United States citizens have been conditioned to think of a few specific things when Canada is mentioned. These things involve the likes of Justin Bieber (an Ontario native), maple leaves and hockey. Let’s not forget syrup in there, too. Even characters from hit U.S. shows have been used to further these ideas of what our Northern neighbor has given us. Here’s looking at you, Robin from How I Met Your Mother. We remember the episode right before her wedding to Barney when she went into a bar frequented by Canucks and got into a knockdown, drag-out brawl over drinks and hockey.
Yet, Canada has been the birthplace of several actors, scientists and singers that people here think of as distinctly U.S.-made. The first scream queen, clutched in the hand of U.S. monster King Kong, where did she come from? Canada. The man who helped launch PayPal, where is one of his citizenships from? Canada. One of our beloved and sassiest anti-heroes, where was he born? Canada, of course. We have a lot to thank our Northern allies for, besides ice sports and Mounties. Several staples of the famed Second City stage in Chicago originally hailed from Canada, and the comedy scene would be drastically different without them. What we mean to say is O, Canada, some of your people totally rock.
25 Juno From Up North
Ellen Page, most famous for her roles in Juno and Inception, was born in Canada and starred in many local films before making it in Hollywood.
According to CBC, Ellen most recently made news for her marriage to dance instructor, and Justin Bieber choreographer Emma Portner.
Page came out about four years ago, saying she would no longer lie by omission about her relationship preferences. This follows her dating her fellow Canada-born co-star, Mark Rendall.
24 Chandler’s A Friend
Matthew Perry, who became a household name in the 90’s on the hit show Friends, is a case of a fifty-fifty split.
He was born in the U.S. but moved to Canada with his mother before his first birthday.
There, according to Canada Cool, Matthew went to school in Ottawa and prepped for what he assumed would be a pro tennis career. Things were looking good for him down that road, and he became a top-ranked junior tennis athlete in his private school. However, Perry’s father, also an actor, lived in LA, and soon the acting bug was calling to him. More recently, he has appeared on The Odd Couple, The Kennedys, and The Good Wife.
23 Oh, Canada
Sandra Oh, of Grey’s Anatomy fame, was born in Ottawa to Korean-Canadian parents. She’s had a long career both on television and in voice acting. The National Post lists some of her lesser-known voice roles as happening on U.S. cartoon Phineas and Ferb as well as in Disney’s Mulan 2.
Oh became the first lady of Asian descent to be nominated for an Emmy in the category of lead actress in a drama.
She was married for three years in the early 2000s to the U.S.-based director and screenwriter Alexander Payne. It was during that time that she played the role of a new mother in Under The Tuscan Sun.
22 The Rock Of Canada
Dwayne Johnson, the guy that never ages, holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada. This is because, as cited by Kiss Radio, Dwayne’s father was born in Nova Scotia and trained for his wrestling career in Toronto. Dual citizenship isn’t his only tie to the country, either.
Before pursuing wrestling and becoming The Rock, Johnson tried his hand at semi-professional football in the CFL.
Due to injuries, he couldn’t pursue that career path any longer, and he then became the household wrestling name that launched him to superstardom. He’s so beloved in Canada that the city of Vancouver has an annual Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Day.
21 Wrestling Family
The Hart wrestling family was at its peak in the late 90s, before the passing of lead member Owen Hart. He was wrestling for the industry giant WWF at the time and passed away when the cable he was using to fly into the ring malfunctioned. According to a CNN article from the time, Owen’s passing was viewed by thousands in the audience, although the television viewers were spared the tragic sight.
His family made their name is wrestling, as both of his parents were promoters and all 12 of his siblings went into the family business.
Owen, initially from Calgary, was known to play pranks on his fellow athletes backstage.
20 The Canuck Savior
While nearly everything about Ryan Rodney Reynolds seems very Hollywood (have you seen his hilarious twitter lately?), he’s actually a Canuck through and through. He was born in Vancouver, the youngest of four brothers. Although he landed a gig early on, starring in a local teen show, Ryan ended up working red-eye shifts at a grocery store to make ends meet.
