Famous People From Scotland

Scotland has managed to produce a vast number of world-renowned people over the years across most industries, including science, film, music, and philosophy. Below you will find some of the most famous people that were born in Scotland.

Scottish Actresses and Actors

Sean Connery

Sean Connery is undoubtedly the most famous scot in existence. Sean Connery, as he is more commonly known, is an award-winning actor that played the famous James Bond character. The former truck driver from Edinburgh, factory worker, and milkman has starred in a significant number of movies, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and The Untouchables. In July 2000, he was knighted and voted as the Greatest Living Scot.

Tilda Swinton

The fiercely talented and visually striking actress from Scotland, Tilda Swinton, was born in the 1960’s and is best known for her mainstream movies and arthouse productions. In 2008, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress when she appeared in Michael Clayton and is famous for her roles in Chronicles of Narnia and White Witch.

Ewan McGregor

Ewan Gordon McGregor was born in 1971 and is famous for his roles in Trainspotting as Mark Renton, in Star Wars as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and in the recent Angels and Demons as Camerlengo Patrick McKenna.

Kelly MacDonald

Born in 1976, Kelly MacDonald is best known for her role in Trainspotting as Diane. In 2007, she was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the BAFTA Awards for her portrayal of Carla Jean Moss in the popular No Country for Old Men movie. She stars in Pixar’s Brave as the voice of Merida.

Scottish Philosophers and Scientists

Robert Watson-Watt

Most know Robert Watson-Watt as the inventor of the radar. Even though it was developed somewhere else, it was expanded once Watson-Watt started as superintendent at the British Air Ministry back in 1936. His invention led to the installation and design of aircraft tracking and detection systems.

Adam Smith

Often referred to as the Father of Modern Economics, Adam Smith is also the author of “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” which was published in 1776. It’s regarded as one of the best books ever written. Smith also argued free trade benefits and championed individual enterprise.

David Hume

David Hume is considered the philosopher of the Enlightenment and is the author of “Treatise of Human Nature” which he published when he was only 28 years old. He’s writing, and thinking is still widely debated and studied in philosophy courses at universities across the globe.

Alexander Fleming

Born in 1881, Alexander Fleming was a bacteriologist and won the Nobel Peace Prize when he discovered penicillin back in 1928. Fleming’s discovery managed to start the antibiotic revolution, sealing his lasting reputation in the history of medicine.

James Clerk Maxwell

Considered one of the world’s most important physicists, Maxwell unified magnetism, electricity, and light with a single theory. This theory is crucial in developing optical technology, radio, and the emergence of special relativity. His physics impact is considered as important as that of Newton and Einstein.


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