Olivia Wilde. The beautiful women of Hollywood you never realized had Irish roots. Photo by: Getty Images

Top ten fabulous Irish American Hollywood actresses


Olivia Wilde. The beautiful women of Hollywood you never realized had Irish roots. Photo by: Getty Images

Here at the Irish think tank we have compiled a list of Hollywood starlets who wow audiences with their good looks, talent and Irish roots. Successful and talented, it is no surprise that many of the Hollywood starlets are proud of their links to the Emerald Isle.

1. Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde was born in New York City on March 10, 1984. Her father, the journalist Andrew Cockburn, was raised in Ireland; Olivia herself holds both Irish and American passports.  She has starred in 'House' and most recently in the smash hit 'Tron.' In 2009, Olivia was voted Maxim's 'Sexiest Woman Alive.' She also starred in the NBC drama ''The Black Donnelly's," which is about an Irish American family.

2. Lindsay Lohan

The troubled star began her career in acting at the tender age of ten. Growing up, she modeled for Calvin Klein Kids and Abercrombie Kids, as well as appearing in hundreds of television commercials. Both her parents have considerable Irish roots, which explains Lohan’s red hair and pale complexion. While her erratic personal life has overshadowed much of her career as of lately, it is undeniable the child star has demonstrated her talent in a number of her lead roles.

3.  Orla Brady

The Dublin born starlet studied at the Ecole Phillippe Gaulier in Paris during her twenties. A career in modeling career later led her to acting.  She has performed in both the Gate Theatre in Dublin and the Royal National Theatre in London. While she works on both sides of the Atlantic, much of her acting career has been focused in the UK and Ireland. She also appeared on the US drama, "Nip/Tuck."

4. Zooey Deschanel

The 30 year-old actress' career has really taken off in the last five years when she landed lead roles in films such as “500 days of Summer." The brunette is also a musician and singer-songwriter and regularly performs with her band, called "She & Him." The actress attended Crossroads (a private school in Santa Monica, California) where she befriended future co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson. Deschanel is of both  French and Irish decent.

5. Katherine Heigl

Nicknamed Katie by her two elder siblings, Katherine Heigl is most well known for her role as Dr. Isobel (Izzie) Stevens in  "Grey's Anatomy," an ABC medical drama.  Heigl has both Irish and German ancestry. A career in modeling began when she was nine years old, after her aunt sent pictures of her to a modeling agency in New York. On September 16, 2007, Heigl won an Emmy  for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Izzie Stevens.

6. Anne Hathaway

"The Devil Wears Prada" star was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her main ancestry roots are Irish. Her mother was an actress and inspired a young Hathaway to follow in her footsteps. She played characters in family-friendly films in her early career, but her first major role came in the television series “Get Real.” As a soprano, she performed in two concerts at Carnegie Hall as member of All- Eastern U.S. High School Honors Chorus. In 2002, she was named one of Teen People Magazine's 25 Hottest Stars Under 25.

7. Laura Prepon

This blond actress is most well known for her role as Donna Pinciotto in the long running Fox comedy show “That 70s Show.” Born in Watchung, New Jersey, her mother is an Irish Catholic. The youngest of five children, she started studying acting at the age of 15. She has also worked as a model in Paris and Milan.

8. Vanessa Hudgens

Claiming Irish heritage from her father’s side, the High School Musical star is most well known for her role as Gabriella Montez in the hit musical series; her talent for acting, singing and dancing landed her the role in the show. Hudgens has been home schooled since the seventh grade. She has dated her on screen partner Zac Efron since 2007, that same year she was listed on the Forbes website as one of Young Hollywood's Top Earning-Stars.

9 Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore’s Hollywood career spans over 28 years. At the age of seven, she landed her debut role in "E.T."  Last year, she was ranked number 40 in Maxim's  Hot 100. Despite never finishing high school her prolific professional career has spanned almost  three decades. Her great great grandfather hailed from Ireland.  The actress took a road trip around the Emerald Isle in 2001 and over five years later she told Parade magazine that she likes to run naked in Irish wheat fields! 

10. Heather Graham

Voted most talented by her high school's senior class, the Irish-Catholic, Wisconsin-born actress later dropped out of her acting program in UCLA  after two years. She went on to star in prominent roles in films such as "Anger Management," "Boogie Nights," and most recently "The Hangover" film series. 

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