There are many famous people that are assumed to be from the United States when they are, in fact, from Canada. This can be an easy mistake to make, especially with actors who are paid to play roles with various accents. When they are pretending to be British for a movie, how are you supposed to know if they are from Arkansas or Alberta?
The thing is, Canadians tend to be the strong but silent types of the world's patriots. Fiercely proud of their country and their countrymen the average Canuck will share with you, tales of the fantastic, magical wonderland they call home but they will do so with an almost embarrassed air. “I’m sorry I come from such a fantastic place,” they would probably say, “I won’t bring it up first, but if we get around to it in conversation I will happily express how much I love Canada and everything it represents.”
So, to prevent them being embarrassed by having to tell you themselves about their good fortune in being born of the Great White North, you know, when one of them drops round for a coffee one day, here are some of the fabulous celebrity parents we all love, who are actually Canadian.
20 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Thought I’d come out of the gate swinging with the news that Dwayne Johnson is Canadian. Don’t believe me? Well, technically he is half Canadian, but that’s good enough for us. The world's greatest CFL star turned wrestling star, turned superstar, turned star parent became a Canadian citizen in 2009. He was entitled to citizenship because his father, Rocky Johnson, was born in Nova Scotia later moving to Toronto as a teen to train as a wrestler.
DJ has always looked happy and at home in Canada when he has been filming movies, and now we know why.
On his Instagram account, Johnson has openly spoken about how Vancouver is one of the best cities in the world, and the British Columbian city has officially declared October 19th as “The Rock” day.
Of course, to be a Canadian celebrity parent you also need to have children and Johnson is renowned for the openness with which he extols his love for his three daughters; Simone born in 2001, Jasmine born in 2015, and Tiana Gia born in 2018. After little Tiana Gia was born the proud daddy said on Instagram:
“Blessed and proud to bring another strong girl into this world. Tiana Gia Johnson came into this world like a force of nature and Mama @laurenhashianofficial labored and delivered like a true rockstar. I was raised and surrounded by strong, loving women all my life, but after participating in baby Tia’s delivery, it’s hard to express the new level of love, respect, and admiration I have for @laurenhashianofficial and all mamas and women out there.
Word to the wise gentlemen, it’s critical to be by your lady’s head when she’s delivering, being as supportive as you can.. holding hands, holding legs, whatever you can do. But, if you really want to understand the single most powerful and primal moment life will ever offer - watch your child being born. It's a life changer and the respect and admiration you have for a woman will forever be boundless.”
19 Celine Dion Is Not From France
An international songstress with too many awards and accolades to mention here, Celine Dion has been wowing the world with her vocal virtuosity since her first demo tape, recorded when she was 12 in 1980. The producer and manager who received that tape was René Angélil, and they would start seeing each other as a couple seven years later, eventually marrying in 1994. Despite the entire population of the world skeptically raising their eyebrows at the age gap, the couple was famously very happy, renewing their wedding vows in 2000 shortly before embarking on fertility treatment.
The couples first son, René-Charles Angelil, was born on 25 January 2001, and after multiple further attempts, their sixth round of IVF was successful. Their twins, Eddy and Nelson were born on 23 October 2010. Sadly Dion lost the love of her life to cancer in 2016, leaving her a widow with three sons.
Many people assume that Celine Dion is French and it is easy to understand why. With a clearly French name, fifteen French language albums and the bestowal of France's highest award, the Légion d'honneur, by President Nicolas Sarkozy in May 2008 who wouldn’t make that mistake?
Well, Canadians, that’s who. A proudly bilingual and bicultural country Dion hails from the province of Quebec where French, one of Canada two official languages dominates. She is a French Canadian, and that makes her a Canuck from her head to her toes.
18 Jason Priestley Loves His Tim Bits
He may have risen to fame in the hit series of the 1990’s, Beverly Hills 90210, and become a naturalized American citizen in 2007, but Jason Priestley was born in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1969. This is, coincidentally, the same place my youngest two children were born and our oldest two boys attend the same high school that Priestley and his twin sister did.
