Top 50 Most Popular Asian Celebrities Of All Time

top 50 most popular asian celebrities of all time


Asian celebrities have been making a major impact in the world of entertainment since almost the beginning of the entertainment industry. In fact, some incredibly talented thespians from the continent have gone on to alter the course of their nation’s cinematic history over the years.


Over time, a lot many Asian celebrities have emerged as globally recognized superstars and have, therefore, destroyed stereotypes along the way. Today, a ton of new-age actors are taking the baton from pioneers such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Dilip Kumar and raising the status of Asian screen performers to the next level.


That said, Asia is also renowned for producing several stars when it comes to its music industry. Needless to mention, some musicians from within the continent have set the stage on fire and have broken down racial boundaries with their astounding success.


So, today, we are going to talk about the most popular Asian celebrities who have gone on to breathe fresh vitality into the film and music business over time. Some of them continue to be the biggest stars in their respective fields even today.


NOTE: We are not only including stars who were born in Asia but also those who are of Asian descent.




1. Jackie Chan


Jackie Chan


Jackie Chan, who has been contributing to the motion picture industry since the tender age of 5, continues to be one of the most popular action movie stars in the world.


Besides being an admired screen actor, he is also a first-class martial artist, director, producer, and stunt performer. The popularity of Chan can be gauged from the fact that several references to his name are often made in cartoons, music videos, video games, feature films, and other forms of media.


Also acknowledged for his comic timing, he has worked in over 150 motion pictures to date. Jackie Chan’s contribution to cinema has not only helped him receive a star on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars but also on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.




2. Salman Khan


salman khan


Arguably the biggest and most followed Bollywood star in India, Salman Khan is an actor, producer, screenwriter, and singer who has appeared in more than 75 motion pictures to date.


He is the only superstar who has featured in the highest-grossing movies of the year on eleven separate occasions since the beginning of his career – a record that continues to remain unmatched in Bollywood.


The highest-paid actor and television host in India, Salman was voted the “7th Best Looking Man in the World” and the “Best Looking Man in India” by People magazine, United States, in 2004.


Aside from hosting numerous award shows, this mega movie star is also the host of two of the most popular television shows in India, namely ‘Bigg Boss’ and ‘Dus Ka Dum.’ Widely known for promoting humanitarian causes through his charity, Being Human Foundation, Khan is lovingly referred to as “Bhai” (Brother) and “Sultan (Emperor) of Bollywood” by his loyal fans.


He has gone on to play some of the most iconic characters in the history of Indian cinema, such as Prem, Tiger, Sultan, Chulbul Pandey, and Radhe. His latest film, Tiger 3, added yet another feather to his cap as it managed to become one of the highest-grossing Indian films of the year despite the onslaught of the Cricket World Cup.




3. Shah Rukh Khan


Shah Rukh Khan


Shah Rukh Khan made his screen debut with the television show Fauji in the late 1980s and went on to consolidate his position as the new-age romantic icon of Bollywood during the second half of the 1990s and the early 2000s.


Popular for hits like Kal Ho Naa Ho, Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham, Veer Zaara, and My Name Is Khan, he is one of the wealthiest actors in the world. Even though most of Khan’s films have failed to perform at the box office in the bygone decade, he continues to remain in the limelight courtesy of his many side businesses, endorsements, and other investments.


In addition, the star has also established the Red Chillies production house, which is one of the most successful film production companies in India.




4. Bruno Mars


Bruno Mars


There is no denying that fans of English music may have known the artist and have heard hits like Uptown Funk, Grenade, and Just the Way You Are. However, not many people know of Bruno’s melting pot heritage.


Known for his stage performances, retro showmanship, and for performing in a wide range of musical styles, the artist is part Asian from his mother’s side. While eight of his songs have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, his concert tours have also turned out to be some of the highest-grossing in history.


Rightfully regarded as a pop icon due to his influential career, Mars became the first artist to receive six Diamond-certified songs in the United States of America.



5. Bruce Lee


Bruce Lee


Bruce Lee was an acting great who managed to make a significant impact as an Asian actor. He is credited with being the founder of Jeet Kune Do, which is a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines.