He and a friend made their way to LA together, after which Ryan made a name for himself not only as a knockout face and body but as a man who attracted women like Alanis Morrissette (also a local), Scarlet Johansson and, finally, Blake Lively. In Hello Magazine, Ryan admitted he falls well into the stereotype with his politeness, despite his role as the 'merc with a mouth'.
19 The Baywatch
Who’s appeared the most on the cover of a highly debated magazine? That would be famous Canada-born Pamela Anderson, who is known for her role as C.J. in the well-known TV show, Baywatch.
She was married to Tommy Lee Jones, and their relationship was highly publicized. Pam is so local that her birthday falls on Canada Day. She once called herself the definition of a “California girl” but said she knew the irony in that, since she’s not from the US.
18 Citizenship Three Ways
When we think Elon Musk, we think Silicon Valley. However, that's only a later development. Mr. Musk was actually born in South Africa to a woman born in Canada who was the daughter of a (Minnesota native, he says on his Twitter) man from the states.
Musk left South Africa when he was seventeen and went to university in Canada as a way to dodge mandatory enrolment as a service member for his nation.
He stayed there for three years before departing for the U.S. This all makes sense when his citizenships of South Africa, Canada, and the U.S. are listed together. Most don’t realize that aside from Tesla, Elon was an initial founder of the PayPal system.
17 Straight To Our Hearts
Biography notes that this star that has charmed the hearts of women worldwide didn't plant his roots in the U.S. until he was 17-years old. He is well-remembered as Noah, the everlasting love of Allie, from Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook. So much so, in fact, that many forget he got his start in a teen series titled Young Hercules, and graced the big screen in the hit Remember the Titans alongside Denzel Washington way back in 2000.
While those of us in the states would love to take credit for those dimples and all "hey girl" memes circulating the Internet that stemmed from them, Gosling is Canada-bred for sure.
16 The Girl Next Door
How can we touch on the importance of Canada giving us Gosling and not mention his leading co-star in The Notebook, Rachel McAdams? This mean girl gave us a run for our money in films like The Time Traveler's Wife and The Vow. But she's not a stranger to movies outside of the romance genre, scoring rave reviews for her roles in The Family Stone and Spotlight, the latter of which garnered her an Oscar nomination.
As much as we'd adore having McAdams as a staple in stateside society, she hailed from Canada just like Ryan.
Born in London, Ontario back in 1978, we hope she sticks around and pleases audiences worldwide for years to come.
15 Best Selling Country
Shania Twain, the woman dubbed the highest selling female artist in the history of the country western genre, was born in Canada. The Guardian, in an interesting piece on why Twain stepped away from music altogether for approximately 15 years, says that without her pioneering the crossover from country to pop music, the world today may not have seen the rise of Taylor Swift and others like her.
Twain was raised in Ontario by what she admittedly calls dysfunctional parents.
She later moved to Nashville and has since become one of the high-grossers at Caesar’s in Las Vegas.
14 Balling From Canada
Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins may have gone to school in the U.S. and was drafted into the NBA, but he was born in Canada. In fact, he’s been chosen to play for the Canadian National Team in Olympic events.
Wiggins was the number one overall pick during his draft, making him only the second Canuck to have that privilege.
In 2017, The Globe and Mail announced that Andrew’s deal with the Timberwolves made him the highest athlete from Canada to be paid in a U.S. market ever.
13 Oh, Nelly
Who wasn’t tearing it up to Nelly Furtado’s 'Promiscuous' in 2006? The song was a club smash, and Nelly’s beginnings as the daughter of a housekeeper seemed like a lifetime ago. However, Nelly’s parents were both talented musically, a skill they clearly passed down to their daughter. The family lived in Victoria.
The songstress has since moved to Toronto despite her success in the U.S., and she calls the city one of the most musically diverse she’s ever experienced.
