Top 10 Brits with South African roots

Nicol Grobler via The South African

Even though they hold British passports does not mean they don’t have South African roots. We take a look at the Top 10 “South African Brits”.

JRR Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien is best known as the author of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. He was an English writer, poet, university professor and philologist. He was, however, born in Bloemfontein on 3 January 1892. Tolkien passed away on 2 September 1973. In 2008, The Times rated him sixth on a list of The 50 greatest British writers since 1945.Forbes ranked him the fifth top-earning “dead celebrity” in 2009.

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Sienna Miller
Sienna Rose Miller was born in New York City on 28 December 1981 and moved to London with her family when she was just 18 months old. Her breakout film role was as Daniel Craig’s love interest in Matthew Vaughn’s Layer Cake (2004). Her mother, Josephine Miller, was a South African model and a personal assistant to David Bowie. Sienna has been nominated for two BAFTAs and a Golden Globe.

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Jackie Collins
Jacqueline Jill Collins was born on 4 October 1937 and is an English novelist. She has written 29 novels, all of which have appeared on the New York Times bestsellers list. In total, her books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages. She is the younger sister of actress Joan Collins, and their father is a native South African.

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Christian Bale
Christian Charles Philip Bale was born on 30 January 1974 and is a very famous English Actor. Christian has been nominated for a variety of awards and won many of them including an Academy Award in 2011 for the category Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his character in The Fighter (2010). His father, David Charles Howard Bale was born in South Africa and was an entrepreneur, commercial pilot, and talent manager.

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Andrew Strauss
Born in South Africa, Andrew John Strauss moved to England at the age of six. He was born on 2 March 1977and is a retired English cricketer who played cricket for Middlesex County Cricket Club and is a former captain of England’s Test cricket team. He was a fluent left-handed opening batsman and favoured scoring off the back foot.

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Natasha Kaplinsky
Natasha Margaret Kaplinsky (born 9 September 1972) is a newsreader and television presenter, best known for her presenting roles with the BBC, Channel 5, Sky News and ITV. She retired in April this year. Natasha’s father is Raphael Kaplinsky who is an exiled Jewish South African. She won the first series of the BBC talent show Strictly Come Dancing in 2004.

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Dan Smith
Dan Smith  is the lead singer of London-based band Bastille. Bastille debuted in June 2010 with their limited edition 7″/45 rpm single featuring the two tracks “Flaws” and “Icarus”. In February 2013, ahead of the release of their debut album, the band’s fourth single, “Pompeii”, was released to huge demand, charting at number two in the UK. Their first studio album, titled Bad Blood, was released in March 2013 and debuted atop the UK Albums Chart. Both his parents are South African lawyers, and their collection of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Simon & Garfunkel added to his inspiration as a youth.

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Kelly Hoppen
Kelly Elaine Hoppen was born in July 1959 and is a South African-born British interior designer, and the owner of Kelly Hoppen Interiors. She started her career when she was just sixteen, and has since designed for celebrities like David and Victoria Beckham and Martin Shaw. On 19 February 2013, Kelly was announced as one of the new dragons on BBC Two’s programme Dragons’ Den.

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Andy Zaltzman
Andrew “Andy” Zaltzman was born 1974 and is a British comedian and author who largely focuses on political material. He is the son of South African sculptor Zack Zaltzman.

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Charlie Siem
Charlie was born on 14 January 1986 and is an English contemporary classical violinist. He recently entertained Lady Gaga at a private function in New York. Charlie’s mother is from South Africa. She was born in Johannesburg and lived in Cape Town. His grandfather was from Bloemfontein.

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