Celebrities born in the Year of the Tiger – from athletes like Usain Bolt to stars like Michelle Yeoh, Leonardo DiCaprio

Clara Ki Lu
  • With the 2022 Lunar New Year starting on February 1, we introduce famous actors, authors, athletes, K-pop idols and more born in the Year of the Tiger
  • Did you know that even though Dahyun from Korean girl group Twice has the tiger as her zodiac sign, she became famous with a dance of a different animal?
Clara Ki Lu |

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Michelle Yeoh, who starred in the hit romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, was born in 1962. Photo: Warner Bros

According to Chinese tradition, people born in the Year of the Tiger are said to be confident, brave and trustworthy, but they also tend to be on the stubborn side and have a bit of an ego.

You can make up your mind as to whether these assumptions are true by taking a look at famous actors, musicians, politicians, authors and athletes who share the tiger zodiac sign.

Actors: Michelle Yeoh, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise and more

Actress Michelle Yeoh was born in Malaysia in 1962 and rose to fame through Hong Kong action films. She is now an internationally renowned actress, having starred in many hit movies such as Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, Crazy Rich Asians and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Hong Kong action film Yes, Madam! (1985) features Michelle Yeoh in her first main role. Photo: D&B Films

Other film stars born in the Year of the Tiger include Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio (1974), Mission Impossible actor Tom Cruise (1962), Transformers’ Megan Fox (1986) and Twilight’s Robert Pattinson (also 1986).

Musicians: Shawn Mendes, Drake, Lady Gaga and more

Born in 1998, Shawn Mendes is only turning 24 later this year – though the Canadian singer has already built an incredibly successful career.

Not only is he the youngest male artist to have four studio albums top the US Billboard 200 list, but he is also a Grammy-nominated singer who has collaborated with renowned music artists like Zedd, Camila Cabello and Justin Bieber.

Other Year of the Tiger musicians include Drake (1986), Lady Gaga (1986) and Stevie Wonder (1950).

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s hit song Señorita topped the charts in 40 countries around the world. Photo: Universal Music

K-pop idols: Boa, Twice’s Dahyun and (G)I-dle’s Soyeon

Twice’s Dahyun is the girl group’s lead rapper and vocalist, as well as their resident tiger since she was born in 1998. But when she was still a primary school student, it was a different animal that helped the charming star go viral – a 2011 video of her performing what was called an “eagle dance” has amassed nearly 3 million views on YouTube.

Dahyun’s Chinese zodiac sign is the ferocious Year of the Tiger. Photo: Instagram/@twicetagram

Jungwoo, a member of boy band NCT, was born in the same year too, not to mention Soyeon from girl group (G)I-dle.

Still, 1998 was not the only Year of the Tiger for Korean idols. Boa, who is often called the “Queen of K-pop”, is a 1986 tiger, alongside Eunhyuk and Donghae from boy group Super Junior.

Politicians: Queen Elizabeth, Fidel Castro and Jiang Zemin

While Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is not technically a politician, she has incredible influence when it comes to the political sphere, and you guessed it – she was born in 1926, the Year of the Tiger.

Queen Elizabeth is set to turn 96 in April this year. Photo: Reuters

Other famous politicians include Fidel Castro, former president of Cuba, and Jiang Zemin, former president of China. Being a tiger isn’t the only thing these three public figures have in common – they were also all born in 1926.

Writers: John Steinbeck, Harper Lee and Thich Nhat Hanh

Some of the most famous authors have been born in the Year of the Tiger, and that includes John Steinbeck (1902), an American author who won a Nobel Prize in Literature. You may have read some of his books for school, including Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row.

Many of John Steinbeck’s books have become classics of American literature. Photo: SCMP

Harper Lee, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, was also born in the Year of the Tiger (1926). While she only wrote two books in her entire career, she has definitely left a mark on literature with To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.

Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh was born in 1926 and passed away on January 22 this year. With more than 5 million copies of his books sold, his legacy will certainly live on.

Athletes: Usain Bolt, Roger Clemens and Steve Nash

As the tiger zodiac sign symbolises strength and bravery, it makes sense that a few of the world’s top athletes would have been born in the Year of the Tiger.

Regarded by many as the greatest sprinter of all time, 35-year-old Usain Bolt holds world records for the 100m and 200m races as well as the 4x100m relay. The impressive Jamaican athlete, born in 1986, is another tiger.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt is considered one of the fastest runners in the world. Photo: dpa

Other tiger-born sportspeople include American professional baseball player Roger Clemens (1962), who is considered one of the most dominant pitchers in history, as well as basketball player Steve Nash (1974), one of the greatest point guards in US National Basketball Association history.

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