Top 40 Famous Dutch People (Artists, Actors & More)

August 3, 2021

The Netherlands has quite a reputation, especially considering how small the country is. The small country has produced many famous people, such as Hollywood stars and artists, but Dutch athletes and DJs are also high on the list!

In this article, we take a look at the most famous Dutch people in history, and you might be surprised to see some of them! So, without further ado, let's take a look at the most famous people from the Netherlands.

40 Most Famous People From The Netherlands

Because many famous Dutch people have entered history books for various reasons, I will break them down by category to make it easier and more convenient for you.

Most Famous Dutch Historical Figures

In this category, I will cover famous people from Dutch history. These individuals may be famous for various reasons and may even be from a completely different era.

In the end, they all have one thing in common: they are all famous historical figures from the Netherlands.

1. Anne Frank:

Name: Annelies Marie Frank
Date of birth: 12-06-1929
Date of death: February 1945
: Frankfurt, Germany

Officially, Anne Frank is not Dutch, but we Dutch certainly consider her one of us. Anne Frank is perhaps one of the most famous people from the Netherlands ever, and her stories are known all over the world.

Photo of Anne Frank

Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who became famous for the diary she kept during World War II. Born in Germany in 1929, Anne and her family fled to Amsterdam in 1933 to escape the rise of the Nazi party.

In 1942, when Anne was just 13 years old, her family went into hiding in a secret annex above her father's office to avoid being sent to concentration camps. During their two years in hiding, Anne wrote about her thoughts, feelings, and experiences in her diary, which became a powerful and intimate account of life during the Holocaust.

Sadly, Anne and her family were eventually discovered and deported to concentration camps, where Anne died of typhus in 1945 at the age of 15.

Her diary was later published, becoming a widely read and influential book that has been translated into over 70 languages and has inspired countless people around the world. Despite this tragic fact, her legacy will forever live on in world history!

2. Mata Hari:

Name: Margaretha Geertruida (Griet) Zelle
Date of birth: 07-08-1876
Date of death: 15-10-1917
Birthplace: Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

The Dutch Mata Hari came from a Frisian family. She was an exotic dancer and, because of her beautiful appearance and dancing skills, performed in cities such as Paris, Vienna, and Monaco.

In 1914, Mata Hari received an offer to perform in Berlin for six months, but then World War I broke out, causing her to flee to the Netherlands.

She finally left for Paris again in 1916. During this time, Mata Hari was approached by the Germans with a proposal to spy on the French on their behalf. She accepts and becomes a spy for the Germans.

Sometime later, Mata Hari meets Georges Ladoux, who works for the French counterintelligence service. Georges Ladoux asks Mata Hari to work for the French to spy on the Germans. As a result, Mata Hari becomes a double agent.

In February 1917, Mata Hari was arrested for espionage by the French. After a short trial, Mata Hari is sentenced to death. A firing squad ended her eventful life on Monday, October 15, 1917.

3. George Blake:

Name: George Behar
Date of birth: 11-11-1922
Date of death: 26-12-2020
Birthplace: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

George Blake is the most famous Dutch spy in history. During the Second World War, George Blake joined the resistance and, through several detours, eventually ended up with the British secret service MI6.

He learned to speak Russian and was eventually sent to North Korea to gather information about the presence of Soviet troops in the country.

When war broke out in North Korea, George Blake was arrested and sent to a detention camp. No one knows what happened here, but it was later revealed that he had become a communist here.

After his release, Blake was sent by the British to Berlin to gather information on the Soviets. However, during his six years in Berlin, he passed on all kinds of information and documents to the Soviets and the KGB.

When the British caught on to this, they brought George Blake back to England with an excuse. Here he was immediately arrested upon arrival and sentenced to 42 years in prison.

In 1966 Blake managed to escape and eventually reach Russia. There he was received as a hero and lived a carefree life until his death on December 26, 2020, when he was 98 years old.

4. Michiel de Ruyter:

Name: Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter
Date of birth: 24-03-1607
Date of death: 29-04-1676
Birthplace: Vlissingen, The Netherlands

Michiel de Ruyter is a name known and feared by many, as he is one of the most famous Dutch sea admirals to ever live. He fought and won many battles before eventually dying by taking a cannonball to the skull.

