Five Famous International Celebrities of Yesteryear Who Were Born and Lived In India

There are five international celebrities of an age gone by who have entertained us and whose names could well go down in history as the best entertainers of the century. You may have cried at their movies, reveled in their songs but did you know just one aspect of their background which may make you sit up and smile? These 5 famous International celebrities born in India even had Indian roots.

Vivian Leigh – Gone With the Wind. Born In Darjeeling and Studied in Loreto College Darjeeling


Ladies might have swooned at Rhett butler sweeping Scarlett O Hara in his arms in the epic movie ‘Gone with the wind’. Men too have fallen in, over with the most beautiful Vivian Leigh.  Did you know she was born in Darjeeling??? Yes, she was born Vivian Mary Hartley in St Paul’s school Darjeeling in 1913. Her Father Earnest Richard Hartley was Scottish and her mother Gertrude Mary Frances Yackjee was of mixed Irish-Parsi ancestry. Vivien Leigh studied in Loreto convent Darjeeling till she was 6 years old. Thereafter her family moved to Europe.

Merle Oberon –Wuthering Heights. Born In Bombay (Mumbai) and Grew Up In Calcutta born in India

Noted for her brilliant performance in MGMs 1933 adaption of “Wuthering heights’’ aside Sir Lawrence Olivier, Hollywood’s most famous actress Merle Oberon was an Anglo Indian girl from India.

She was born Estelle Merle O Brien Thompson to mixed parentage in Bombay now Mumbai in 1911. In India she was popularly known as just “Queenie’’. Till the age of 17, Merle Oberon lived in Calcutta where she studied briefly in La Martiniere  for Girls in Loudon Street. She took Part in theater debuting for the Calcutta amateur dramatic society. She left Calcutta in 1928 and pursued a brilliant career in Hollywood where her name was changed to Merle Oberon.

Englebert Humperdinck- Please Release Me, Spanish Eyes Born In Madras born in India

Most people who have heard Englebert Humperdinck will never forget that beautiful voice and his two most famous single please release me and the last waltz. 

Englebert was born Arnold George Dorsey in Madras in 1936 to Scotsman Mervyn Dorsey and his wife Olive from south India. Engleberts family immigrated to Leicester, England when he was just 10. As a singer he achieved remarkable success with sings such as Spanish eyes and strangers in the Night which was refused to him as a singles release because it was promised to Frank Sinatra.

Freddy Mercury:  Queen- We Will Rock You. Grew Up In Mumbai and Studied At St Peter’s Panchgani born in India

As one of the most phenomenal international celebrities and rockstars of the 20th century, Freddy Mercury of famous group Queen needs no introduction. However, here’s introducing the real Freddy who was actually born Farokh Bulsara in 1946 to Gujrati Parsi parents Bomi and Jer Bulsara in Zanzibar Africa.

Freddy Mercury was brought up in India where he studied in St Peters school Panchgani. He was musically influenced by Lata mangeshkar and formed his first school band “the hectics’ when he was 12. Together with his family, he moved to England in 1963. The rest became musical history.

Cliff Richards- Summer Holiday. Born In Lucknow and Lived In Hazratganj born in India

Knighted singer Sir Cliff Richards was born Harry Webb in 1940, Lucknow. Although of European parentage, his Father Rodger Oscar Webb worked in the Indian railways and his Mother Dorothy was a matron in La Martiniere Lucknow. The family lived in a small house in Maqbara, hazratganj till immigrating back to England in 1948. Cliff Richards is well known as one of the most famous international celebrities in British musical history

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Written by Andrew Alpin

Andrew Kevin Alpin is a senior content specialist from Kolkata, India. With a passion for writing from a very young age, he has 8 years of experience in content writing behind him. Apart from being well versed in several niches, Andrew’s forte is social media stories, news, health, fitness, parenting, entertainment, literature, philosophy, travel and food. With a penchant for writing poetry, he has also published a collection of poems written over years titled “Thy will be Done”. Andrew’s interests include reading, music and collecting occult and spiritual books.

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