Tag Archives: Polish American

Polish Americans

Polish American Celebrities

Liberace - Polish American. Half-Polish, half-Italian.

Liberace – a famous Polish American. Half-Polish, half-Italian.

Earlier today I heard a report on the radio that the American actor Nicholas Cage had a Polish Grandmother. This was something I was totally unaware of until then. Anyway, it got me thinking what other well-known Americans might have Polish roots. So here’s a list of notable Polish Americans I could come up with. This list is by no means comprehensive. Having never visited the US myself this list is probably rather Eurocentric. Feel free to use the comment section to add your own!

David Duchovny (the X-Files actor)- Polish Grandmother.
Peter Falk (the actor known for Columbo) – of Polish Jewish ancestry
Liberace (pianist / entertainer) – Polish Mother.
Stanley Kubrick (film director) – of Polish Jewish descent.
Charles Bukowski (writer and poet) – with roots in Danzig / Gdansk
Roger Zelazny (Science fiction writer) – Polish Father.
Bobby Vinton (singer) – Polish Father and Mother.
Richie Samobora (guitarist with Bon Jovi) – Polish Father.
Pat Benatar / Andrzejewski (singer songwriter) – Polish Father.
Loretta Swit (actress in the tv series MASH) – Polish Mother and Father.
Dick Dale (Guitarist) – Polish Mother.
Jared Padalecki (actor in tv series Supernatural) – Polish Father.
Neil Diamond (singer Songwriter) – of Polish Jewish ancestry.
Jack White (musician) – Polish mother.
Stefanie Powers (actress in the TV series Hart to Hart) – Polish Mother.
Tadeusz Kościuszko (Hero of the American Revolutionary War) – Polish.
Zbigniew Brzezinski (prominent in US politics) – Polish.
Igor Sikorsky (helicopters) – with Russian / Polish roots.
Ray Manzarek (musician in the Doors) – Polish roots.
Steven Tyler (singer with Aerosmith) – Polish Grandmother.
George Adamski (UFOs!) – full Polish ancestry.
Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple computers) – Father of Polish ancestry.
Maksymilian Faktorowicz / Max Factor (cosmetics) – a Polish Jew.

Related content on Polish Poland:

- Watch a short film about an annual Polish American festival that takes place in Philadelphia, USA.

Liberace

Liberace was half-Polish

polish liberace

It might not be particularly well-known but the popular 1960s and 1970s pianist and entertainer Liberace was Polish American. He was born Wladziu (Walter) Liberace to a Polish Mother and a Italian Father. His Mother’s family name was Zuchowski.

Listen to Liberace playing his tune ‘Polish National Dance in E-flat Minor’.

Sikorsky

Igor Sikorsky was a prominent Polish/Russian American and founder of Sikorsky Aircraft.

sikorsky helicopter

Although born in Russia Sikorsky had extensive Polish roots. He designed a number of airplanes including the world’s first four-engine plane; but is perhaps best known for helicopters and designed one of the first successful single lifting rotor helicopters, the VS-300, seen in the photograph above.

Bobby Vinton

Fascinating fact # 22

Bobby Vinton is a Polish American

Polish Prince

The cover of Bobby Vinton’s 1980s Christmas album, ‘Santa must be Polish’!

Bobby Vinton is a Polish American popular singer who was most prolific in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Athough born in Pennsylvania, Bobby has a Polish Father and Polish Mother and such is the strength of his Polish connection in his heyday was often referred to as the ‘Polish Prince’. The Vinton family’s original name was Vintula.

As it’s almost Christmas here is Bobby Vinton’s Santa Must Be Polish. Listen online and feel free to sing along. The lyrics can be found below!

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas to you
Santa must be Polish he’s jolly as can be,
Riding on his sleigh with gifts for you and me.
Santa must be Polish all dressed in red and white,
Slipping down the chimney, while you’re asleep at night.

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Means happy holidays to every one of you.
Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
He brings joy and cheer to every one each year.

Santa must be Polish, he’s such a merry man,
Bringing lots of toys to every one he can.
One thing he’s demanding and he wants it understood,
He’ll only bring you presents if you’ve been very good

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Means happy holidays to every one of you.
Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
He brings joy and cheer to every one each year.

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Means happy holidays to every one of you.
Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
He brings joy and cheer to every one each year.

Other hits included: There! I’ve Said It Again, Mr. Lonely, Sealed with a Kiss, Blue Velvet, and My Melody of Love (which featured a mix of English and Polish lyrics).

Bobby Vinton also featured in a number of movies including Surf Party, Big Jake, and The Train Robbers.

Offsite link: Bobby Vinton (official website).