Biography says it is there that she’s raising her daughter.
12 Call Her Canuck
Carly Rae Jepsen, best known for the song everyone hummed in 2012, 'Call Me Maybe', was born in Mission, Canada. In fact, Carly Rae initially garnered attention when she made it onto and came in third on Canadian Idol.
More recently in 2016, Jepsen starred in Grease Live as Frenchy, debuting Frenchy’s first ever solo performance. Bustle said the song is called All I Need Is An Angel, and Carly Rae perfectly captured Frenchy’s 'beauty school dropout' style with her bubblegum pink ‘do. In 2018, Jepsen opened for Katy Perry’s U.S. tour appearances.
11 He Was Victorious
Avan Jogia is best known in the U.S. as the man who played Beck, the love interest of Victoria Justice on Nickelodeon’s Victorious. His performance on the show won him two nominations for Teen Choice Awards. Fandom reminds us that “Vavan” is a term used by those who worship the real-life best friends, Victoria and Avan. They’ve both confirmed in interviews that they love each other but are just friends.
Avan was born in Vancouver, and it looks like his star is only continuing to rise.
In 2017, he was part of The Outcasts cast, and his upcoming projects include the movies A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Romantic and Shaft.
10 The TV Dad
Alan Thicke, the actor who portrayed the beloved dad on Growing Pains, was a Canuck all the way to the bone. He received his star on the Walk of Fame in Canada in 2013, three years before his passing.
Thicke was known in Hollywood for his support of fellow Canada-born artists trying to make it big in U.S. show business.
His house was the place Alex Trebek stayed before finding his footing in LA. While he’s best known as an actor and TV host, few realize that Thicke wrote the theme songs for shows like The Facts of Life and Different Strokes. The Globe and Mail quotes a friend who, talking about Thicke’s patriotism, said, “For heaven's sake, he had a heart attack and [passed] while he was playing hockey with his son. Come on; it doesn't get more Canuck than that.”
9 Scream It For Canada
Neve Campbell is another scream queen to make this list. She starred in Scream, the U.S. horror classic that launched the sale of thousands of creepy white masks. Biography states that the Canada-born actress first took up dancing but had her dreams brought to a halt by injuries. It was only then that she landed her role in Party of Five, which was her springboard to the Scream franchise and her appearance in Cruel Intentions.
Though the 90s were her heyday, Campbell has had steady work. In 2017, she was a regular on the web series House Of Cards.
8 Mr Candy
John Candy, born in Toronto, moved to the U.S. to be part of the Second City comedy troupe. This is the same stage that produced talents like Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert. From there, his career skyrocketed, landing him roles like Uncle Buck and a part in cult classic Cool Runnings.
The Canadian Encyclopedia says that Candy’s roots in the country ran deep, eventually ending with him teaming up with Wayne Gretzky as the partial owner of the Toronto Argonauts. Before his early passing, Candy played in over 40 movies.
7 My Big Fat Canuck Wedding?
Nia Vardalos, self-depreciating actress and creator of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, is actually Canadian-Greek. She was born in Winnipeg and went through school all the way through university in Canada. Nia appeared on the Second City stage, which she credits with preparing her for both writing and acting.
She and the husband, whose journey to romance she portrayed for the big screen, adopted a daughter after publicly announcing they’d been through more than a dozen unsuccessful IVF attempts. However, Global News eventually announced that the marriage of more than 20 years was ending. The couple divorced in 2018.
6 Technicolor Canada
Yvonne De Carlo, once called the most beautiful girl in the world, made her name in Hollywood. However, she was born in Vancouver to an abandoned mother who was set on her daughter making it big in showbiz and paying the family’s way.
IMDb lists her most famous role as that of Moses’ wife in The Ten Commandments, a movie that still finds airtime. She was also a famous Munster before her acting career slowed down. One of Yvonne’s many monikers was the Queen of Technicolor.