11 famous people you didnt know are originally from belfast

11 famous people you didn’t know are originally from Belfast


Belfast may be a relatively small city – but we sure do pack a punch when it comes to talented citizens.

Although there are plenty of famous people from Belfast we all know and love, there are a few you may not have realised are originally from here.


Whether they were born here, spent their early years here, or continued to live here throughout their life – there are many who may have slipped under the radar over the years.

You might be surprised to learn many people who you’ve seen on TV, in film, or who have become household names over the years began their lives in Belfast.


Here are just a few famous faces who started their lives in and around the city.

Ciarán Hinds



11 famous people you didnt know are originally from belfast
Ciaran Hinds poses on the red carpet on arrival to attend the European premiere of the film ‘Belfast’, during the 2021 BFI London Film Festival in London
(Image: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)

The versatile actor known for playing Mance Rayder in Game of Thrones, and his role in Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Belfast’, was born in North Belfast.

Hinds is one of five children and was the only son. His father was a doctor, while his mother was a schoolteacher and amateur actress.

He was educated at Holy Family Primary School and St Malachy’s College, before enrolling as a law student at Queen’s University Belfast. However, after deciding acting was his forte instead, Hinds soon relocated to London where he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Paula Malcolmson



11 famous people you didnt know are originally from belfast 1
Paula Malcolmson

She is best known for her role as Trixie in HBO hit series Deadwood. She also appeared in The Hunger Games and as the wife of the title character in Ray Donovan.

Paula was born in Belfast in 1970.

Peter Dickson



11 famous people you didnt know are originally from belfast 2

You might not instantly recognise his name – or face – but you will DEFINITELY know his voice.

Peter is the man whose voice has been igniting the X Factor for years. He’s also worked on Britain’s Got Talent, Family Fortunes and Live At The Apollo – to name but a few.

He is from Belfast and is a former pupil of Belfast Royal Academy and a graduate of Queen’s University. He previously worked for Radio Ulster.

Frances Tomelty



11 famous people you didnt know are originally from belfast 3
Sting with his ex-wife, Belfast born actress Frances Tomelty
(Image: Getty Images)

Did you know that Sting’s first wife, actress Frances Tomelty, was originally from West Belfast?

The pair were married from 1976 to 1984. They first met on the set of rock musical Rock Nativity – Frances played the role of the Virgin Mary, while Sting played in the band.

Tomelty’s TV credits include Strangers, Testament of Youth, Inspector Morse, and Unforgotten.

Anna Burns



11 famous people you didnt know are originally from belfast 4
(Photo by Frank Augstein – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The author and winner of the Man Booker Prize, Anna Burns, was born in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast.

She attended St Gemma’s High School before leaving for London in 1987.

Burns is best known for her 2018 novel Milkman, which is set during The Troubles.

Vivian Campbell



Vivian Campbell
Vivian Campbell

A former member of popular rock bands Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake, Belfast born Vivian Campbell has been a guitarist in Def Leppard since 1992.

Campbell, who is a former Rathmore Grammar School pupil, became an ambassador for the Northern Ireland Hospice in recent years, after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2013.

David Holmes



11 famous people you didnt know are originally from belfast 6
Local success story David Holmes

Electronic musician and composer David Holmes was born in Belfast, and played his first gig at the age of 15 in the city’s Abercorn Mod Club.

In the early to mid 1990s, he ran two club nights in the Belfast Art College called Sugar Sweet and Shake Yer Brain.

He has also composed many film scores, after establishing a long-running collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh that includes Out of Sight and the Ocean’s trilogy.

Sam Kydd



Sam Kydd
Sam Kydd
(Image: Jonathan Kydd)

An army officer’s son, actor Sam Kydd was born in Belfast in 1915, before relocating to London as a child.

His best-known roles were in two major series in the 1960s, as the smuggler Orlando O’Connor in Crane and its sequel Orlando. He also played a recurring character, Frankie Baldwin, in Coronation Street.

Ruby Murray



11 famous people you didnt know are originally from belfast 8
Ruby Murray

Born near the Donegall Road in Belfast, she shot to fame as one of the UK’s most popular singers in the 1950s, scoring ten hits in the singles chart between 1954 and 1959.

Ruby Murray toured as a child singer and first appeared on television at the age of 12, having been spotted by producer Richard Afton.

Her popularity led to her name being used in Cockney rhyming slang as a rhyme for “curry.”

Frank Carson



11 famous people you didnt know are originally from belfast 9
Comedian Frank Carson performing on a television show, December 4th 1990
(Image: Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images)

Comedian Frank Carson was one of six children born in a working class family in Belfast’s Half Bap area – now known as Cathedral Quarter, before the family later moved to 94 Corporation Street in the Little Italy area, close to Sailortown.

In his early days, Carson was a choirboy at St Patrick’s Church. He’s best known for his work on TV series’ such as The Comedians and Tiswas.

Andrea Catherwood



11 famous people you didnt know are originally from belfast 10
Andrea Catherwood
(Image: Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty Images)

She was born and raised in Belfast where her mother, Adrienne McGuill, was an announcer at Ulster Television (now UTV) from 1959 to 1969.

Andrea started her own career in presenting and journalism there, too, after finishing university in 1990, where she spent three years as a news and features reporter. In 1993 she joined NBC Asia in Hong Kong as a news reporter, covering the handover of Hong Kong to China and the 1997 stock-market turmoil, before joining ITV News in 1998.

For the latest breaking news straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!