Taking A Look At Well-Known People With Maltese Ancestry

Left: Joseph Calleja / Top Right: Tash Sultana / Bottom Right: Kerry Ingram

Watching your favourite film or listening to your favourite song and realising that one of the masterminds or actors behind it has a Maltese surname or has ‘Maltese mannerisms’ can sometimes be a very surprising moment as Malta is so small. Whether they are well-known or not, we take a look at figures around the world who proudly have Maltese ancestry or connections to Malta.

Kerry Ingram

Via Floor8

Kerry is a British actress who has starred in HBO’s Game of Thrones and Netflix’s Free Rein. Her grandfather was born in Mqabba and she was awarded her Maltese citizenship in 2020.

Although she resides in England, since her birth in 1999, she has never missed an Mqabba festa which proves her love and commitment to her Maltese culture.

Tash Sultana

Via SF Weekly

Australian-born Tash Sultana is a musician who has a strong talent and love for music. They are able to play 20 instruments with some being Flute, Guitar, Trumpet, Piano and Saxophone (amongst many others).

Their grandfather gifted them with a guitar at the small age of 3 and ever since then, they have shone their talents to greater heights releasing music and performing at multiple music festivals and concerts. They rose to prominence with their hit song, “Jungle”. 

Meghan Markle

Via Insider

The wife of Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex has mentioned that her great-great-grandmother lived in Malta.

Her great-great-grandmother Mary was born in Malta and sparked Meghan’s interest and travelling to Malta in 2015. During her trip, the actress-turned-royal enjoyed some of Malta’s popular foods like pastizzi and fitra-biż-żejt.

Britney Spears

Via Billboard

Perhaps a very well-known ‘Maltese celebrity’ is Britney Spears. Known for being the “Queen Of Pop” and giving us hits like “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, “Womanizer” and “Toxic”, it truly comes as a surprise that Spears has Maltese blood. 

Her great-great-grandfather from her mother’s side was Maltese as he was born in Malta around 1873 and held the surname of Portelli.

Joseph Calleia (Calleja)

Via The Malta Independent

Calleja made a name for himself in Hollywood and starred in a whopping 59 films. He was heavily gifted as he was both an actor and singer. He starred on both stage and in films. He also had his fair share of being on the radio.

Naturally, he made friends with many Hollywood names and was even dubbed “the Maltese Leonardo DiCaprio” of his time. 

Edwige Fenech

Via Libero

From her surname, we can see that Edwige was born into a Maltese family. Her mother is of Sicilian descent whilst her father is Maltese. She caught the eye of Quentin Tarantino and was quickly identified as a sex symbol due to her good looks and model features. She was a talented actress who turned to producing. 

Her career took off in 1967 when she moved to Italy (Rome) to film her first Italian film. It was titled ‘Samoa, Queen Of The Jungle.’ She was born in France but proudly upholds Maltese ancestry.

Jason Grech

Via Herald Sun

Jason is an Australian fashion designer who has Maltese ancestry. Specialising in wedding couture, his talents shine through as he never fails to disappoint. His work has been on front-page fashion magazines as well as endless catwalks, making him one of the country’s most prominent names in the game.

Jason has been in the fashion business for the last 20 years, having launched his company all the way back in 2003. His first dress he completed was for a friend in 2000 and he soon launched his brand soon after.