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Gateway to Stardom- Iconic actors that arrived in America through Ellis Island

Neil Patrick

Million of people came to America through Ellis Island with high hopes to pursue their dream, seeking for better more prosperous tomorrow. This list represents five people that had really achieved their goal when they had passed through the iconic immigration inspection station.

5.Karl Dane

Karl Dane Source

Karl Dane Source

Karl Dane was a Danish-American comedian and actor known for his work in American films, mainly of the silent film era. He became a star after co-starring in one of the most successful silent films of all time, The Big Parade (1925), directed by King Vidor and starring John Gilbert.

On 25 January 1916, Dane headed for the United States alone. He intended to send for his family later. He boarded the SS Oscar II with $25 in his pocket and speaking no English. The ship arrived on 11 February 1916 at Ellis Island.Dane passed immigrant inspection and moved to 345 Court Street in Brooklyn with a friend named Charles Lindgren. The same day, he found work in a foundry. Sometime in 1916 he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where he worked as anauto mechanic. By summer 1917, he returned to New York where he again worked as a mechanic.

4.Rudolph Valentino

Rudolph Valentino.Source

Rudolph Valentino.Source

After living in Paris in 1912, he soon returned to Italy. Unable to secure employment, he departed for the United States in 1913. He was processed at Ellis Island at age 18 on December 23, 1913.Arriving in New York City, Valentino soon ran out of money and spent time on the streets. He supported himself with odd jobs such as bussing tables in restaurants and gardening. Eventually, he found work as a taxi dancer at Maxim’s. Among the other dancers at Maxim’s were several displaced members of European nobility, for whom a premium demand existed.

3.Bela Lugosi

Lugosi as Dracula Source

Lugosi as Dracula Source

Bela Lugosi, was a Hungarian-American actor, famous for portrayingCount Dracula in the original 1931 film and for his roles in various other horror films.He had been playing small parts on the stage in his native Hungary before making his first film in 1917, but had to leave the country after the failed Hungarian Communist Revolution of 1919.Due to his activism in the actors’ union in Hungary during the time of the Hungarian Revolution of 1919, he was forced to flee his homeland.He first went to Vienna and then settled in Berlin in the Langestrasse where he continued acting.Eventually, he travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana, US as a crewman aboard a merchant ship.He took the name Lugosi, in 1903, to honor his birthplace, Lugos.

2.Bobe Hope

Bob Hope Source

Bob Hope Source

Hope was born in Eltham, London (now part of the London Borough of Greenwich), the fifth of seven sons. In 1908, the family emigrated to the United States aboard the SS Philadelphia and passed through Ellis Island on March 30, 1908, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio.From age 12, Hope earned pocket money by busking (frequently on the streetcar to Luna Park), singing, dancing, and performing comedy.He entered many dancing and amateur talent contests (as Lester Hope) and won a prize in 1915 for his impersonation of Charlie Chaplin. For a time, he attended the Boys’ Industrial School in Lancaster, Ohio. As an adult, he donated sizable sums of money to the institution

1.Cary Grant

Publicity photo of Cary Grant for Suspicion (1941) Source

Publicity photo of Cary Grant for Suspicion (1941) Source

Grant befriended a troupe of acrobatic dancers, known as “The Penders” or the “Bob Pender Stage Troupe”.He subsequently trained as a stilt walker and began touring with them.During a two-week stint at the Wintergarten theatre in Berlin circa 1914 he was noticed by Jesse Lasky, who was a Broadway producer at the time.On July 21, 1920, at the age 16, Grant travelled with the group on the RMS Olympic to conduct a tour of the United States, arriving a week later.He was processed at Ellis Island on July 28, 1920.Grant became a part of the vaudeville circuit and began touring. After performing in places such as St. Louis, Missouri, Cleveland andMilwaukee,[45] he made the decision to stay in the US with several of the other members, while the rest of the troupe returned to Britain.