Name some "American Hugh Lauries," please...

That is, Americans who have made it big outside of the U.S. (I know Hugh was big in the UK prior to House, but he’s much bigger now, even a household name). I’m thinking it’s much more likely to see Americans going to Canada or the UK, since not many of us Yankees study a language other than English in our formative years.

The closest things to what I’m looking for are the cases of David Hasselhoff (supposedly big in Germany) and Jerry Louis (likewise in France).

Are there any others?

Are you looking for American actors who are famous outside the US, or American actors who are MORE famous outside the US than they are in the US? Since Hollywood movies are shown around the world there are many many actors in the former category.

In music Cheap Trick may be the original “big in Japan” band – their first three albums went gold in Japan, but failed to make the Top 40 in the US. The best known version of “I Want You to Want Me”, the one where you can hear girls in the audience screaming, was recorded live at the Budokan in Tokyo. The original studio version of the song was already popular in Japan, but it was the live-in-Japan version that became a hit in the US.

Rich Hall, of Sniglets fame, has moved to the UK and gotten quite famous there. There are a few other American comedians going that route too.

I opened this thread at about the same time as beginning to watch Live at the Apollo on iplayer. With one of the guests being Rich Hall.

Reginald D Hunter fits in the same category. IMO RDH is very funny. He does baffled-by-british-culture very well and very funnily.

…not quite what you are looking for, but “Captain Hollister” Mac McDonald. I think of him as that “American Brit”…

Well, I think that counts pretty well. I haven’t heard of him, but he has done some stuff in the U. S., but he’s undoubtedly bigger in the UK. Thanks! :slight_smile:

And Lamia, I guess I"m looking for Americans that are much more famous outside the U. S. So, say Bruce Willis, George Cloony, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, etc. wouldn’t count because they are big in the U. S. too.

Does John Barrowman count?

I believe Bill Hicks, at his prime, was at least more well recieved in the UK than he was in the US.

Ruby Wax.

Good idea for a thread. Going through the Wikipedia lists of American expatriates, I think that Jules Dassin (director of Rififi) and his son, Joe Dassin (a popular singer-songwriter in France) qualify.

Scott Walker, especially his early pop phase.

Another American who is better known outside the US than in it is W. Edwards Deming, the statistician. He’s more widely known today, but when he was alive he was much better known in Japan than here.

I am afraid so.

The US can have him back permanently at any time.
Preferably sooner rather than later.

He may be bigger in the UK but not that big. I haven’t heard of him either.

Yes, how could I have failed to mention him? I talk about him in my classes and my advisor actually got to see one of his “red bead” demonstrations. :slight_smile:

I don’t get the connection between the link and the person I just looked up on Wikipedia. :confused:

I’m sorry, but I would have to disagree with two of the examples in the OP. Hugh Laurie was quite big in the U.K. before he did House. This is more of an example of someone already well known becoming more well known by increasing the range of their work. Also, it’s not true that Jerry Lewis is more well known in France than in the U.S. In both countries he’s now considered to be well past the peak of his work. He was considered quite important in France at one point, but that was a long time ago.

I just looked through a couple of the lists of American expatriates that were linked to. I can’t find a single one of them that fits the requirements of the OP. Most of them are already famous Americans who for various personal reasons decided to live abroad. I can’t see that any of them became more famous while living abroad.

Dean Reed (“Comrade Rockstar”) was huge in the Soviet Union. Suzi Quatro, a moderately popular actress/musician in the US, was huge in Europe, as were the Stray Cats early in their career. Pink Martini, a Portland-based band, had a major hit in France and Turkey, “Sympatique.” They can’t get arrested here in the States, although I love 'em!

Dean Reed is probably as close as you can get to the requirements of the OP:

Yes, I said as much in the OP. But I doubt the average American would have known who the hell he was until House became a hit show. Sure he played the Dad in Stuart Little and had some other roles such as in Flight of the Phoenix, but he’s undeniably more famous now for House. Like I said in the OP.

Quite right. That’s why I prefaced that comment with “The closest thing that I could think of”. That’s why I started the thread. If I knew of better examples, I wouldn’t have bothered.

And when asked for clarification by Lamia, I said

I’m not saying they have to be completely unheard of in the U. S. In fact, I’m saying they can be well known, but are *more *well known elsewhere. So far, what I’ve seen meets my (maybe vague) criterion.

How about Terry Gilliam?


or Lloyd Grossman?