Priestley married make-up artist Naomi Lowde in 2005, and the couple welcomed their first child, Ava Veronica in July 2007. The family was joined by son, Dashiell Orson in July 2009.
The man known to millions for a decade as “Brandon Walsh” celebrated his Canadianness in style during a cameo appearance on “How I Met Your Mother.”
In the episode, Priestley had boasted about creating his own sweet dessert by stuffing a Tim Hortons “Timbit” into a strawberry-vanilla doughnut, which he named "The Priestley.”
The Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tweeted to him:
"@Jason_Priestley, we loved the idea of 'The Priestley' so much, we made a batch. A Timbit IN a donut? Genius." To which he replied:
"Thank you Tim Hortons!!! This is the proudest day of my life!!! A doughnut named after me at Timmie's? #bestdayever".
17 Alison Pill Prefers Working Out Of Toronto
Pill became engaged to actor Joshua Leonard in January 2015, and they married in May the same year. Their daughter, Wilder Grace Leonard, was born in November 2016 and just before the birth Pill said:
"Have a kid. You obviously shouldn't have a baby just to get politically active, but I'm eight and a half months pregnant, and I swear, thinking about an actual very real future for a tiny person is a game changer."
After staring in “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” Pill was asked by an interviewer what it was like working in Toronto to which she replied:
“It’s wonderful. It’s amazing. I mean we have such a great music scene and art scene, and there’s just a great group of young people, you know, tempting their way through their 20’s doing other amazing things. And I’ve been in…I spent like 10 years working here without ever having been shooting in Toronto. And it’s so frustrating because it’s a great city. And I remember seeing Montreal actually used as Montreal in The Score. And I loved seeing that because they’re great interesting cities in of themselves, so I’m looking forward to actually being able to use it as itself instead of being a bad New York.”
16 James Cameron Chose To Keep His Canadian Citizenship
Just when you think you’ve found all of the “surprise” Canadian celebrity parents, the internet throws you another curve ball and you discover Mr. James Francis Cameron was born in August 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. Cameron has lived in the United States since 1971, but he remains a Canadian citizen.
The multiple award winner has been married a total of five times and has four children. He is currently wed to Suzy Amis, with whom he has three children.
Josephine Archer Cameron, is his first child and daughter of Linda Hamilton. She was born on February 15, 1993. Claire Cameron is his first child with Suzy Amis and was born on April 4, 2001. Quinn Cameron is James’ only son and his second child with Suzy Amis. He was born on September 9, 2003. Elizabeth Rose Cameron is the third child of James Cameron and Suzy Amis and was born on December 29, 2006.
At his induction to Canada’s Walk of Fame Cameron told the assembled crowd how he felt about being Canadian. "I think it’s balanced in the Canadian spirit, by this sense of quiet confidence, even a fearlessness, to go out there on the world stage and achieve great things."
15 Pamela Anderson Is Not A "California" Girl
Yep, sorry to burst your bubble but in the same way “Mr. All American High Schooler” Mr. Jason Priestley was born north of the 49th parallel so too was the blonde bombshell who heated up the beach in Baywatch, Pamela Anderson. The irony of this isn’t lost on Anderson; she told Esquire magazine in a 2003 interview:
“I am the ultimate California girl, which is funny, being that I'm Canadian.”
And her happily Canadian outlook on life was demonstrated when she said, “ Making love in the morning got me through morning sickness. I found I could be happy and throw up at the same time.”
When she talks about her children, it is clear Anderson is a passionate, protective mom who, like most of us, wants the best life possible for her kids.
“You know, once you give birth, once you have kids, you realize what's important in life, and you realize it's really not difficult to be a good person. And so when people aren't good around me, I tend to move away from that. There are so many good people in the world, and you want to surround your children with that.”
She said in another interview: “I'm a soccer mom. I'm T-ball, soccer, karate, homework, keeping them on their schedules. I love being the snack mom when I get to bring the cut oranges. I have one of those coolers with wheels. I'm at every game, every practice, sitting on my blanket. I love it.”
But her best commentary on motherhood is one we can all relate to: “I’m a mother with two small children, so I don't take as much crap as I used to.”