Many believe that it even paved the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA). An actor who starred in some of the biggest martial arts motion pictures of his era, his undeniable impact on modern martial arts is often cited as the one of main reasons for bridging the gap between the East and West.


In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to assert that he was one of the first reasons Asian movies were appreciated by Americans and the rest of the West in the first place.


His cult classic Enter the Dragon continues to remain one of the finest and most popular martial arts movies of the past 50 years.



6. Aamir Khan


Aamir Khan


One of the most respected and finest actors in the Indian film industry, Aamir Khan is a screen performer who is known for being completely devoted to the characters he plays on celluloid.


He has headlined the biographical sports drama, Dangal, which continues to be the highest-grossing Indian motion picture in the world. Popularly known as “Mr Perfectionist” by film buffs and critics, Aamir has been the star of many of Indian cinema’s finest films to have hit the screens.


Besides his home country, the actor also enjoys a massive fan following in China – a nation that is known for welcoming some of his critically acclaimed movies with open arms.



7. Amitabh Bachchan


Amitabh Bachchan


The most dominant Indian superstar of the 20th century, Amitabh Bachchan rose to prominence during the late 1970s after having headlined a string of hugely successful action entertainers. Popularly known as “Big B” and the “Angry Young Man” of Bollywood, he is arguably the most decorated Indian movie star to have ever graced the screens.


Besides being a leading actor, he has also been a competent singer and a respected television host. The great movie star has been honoured with the Padma Shri in 1984, the Padma Bhushan in 2001, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015 by the Government of India, respectively.


He continues to be the benchmark and a true blue inspiration for most movie stars and aspiring actors in India.



8. Song Kang-ho


Song Kang-ho


Song Kang-ho is arguably the most popular motion picture star in the history of Korean cinema. The actor, who made his debut in the feature film The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well, delivered a series of stunning performances as he continued to gain nationwide attention.


The man won hearts with his character projection in movies such as Joint Security Area, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Memories of Murder, The Host, and A Taxi Driver. Two of director Bong Joon-ho’s classics, namely Snowpiercer and Parasite, are credited with bringing well-deserved global fame to Song Kang-ho.


Awarded Best Actor at the 75th Cannes Film Festival for his performance in Broker, The New York Times placed him at #6 on its coveted list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.



9. Hailee Steinfeld


Hailee Steinfeld


The gorgeous Hailee Steinfeld had her breakthrough with the western film True Grit and gained wider recognition following the release of the Pitch Perfect film series and the coming-of-age drama, The Edge of Seventeen.


A well-known actress and singer, the part Asian celebrity went on to release a series of successful singles, including “Starving”, “Most Girls” and “Let Me Go” which only added to her popularity.


Steinfeld is also known to have diligently voiced Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman in the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Vi in the hit Netflix series Arcane.



10. Dilip Kumar


Dilip Kumar


Credited with pioneering method acting in cinema, Dilip Kumar is known to have dominated the Indian movie scene from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. Popularly referred to as “Abhinay Samrat” (Emperor of Acting) and “Tragedy King”, about 80 per cent of his movies were box office successes, making his success ratio the finest among lead actors in Bollywood.


For his contributions to cinema, the Government of India awarded him with the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan in 1991 and 2015, respectively. Also, the Government of Pakistan conferred Kumar with their highest civilian decoration in 2018, Nishan-e-Imtiaz, making him the only Indian to have received the honour.


The house that he grew up in, which is located in Peshawar, has been declared a national heritage monument.



11. Sridevi




Cited as the “First Female Superstar” of Indian cinema, Sridevi was an actor par excellence who went on to establish herself as the biggest female star in several film industries within the Indian subcontinent.


Known for her reticent personality, she set the screen on fire by playing iconic characters in several noteworthy slapstick comedies and epic dramas during her super successful five-decade-long career. She was the highest-paid Indian actress throughout the 1980s and till at least the first half of the early 1990s.


Honoured with India’s fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, Sridevi has been called ‘India’s Greatest Actress in 100 Years’ in a CNN-IBN national poll conducted in 2013.



12. Jungkook




This South Korean singer Jungkook is a member and vocalist of the popular South Korean boy band BTS. In 2022, he became the first artist from his country to release a song for the FIFA World Cup soundtrack, “Dreamers”.


