Actors You Might Not Know are TCKs

Film -- (Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay)

Whether we see it or not, there are Third Culture Kids (TCKs) all around us. Some would be surprised to learn how many how many of them became famous actors.

Here are five:

1. Scott Foley

Scott Foley via Instagram

Scott Foley is a U.S. actor who spent much of his time traveling as a child. He is fluent in Japanese and English. Foley is known for his roles on the television shows Felicity, Scandal, and Whiskey Cavalier. He was born in Kansas City, Kan. but because his father was an international banker, he spent the majority of his early childhood moving around, from Japan to Australia.

Following Foley’s mother’s passing away from ovarian cancer, he moved back to the United States to finish his high school education. In a recent interview with Survivor Net, he says “dealing with loss at a young age, and dealing with someone who’s sick all the time, that really turned me into someone who built the resilience in me that I walk with today.”

2. Viggo Mortensen

Actor Viggo Mortensen, actors
Viggo Mortensen (Image credit: Joost Pauwels CC0)

Viggo Mortensen is an actor best known for his role in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. He can speak seven languages give or take – one of the beauties of being a culturally mobile TCK. Mortensen’s mother is American and was born in New York City while his father is Danish which is how he learned the language. At an early age, he lived in Venezuela, Denmark, and Argentina. Throughout his life, he has learned English, Spanish, Danish, French, Italian, Arabic, and Catalan.  

He attended a private boarding school in Argentina while his parents went through a divorce. Afterward, his mother brought him and his brothers back to her home state of New York. From there, in his young adulthood, he graduated from St. Lawrence University in New York and then lived in Denmark, England, and Spain for several years following.

3. Julie Christie

Actor Julie Christie, TCK actors
Julie Christie in Dr. Zhivago

TCK Julie Christie was born in Assam, India to a tea planter and a painter. She grew up on her father’s tea plantation and eventually went to England for school.

In England, Christie lived with foster parents and was later expelled for a rude joke. She then lived with her mother in Wales after her parents separated. She moved to France soon after to continue her education. In Paris, she improved her French. She moved to London to pursue becoming an actor and began her career at age 17, winning her first Academy Award at age 25.

4. Santiago Cabrera

Santiago Cabrera via Instagram

Santiago Cabrera is best known for his roles in Heroes and Merlin. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Because his father was a diplomat, he spent the majority of his TCK childhood in England, Romania, Canada and Spain. Today, he splits his time going between Los Angeles and London and considers his hometown to be Chile.

As an actor, he is known for his impeccable accents. When he lived in England, he mastered the accent to fit in with the other kids. Being culturally mobile as a child he learned English, Spanish, French and Italian. He attended a school in London to pursue his acting career.

5. Millie Bobby Brown

Millie Bobby Brown via Instagram

Seventeen-year-old Millie Bobby Brown is known for her roles in Netflix’s Enola Holmes and Stranger Things. Brown was born in Marbella, Andalusia, Spain, and moved to Bournemouth, Dorset in England at age four. After she turned eight, her family moved to Orlando, Florida in the United States where she began to pursue acting, landing her first major role as Eleven in Stanger Things when she was 12 years old.

Over the course of her childhood, she lost hearing in one ear and became a trained boxer prior to her acting career. She speaks Spanish and English fluently and now resides in Los Angeles with her parents. Brown is also recognized for her beauty branding and her body positivity on social media.

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