20 Famous People Born in the Year of the Rat

By Matthew Bossons, January 22, 2020

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Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, is upon us and when the clock strikes midnight on the night of Friday, January 24 (or the morning of Saturday, January 25) it will officially be the Year of the Rat.

Occupying the first spot in the Chinese zodiac, the Year of the Rat comes after the Pig and ahead of the Ox. Quick-witted, alert, hardworking, resourceful, adaptable, thrifty and – according to some – narrow-minded, Rats make great accountants, critics, directors, editors, artists and entrepreneurs.

Below, in no particular order, we give you 20 famous people born in the Year of the Rat:

1. Carmen Electra

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Image via @carmenelectra/Instagram

A Generation Xer, Carmen Electra is famous for her numerous appearances in Playboy magazine, as well as in films such as Scary Movie and Meet the Spartans. She was born on April 20, 1972 in Sharonville, Ohio.

2. Prince Harry

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Image via Wikimedia

The Duke of Sussex has been in the news more than usual over the past few weeks, after he and his wife, Meghan Markle, announced they would be stepping back from their roles as ‘senior members’ of the British Royal Family. The second son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and the late Diana, Harry is currently sixth in the line of succession to the British throne.

3. Ron MacLean

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Image via Wikimedia

A Canadian icon of sorts, Ron MacLean is best known in the Great White North for co-hosting Hockey Night in Canada and his Olympic coverage for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Born in Zweibrücken, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany on April 12, 1960, MacLean formerly worked alongside another Canadian icon, Don Cherry, who was fired from Hockey Night in Canada in 2019 for comments deemed by many to be racist.

4. Dolly the Sheep

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Image via Wikimedia

If only Dolly had been born five years earlier, in the Year of the Goat/Ram/Sheep; but alas, the world’s first cloned mammal from an adult cell was born in mid-1996 and is, in fact, a Rat. Interestingly, the date of Dolly’s death was Valentine’s Day in 2003, two weeks into the Year of the Sheep. Pour one out!

5. Scarlett Johansson

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Image via Wikimedia

Born in November of 1984, American actor Scarlett Johansson is a Rat. Famous for her roles in Lost in Translation, The Prestige and the ever-popular Avengers films, Johansson is something of a sex symbol: She is the only woman to have been chosen twice as ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ by Esquire, in 2006 and 2013.

6. Avril Lavigne

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Image via Wikimedia

A favorite amongst pre-teen and teenage girls in China, Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne found fame in the early aughts with a string of pop-rock hits, including ‘Sk8er Boi’ and ‘Complicated.’ In addition to being a bona fide international celebrity, Lavigne is also the subject of a long-running internet conspiracy theory that claims she is dead and has been replaced by a clone or a lookalike. Of note to Lavigne’s Chinese fans: The singer – or her clone – will be visiting China for a series of performances this April.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo

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Image via @cristiano/Instagram

Frequently named among the most talented footballers of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo was born on February 5, 1985 – the Year of the Rat – in Funchal, Portugal. The sportsman found fame at the age of 18, when he began playing for English Premier League club Manchester United. Over the course of his career, Ronaldo has scored over 700 goals for his country and the various clubs he has played for. He currently hits the pitch for professional Italian football club Juventus.

8. Cameron Diaz

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Image via @camerondiaz/Instagram

American actor Cameron Diaz is another famous Year of the Rat baby. Born in San Diego, California on August 30, 1972, Diaz earned her first movie role in 1994’s The Mask, starring Jim Carrey. Since then, she has gone on to star in a number of memorable films, including Charlie’s Angels, Gangs of New York and The Green Hornet. Diaz is married to Good Charlotte’s lead guitarist, Benji Madden.

9. Robert Plant

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Image via Wikimedia

If you’ve never heard of Robert Plant, chances are you were born after the year 2000 and have a terrible taste in music (#sorrynotsorry). The lead vocalist of one of the greatest rock bands of all time, Led Zeppelin, Plant is known for his stunning vocal range and ability to hit some pretty high notes. He was born in August of 1948 in West Bromwich, England.

10. Katy Perry

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Image via Wikimedia

Known in China as ‘Fruit Sister,’ Katy Perry is a global sensation – and she is also a Rat. Pop culture mavens will be more than familiar with Perry (as well as most of the other people on this list), and know that she is famous for a long string of hit tracks, including ‘I Kissed a Girl,’ ‘Teenage Dream’ and ‘Dark Horse,’ as well as her marriage to comedian Russell Brand and her celebrated 2015 halftime performance at the Super Bowl.