He even went on to perform the same at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Opening Ceremony. Some of his tracks as a soloist such as “Dreamers”, “Stay Alive”, and “Left and Right” have smashed records and have turned out to be the highest-debuting songs by a Korean soloist on the Spotify Global chart.


One of the most googled Asians on the planet, Jungkook is often included on the list of South Korea’s most-loved celebrities.



13. Michelle Yeoh


Michelle Yeoh


Michelle Yeoh is a Malaysian actress who rose to fame in the 1990s after starring in a series of Hong Kong action features where she performed her own stunts. In one of her latest interviews with GQ, she confessed that it was the critically acclaimed Everything Everywhere At Once that helped her showcase her talents and get the respect she truly deserves.


As true as the aforementioned statement might be, those who have been familiar with her work are well aware of the fact that some of her earlier performances have been just as impacting.


In fact, her early action movies are worth a watch and have helped cement her legacy as one of the greats of our generation.



14. Jimin




South Korean singer and dancer Jimin made his debut as a member of the South Korean boy band BTS. He has consistently found a place in the annual list of the most popular celebrities conducted by Gallup Korea.


Jimin, who was the ninth most-tweeted-about celebrity and the eighth most-tweeted-about musician globally in 2018, was picked as the 17th best boyband member in history by The Guardian. Often cited as an influence by various idols in the K-pop industry, he is someone whose dance style and mannerisms are happily emulated by youngsters.



15. Sandra Oh


Sandra Oh


Sandra Oh’s ticket to fame was her character projection of Dr Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy. She was nominated five years in a row for an Emmy and won a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series for her performance in the same.


Post the completion of its tenth season, the actress went on to play the titular role of agent Eve Polastri in Killing Eve and ended up winning critical acclaim and a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama.


It is imperative to mention that Sandra was the first Asian woman to win in the aforementioned category in almost 39 years. Also, she was the first person of Asian descent to host the Golden Globe Awards in 2019.


In the same year, Time magazine named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.



16. V




V, who is yet another popular Korean singer and member of the boy band BTS, released three solo tracks, namely “Stigma”, “Singularity”, and “Inner Child”, which charted on South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart in the years that they were released in.


All thanks to the band and their music, “V” ranks first on the chart as one of the most-searched keywords for the past few years in South Korea. Additionally, it was reported that V ranked as the most popular Korean celebrity in Japan for twenty-eight consecutive weeks in 2021.


Just like other members of his beloved band, he also continues to be among the most searched Asians online.



17. Henry Golding


Henry Golding


Even though Henry Golding has only recently acquired the leading man status in Hollywood, he has been a part of the system for a number of years now. He first wished to be a hairdresser, but soon turned his attention to acting.


His first role was actually a hosting position for the Maylasian variety show The 8TV Quickie, in which he proved to be a natural. However, his big break came when he was cast in the international hit Crazy Rich Asians, whose success alone is responsible for Golding being able to find a spot on our list.


He promises to take the motion picture industry by storm as a few more movies starring him are set to be released in the near future.



18. Priyanka Chopra


Priyanka Chopra


One of India’s highest-paid actresses and a recipient of numerous accolades, Priyanka Chopra is an actor, singer and producer, who has been consistently trying to make an impression in Hollywood as well.


She moved to acting soon after having won the Miss World pageant in 2000 and has since been seen participating in some critically and commercially acclaimed motion pictures in Bollywood.


While the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri in 2016, Forbes went on to include her on their list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women twice.



19. Zayn Malik


Zayn Malik


Zayn started his musical journey after having auditioned as a solo contestant for the British music competition television series The X Factor in 2010. Even though he was eliminated, he was brought back to form the five-piece boy band One Direction, which went on to become one of the most popular boy bands of its time.


Born and raised in Bradford, West Yorkshire, he is half Pakistani and half English, and is the only artist to have won the Billboard Music Award for New Artist of the Year twice.


Also the recipient of an American Music Award and an MTV Video Music Award, Zayn confessed in 2018 that he no longer considers himself a Muslim.



20. Lata Mangeshkar


Lata Mangeshkar


Arguably the greatest Indian playback singer of all time, Lata Mangeshkar’s contribution to the music industry gained her well-deserved honorific titles such as the “Queen of Melody”, “Nightingale of India”, and “Voice of the Millennium.” While she was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, France also conferred on her its highest civilian award, Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour in 2007.