14 Alex Trebek Is A Hands On Kind Of Man
Guardian of the answers on “Jeopardy” since it was rebooted in 1984, silver-haired Alex Trebek is invited into the homes of millions of American each evening, but little do many of them know, he is a Canuck. In fact, if he were to be a question on his own show, the answer would be “Which beloved American game show host is actually a wonderful Canadian import?”
The holder of a degree in philosophy, which he earned at the University of Ottawa, Trebek was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, in 1940, to George Edward Trebek and Lucille Lagacé. Trebek senior was a chef who had emigrated from Ukraine as a child (and also spent his formative years in Japan, inspiring Alex's second nickname, Sai), and his mother was a Franco-Ontarian, so little Alex had the privilege afforded to many Canadians, that of growing up in a bilingual French-English household.
Alex Trebek and his second wife, Jean Currivan have two children. Their son, Matthew Trebek, born in May 1991, runs a Mexican street-food restaurant in Harlem and lives nearby in a $2 million townhouse his father bought for him. Daughter, Emily, born in 1993 has an interest in flipping houses, something with which she credits her dad's passion for hands-on home renovation.
13 Neve Campbell Gets Her Zen From The North
The actress who has starred in offerings as diverse as “The Kids In The Hall,” “Scream,” and “House of Cards,” is assumed by most TV and movie viewers to be straight up born and bred in the US of A but she has a beautifully complex family history which is typical of many Canadians.
Born in October 1973 in Guelph, Ontario, Campbell’s Dutch mother, Marnie (née Neve), is a yoga instructor and psychologist from Amsterdam. Dad is a British immigrant Gerry Campbell, who came to Canada from his native Glasgow, Scotland, and taught high school drama classes.
Campbell's maternal grandparents ran a theater company in the Netherlands, and her paternal grandparents were also performers. On her mother's side, Campbell is descended from Sephardi Jews who immigrated to the Netherlands and converted to Catholicism. She has stated,
"I am a practicing Catholic, but my lineage is Jewish, so if someone asks me if I'm Jewish, I say yes."
After two previous marriages, Neve was in no hurry to tie the knot again, but she was ready to have a child with her boyfriend actor JJ Feild, and their son Caspian was born in August 2012.
12 Ryan Reynolds Is Open About His Heritage
Now that you have had a couple of weeks to enjoy Deadpool 2 we will ruin it for you, or make it even better depending on your perspective, by telling you that the man behind the mask of the world's most marvelously unsuper superhero is one of ours. A loud and proud Canadian whose movie filming locations litter my hometown and cause our daughter to shout from our backseat, “Mommy, will we get to see Deadpool downtown today?”
With a star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Canadian Walk of Fame Reynolds has plenty to say about the place he was born.
"Growing up in this country taught me to handle the peaks and handle the valleys, being Canadian means I was born with the ability to laugh at myself. It has literally saved my life. I’ll tell you that Canada’s greatest military export is actually sarcasm, it truly is."
Married to Blake Lively, the couple has two children about whom the couple is notoriously private. However, Reynolds is well known for his tongue in cheek tweets about his kids and family life sharing such things as:
“On our 6 am walk, my daughter asked where the moon goes each morning. I let her know it's in heaven, visiting daddy's freedom.”
“No matter which kids book I read to my screaming baby on an airplane, the moral of the story is always something about a vasectomy.”
And, “Tinder isn't a babysitting app. Apologies to Crystal and Janine for the misunderstanding.”
11 Rachel McAdams Likes To Work With Fellow Canadians
Back in 2009, Rachel McAdams told People magazine, “ My mom is a great inspiration to me,” she said. “She’s a nurse and very nurturing and gentle. She lets me be who I am. Hopefully, I can take on those qualities and be as great as her.”
Well, the Canadian born actress got her wish last month when she gave birth to a baby boy. The news is still a surprise to many fans as the “Notebook” star and her boyfriend Jamie Linden have kept a very low profile while they have been dating and dropped out of the limelight entirely for the duration of her pregnancy.
