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Did you know these international stars were born in India?

Last updated on: March 20, 2012 15:58 IST

Did you know these international stars were born in India?

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It has been announced that Engelbert Humperdinck, at the ripe old age of 76, will be the oldest singer to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest when he represents the UK this time.

Not many know that the singer was born on our shores.

Here's a look at him and nine more international entertainers born in India.

Engelbert Humperdinck

Born in Madras in May 1936, Humperdinck was one of 10 children born to British Army officer Mervyn Dorsey and his wife of Indian descent, Olive.

A good looking crooner who provided a significant contrast to his contemporary Tom Jones, Humperdinck had a huge female following, and remains best known for his hits Release Me and The Last Waltz.


Image: Engelbert Humperdinck performs as guest during the international new singers contest New Wave in Jurmala in July 2010.
Photographs: REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

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Vivian Leigh

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Gone With The Wind's Scarlett O'Hara was born in November 1913 in Darjeeling, to British parents.

Her father, Ernest Hartley, was an Indian Cavalry officer, and was transferred to Bangalore in 1917 while Vivien and her mother Gertrude remained in Ootacamund (popularly known as Ooty), in Tamil Nadu. She stayed in India till the age of seven, after which she was sent to Catholic School in Roehampton in London.

A legendary actress with tremendous range, she proved a fine foil for her illustrious husband, Laurence Olivier.


Image: Vivian Leigh in Gone With The Wind


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Freddie Mercury

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One of the world's most famous Parsis, Farrokh Bulsara was born in September 1946 to parents Bomi and Jer, hailing from southern Gujarat.

The family moved to Zanzibar but Freddie spent most of his childhood in India, going to boarding school in Panchgani, near Bombay, and christening himself Freddie.

At the age of 24, he joined Roger Taylor and Brian May to form a band called Queen -- while he called himself Mercury -- and the rest really is history.


Image: Freddie Mercury singing during a Queen concert in Stockholm in 1986.
Photographs: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

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Julie Christie

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Born in an Assam tea estate in 1941, the luminous Julie Christie is best known for striking performances in films as iconic as Dr Zhivago, McCabe & Mrs Miller, Fahrenheit 451 and Darling, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1965.

She was last seen in the revisionist take of Red Riding Hood, where she played the sexiest grandmother figure any fairy tale ever saw.


Image: Julie Christie arrives at the 80th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, in 2008.
Photographs: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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Merle Oberon

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Merle Oberon, best remembered for her performance in 1939's Wuthering Heights, was born in Bombay in February 1911.

Merle lived with her grandmother in Bombay in dire conditions, moved to Calcutta, received a scholarship to the prestigious La Martiniere school there, and her first outings as an actress were with the Calcutta Amateur Dramatic Society.

 


Image: Merle Oberon
Photographs: Keystone/Getty Images

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Cliff Richards

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Born in October 1940 to a catering contractor for the Indian Railways, Richard spent his early life in Dehradun and then Howrah, near Calcutta.

Following India's Independence the family moved back to England, where Richard, while still young, began to be marketed as the UK's answer to Elvis Presley. He's the best-selling singles artist of all time in the UK, having sold over 21 million records.


Image: Cliff Richard poses for photographers at a music store in London 2009.
Photographs: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

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Michael Bates

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Born in December 1920 in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, Michael Bates was a Major serving with the Gurkhas in Burma till the end of World War II.

A fine actor with prominent parts in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy, he was criticised for his work in the sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum, where he was made up with fake tan to play Rangi Ram, an Indian character, for which he spoke fluent Hindi.


Image: Michael Bates in The Clockwork Orange


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Pete Best

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Randolph Peter Best, born in Madras in November 1941, was the original drummer for the biggest band of all time, The Beatles, before being replaced by Ringo Starr.

Best, considered the most good-looking of the band at the time of his dismissal, went on to create music in America as The Pete Best Four and later The Pete Best Combo.


Image: Pete Best
Photographs: Urbankayaker/Wikimedia Commons

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