One of the first Indian playback singers to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London, UK, Lata recorded songs in over thirty-six Indian languages and a few foreign languages.



21. Akshay Kumar


Akshay Kumar


One of the most prolific actors in Indian cinema, Akshay Kumar has appeared in over 125 motion pictures in a career spanning over 30 years. A recipient of the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, he is often included by Forbes in their list of the highest-paid Indian actors.


Even though his career has fluctuated commercially, the ‘Namastey London’ star has continued to be popular among the masses in the country. Even though it’s been implicit of late, Kumar has often tried to use his professional reach to advance Canada-Indian relations over time.



22. Hrithik Roshan


Hrithik Roshan


The famous and good-looking Hrithik Roshan is yet another movie star from India who continues to be a much-talked-about Asian celebrity. Known for having portrayed a variety of characters and for his incredible dancing skills, he has appeared in Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list several times based on his income and popularity.


Roshan, who has frequently been seen collaborating with his filmmaker father, endorses several brands and products and has launched his own clothing line. The ‘War’ actor was married for fourteen years to Sussanne Khan, with whom he has two children.



23. Madhuri Dixit


Madhuri Dixit


One of India’s most popular and highest-paid movie stars during the 1990s, Madhuri Dixit was noted by critics and fans for her beauty, dancing skills, and the characters that she played on the big screen.


Credited for singularly paralleling her male contemporaries and leading star vehicles in a male-dominated industry, she has featured in some of Bollywood’s biggest commercial hits during her heyday. The actress, who has worked with UNICEF since 2014 to advocate for the rights of children and prevent child labour, was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour in the country, by the Government of India.



24. Katrina Kaif


Katrina Kaif


One of the highest-paid and among the most popular actresses in India, Katrina Kaif was born in British Hong Kong. Her father is a British businessman of Kashmiri descent, which, of course, makes her part Asian.


Though she is a mediocre actor at best, she has gone on to star in some of the biggest commercial hits of Bollywood and is known for her fine dancing skills.


Kaif, who pursued a career as a fashion model before venturing into the movies, frequently features in listings of India’s most popular and attractive celebrities.



25. Deepika Padukone


Deepika Padukone


One of the highest-paid actresses in India, Deepika Padukone often features in listings of the nation’s most popular and googled personalities. She started her career as a fashion model and was featured in quite a few music videos before turning to acting for good.


While Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018, she was also awarded the TIME100 Impact Award in 2022. The ‘Cocktail’ actor is the founder of The Live Love Laugh Foundation, which aims to create awareness of mental health issues in India.



26. Toshiro Mifune


Toshiro Mifune


Ask any film historian and they will humbly concede that Toshiro Mifune is, in fact, the most popular and the greatest Japanese superstar of all time. Known for having played the main lead in most of Akira Kurosawa’s ambitious projects between 1948 and 1965, he was famous for his unmatched ability to bring his characters to life on the big screen with utmost grace and conviction.


The acclaimed screen performer was seen playing a worried and helpless father, a merciless samurai, an honourable cop, a doctor, a bandit, and a gangster in some of his finest feature films.


Aside from Kurosawa, a lot many film directors and critics acknowledge that Mifune was a one-of-a-kind talent; a kind that nobody in the history of Japanese entertainment had encountered before or after him.



27. Jet Li


Jet Li


Just like Jackie Chan, Jet Li was a big star in Asia before making it big in the States. The man had a gift for the martial art Wushu and is known to have mastered several disciplines and won many awards during his heyday.


Shaolin Temple and Once Upon a Time in China series of movies are credited with making him a much sought-after actor in China. He decided to take the next step forward and went to America, where he landed his first role in the action blockbuster Lethal Weapon 4.


The success of the film helped him get cast as the lead in a variety of action flicks. While he has had a fairly successful career in Hollywood, it’s Li’s foreign-language films that have managed to mint money at the box office over the past two decades.



28. Ken Watanabe


ken watanabe


Known for playing tragic hero characters in motion pictures such as Letters from Iwo Jima and The Last Samurai, Ken Watanabe is a critically acclaimed screen performer who has gone on to make a name for himself in the Japanese film industry over the years.


