Famous ArmeniansЗнаменитые армянеBerühmte Armenier

Many famous singers and movie stars, politicians and public figures, scientists and artists, whose talent is acknowledged in the whole world, have an Armenian origin.

Charles Aznavour
  • French singer, composer, public figure, French music hall star, award-winner of the Cannes Festival, benefactor with his own benevolent fund, permanent ambassador of UNESCO, Charles Aznavour, whose real name is Vaghinak Aznavuryan.
  • Famous composer Aram Khachaturyan, creator of the Second Symphony, “Gayane” and “Spartak” ballets, and many other compositions that brought him a world fame
  • USSR Marshal and twice a Soviet Union Hero, Ivan Baghramyan

  • Poet, academician, Chairman of the Union of Writers of Armenia, Avetik Isahakyan
  • Armenian scientist, creator of the Armenian alphabet, author of translations of the Holy Books, including the Bible, Mesrop Mashtots

  • Soviet politician Anastas Mikoyan, chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, played a significant role in prevention of the Third World War during Khrushchev’s times.
Mher Mkrtchyan
  • Actor, National Artist of the Soviet Republic of Armenia, Mher (Frunzik) Mkrtchyan, who we know from “Mimino” “Caucasian prisoner”, “Vanity of vanities” and other movies
  • Poet and theologian Grigor Narekatsi, author of the “Book of Mournful Songs”
  • Armenian commander, politician and public figure Garegin Nzhdeh, who played an important role in Armenia’s struggle for independence. 
  • Talented Armenian poet who glorified love, Sayat Nova

  • Famous architect Alexander Tamanyan, author of Yerevan’s reconstruction plan, designer of many building in Yerevan
  • Michel Legrand (born February 24, 1932 in Paris) is a French musical composer, arranger, conductor and pianist. He has composed over 200 film and television scores, several musicals, and made well over a hundred albums. He has won three Oscars, five Grammys, and has been nominated for an Emmy.
  • Soghomon Soghomonyan (Komitas Vardapet) was an Armenian priest, composer, choir leader, singer, music ethnologist, music pedagogue and musicologist. Many regard him as the founder of modern Armenian classical music. His major work is Badarak (Divine Liturgy), still used today as one of the two most popular musical settings of the Armenian Church liturgy or mass, which he started composing in 1892 and never completely finished due to the upcoming World War I. He was the first non-European to be admitted into the International Music Society of which he was a co-founder. He held many lectures and performances throughout Europe, Turkey and Egypt, thus presenting till then very little known Armenian music.
System of a Down
  • System of a Down (also known as SOAD) is a four-piece, Grammy-award winning band, formed in 1995 in Los Angeles, California. All four members are of Armenian descent, grandsons of Armenian Genocide survivors, and are widely known for their outspoken views found in many of their songs.
  • Hasmik Papian is an Armenian soprano. After her debut at the Armenian National Opera, she was invited as a soloist among others by Opera Bonn and Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf, Germany. Soon, she started an international career and has since appeared at numerous theaters, including the most prestigious operatic stages and concert houses in the world like The Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall New York, San Francisco Opera, La Scala of Milan, Opéra Bastille in Paris, London Wigmore Hall, the Vienna State Opera, as well as the state operas of Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Berlin.
  • Levon Aronyan is an Armenian chess player. On the July 2007 FIDE list; he had an Elo rating of 2750, making him number eight in the world and Armenia's number one.
  • Tigran Petrosyan was a former World Chess Champion. He was nicknamed "Iron Tigran" due to his playing style because of his almost impenetrable defense, which emphasized safety above all else.

