The Gypsies represent the poorest community in Europe. For centuries they’ve lived on the margin of society and faced brutal discrimination. Considered an endless source of criminality, their integration is challenging even today. But despite the bad reputation, a lot of famous scientists, sportsmen, performers, and artists are of Romani origin. This article exposes 5 celebrities of gypsy descent who amazed the world with their talent and achievements.
1. Charlie Chaplin
Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in London, England, on April 16th, 1889 in a family of artists. The absence of his father and the mental disease of his mother forced Charlie to fend for himself since his childhood. Being surrounded by performers and artists, the youngster took to the stage, seeing acting as the best way of developing a career. Chaplin made his professional debut as a kid and swiftly became famous with his talent as a wonderful dancer. In 1910, he went to the United States, turned his professional path to become a comedian, and the successes and the glory started to come one after another. Today, Charlie Chaplin is well known as an icon of the early Hollywood cinema, an outstanding filmmaker, and probably the most notable gypsy in the World. There are still debates about his origin, but a lot of facts in Chaplin’s life indicate he had Romani blood.
2. Tyson Fury
Presently, one of the most famous Gypsies in the world is Tyson Luke Fury, a British professional boxer. In 2015, after defeating the legend in the fighting sports Wladimir Klitschko, he won The Ring Magazine heavyweight title, the unified WBA(Super), IBF, WBO, IBO and lineal titles. Furthermore, The Ring magazine gave him the prizes Fighter of the Year and Upset of the Year. At first sight, Fury paved his way to becoming one of the most prominent boxers in history, but in 2016, due to a medical and drug scandal he lost his boxing license and vacated the titles. Unfortunately, in July 2017 he claimed he had reached “the end” and officially announced his retirement.
3. Sir Michael Caine
Michael Caine is one of the most pivotal stars of the British film industry in the past 50 years. Among all of his awards, those that stand out most are his 2 Oscars for best-supporting actor, BAFTA, and Golden Globe awards for best actor. Another recognition of his work is the fact that Caine and Jack Nicholson are the only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s. Additionally, in 1992 Michael Caine was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 2000, he was knighted as Sir Maurice Micklewhite (this is his real name) by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Michael Caine is on the list due to his father who was an Irish Traveller.
4. Ricardo Quaresma
Ricardo Quaresma was born and raised in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Since his childhood, he was affectionately nicknamed O Cigano (the Gypsy) due to his mother’s Romani descent.According to some experts, Quaresma was among the most talented football players in the world. His style is characterized by technique, creativity, and an unique dribble. During his career, Quaresma defended the emblems of some of the most substantial clubs in Europe, such as Barcelona, Internazionale, Porto, and Sporting. The most significant achievement as a footballer for him is the title of Euro 2016, won by the national Portuguese team.
5. Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner has always been proud of his Gypsy origin. Because of his contribution to spreading the Gypsy culture all over the world, in 1979 the International Romani Union named him an honorary president. Out of his activities as a passionate ambassador of the Gypsy tradition, he is considered an exotic leading man of American films, famed as much for his completely bald head as for his performances and indefinable accent. As a result of his incredible talent he received the Academy award for best actor in 1957, furthermore,he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.