There’s quite a few famous people with South African roots that you might not know about. Let’s take a look:

15 Celebrities with South African roots:

Troye Sivan

Troye is most commonly known for his role in the Spud trilogy, a movie based on a novel with the same name, also filmed in South Africa. Although he’s mostly known as an Australian singer, actor and YouTube personality, he was in fact born in Johannesburg in 1995. He and his parents moved to Australia when he was two-years-old due to rising crime in South Africa.

Sasha Pieterse

You might recognize Sasha from playing Alison DiLaurentis on the series, Pretty Little Liars. Little did you know Sasha was also born in Johannesburg in 1996 but moved to Los Angeles in 2001 as her parents were an acrobatic dance team who performed internationally. She was also home schooled and graduated at the age of 14.

Cariba Heine

Also born in Johannesburg, this actress and dancer moved to Australia at the age of three. She is known for her roles as Rikki Chadwick in the Network Ten show H2O: Just Add Water, Bridget Sanchez in Blue Water High, and Caroline Byrne in A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne.

Tammin Sursok

Tammin is commonly known for portraying Jenna Marshall in Pretty Little Liars. Her parents traded their South African roots to go and live in Australia when Tammin was four-years-old.

Dean Geyer

The Glee star really made a name for himself. He was born in Johannesburg and moved to Australia at the age of 15. He was a contestant on the fourth season of Australian Idol and even though he placed third, he landed a record deal. He also has a black belt in karate. His father Keith Geyer was his martial arts teacher and his grandfather, Stan Schmidt, is apparently a karate legend. He got to use his skills in the film Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown.

Dean’s song “Change” is all about his move from South Africa to Australia. His parents decided to move because of the high crime rates in South Africa at the time. He was also the first person in Australian Idol history to sing an original song! Check out the song over here:

Roger Federer:

The tennis player was born to a Swiss father and South African mother.  

Lesley-Ann Brandt

Lesley-Ann was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She has acted in a number of New Zealand television series and plays the role of Maze on the television series Lucifer since 2016.

Alice Krige

It is said that Alice was born in 1954 in Upington, South Africa. She prepared to follow in the footsteps of her mother by attending Rhodes University in Grahamstown where she pursued an undergraduate degree in psychology and literature, but as luck would have it she went on to receive an honors degree in drama from Rhodes and moved to London. Alice went on to star in major films such as Star Trek and Chariots of Fire.

Nondumiso Tembe

Nondumiso is a South African actress and singer best known for her recurring role as the ghost Mavis in the fourth season of the television horror series True Blood.

Candice Swanepoel

Candice has been making waves for years as a Victoria Secret model and philanthropist. In fact she’s been deemed one of the higest paid models in the world for years.

Madelaine Petsch

Madelaine was born as Madelaine Grobbelaar Petsch and grew up dividing her time between America and South Africa. She is mostly known for her role as Cheryl Blossom in Riverdale.

JRR Tolkien

Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa and later went on to write the popular high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

Sienna Miller 

Her mother, Josephine or ‘Jo’, used to be a South African model.

Christian Bale

The American Psycho actor’s father, David Charles Howard Bale, was a South African-born entrepreneur and animal-rights activist. While in conversation with Channel 24, talked about his South African roots. His grandfather, Philip Bale – who lived in Cape Town – was born in England and was a Royal Air Force pilot. Christian, the youngest brother with three older sisters, was born in Wales and started his acting career at age 13 when he took on the role of Jim in Steven Spielberg’s war drama Empire of the Sun.

 Embeth Davidtz

Embeth was born in 1965 in Indiana to South African parents. When she was nine her family decided to move back home. After completing her studies Embeth appeared in a few local plays and films until Steven Spielberg saw her in the South African film Nag Van Die Negentiende and gave her her big break in Schindler’s List. She is also known for her role as Miss Honey in Matilda.