    • Cher (Cheryl Sarkisian LaPierre) is an American actress, singer, songwriter, author and entertainer. Among her many accomplishments in music, television, and film, she has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award and three Golden Globe Awards.
    • Rouben Mamoulian was an Armenian-American film and theatre director.
    • Alan Hovhaness  was an American composer of Armenian and Scottish descent. His music is accessible to the lay listener and often evokes a mood of mystery or contemplation. He was among the most prolific composers of the 20th century, composing 67 symphonies and more than 400 opus numbers.
    Armenian Navy Band
    • Arto Tunçboyacıyan a famous avant-garde folk artist (singer, multi-instrumentalist), he appeared on more than 200 records in Europe before arriving in the United States, where he went to work with numerous jazz legends including Chet Baker, Al Di Meola and Joe Zawinul. Arto fronts his own group called the Armenian Navy Band (ANB).
    • Armen Dzigarkhanyan is one of the most popular Armenian actors working in Russia. He starred in dozens of Soviet films and provided the voice for many cartoon characters. He founded his own theater in Moscow.
    • Arshile Gorky (Vostanik Manoog Adoyan) was an Armenian American painter who has a seminal influence on Abstract Expressionism. Gorky left Van in 1915 during the Armenian Genocide and was reunited with his father when he arrived in America in 1920. He changed his name to Arshile Gorky, in the process reinventing his identity.
    Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in the movie "To Kill a Mockingbird"
    • Gregory Peck was born in La Jolla, California. He enrolled in the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and debuted on Broadway after graduation. His debut was in Emlyn Williams' stage play "The Morning Star" (1942). By 1943, he was in Hollywood where he debuted in the RKO film Days of Glory (1944). He worked with Audrey Hepburn in her debut film, Roman holiday (1953).  In the early 70s, he produced two movies, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (1972) and The Dove (1974), while his film career waned.
    • Minas Avetisyan was an Armenian painter. Minas Avetisian belongs to those modern Armenian artists who prove, as did Martiros Saryan in his time, that one can be useful to one's people, expressing its hopes, in all sorts of ways, but with one absolute condition—in a language worthy of art.
    • William Saroyan was an American author who wrote many plays and short stories about growing up impoverished as the son of Armenian immigrants. These stories were popular during the Great Depression. Saroyan grew up in Fresno, the center of Armenian-Americans in California, where many of his works are set.
    • Ivan Aivazovsky was a Russian painter of Armenian descent, most famous for his seascapes, which constitute more than half of his paintings.Due to his long life in art, Aivazovsky became the most prolific Russian painter of his days. He left over 6,000 works at his death in 1900. With funds earned during his successful career as an artist he opened an art school and gallery in his home town of Feodosiya.
    Kirk Kerkoryan
    • Kirk Kerkorian is an American billionaire, and president/CEO of Tracinda Corporation, his private holding company based in Beverly Hills, California. Kerkorian is known as one of the important figures in shaping the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Kerkorian splits his time between his residences in Beverly Hills and Nevada.
    • Atom Egoyan is a critically acclaimed Canadian-Armenian film maker. His work often explores themes of alienation and isolation, featuring characters whose interactions are mediated through technology, bureaucracy or other power structures.
    • Henri Verneuil was a prominent French playwright and filmmaker. He recounted his childhood experience in the novel “Mayrig”, which he dedicated to his mother and made into a 1991 film with the same name, which was followed by a sequel, 588 Rue Paradis, the following year.
    • Karen Shakhnazarov is a Russian filmmaker, producer and screenwriter. He became the Director General of the Mosfilm studios in 1998.Shakhnazarov is the son of a prominent politician of Armenian descent, Georgy Shakhnazarov. Since 2005 he has been a member of the Public Chamber of Russia.
    • Djivan Gasparyan is an Armenian musician and composer. He plays the duduk, an Armenian double reed woodwind instrument related to the orchestral oboe. He has won four world-wide gold Medal UNESCO competitions (1959, 1962, 1973, and 1980). In 2002, he received the WOMEX (World Music Expo) lifetime achievement award. He has toured the world several times with a small ensemble playing Armenian folk music. He has collaborated with many artists, such as Hossein Alizadeh, Sting, Erkan Ogur, Michael Brook, Peter Gabriel, Brian May, Lionel Richie, Derek Sherinian, Ludovico Einaudi, and Hans Zimmer. Djivan Gasparyan and Hossein Alizadeh were jointly nominated for a 2007 Grammy award for their 2006 collaboration album Endless Vision.
    Andre Agassi
    • Andre Agassi is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from the United States who won eight Grand Slam singles tournaments and an Olympic gold medal in singles. He is one of only five male players to have won all four Grand Slam singles events during his career. He is the only player in the open era to have won every Grand Slam singles title, to have won the Tennis Masters Cup, to have been part of a winning Davis Cup team, and to have won an Olympic gold medal. He won 17 ATP Masters Series tournaments, more than any other player. TENNIS Magazine has named him the 7th greatest male player from 1965 through 2005.
    Sergey Parajanov
    • Sergey Parajanov is considered by many to be one of the most original and critically-acclaimed filmmakers of the 20th century. His work reflected the ethnic diversity of the Caucasus where he was raised. In 1964 he directed “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors”, which won numerous international awards including the prestigious BAFTA award given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
    • Alex Manoogian was a successful American businessman, industrial engineer, and well-known philanthropist, especially to Armenian causes.
    • Gerard Cafesjian is an American businessman of Armenian descent and philanthropist who founded the Cafesjian Family Foundation and has contributed thousands of dollars to numerous philanthropic causes, including contributing funds toward buying an Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial Museum in Washington D. C., and building a Cultural and Art Museum in Yerevan
    • Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian was an Armenian businessman and philanthropist. He played a major role in making the petroleum reserves of the Middle East available to Western development. By the end of his life he had become one of the world's wealthiest individuals and his art acquisitions considered one of the greatest private collections.

    They are loved and remembered, people are proud of them, admire them, name streets in their honor, build monuments and museums.