11. Ozzy Osbourne

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Image via Wikimedia

If you are wondering what the man, the legend, Ozzy Osbourne will be up to this Spring Festival, we’re willing to be bet he’ll be out barking at the moon, riding in a train full of crazies or, perhaps, biting the head off an innocent animal. Who knows, though? We’re not claiming to be clairvoyant. What we can say with certainty, though, is that the ‘Prince of Darkness’ is a Rat. Famous for his solo work alongside epic guitarists Randy Rhoads and Zakk Wylde, Ozzy rose to prominence with Black Sabbath, alongside iconic shredder Tony Iommi, who is another Year of the Rat rocker.

12. Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam)

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Image via Wikimedia

“And the Rat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon...” Sure, there is no rat in that classic Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) song, but there is no denying that Yusuf Islam, born Stephen Demetre Georgiou on July 21, 1948, is a Rat. Famous for several classic jams, including ‘Wild World,’ and his conversion to Islam, there is no denying that the Cat is actually a Rat – according to the Chinese zodiac, anyway.

13. Samuel L. Jackson

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Image via Wikimedia

We’re not even going to bother starting with this snake-wrangling, lightsaber-wielding badass, if you don’t know who he is, Google him.

14. Khloé Kardashian

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Image via @khloekardashian/Instagram

Known as the wittiest of the Kardashian clan, Khloé is the youngest in the family and is known for her no-holds-barred banter. In addition to being a part of one of the longest-running reality TV shows on air, the reality queen has dabbled in many other TV projects, most notably Revenge Body and Kocktails with Khloé. Last year was a turbulent year for Khloé. Her then-boyfriend Tristan Thompson was caught cheating with her younger sister Kylie’s BFF Jordyn Woods, which was a scandal that rocked entertainment news cycles for days. This year already looks brighter for the new mother, as she focuses on her daughter True, her health and her mindset. You go, girl.

15. Rosa Parks

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Image via Wikimedia

Famous for her refusal to surrender her seat to a white person on a segregated bus, Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist born in February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Park’s defiance of bus driver James Blake (who ordered her to the back of the bus when white passengers boarded) spurred the Montgomery Bus Boycott and lead to nationwide efforts to ban racial segregation in public places. She received numerous accolades during her life and, following her death in 2005, became the first American who had not served in government to rest in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC.

16. Eminem

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Image via Wikimedia

If you grew up in the 2000s and are unfamiliar with Marshall Mathers – aka Eminem, you did childhood all wrong (we’re kidding, kind of). A distinguished rapper and songwriter, Eminem is among the best-selling artists of the 21st century and is famous for The Slim Shady EP and The Marshall Mathers EP as well as his appearance in the semi-autobiographical film 8 Mile. Famous for his often dark and controversial lyrics, the rapper was previously a member of hip hop group D12.

17. Tim Cook

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Image via Wikimedia

Born on November 1, 1960, Tim Cook is the man who replaced Steve Jobs as the CEO of Apple Inc. in 2011. Under his leadership, the tech company has grown to become one of the most influential businesses in history. Cook came out as gay in an editorial for Bloomberg Business in 2014, writing “Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day.”

18. Wayne Gretzky

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Image via kris krüg/Flickr

Often referred to as ‘The Great One’ or ‘The Greatest,’ Wayne Gretzky is considered by more than a few people to be the best hockey player of all time. Gretzky played 20 seasons in the NHL with four teams: the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. Upon his retirement from the league in 1999, he had set over 60 records – including many that have been dubbed unbreakable. Since his retirement from the NHL in 1999, Gretzky has remained closely connected to the league that made him one the most celebrated athletes of the 20th century. In 2000, he purchased a 10% stake in the Phoenix Coyotes and served as their head coach from 2005-2009. In 2018, the sport star was named the global ambassador for China’s Kunlun Red Star.

19. Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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Image via Wikimedia

Arguably most famous for her role as Elaine on Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus got her start as a cast member on Saturday Night Live in the early ’80s. In addition to Elaine, Louis-Dreyfus has starred as the vice president of the United States in Veep, and portrayed a divorced mother in The New Adventures of Old Christine. Over the course of her career, she has been awarded numerous honors, including 11 Emmys.

20. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

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Image via @therock/Instagram

The Rock was born in Hayward, California on May 2, 1972, in the Year of the Rat. Famous for his well-chronicled stint in the WWE, but now, perhaps, better known as the lovable demigod and trickster Maui from Moana, The Rock is arguably one of the most talked about and in-demand celebrities in Hollywood. And while we aren’t fans of all his work, it’s hard to deny that Johnson is a stand-up Rat – if you don’t believe us, check out all the good vibes on his Instagram account.

READ MORE: 25 Famous People Born in the Year of the Pig

Khloé Kardashian bio by Phoebe Kut.

[Cover image via @therock/Instagram]

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