No matter what she does or where she goes Rachel McAdams still holds her Canadian background dear. Born in London, Ontario she grew up in nearby St. Thomas, Ontario where she started figure skating at the age of 4 years. Turning down the opportunity to take the sport up as a career, McAdams attended the University of York and earned her degree in fine arts through the theatre program.
"I grew up here, I went to school here; this is where I hang my hat and where I sip my tea. And as much as I love adventure, there is nothing as nourishing for my soul as coming home."
10 Ryan Gosling Stays Where The Paparazzi Can't Find Him
Often mentioned in the same sentence as Rachel McAdams after their onscreen kiss in “The Notebook” was hailed as the “All-Time Best Movie Kiss” by Entertainment Weekly, Ryan Gosling is also a fellow denizen of the land of the maple leaf flag.
Gosling was born in London, Ontario, known as “The Forest City.” The son of Thomas Gosling, a traveling salesman for a paper mill, and Donna, a secretary.
Ryan was raised in a Mormon household, although he says "never really could identify with Mormonism.”
In September 2011, Gosling began dating his “The Place Beyond the Pines” co-star Eva Mendes, and the couple now has two daughters Esmeralda Amada Gosling who was born in September 2014, and Amada Lee Gosling who followed in April 2016.
Another extremely private family, the couple do not post photos of their children on social media or discuss them much in public. Word has it the couple tied the knot, true to form, in a secret ceremony at home with a few friends and family in 2016. A few small nuggets do, however, sneak out. When asked by Good Morning America's Amy Robach in May what it feels like to be the only guy in the house, Gosling replied, "It's heaven. It's like walking through a field of flowers every day. I live with angels."
9 Shania Twain Is Not From Alabama
Famous for singing “Man, I feel like a woman,” the saucy songstress was unofficially named the “Queen of Country Pop,” and as such, many people assume that she is as American as apple pie. Instead, Shania should have been singing “I feel like a Canadian” because she is yet another export from the home of Santa (yes, we claim the North Pole. If you write to “Santa Claus, The North Pole, HoH oHo, Canada” from anywhere in the world, the letter will get to the man himself and he will reply, so that proves he’s Canadian too, but he doesn’t have any kids, so he didn’t make the list.) Anyway, I digress, back to Shania.
When she attended the ceremony to be inducted into The Canada Walk of Fame, Ms. Twain told the assembled crowd: “Canada is my home. I’m a Canadian through and through and I’m very proud of that. I take that everywhere in the world that I go.”
Twain became a mother for the first time in 2002 and regrets that she didn’t have more.
In 2017 Shania said: "I love being a mother. I wish I had more children. At 52, I don't think I'm going to have any more children. I'm probably not capable. But I decided that, well, maybe I'm just going to stay where I'm at. I have a beautiful step-daughter and I have a beautiful son. I'm very happy. I just love being a parent and I would have loved to have had more kids."
8 Neil Young Is The Canadian Guitar Wrangler
A plain-spoken Canadian from the tiny town of Omemee, Ontario, Canada, Neil Young was described by The New York Times as “The author of some of the spookiest, darkest songs in the American folk canon.” A man who is seen by fans and naysayers alike as the epitome of the anti-establishment American musician and songwriter it is difficult to reconcile the deeply US shadow cast by this Canadian guitar wrangler.
Young became a father for the first time in 1972 when, with actress Carrie Snodgress he had a son, Zeke. Then he married Pegi Morton in 1977 with whom he had two children, Ben in 1978 and Amber Jean in 1984.
Amber Jean once famously said in a video, when she was ten, "Dad's a train nerd,” and Young would not dispute this. An entire building on the family ranch is given over to the model trains and Young said: "When I started building the railroad, I built it so that my son and I could have something to do together especially when we found out how disabled Ben was physically.”
Son Ben may have cerebral palsy but that doesn’t stop him going on tour with his dad and also running a successful organic chicken farm.
Neil says "Ben has taught me you never give up. You can't say 'This is too hard.' It can't be too hard. There are so many kids with challenges that are so great and yet they just keep trying. So if I come up against something that's hard to deal with, I can handle it and it's because of him."
Son Zeke had a stroke in utero and also has a milder form of cerebral palsy. He and his dad are also close and Young brought a home for Zeke and his mother so they could be close by after the divorce.