Michiel de Ruyter was a Dutch seaman and one of the greatest admirals in the history of the Netherlands. Born in 1607 in Vlissingen, he began his career as a merchant sailor before joining the Dutch navy in 1631.

De Ruyter quickly rose through the ranks and became known for his tactical brilliance and daring exploits. He played a crucial role in several naval battles, including the Battle of Scheveningen in 1653, where he led the Dutch fleet to victory against the English.

De Ruyter was also known for his skill as a privateer, raiding enemy ships and disrupting their trade routes. He died in 1676 while leading a naval campaign against the French in the Mediterranean.

Today, he is remembered as a national hero in the Netherlands, with numerous streets, monuments, and even a naval frigate named in his honor.

Most Famous Dutch Royals

The Netherlands, of course, officially belongs to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is, therefore, a kingdom. Like every other kingdom in the world, the Netherlands has some famous royal family members.

Below I will explain to you who the most famous Dutch royals are.

5. King Willem-Alexander:

Name: Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand, Koning der Nederlanden, Prins van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg
Date of birth: 27-04-1967
Birthplace: Utrecht, The Netherlands

First on the list of famous Dutch Royals, we, of course, have our current king, Willem-Alexander.

King Willem-Alexander is the current monarch of the Netherlands, having ascended to the throne on April 30, 2013, following the abdication of his mother, Queen Beatrix. He is the eldest son of Beatrix and Prince Claus and was born on April 27, 1967, in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Prior to his accession to the throne, King Willem-Alexander pursued a career as a pilot in the Royal Netherlands Air Force and also served as a member of the International Olympic Committee. He is known for his passion for sports and is a strong advocate for water management and sustainability.

As King, Willem-Alexander has continued to promote the Netherlands on the international stage and has taken an active role in promoting Dutch trade and innovation. He is also known for his commitment to social issues, including mental health and the rights of refugees.

Overall, King Willem-Alexander is a respected and beloved figure in the Netherlands and is widely regarded as a modern and approachable monarch.

King Willem-Alexander is married to Queen Maxima. The king and queen have three daughters: Princess Amalia, Princess Alexia, and Princess Ariane. The King's heir apparent is his daughter, Princess Amalia.

6. Queen Maxima:

Name: Máxima, Prinses der Nederlanden, Prinses van Oranje-Nassau, Mevrouw van Amsberg
Date of birth: 17-05-1971
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Queen Maxima is the wife of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and the current queen consort. She was born on May 17, 1971, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti.

Before becoming queen, Maxima worked in finance and served as a representative of the Inter-American Development Bank. She met Willem-Alexander in 1999, and they were married in 2002. Together, they have three daughters: Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia, and Princess Ariane.

As queen consort, Maxima is known for her dedication to promoting financial inclusion and empowering women, particularly in developing countries. She has also been a strong advocate for mental health awareness and has worked to promote cultural diversity and understanding in the Netherlands.

Maxima is widely admired for her warmth and approachability and is known for her fashion sense and love of music. She is a beloved figure in the Netherlands and has become a respected ambassador for the country on the international stage.

7. Willem van Oranje (William of Orange):

Name: Willem van Nassau
Date of birth: 24-04-1533
Date of death: 10-07-1584
Birthplace: Dillenberg, Germany

Although Willem van Oranje was not officially a Dutchman, he was still part of the Dutch royal family. Willem van Oranje is known in the Netherlands as the founding father of the country.

Willem van Oranje, also known as William of Orange, was a Dutch nobleman and statesman who played a pivotal role in the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule in the 16th century. He was born on April 24, 1533, in Dillenburg, Germany, and grew up in a Protestant family.

Willem became a leading figure in the Dutch Revolt, which began in 1568 and is widely regarded as the founder of the Dutch Republic. He was a skilled military strategist and diplomat. He was able to secure the support of other European powers, including England and France, in the fight against Spain.

Despite facing numerous setbacks and challenges, Willem remained committed to the cause of Dutch independence and is remembered as a hero and a symbol of Dutch national identity.

He was assassinated in 1584 by a supporter of the Spanish king, but his legacy lives on to this day. Willem van Oranje is revered as a key figure in Dutch history and a champion of freedom and democracy.

