Celebrities you were surprised to learn are not American (or Canadian)

So, we all know that Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson are Australian, in spite of the American accent they use in most of their movies. But what other actors did you always assume were North American only to discover to your surprised that they were just really, really good at acting North American?

For me, Glenn Quinn, aka Becky’s husband on Roseanne - born and raised in Ireland.

John Mahoney, aka Martin on Frasier - British.

And Richard Dawson, '70s era host of Family Feud - also British.
And being born outside North America and moving here at a very young age doesn’t count - so don’t list Bob Hope, for example.

In my opinion, Mel Gibson has no noticable Australian accent when he is giving interviews or is on a talk show. I would bet that most people would (in a blind test) peg him for American if his background wasn’t so widely known.

Mark Addy, from “The Full Monty” and also the dreadful ABC sitcom “Still Standing” has a very thick English accent (he was born and raised somewhere outside London) but did a spot-on Chicago/midwest blue collar accent for his role as Bill Miller on Still Standing.

The Wire was full of surprises…It’s set in Baltimore and everyone on the show has an American/Bawlmer accent.

Dominic West (McNulty) - Yorkshire, England
Idris Elba (Stringer Bell) - London, England
Aidan Gillen (Carcetti) - Dublin, Ireland

Those were huuuuge main characters. West’s accent, I thought, was sort of bullshit (he just had so much dialogue). The other two, I couldn’t even tell.

Why did you not think Richard Dawson was British, btw? Wasn’t he British on Hogan’s Heroes? He also used his regular accent on The Match Game and Family Feud. When did you hear him w/o one?

Does David Byrne count? (Born in Scotland, but grew up mostly in Canada and the USA.)

Bob Hope.

Danny Thomas.

Never seen Hogan’s Heroes, but I can’t hear a hint of an accent on Feud. Listen to him in this clip, for example - sounds perfectly American to me. But then, Henry Higgins I’m not. :slight_smile:

Basically, if the person lived outside North America long enough to develop a “foreign” accent so that when they put on an American one they were consciously acting, then they count.

Read the fine print in the OP. :stuck_out_tongue:

:confused: Wikipedia has Danny Thomas born in Deerfield, Michigan.

Aww GD I’m doing just awesome here.

I could have sworn I “knew” Thomas was actually born in Lebanon, but then the fine print of the OP still scuttles me because I was aware that he’d llived most (as in, all) of his life in the U.S.

Mel Gibson was born in NY state and lived there until he was 12. Not sure why people think he’s Australian.

Rodgers01 writes:

> . . . we all know that Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson are Australian . . .

Um, you are aware, aren’t you, that Mel Gibson was born in the U.S. and his family didn’t move to Australia until he was 12? And that Nicole Kidman was born in Honolulu and spent the first year of her life there? And she spent the next three years in Washington, D.C.? Yes, her parents were Australian, and they were only in the U.S. so her father could do his Ph.D. and then a post-doc. Still, you could have picked better examples. How about Anthony LaPaglia, who didn’t come to the U.S. (from Australia) until he was an adult, at which point he decided to use this thick New York accent in all his roles?

But Mel Gibson is an American, who moved to Australia at the age of 12, so I don’t think he’s a very good example. See his wiki article:

Alfred Molina. I always assumed he was an American Hispanic until I read a story that mentioned he was English. He is of Hispanic descent, though, in that his father is Spanish.
And speaking of “The Wire,” they had a great throwaway gag in I believe season 2 or 3 where McNulty has to go undercover as a john. So he pretends to be English and does this horrible stereotypical accent, saying shit like “Blimey” and “Crikey” - the joke being of course that actor Dominic West really is English.

Alright, so I botched on Gibson. (Though Kidman counts by my rules, since she was only a toddler in the US, and her formative years and native accent were formed in Australia.)

You can detect a trace of an accent in the early Lethal Weapon films. But anything he’s done since about 1990 or so, you’d never guess he had spent a bulk of his childhood outside the U.S.

The only ones to ever surprise me were Glenn Quinn (“Roseanne”,“Angel”) and Hugh Laurie. Hey, what can I say, I didn’t watch an episode of Black Adder until House was already on.

Sam Neill was born in Ireland and has lived in New Zealand and Australia for most of his life, but he plays a convincing American.

Gillian Anderson is another surprising one. She was born in the United States but spent much of her childhood in London. In real life, she speaks with a British accent.

Bob Hoskins. I think I first saw him in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where he played a hard-boiled American detective, with no trace of an English accent. I was unaware he was English until much later.

No, this is not correct. You do understand that nationality does not determine accent, yes? Oh, it’s “your rules.” You should have a moderator change the title.

I was surpised to hear the native accents on both Rose Byrne and Radha Mitchell the first time I saw them on talk shows. This was years ago with Radha Mitchell, but with Rose Byrne it was just a couple weeks ago.