7 Sarah McLachlan Went Home To Give Birth
Having sold over 30 million albums worldwide it is fair to say that Sarah McLachlan is a successful international artist, but she is also a Canadian momma.
Born in January 1968, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Sarah was placed with the McLachlan family who later legally adopted her. It was clear from an early age that she was destined to follow a musical path. Starting with the ukulele at age four she would go on to study classical guitar, classical piano, and voice at the Maritime Conservatory of Music.
In 1997, McLachlan married her drummer, Ashwin Sood, in Jamaica and their first daughter India Ann Sushil Sood, was born in Vancouver in April 2002 followed in June 2007 by their second daughter.
The girls have accompanied McLachlan on tour since they were babies. "They're the great leveler because they couldn't care less what it is that I do for a living," she said with a laugh in an interview with CNN.
Since she and her husband split in 2008, Sarah has lived with her daughters in a suburban area of Vancouver, making a conscious decision to give them as normal an upbringing as possible, but it is not just her own children she thinks of. The Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver provides free tuition to at-risk youth who want to discover music.
6 Will Arnett Is The Canadian Ninja Turtle
Sitting down to watch Arrested Development you would be forgiven for not realizing George Oscar "Gob" Bluth II was actually a Canadian, and that’s no illusion. While the Arnett family have strong roots in Manitoba, they had moved to Toronto before young Will was born and that's where he came into the world. An avid sports fan he follows the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays and now that he is a dad he is passing on his passion and coaching Little League.
His two sons, Archibald born in October 2008 and Abel born in August 2010 live with their mom Amy Poehler to whom Arnett was married from 2003 to 2014.
The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” star opened up about parenthood with People magazine and talked about the perks of being a successful actor while raising his two kids.
“Your job is to just be there, and that’s all I try to do,” Arnett told the magazine. “My kids get the bulk of my time, and nothing comes in the way of that." He went on, “I’m really lucky, really blessed that I can pick and choose the stuff I want to do to make it fit around my schedule with them…Just the time — you never get it back.”
The boys also influence his choice of roles. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Arnett shared that he took parts in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Lego Movie for them. "They're super into it. The other day, I came to pick Archie up at school, and a kid in his class goes, 'Archie, Batman's here.'"
5 Sarah Polley Won Best Canadian Film Of The Year
A Canadian actress, writer, director, and political activist, Sarah Polley is often assumed to be American by those who see her on the big or small screens.
The youngest of five children, she was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, her mother died when Polley was 11 and as a girl, the budding actress was often teased because she bore no resemblance to her father. In 2007 she discovered the man who raised her was not her biological father and unable to talk to her mother, who also left no clues, Sarah set out to discover her birth father. She chronicled her journey in a documentary “Story We Tell” which was awarded the $100,000 prize for best Canadian film of the year by the Toronto Film Critics Association in 2012.
A child star who grew up to become an award-winning actor, director and political activist Sarah is married to David Sandomierski who is a tutor of S.J.D program. The couple married in August 2011 and had a daughter, Eve born in February 2012, and a second daughter born in 2014 whom she has successfully kept off of everyone's radar.
Perhaps it is Polley's experiences as a Disney channel star followed by her experiences in Hollywood, Sarah was one of the first women to openly speak about Weinstein and his offers of a great career. She said:
“He told me, in front of the publicist and a co-worker beside him, that a famous star, a few years my senior, had once sat across from him in the chair I was in now. Because of his ‘very close relationship’ with this actress, she had gone on to play leading roles and win awards. If he and I had that kind of ‘close relationship,’ I could have a similar career. ‘That’s how it works,’ I remember him telling me. The implication wasn’t subtle.”
4 Hayden Christensen Lives On A Farm Back Home Now
Christensen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in April 1981, to Alie, an American speechwriter, and David Christensen, a Canadian computer programmer, and communications executive. The Star Wars star began acting at the age of 12 when he went along to keep his sister company when she attended a casting for a Pringles advert.
