Christian bale famous celebrities from SA
Christian Bale. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Home » These celebrities have South African roots

These celebrities have South African roots

We all know about Trevor Noah and Charlize Theron being from South Africa. But there are also other celebrities who have South African roots.

Christian bale famous celebrities from SA
Christian Bale. Image: Wikimedia Commons

South Africa has birthed a wealth of talented individuals who have gone on to achieve global recognition. From award-winning actors to world-renowned authors, here’s a look at seven celebrities you might not know have South African roots.


Christian Charles Philip Bale was born on 30 January 1974 and is well-known for his role as Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy. He was born in Wales, but has South African roots through his father, David Bale, who was born in Witbank, Emalahleni.


American-British actress and model, Sienna Miller, starred in the popular TV show Anatomy of a Scandal. Her mother, Josephine “Jo” Miller, was born in South Africa. Jo was a South African model and a personal assistant to David Bowie.


The tennis champion, Roger Federer, has a South African mother. His father is Swiss and his mom, Lynette, was born in Kempton Park, on the East Rand, adjacent to Johannesburg.

Federer began playing tennis at age eight and won eight Wimbledon titles. In addition to tennis, Federer is involved in various philanthropic causes. In 2003 he established the Roger Federer Foundation, which sought to help underprivileged children in Switzerland and southern Africa, primarily through educational projects.


Sasha Pieterse is perhaps best known for her role as Alison DiLaurentis in the teen drama TV series Pretty Little Liars. As her surname reveals, she has South African roots. She was born in Johannesburg. She moved to Las Vegas at the age of three and started acting at the age of six.


Another Pretty Little Liars actress, Tammin Sursok, was born to musicians Daryl and Julie Sursok in Johannesburg. When she was six, her family immigrated to Australia.


Another TV star born in Johannesburg is Dean Geyer, who had a notable role in the Australian soap opera Neighbours as Ty Harper and starred in the fourth season of the American hit TV show Glee. He moved to Melbourne, Australia, at age 15 leaving most of his family behind.


The author of The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien, was born in Bloemfontein on 3 January 1892. Apart from his fame in the world of literature, Tolkien was also an acclaimed university professor and worked on the Oxford English Dictionary as a lexicographer between 1919 and 1920. When asked about his work on the dictionary, he said, “I learned more in those two years than in any other equal period of my life”.

Tolkien passed away on 2 September 1973. Forbes ranked him the fifth top-earning “dead celebrity” in 2009.