or any actor but Ryan Reynolds playing Deadpool? 

While immigration remains a hot-button topic in the United States, it’s hard to deny some of the country’s best films, music, and books as well as scientific and diplomatic breakthroughs came from people born in other countries who came here and eventually chose to become American citizens. (On the other hand, these are also famous Americans who are no longer U.S. citizens.)

To assemble a list of famous foreigners who became U.S. citizens, 24/7 Tempo gauged the popularity of a wide range of public figures according to Wikipedia page views between Sept. 25, 2021 and Sept. 25, 2022.

Some of the naturalized Americans on the resulting list found the path to citizenship, or even to obtaining a green card, to be challenging, but they persisted and were eventually successful. (Some maintain dual citizenship.)

Click here to see the most famous foreigners who became U.S. citizens

Many people on this list are actors who migrated to Hollywood or New York looking for a big break. Others were musicians trying to find a lucrative record deal. A few were visionaries seeking a wider platform for their ideas. Whatever their motivations, many famous people have traveled across a border – or around the globe – to make their mark in America, and as Americans. (See which countries most immigrants in the U.S. are originally from).

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