Norwegians are everywhere!

For a country that only has recently surpassed the 5 million mark in population, I am constantly astounded, and partially think Even is lying to me, when he name drops a famous celebrity with Norwegian ancestry, or picks up on his native dialect while we are out and about, everywhere from Texas to Barcelona.

Below are 11 people that have Norwegian ancestry that you might not have known.

Roald Dahl

The British novelist, most known for ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’; ‘The Witches’; ‘Matilda’ and ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’, was born in Wales to Norwegian parents. If you ever read his book Boy — Tales of Childhood’, he writes a lot about this early life and summers in Norway.

Marilyn Monroe

Actress. Her grandfather is supposedly of Norwegian descent. This one is unconfirmed in that the true identity of her biological father is still up for debate. If you ever go to Haugesund, a small town between Stavanger and Bergen, along the E39 road, you’ll see a statue of her near the town center.

Edvard Munch

Famous painter and printmaker, most known for the painting “The Scream”. You can see his work at the Edvard Munch museum in Oslo.

Matt Groening

Creator of the Simpsons and Futurama, comes from a Norwegian mother.

Walter Mondale

Former US Vice President and senator has ancestors from Fjærland.

Paris Hilton

Her grandfather, founder of the Hilton Hotel chain, grew up around Oslo.

Paris Hilton striking a pose. Photo: Pimkie,

Morten Harket

Lead person of the band A-ha, most commonly known for their 1985 hit “Take on Me.”

Geir Haarde

Former prime minister of Iceland was born of a Norwegian father from Rogaland.

Friday Lyngstad

Singer from the pop group ABBA, can be recognized on famous songs such as, “Mamma Mia” and “Dancing Queen.”

Eliot Ness

American Prohibition Agent, noted for being the man who brought down gangster Al Capone.

Renee Zellweger

Daughter to a Norwegian women from Finnmark, met her dad on the Hurtigruten ship that sails around North Norway.

The list continues, but these were the stand out ones for me. Excuse my skewed references, I am not particularly caught up on topics of pop culture, sports, or entertainment personalities, so I might be missing other notable persons as I personally don’t recognize them.

I was so excited about my first encounter with holidaying Norwegians in San Diego, California one evening, and my horrible attempt at speaking the language, I couldn’t wait to tell Even. He, in turn, matter-of-factly stated that there are over 4.5 million Norwegians living in the States. He’s really kind of a buzz kill isn’t he? Other notable countries of Norwegian immigration include Brazil, Canada, and Australia.

Have you come across Norwegians anywhere you didn’t expect? Are you of Norwegian decent living abroad? Tell us your story!