In 2007, Christensen began dating actress Rachel Bilson, and they became engaged on Christmas Day 2008 then broke up in the middle of 2010. A few months later they were back together and in October 2014, Bilson gave birth to their daughter Briar Rose.
Christensen and Bilson separated for good in September 2017 but the pair share parenting of their daughter.
Christensen was just 19 when George Lucas cast him in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and the sudden worldwide attention left him feeling like a fraud. He packed it all in and went to live on a farm in Canada.
Frequently traveling between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Hollywood, Christensen can often be seen with his ex and their daughter, in his hometown, shopping, grabbing an ice-cream and generally being very civil and Canadian. It is not unusual to see them on the Stanley Park Seawall which would probably shock those who would imagine he was a child of the US of A.
3 Diana Krall Is A Canadian Jazz Legend
Diana Krall and British musician Elvis Costello were married on December 6, 2003, at Elton John's estate outside London. Their twin sons, Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James, were born December 6, 2006, in New York City.
Born in November 1964, in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, Krall is the daughter of Adella A., an elementary school teacher, and Stephen James "Jim" Krall, an accountant.
Her father played piano at home and her mother sang in a community choir and she is said to have begun studying piano herself at the age of four. At just 15, she began playing professionally in local restaurants and she won a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied from 1981 to 1983, before going to Los Angeles to play jazz.
She returned to Canada to release her first album in 1993 and since then has sold over six million albums in the US alone.
Krall is easily the most high-profile female jazz artist of her generation. She has a string of gold and platinum albums as well as film and TV projects, including an upcoming Amazon series adapting the children’s book series “Pete the Cat.”
2 Kiefer Sutherland Owes His Fame To Being From Canada
"There is no way for me to articulate the joy and pride that I get from being a Canadian. This place that I come from has been nurturing, it has been kind, and the people here have a genuine interest in all aspects of life and everything it has to offer. And it shows in our society and it shows in our hearts."
These are the words of Kiefer Sutherland, the man who won a Golden Globe for his role as Jack Bauer in the series “24.”
“24 was probably the most dynamic part of my career. I did that for 10 years, loved playing that character, loved the crews that I got to make it with," the actor revealed in an interview with Closer Weekly. "Yeah, I was incredibly grateful to have had that opportunity.” And although he has a lot to be thankful for in his career, Kiefer still considers his relationship with his kids his greatest accomplishment. “I still share a beautiful relationship with my children, and that has been one of the greatest blessings in my life.”
He went on to say:
“I became a dad when I was 20-years-old,” Kiefer told Closer of the birth of his actress daughter Sarah, 28. “It made me deal with certain things at a very young age, and it made me grow up.”
1 Michael Bublé Made A Hockey Pact
Michael Bublé was born in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, in September 1975. His first singing engagements were in local nightclubs at the age of 16 and were facilitated by his Italian grandfather, Demetrio Santagà. The Italian plumber offered his plumbing services in exchange for stage time for his grandson.
True to his Canadian heritage Bublé is an avid hockey fan and requires "one local team hockey puck" in his dressing room as part of his rider contract to concert promoters in every city. He is also a prominent celebrity supporter of the Vancouver Canucks since December 2008; he has co-owned the Vancouver Giants.
Married to Argentinian model Luisana Lopilato, the couple welcomed their first child Noah in 2012 and their second son Elias in 2016. At the end of 2016 Noah was diagnosed with liver cancer:
"We are devastated about the recent cancer diagnosis of our oldest son Noah who is currently undergoing treatment in the US," the singer and his wife Luisana Lopilato wrote. "We have always been very vocal about the importance of family and the love we have for our children."
Fortunately, their little one is said to be doing very well and in a double of good news, they are expecting a third child in September 2018. "I have seen the wonders of the world, but here in my beloved Canada, the place that is home, the land of kindness and empathy, a country with six time zones, the land of uber hockey mania, a place where the best a Canadian can feel is 'not bad, eh?'."
References: theglobeandmail.com, Instagram.com, IMDB.com, brainyquote.com, nationalpost.com, azquotes.com, collider.com, canadaswalkoffame.com, dailymail.co.uk, glamour.com, CNN.com, closerweekly.com