Willem van Oranje is a distant ancestor of the current king, who still bears the surname; Van Oranje. His legacy lives on in world history as one of the most famous Dutchmen who ever lived!

Most Famous Dutch Actors

In the next category, we are going to talk about the most famous Dutch actors.

You might not realize it right away, but even though the Netherlands is only a small country with a small film industry, there are actually quite a few Dutch Hollywood stars!

Let's take a look at who the most famous Dutch actors are!

8. Rutger Hauer:

Name: Rutger Oelsen Hauer
Date of birth: 23-01-1944
Date of death: 19-07-2019
Birthplace: Breukelen, The Netherlands

Rutger Hauer was a Dutch actor who achieved international fame for his roles in films such as Blade Runner, The Hitcher, and Batman Begins. He was born on January 23, 1944, in Breukelen, Netherlands, and began his acting career in the late 1960s.

Hauer was known for his distinctive voice and intense on-screen presence. He was admired for his ability to bring depth and complexity to his roles. He worked with some of the most respected directors in the industry, including Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, and Paul Verhoeven.

In addition to his work in film, Hauer was also a passionate advocate for environmental causes and founded an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable living. He was widely respected for his humanitarian work and was awarded the prestigious Golden Calf award for his contributions to Dutch culture.

Hauer passed away on July 19, 2019, but his legacy as one of the greatest actors of his generation lives on. He is remembered as a talented artist, a committed environmentalist, and a beloved figure in the world of cinema.

9. Jeroen Krabbé:

Name: Jeroen Aart Krabbé
Date of birth: 05-12-1944
Birthplace: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jeroen Krabbé is a Dutch actor and film director who has made a name for himself both in the Netherlands and abroad. He was born on December 5, 1944, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and began his acting career in the 1970s.

Krabbé is best known for his work in films such as Soldier of Orange, The Fourth Man, and No Mercy. He has also directed several successful films, including The Discovery of Heaven and Left Luggage.

In addition to his work in film, Krabbé is also a respected painter and has exhibited his artwork in galleries around the world. He is a member of the prestigious Larense School, a group of Dutch artists who were active in the early 20th century.

Krabbé is widely regarded as one of the most talented and versatile actors of his generation and has won numerous awards for his work in film and television. He is also a beloved figure in the Netherlands and has been recognized for his contributions to Dutch culture and society.

Thanks to his roles in well-known Hollywood films, Jeroen Krabbé is among history's most internationally famous Dutch actors.

10. Michiel Huisman:

Name: Michiel Huisman
Date of birth: 18-07-1981
Birthplace: Amstelveen, The Netherlands

Michiel Huisman is a Dutch actor and musician who has gained international recognition for his work in film and television. He was born on July 18, 1981, in Amstelveen, Netherlands, and began his acting career in the late 1990s.

Huisman is best known for his roles in popular television shows such as Game of Thrones, Nashville, and The Haunting of Hill House. He has also appeared in films such as World War Z and The Age of Adaline.

In addition to his work in acting, Huisman is also a talented musician and has released several albums as a singer-songwriter. He is known for his soulful voice and folk-inspired sound.

Huisman is widely regarded as one of the most talented and versatile actors of his generation and has won numerous awards for his work in film and television. He is a beloved figure in the Netherlands and has become a respected ambassador for Dutch culture on the international stage.

11. Famke Janssen:

Name: Famke Beumer Janssen
Date of birth: 05-11-1964
Birthplace: Amstelveen, The Netherlands

Famke Janssen is a Dutch actress and former fashion model who has achieved international fame for her work in film and television. She was born on November 5, 1964, in Amstelveen, Netherlands, and began her modeling career in the late 1980s.

Janssen is best known for her roles in films such as GoldenEye, X-Men, and Taken. She has also appeared in popular television shows such as Nip/Tuck and How to Get Away with Murder.

In addition to her work in acting, Janssen is also a writer and director and has directed several short films and feature-length movies.

Janssen is widely regarded as one of the most talented and versatile actresses of her generation and has won numerous awards for her work in film and television. She is a beloved figure in the Netherlands and has become a respected ambassador for Dutch culture on the international stage.