He has been awarded the Japan Academy Film Prize for Best Actor twice. Not only that but the man has also managed to make his presence felt in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and Inception.


The Godzilla actor is also known to have lent his sturdy voice to the fourth and fourth instalments of the Transformers franchise. He made his awaited Broadway debut in 2015 in the production The King and I and received his first Tony Award nomination for his performance in the same.


It is imperative to mention that he is the first Japanese film star to have ever been nominated for the aforementioned award.



29. Steven Yeun


Steven Yeun


Steven Yeun initially rose to prominence after playing the role of Glenn Rhee in the television series The Walking Dead, which helped him become a star. One of the most famous Asian American actors of recent times, he is known to have divided his time between voiceover work for TV shows and independent motion pictures.


While he has played a ton of interesting roles in critically acclaimed feature films, he hasn’t gone the blockbuster route yet. He seems to be beating his own drum and prefers quality over quantity when it comes to taking creative decisions.



30. Daniel Dae Kim


Daniel Dae Kim


Born in South Korea, Daniel Dae Kim made a name for himself by playing numerous roles in a wide variety of television programs at the beginning of his career. An expert in Tae Kwon Do, he has been a part of the entertainment world for over 30 years now.


The actor managed to grab eyeballs for his character projection of Jin-Soo Kwon in Lost. Soon after, he was seen playing a crucial role in shows such as Hawaii Five-0 and Angel.


The aforementioned television shows elevated his star and allowed him to impress others through his performances in films such as Hellboy. Kim, who is currently producing the television series The Good Doctor, was voted one of the ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ by People magazine in 2005.



31. Constance Wu


Constance Wu


The daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Constance Wu is an actor who was pursuing a career in speech pathology before deciding to move to Los Angeles and get into acting. Before she caught the attention of many with the hit comedy Fresh Off the Boat, she played a number of small roles.


Wu, who was lauded for her performance in the romantic comedy-drama film Crazy Rich Asians, was included on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2017.


Known to have featured in the crime drama film Hustlers and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, the charming performer is set to be on our screens for many years to come.



32. Vanessa Hudgens


Vanessa Hudgens


A lot many of you may not know that Vanessa Hudgens is of Asian descent. While her father was of Irish, French, and Native American descent, her mother is from Manila in the Philippines.


The actress, who made her feature film debut in Thirteen, rose to fame portraying Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical film series. The franchise not only brought her significant mainstream media success but also helped her acquire a recording contract with Hollywood Records, with whom she released two studio albums, V and Identified, in 2006 and 2008, respectively.



33. Simu Liu


Simu Liu


There is no denying that the Chinese-Canadian actor created history by becoming the first Asian-American to headline the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).


The motion picture went on to amass more than $400 million worldwide and turned out to be one of Hollywood’s highest-grossing works of 2021, even though it wasn’t reportedly distributed in China.


However, before becoming a star and an actor to watch out for, Simu Liu worked as an accountant for Deloitte and received a degree in business administration from the University of Western Ontario.


His breakthrough came in 2016 with the television series Kim’s Convenience, following which he was seen making an appearance in BmDark Matter and Orphan Black as well.



34. Olivia Rodrigo


Olivia Rodrigo


The young and energetic Olivia Rodrigo gained recognition in the late 2010s with her lead roles on the Disney television programs Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.


She is Filipino American; her father is Filipino while her mother has German and Irish ancestry. When it comes to singing, 2021 can be considered her breakout year as her debut single “Driver’s License” topped Billboard’s Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks.


She made sure to follow it up with singles “Deja Vu” and “Good 4 U”, and the release of her debut solo studio album, Sour, which went on to become a critical and commercial hit.


Time named her the Entertainer of the Year and Billboard named her Woman of the Year in 2021 and 2022, respectively.



35. James Hong


James Hong


Since James Hong has had a career spanning 70 years, it isn’t surprising that he has seen and done it all in the entertainment world. An actor, director, and producer, he has more than 450 movie and TV credits to his name.


Better still, he continues to act if and when he is offered the right roles. The seasoned performer, who first got noticed in the detective series The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, was soon making his presence felt in big-time shows such as Hawai Five-O, Perry Mason, and The Man From U. N. C. L. E. The actor/voice actor has also been seen in a ton of films and has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.



