More Portuguese Faces in Hollywood

Freida Pinto, Go Lisbon has just told you about young Portuguese-Americans in Hollywood, and now you can add a few more recently-famous names to the list. Katy Perry, the voice of the recent pop hits “I Kissed a Girl” and “Hot N Cold” is really Katy Pereira. On her birth certificate she’s Katherine Hudson because that’s her father’s last name, but so that she wouldn’t be confused with actress Kate Hudson, she used her Portuguese-American mother’s name instead. Perry is a common “translation” of Pereira, and she’s not the only one — Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and 4 Non Blonde’s Linda Perry are really also Pereiras. They’re descendants of early 20th century Portuguese immigrants who had their names “Americanized” on their arrival in the United States, and other examples include “Rogers” from “Rosa” or “Lazarus” from “Lázaro.”

Another new famous face with a Portuguese last name is Freida Pinto, the actress of this year’s Best Picture Oscar “Slumdog Millionaire.” In an interview published in the February/March issue of the Asian-American lifestyle magazine “Audrey,” Pinto says she’s “completely pure Indian,” but acknowledges that her ancestors were most likely Portuguese: “my forefathers’ forefathers’ forefathers were probably Portuguese and Pinto is brought down from those generations.” The Indian state of Goa was a Portuguese colony for over four centuries until 1961 and last names like Sousa and Fernandes are among the most common in the region today.

See more famous Portuguese people here.