12. Carice van Houten:

Name: Carice Anouk van Houten
Date of birth: 05-11-1976
Birthplace: Leiderdorp, The Netherlands

Carice van Houten is a Dutch actress and singer who has made a name for herself both in the Netherlands and abroad. Born on September 5, 1976, in Leiderdorp, Netherlands, she began her acting career in the late 1990s.

Van Houten is best known for her role as Melisandre in the popular television series Game of Thrones. She has also appeared in films such as Black Book, Valkyrie, and Repo Men.

In addition to her work in acting, van Houten is also a talented singer and has released several albums as a solo artist. She is known for her soulful voice and diverse sound.

Van Houten is widely regarded as one of the most talented and versatile actresses of her generation and has received numerous awards for her work in film and television. She is a beloved figure in the Netherlands and has become a respected ambassador for Dutch culture on the international stage.

Most Famous Dutch Artists

One of the things that the Netherlands is world-famous for is the many painters who come from the country. Many of the most famous paintings in the world were created by Dutch painters.

Unsurprisingly, these Old Masters are among the most famous Dutch people ever. Below is a selection of some of history's most famous Dutch painters.

13. Vincent van Gogh:

Name: Vincent Willem van Gogh
Date of birth: 30-03-1853
Date of death: 29-07-1890
Birthplace: Zundert, The Netherlands

When you think about famous Dutch artists, one of the first people to come to mind is, of course, the world-famous painter Vincent van Gogh.

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch painter who is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 19th century. Born on March 30, 1853, in Zundert, Netherlands, he struggled with mental illness throughout his life and died at the age of 37.

Van Gogh is known for his bold use of color and his expressive, emotionally charged paintings. He produced more than 2,000 works of art during his relatively short career, including some of the most recognizable and iconic paintings in the history of art, such as The Starry Night and Sunflowers.

Despite struggling with poverty, rejection, and mental illness, van Gogh remained committed to his art and continued to create some of his most powerful and moving works in the final years of his life.

Today, he is remembered as a genius and a visionary, and his paintings continue to inspire and captivate audiences around the world.

14. Rembrandt van Rijn:

Name: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Date of birth: 15-06-1606
Date of death: 04-10-1669
Birthplace: Leiden, The Netherlands

Another painter that immediately comes to mind when one thinks of the top Dutch art is, of course, Rembrandt van Rijn.

Rembrandt van Rijn was a Dutch painter and etcher who is widely regarded as one of the greatest artists in the history of Western art. He was born on July 15, 1606, in Leiden, Netherlands, and began his career as an artist in the early 1620s.

Rembrandt is known for his masterful use of light and shadow, his ability to capture the complexity and humanity of his subjects, and his innovative approach to painting and etching. He produced a wide range of works, including portraits, landscapes, and historical scenes, and was also a skilled printmaker.

Despite facing financial difficulties and personal tragedies throughout his life, Rembrandt continued to create some of his most powerful and moving works in the final years of his career. Today, he is remembered as a pioneer of the Dutch Golden Age of painting, and his works continue to inspire and influence artists and art lovers around the world.

15. Piet Mondriaan:

Name: Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan
Date of birth: 07-03-1872
Date of death: 01-02-1944
Birthplace: Amersfoort, The Netherlands

Piet Mondriaan was a Dutch painter who is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of abstract art. He was born on March 7, 1872, in Amersfoort, Netherlands, and began his career as an artist in the late 19th century.

Mondriaan is known for his use of geometric shapes and primary colors, and his works are characterized by a sense of balance and harmony. He believed that art should be a reflection of the spiritual and the universal, and his paintings are often seen as an expression of his philosophical and spiritual beliefs.

Throughout his career, Mondriaan continued to experiment with different styles and techniques, and his works evolved from representational to abstract. He was a key figure in the development of the De Stijl movement, which sought to create a new visual language that was free from the constraints of traditional art.

Today, Mondriaan is remembered as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and his works continue to inspire and influence artists and designers around the world.

16. Johannes Vermeer:

Name: Johannes Vermeer
Baptized: 31-10-1632
Date of death: 16-12-1675
Birthplace: Delft, The Netherlands

Johannes Vermeer is a symbol of the Dutch Golden Age, he was a prominent artist during the 17th century, and his legacy lives on right up to this day and for many more years to come.

He is famous for works like "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and his works have sold for millions all over the world.

