North Wales is an amazing breeding ground for sport, culture and lifestyle that is envied throughout the country. From rugby stars to films stars, this historic region has a proud heritage of famous faces being born or brought up in this beautiful part of the United Kingdom.

So, who are a few of our most famous exports? We take a look at some of the famous people born in North Wales.

Jimmy Sangster

It’s important to start with a true master of Hollywood and it’s proven here with Jimmy Sangster: a son of Kimmel Bay.

Notorious on the horror scene, Sangster had a huge impact on shaping the future of the genre as he penned many scripts for some true classics. Possibly most well-known for his work on Hammer Studios’ Frankenstein and Dracula films, everyone making horror films today owes a big debt of gratitude to the foundations laid by Sangster in the 50’s.


The little lady with a big voice, Duffy went down a storm on the music scene after the release of her Rockferry album.

Hailing from Gwynedd, Duffy is renowned for her distinctive, gravelly but soulful tones which saw her win big at the 2009 Brits where she won the British Breakthrough, Best British Album and Best Female Solo awards. She followed up her success with 2010’s Endlessly which was met with a good reception.

T.E Lawrence

One of the most respected voices in the literary realm, Lawrence was a soldier turned author who was born in Caernarfornshire.

Noted most popularly for his Lawrence of Arabia works, the novel was based upon his tenure in the armed services during World War I and has gone on to be a certified classic with the film of the same name also now being part of cultural history. Lawrence’s personal life came under much scrutiny following his death in a motorbike crash in 1935.

Gary Speed, Neville Southall, Kevin Ratcliffe & Ian Rush

Four of the greatest Welsh footballers that have ever played the game have hailed from various parts of North Wales.

Neville Southall is as prominent a goalkeeper as they come with nearly 600 appearances under his belt for Everton. Born in Llandudno, Southall had various stints at clubs elsewhere but was the mainstay between the sticks for the national team for many years.

A town that has a population of just 4000 is not the place where you’d expect sporting greatness to come from but this is the case with Mancot: the hometowns of both Gary Speed and Kevin Ratcliffe. Speed had many clubs throughout his glittering career including Everton and Newcastle with over 100 goals throughout his professional life and one or two titles over the years. Speed sadly committed suicide in the late stages of 2012.

Another player of Everton, Ratcliffe was a part of the glorious Everton side of the 1980’s which went on to scoop division titles and cups with Ratcliffe at the heart of defence. Finishing his career off at Chester, Ratcliffe is now often seen on BBC Wales Sport.

Hailing from St. Asaph, Ian Rush is possibly the greatest striker to ever come from Wales and his folk status at Liverpool FC is legendary. One Welsh prodigy that slipped though Everton’s fingers, Rush went on to manage an astounding 207 goals for Liverpool and still holds the scoring record for the Welsh team.

Dawn French

We didn’t even know about this one until we did plenty of research! A comedienne’s comedienne, Dawn French is a daughter of Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey.

A definite national treasure, French has appeared in some of the most beloved sitcoms in recent memory including: The Vicar of Dibley and French and Saunders. It was the latter which elevated her to celebrity status as her chemistry with long-time friend Jennifer Saunders proved a smash hit with audiences.

French was most recently seen in The Wrong Mans and is expected to have a big 2014.

Do you have any more famous faces to add? Be sure to leave a comment below!

“Duffy in concert” by


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