You might have never thought so, but Malta has definitely had its fair share of celebrities over the years, and some of them have had a substantial impact even on an international level. There have also been plenty of celebrities and rising stars with Maltese blood in them, like Britney Spears, Bryan Adams, and Tash Sultana. However, this article is more concerned with celebrities who were either at least born in Malta or lived in Malta for a substantial portion of their lives. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and because of that, we’ll definitely have a couple more of these in the near future. Keep an eye out! Until then, here’s our first batch of Maltese celebs.
Of all the people in this list, Marama Corlett is probably the one that’s the current talk of the town. That’s definitely to be expected from someone who has acted in television series like Sinbad and Rina, and films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Maleficent! Corlett’s latest venture is in a new science fiction television series called Blood Drive that is definitely not suitable for kids! We’ll refrain from discussing the details here, but do check it out if you’re into shows that aren’t afraid to toe the line of gore and debauchery!
No, not our beloved tenor! Joseph Calleia was a Maltese-born American actor and singer who lived between 1897 and 1975. Calleia featured in numerous works across various genres including musical comedy, Broadway, and was also well-known for excelling at acting as villains in Hollywood films. Some of the films you’ll be able to find Calleia in include Algiers, Five Came Back, Golden Boy, Gilda, and Touch of Evil (considered to be his magnum opus in terms of performance).
We had to include Malta’s most famous tenor, of course. Though Calleja is respected by practically everyone locally, perhaps it’s safe to say that not all that many Maltese people understand that he is not just a national treasure. Calleja has gained various recognitions of his talent including winning the 1998 Caruso Competition in Milan and also winning a prize in the Plácido Domingo's Operalia International Opera Competition in 1999. Furthermore, Calleja is a member of the Board of Directors of the European Academy of Music Theatre!
We’re sure that many people also still remember when Joseph Calleja was the guest tenor at the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 2012, where he performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra!
If you’ve never really explored Maltese literature, you might not initially think that a local author could receive international acclaim – not because Maltese literature has ever been stagnant, but because most authors, understandably, write in their mother tongue. Though Ebejer never shied away from writing in Maltese, he also had a formidable repertoire in English. Ebejer was praised extensively for his contributions to both literature and theatre, and some of the awards he received included the Malta Literary Award, the Phoenicia Cultural Trophy, the Cheyney Award, and La Medaille d’Honneur de la Ville d’Avignon.