Most Famous Foreigners Who Became US Citizens

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Michael J. Fox (June 9, 1961- )
> Country of origin: Canada
> Occupation: Actor

Before he was Marchty McFly in the “Back to the Future” series and Alex on “Family Ties,” a 15-year-old Michael J. Fox starred in a Canadian series, “Leo and Me.” At 18, he moved to Los Angeles to build his acting career, and his work in TV and movies would make him a teen idol in the 1980s. He followed up as the lead character in the hit 1990s series, “Spin City.” He became a citizen in 2000 because, he said, he wanted to be able to vote in American elections. Fox retired from acting in 2020, due to his declining health from Parkinson’s disease.

Source: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Sofía Vergara (July 10, 1972- )
> Country of origin: Columbia
> Occupation: Actor

Hailing from Barranquilla, Colombia, Sofía Vergara was the highest paid actress in American television from 2013 to 2020. After she was discovered by a photographer on a beach, the modeling and acting gigs came rolling in. Vergara’s career took off as the co-host of two shows on the Spanish-language television network Univision in the late 1990s. Her first notable acting job in English was in the film “Chasing Papi” in 2003, and she would go on to star in a number of feature films and the hit TV series “Modern Family.” While she said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” she aced her 100-question naturalization test, she had to jump through some hoops to be a U.S. citizen in 2014.

Source: gageskidmore / Flickr

Sebastian Stan (Aug. 13, 1982- )
> Country of origin: Romania
> Occupation: Actor

The Winter Soldier of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born in Constanța, Romania, and moved with his mother to Austria before landing in the United States. While attending Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, he had the opportunity to spend a year abroad in the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Stan’s career took off after a role on “Law & Order” in 2003, and his many credits include a recurring role on “Gossip Girl,” a lead role in the series “Kings,” and films like “Black Swan,” and “I, Tonya.” He gained U.S. citizenship in 2002.

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Pierce Brosnan (May 16, 1953- )
> Country of origin: Ireland
> Occupation: Actor

While best-known for taking on the James Bond role in four films, this Irish actor and film producer started his career on the London stage. Brosnan moved to Southern California in 1982, rising to fame in the United States playing the title role in the NBC detective series “Remington Steele.” In 1994, he became the fifth actor to portray 007, just one of his many silver screen roles to date. He became a U.S. citizen in 2004.

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Charlize Theron (Aug. 7, 1975- )
> Country of origin: South Africa
> Occupation: Actor

Charlize Theron became an international sensation in the 1990s with leading roles in “The Devil’s Advocate,” “Mighty Joe Young,” and “The Cider House Rules.” Her critically acclaimed portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in “Monster” would earn her the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first South African to win an Oscar in an acting category. Born in Benoni, Theron started her career as a model in Europe before coming to the United States. She has been a U.S. citizen since 2007.

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