Famous Ukrainians

It’s not every day that you meet a famous Ukrainian, yet Europe’s second-largest country has quite a few amazing people that call the nation home. Whether they were originally born there, or have clear Ukrainian roots, these are some of the top famous people from Ukraine.

Leonard Nimoy

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The late and great Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy was born in Boston, MA, to Ukrainian Jewish parents. Nimoy is best known for playing the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series, as well as in subsequent films and spinoffs. Throughout his life, Nimoy also worked as an author, film director, singer, and photographer.

Winona Ryder

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Best known for her roles in films like Heathers and Little Women, actress Winona Ryder is of Ukrainian descent, with grandparents who immigrated to the US from Kharkiv, Ukraine. Ryder’s other films include Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, and she also stars in the hit Netflix original series Stranger Things.

Steven Spielberg

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As one of the biggest names in Hollywood, we have director, producer, and screenwriter Steven Spielberg to thank for many notable films such as Jaws, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, and many more. While Spielberg himself was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, his Jewish grandparents came to the United States from Ukraine in the 1900s. With his family having lost several relatives in Poland and Ukraine during the Holocaust, Spielberg took great care when directing and producing Schindler’s List.

Vera Farmiga

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Born and raised in a Ukrainian American community in New Jersey, actress Vera Farmiga learned English at age six and was a Ukrainian folk dancer in her teens. Her film work includes Up in the Air (for which she was Oscar-nominated for best-supporting actress) and The Conjuring franchise, while her TV work includes Bates Motel and the Disney+ original series Hawkeye.

Katheryn Winnick

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Canadian-born actress Katheryn Winnick is of Ukrainian descent. Winnick cites Ukrainian as her first language and that she didn’t start learning English until she was eight years old. Winnick is best known for her role as Lagertha on the hit TV series Vikings. She also stars in the ABC crime drama Big Sky.

Milla Jovovich

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Ukrainian-born model and actress Milla Jovovich was born in Kyiv, and then moved to London and later California during her childhood. In addition to films such as The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet, and Monster Hunter, Jovovich is best known for her starring role as Alice in the Resident Evil franchise.

Leonardo DiCaprio

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Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s grandma was born in Ukraine in 1915, though at the time the country was under the domain of the Russian Empire. DiCaprio’s grandmother emigrated to Germany during her childhood and this was where Leonardo’s mother was born. DiCaprio is widely regarded as one of Hollywood’s most talented stars, with an impressive resume of films including Titanic, Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Revenant.

Mila Kunis

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Former That ’70s Show star Mila Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, and moved to the United States with her family during her childhood. As an actress, Kunis has started in several films including Black Swan, Jupiter Ascending, and the Bad Moms franchise. Kunis also voices Meg on Family Guy.

RocketFACTS


History Facts - The First Industrial Revolution

  1. The First Industrial Revolution began around 1760 and lasted up to somewhere between 1820 and 1840 (depending on your historical source of choice). Taking place in the United States and Europe, this revolution was defined by a shift from handcrafted methods to mechanization.
  2. There was a second Industrial Revolution that came shortly after the first. While the First Industrial Revolution predominantly involved innovations in water, steam, iron, and agriculture, the second stage (1870 to 1914) was defined by advances in electricity, steel (mass manufacture), and refined oil.
  3. In the 1700s, transportation was so slow that a journey from London to Manchester took four days. This transit time changed with the improvements brought by the Industrial Revolution, cutting travel time to four hours in 1870, thanks to new technological advancements and intercity railways.
  4. With the advent of the agricultural revolution, food production increased considerably. This can be seen in the development of machine tools like reapers, and technologies like the seed drill and the Dutch plow.
  5. The Industrial Revolution saw a new way to produce iron that was cheaper and faster. Puddling made it possible to craft iron bars without the use of charcoal, substituting it with a development that replaced the old stamping and potting, bloomery, and finery processes.
  6. The Industrial Revolution also gave rise to the problem of pollution with high rates of combustion, especially in populated areas. The proliferation of factories came with no environmental regulations, resulting in horrendously smoky atmospheres.

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