36. Jimmy O Yang


Jimmy O Yang


Not many Asian celebrities are known to have started their career in comedy, but Jimmy O Yang seems to be an exception. The actor graduated with a degree in economics and fetched a job at a financial consulting firm.


However, it didn’t take him long to realize this wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life. So, after having sold used cars and DJed at a strip club, he took a call to move to Los Angeles.


Soon after, he started working as a stand-up and soon landed his first acting gig on 2 Broke Girls. Today, Yang is best known for his roles in Silicon Valley, Space Force, and the Netflix romantic comedy film Love Hard.



37. Jessica Henwick


Jessica Henwick


Jessica Henwick has been acting for over a decade now and has gained a reputation as a screen performer to watch out for. The first East Asian actress to be cast in a leading role on the BBC for the show Spirit Warriors, Henwick was also given the opportunity to participate in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Game of Thrones in 2015; both of which helped her rise to prominence.


In fact, the roles that she played in the Marvel series Iron Fist and The Matrix Resurrections only added to her burgeoning popularity. We sure do hope and believe that Henwick is one name we may be hearing every now and then over the next few years.



38. Ken Jeong


Ken Jeong


It’s tough to believe that the inimitable Leslie Chow from The Hangover was once a medical professional. In fact, the man was a licensed physician in California for many years before turning to his new-found love for acting.


He received much acclaim for his small but hilarious performance in Knocked Up. Even though The Hangover and its sequels have some of Jeong’s most notable performances, he has also been seen playing a pivotal role in other motion pictures.


Currently a host of The Masked Singer, Jeong has created, written, and produced the ABC sitcom, Dr Ken.



39. Lucy Liu


Lucy Liu


The talented Lucy Liu has been a constant on our screens for three decades now. The actress, who has starred both on the big and small screen, is best known for her character projection in Ally McBeal and Elementary.


When it comes to film, she has made her unmistakable presence felt in two Charlie’s Angeles flicks, Kill Bill Vol. 2, and the Kung-Fu Pana franchise. Liu, who is known to be a private person off-camera, has been raising her only son as a solo mother.


Also, she is known to have supported several multidimensional family organizations.



40. John Cho


John Cho


John Cho will always be remembered for his character projection in the American Pie franchise. However, the South Korean actor has a rich filmography full of dramatic turns and exciting roles as well.


Not only has he gone on to prove himself in the crime thriller Better Luck Tomorrow but he has also made a mark in the stoner comedy Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, the Star Trek reboot, and the remake of the action flick Total Recall.


That said, his proudest moment as a screen performer came in 2014 when he was cast as the lead in the sitcom Selfie. It was the first time that an Asian actor had played the romantic lead.


Not only that but he was also the first Asian American actor in history to headline a mainstream thriller film in Hollywood, titled Searching.



41. Awkwafina




Born in Stony Brook, Long Island, New York, to a Chinese American father and a Korean American mother, Awkwafina gained fame after her rap song “My Vag” became popular on YouTube.


She went on to release two more albums and appeared on the MTV comedy series Girl Code, before starring in motion pictures such as Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Ocean’s 8, Crazy Rich Asians, and Jumanji: The Next Level.


The multi-talented Awkwafina is not only the co-creator and writer of the Comedy Central series, Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, but also its executive producer. She stars as a fictionalized version of herself in the show.


For her performance in The Farewell, she went on to receive the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical; therefore, becoming the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category.



42. Bong Joon-ho


Bong Joon-ho


Arguably the most popular Asian filmmaker today, Bong Joon-ho first became known to audiences and achieved a cult following with his directorial debut film, the black comedy Barking Dogs Never Bite.


He found critical and commercial success with his subsequent films which were characterized by an emphasis on social themes, genre-mixing, black humour, and sudden tone shifts. Bong, who was included on Metacritic’s list of the finest directors of the 21st century in 2017, was also given a spot on Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People and Bloomberg 50.



43. A. R. Rahman


A. R. Rahman


Popular for his works in Indian cinema, A. R. Rahman is arguably the most popular and respected musician in the history of the entertainment industry within the country. A composer, record producer, singer and songwriter, he was conferred with the Padma Bhushan, the nation’s third-highest civilian award, by the Government of India in 2010.


