20 of Our Favorite Celebrities from Argentina

Pope Francis

Argentina has always been a country bursting with potential. In fact, there was a time when it was one of the wealthiest countries in the entire world. Naturally, this means that plenty of people of note have come from the country, who are very much worth knowing about.

20. Juan Moreira

A wide range of cultures from a wide range of places have been known to romanticize outlaws. After all, the law might be the law. However, that doesn’t mean that people are guaranteed to see it as the party that is in the right. For proof, look no further than the stories of Robin Hood in the English-speaking world. Juan Moreira is one of the most romanticized outlaws in Argentinian pop culture. As the story goes, his skill with the guitar enabled him to win the heart of a rancher’s daughter named Vicenta. Unfortunately, it turned out that the deputy mayor of the area had been pursuing Vicenta as well, with the result that he started making trouble for Moreira whenever and wherever possible. Said individual didn’t outlive the trouble that he stirred up. Sadly, Moreira was forced to live a life of wandering before he was eventually cornered by a posse sent from Bueno Aires. In a sense, he is a symbol of the unfair treatment received by the gauchos, who play an important role in Argentina’s national identity.

19. Francisco Moreno

Francisco Moreno was a very prominent academic in his time. As a child, he spent his spare time looking for fossils as well as artifacts with his father; as an adult, well, it should come as no surprise to learn that he became an explorer. In that role, Moreno did a great deal to influence the incorporation of Patagonia as well as the subsequent development of the same. For that matter, he played a key role in shaping Argentina’s national story.

18. William Henry Hudson

Given the name, it should come as no surprise to learn that William Henry Hudson was an Anglo-Argentinian naturalist of some note. He specialized in birds. Furthermore, some of his published studies were influential enough to contribute to a back-to-nature movement. Having said that, it is amusing to note that Hudson is old enough that some of his scientific views are very outdated. To name an example, he was a defender of Lamarckian evolution, which is the idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired through either use or disuse during its lifetime. It is very much a discredited idea, though it is interesting to note that there is some controversy over whether some very recent findings can be considered Lamarckian in nature or not.

17. Manuel Puig

Manuel Puig was an Argentine author who wrote novels, plays, and screenplays. It is interesting to note that his works are often sorted into two categories. First, there were his earlier novels, which proved to be very popular with the masses. Second, there were his subsequent works, which were much less so. Apparently, this was because his subsequent works were reflective of a much less optimistic outlook on life, so much so that some people have called it outright unpalatable. Still, being pleasant is by no means necessary for something to possess artistic merit.

16. Ariel Dorfman

Ariel Dorfman is an Argentinian-Chilean-American academic. He was born in Argentina. However, he tends to be best-known because he was an adviser to Salvador Allende’s government. Dorfman was supposed to work the night before the coup d’etat, but he had switched shifts with one of his friends. Subsequently, he went into exile. Nowadays, Dorfman is a professor at Duke University in the United States.

15. Luis Sandrini

Luis Sandrini was a very prominent Argentinian comedian. For proof, look no further than the fact that he appeared in more than 80 movies over the course of almost five decades. On top of that, Sandrini’s fame was by no means limited to his homeland, seeing as how he was quite well-known throughout much of the rest of Latin America as well.

14. Alberto Olmedo

Alberto Olmedo was another one of the most important comedians in Argentinian history. Apparently, he had some minor success as an aspiring actor in his hometown of Rosario. However, it wasn’t until he moved to Buenos Aires that he started becoming more and more prominent. Olmedo wasn’t short of courage. To name an example, he had his own death announced on his show just a short while after the dictatorship called the National Reorganization Process was established, with the result that he was removed from the airwaves for two years.

13. Jose Froilan Gonzalez

Jose Froilan Gonzalez was an Argentinian driver who made his name in Formula One. He won two out of the 26 races that he participated in. However, he tends to be remembered because he was the one who won the British Grand Prix in 1951, which made him not just the first Argentinian driver to win one of these races but also the first Ferrari driver to win one of these races.

12. Juan Manuel Fangio

Formula One has been around for seven decades and counting. As a result, it has seen a lot of illustrious names over that period of time. To name another example from Argentina, consider Juan Manuel Fangio, a driver who dominated the first decade of the motorsport with not one, not two, but five World Drivers’ Championship wins. On top of that, he didn’t do so by staying with a single team. Instead, Fangio did so while racing for four different teams. As such, while he is no longer the record-driver for the most World Drivers’ Championship wins, he remains unchallenged when it comes to the second part.

11. Juan Carlos Castagnino

Juan Carlos Castagnino was a well-known Argentinian artist. Specifically, he was a painter, a muralist, and a sketch artist. On top of that, Castagnino was also an architect.

10. Carybe

Carybe refers to an Argentinian-Brazilian artist named Hector Julio Paride Bernabo. He was a scout when he was a child, which is relevant because Argentinian scouts get fish-based nicknames. Carybe is the name of a kind of piranha, which he continued to use as an adult because his personal name was too similar to that of his brother. Something that was problematic because both of them were artists. In any case, Carybe didn’t stick to a single art form but instead worked with a number of them. On top of that, he was also a historian as well as a journalist. It is interesting to note that Carybe even held an honorary position in candomble, which is an African diasporic religion that came into existence in Brazil.

9. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

Maxima is Queen-Consort of the Netherlands because of her marriage to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. The two rose to their respective positions in 2013 when Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands made the decision to abdicate. Subsequently, Maxima has been advocating for various issues such as LGBT rights, the integration of immigrants, and the availability of access to financial services to everyone.

8. Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Che Guevara is one of the most controversial people to ever come from Argentina. However, there can be no doubt about the fact that he is one of the most famous as well. After all, chances are good that interested individuals have seen either Guevara’s iconic photograph or something derived from Guevara’s iconic photograph at some point because it is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the most seen photographs ever taken. To a considerable extent, the man’s fame has overtaken the man himself. For proof, look no further than the fact that most people have a minimal understanding of who he was, what he did, and what he believed in other than the vague notion that he was a leftist fighter of some kind.

7. Pope Francis

The earliest popes used their birth names. As the story goes, the first pope to take a papal name had the birth name Mercurius, which would have been very awkward because Mercurius is the Latin form of Mercury. Nowadays, it is normal for popes to take papal names, with Pope Francis being no exception to this rule. In his case, he was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina to a pair of Italian immigrants. Francis took the name of Francis as a gesture of respect towards Saint Francis of Assisi, who serves as a patron to the Franciscans, animals, merchants, stowaways, and the country of Italy.

6. Ricardo Darin

Ricardo Darin is one of the most notable actors to ever emerge from Argentina. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that he has had appeared in both numerous movies and numerous TV shows. For that matter, Darin is known outside of Argentina as well. After all, he earned an Oscar for Best Foreign Picture for The Secret in Their Eyes, which was a crime drama resulting from a collaboration between Argentinian and Spanish companies. Suffice to say that was just one of the numerous honors that Darin has earned over the course of his career.

5. Eva Peron

Peronism is a complicated topic. Regardless, some of its leading figures remain well-known in the present time. This can be seen in how Eva Peron is still a part of international pop culture, not least because of her role as the subject of the musical Evita.

4. Lionel Messi

It is possible to argue about whether Lionel Messi is the greatest soccer player who is currently playing. However, there can be no doubt about the fact that he is one of the top contenders for said position, which makes sense when there can also be no doubt that he is one of the greatest soccer players of all time. Messi’s career success has been matched by his commercial success. After all, he is just the second soccer player to make more than $1 billion in career earnings, which makes him just the second team-sport athlete to do the same. Something that speaks volumes about the popularity of soccer around the world.

3. Laszlo Biro

Laszlo Biro was an inventor. Some people might be able to guess the nature of his famous invention because of his name. After all, there are a number of countries that use biro to refer to ballpoint pens. Strictly speaking, Biro wasn’t the one who came up with the first ballpoint pen. That would be John J. Loud, who patented a ballpoint pen in 1888. Instead, Biro is remembered because he was the one who came up with the first ballpoint pen that met with commercial success. As such, it is no exaggeration to say that he has had a transformative effect on writing as a whole.

2. Bernardo Houssay

Bernardo Houssay had the distinction of being the first Argentinian to win a Nobel in the sciences. He earned that because of his contribution to our understanding of how pituitary hormones regulate blood sugar levels in animals. Of course, Houssay had plenty of other achievements as well. For example, he released more than 600 books and scientific papers over the course of his career. Similarly, he taught numerous students, which included a number of individuals who went on to become prominent in their own right. It is no exaggeration to say that Houssay was an influential figure throughout Latin America, as shown by how he wrote the standard textbook on human physiology.

1. Cesar Milstein

Cesar Milstein was a biochemist involved in the research of antibodies. He had a wide range of professional successes. However, Milstein tends to be best-remembered because he won a Nobel for inventing the hybridoma technique. This is important because this produces monoclonal antibodies, which see frequent use in the diagnosis, the treatment, and the prevention of diseases. It is interesting to note that Milstein seemed to have strong opinions about making the fruits of scientific research available to the poor. He didn’t patent his major discovery even though he could have. Something that seems to have been motivated by a belief that it belonged to humanity as a whole.

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