Not only has he been awarded an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music but he has also been honoured by Stanford University for his contributions to global music. Included on the Time list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2009, Rahman is nicknamed “Isai Puyal” (musical storm) and “Mozart of Madras”.



44. Kishore Kumar


Kishore Kumar


Notable for his yodelling and ability to sing songs in different voices, Kishore Kumar is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential singers in the Indian subcontinent.


While his career peaked in the true sense of the word by lending voice to Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna in the late ’60s and throughout the ’70s, he continued to mesmerize his listeners until he passed in 1987.


Awarded the Lata Mangeshkar Award by the Madhya Pradesh government in 1985, Kumar sang in several Indian languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Odia, and Urdu.



45. Anna May Wong


Anna May Wong


Considered to be the first Chinese-American movie star in Hollywood, Anna May Wong gained recognition after having worked in television, stage, radio, and silent and sound films. One of the most well-known faces to emerge from the Golden Age of Hollywood, she went on to make her presence felt in motion pictures such as Shanghai Express, Piccadilly, and Daughter of Shanghai.


That said, it has to be mentioned that Wong was also known for her impeccable fashion taste and was voted the ‘world’s best-dressed woman’ by the Mayfair Mannequin Society of New York in 1934.



46. Naomi Scott


Naomi Scott


Actress and singer Naomi Scott is of Gujarati Indian and English heritage. A black belt holder in karate, she rose to fame after playing the role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s musical live-action film Aladdin.


Selected by Screen International as one of their “Stars of Tomorrow”, she has also starred in the superhero film Power Rangers and the action comedy film Charlie’s Angels. Scott is the UK ambassador to the Christian charity organization Compassion International, which sponsors children living in poverty.



47. Mindy Kaling


Mindy Kaling


There is no denying that Mindy Kaling is a woman of many talents. The actress, who came to fame after portraying the dramatic yet lovable Kelly Kapoor on The Office, is a comedian, screenwriter, and producer.


In fact, she also served as a writer on the show from 2005 to 2013. If you love The Office, you must be aware of the fact that she was responsible for the tear-jerking, Emmy-nominated episode where Jim and Pam get married at Niagara Falls.


Also known to have developed and starred in The Mindy Project, the Indian-American actor has made her presence felt in feature films such as Late Night, Ocean’s 8, and A Wrinkle in Time.



48. Freida Pinto


Freida Pinto


Born and raised in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Freida Pinto managed to impress film critics across the globe with her adroit character projection in Danny Boyle’s critically acclaimed film, Slumdog Millionaire. The actress, who resolved at a young age to become an actress, quickly catapulted to fame following the release of her debut motion picture in 2008.


Viewed as one of India’s finest breakthrough stars at the time, Pinto has starred in films such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Love Sonia, and Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle since then.


She garnered widespread recognition and praise for her performance in Trishna as well.



49. Shay Mitchell


Shay Mitchell


Actress and model Shay Mitchell rose to prominence after playing the part of Emily Fields in the mystery thriller drama series Pretty Little Liars, which earned her well-deserved nominations for a People’s Choice Award and six Teen Choice Awards.


While she won a Young Hollywood Award back in 2011, she was also dubbed the “Sexiest Woman Alive” by Esquire magazine in 2014. Of late, Mitchell has gained further acclaim for her character projection of Peach Salinger in Netflix’s You.


When she is not so occupied working, the actor can be seen showing off her on-trend beauty looks and adorable videos of her son on her Instagram profile.



50. Youn Yuh-Jung


Youn Yuh-jung


Youn Yuh-Jung was a rising star in South Korea during the late 1960s, who rose to prominence in the true sense of the word after her award-winning character projection in Woman of Fire in 1971.


While she began acting at the age of 23 and has since played several intriguing characters, it was her recent portal of Soon-ja in director Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari that fetched her global recognition.


Her outstanding performance as the feisty grandmother in the same ended up winning her a Best Supporting Actress award at the 2021 Oscars. Needless to mention, she became the first Korean and second Asian actor to ever win the accolade.


Yuh-jung’s remarkable career in film and television spans over five decades during the course of which she made history by becoming the first Korean actress to win a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and a British Academy Film Award, respectively.



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