He is definitely among the greats of realistic painting, and that’s why he has earned his spot in this like no other!

Most Famous Dutch Athletes

From Dutch artists, we will now move to the next category, Dutch athletes! We will cover the most famous Dutch athletes in this next category, except for soccer players, as we will devote a whole category to that later!

So, without further ado, let's take a look at some of the most famous Dutch athletes!

17. Rico Verhoeven:

Name: Ricardo Verhoeven
Date of birth: 10-05-1989
Birthplace: Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands
Sport: Heavyweight kickboxing

When you think of Dutch athletes, many boxing fans will instantly think of the king of kickboxing, better known as Dutch superstar Rico Verhoeven!

Rico Verhoeven has held the Glory Kickboxing World Title for many years now, and he continues to annihilate all his opponents in incredible ways.

His stamina and technique are truly incredible, and he will, without a doubt, go down into the history books as one of the best kickboxers of all time!

18. Tom Dumoulin:

Name: Tom Dumoulin
Date of birth: 11-11-1990
Birthplace: Maastricht, The Netherlands
Sport: Cycling

Tom Dumoulin will instantly ring a bell to any cycling fan around the world. He is truly the Dutch pride when it comes to cycling, and rightfully so.

He specializes in time trials, and some of his greatest achievements came when he won the Giro d’Italia in 2017 and won the silver medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

He has made the entire nation proud many times by winning one of his many trophies! That’s why he has cemented his place on this list and in the history books!

19. Sven Kramer:

Name: Sven Kramer
Date of birth: 23-04-1986
Birthplace: Heerenveen, The Netherlands
Sport: Speedskating

Ask anyone in the Netherlands who Sven Kramer is, and you'll get a comprehensive answer; even outside the country's borders, he is a well-known name to many.

And all this fame has not come out of anywhere; his incredible performances on the skating rink have earned him world fame like no other.

He has won many medals in various tournaments, including no less than 9 Olympic medals! Because of these achievements, Sven Kramer is among the best Dutch skaters ever.

This fame has earned him a place in this prestigious list of famous Dutch people!

20. Max Verstappen:

Name: Max Emillian Verstappen
Date of birth: 30-11-1997
Birthplace: Hasselt, Belgium
Sport: Formula One

Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen is a well-known sports figure around the world. Over the years, he has broken many Formula One records and is not done yet!

On December 12, 2021, Max Verstappen became the very first Dutch Formula One champion. He did this in the very last race of the season, during a thrilling battle with his arch-rival Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen repeated this and won his second Formula One title the next year.

Given his age, Max still has a bright future ahead of him, in which he can hopefully win more world titles.

His father, Jos Verstappen, also raced in Formula One. Max Verstappen drives for the team of Red Bull racing, and together they are looking for ultimate success in the sport!

Most Famous Dutch Soccer Players

As you probably know, soccer is the most popular sport in the Netherlands. Over the years, Holland has produced some of the best footballers ever, who have played for the biggest clubs in the world.

It is, therefore, only logical that many of these players are known all over the world. But who these players are, we will find out in this category of the most famous Dutch soccer players.

21. Johan Cruyff:

Why is the Netherlands so good at football - pic #1

Name: Hendrik Johannes Cruijff
Date of birth: 25-04-1947
Date of death: 24-03-2016
Birthplace: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Johan Cruyff is probably the first man you think of when you think of Dutch soccer players. He truly is one of the greatest players the sport has ever seen, and his incredible talent has gathered him fame and popularity all over the world.

He has played for big clubs like Barcelona and Ajax, and every soccer fan around the world will undoubtedly know his name. That’s why he deserves his spot among the most famous Dutch people to ever live!

22. Marco van Basten:

Name: Marcel van Basten
Date of birth: 31-10-1964
Birthplace: Utrecht, The Netherlands

Another Dutch soccer player that has made his way into the history books is Marco van Basten! He has played for some of Europe’s biggest clubs, such as AC Milan and Ajax Amsterdam.

Marco van Basten is the one who scored one of the most beautiful and important goals in Dutch soccer history. He scored 2-0 against the Soviet Union in the final of the 1988 European Championship.

This goal was astonishingly beautiful and went all over the world, and it is still considered one of the most beautiful goals ever scored.

He has been declared the best footballer in Europe multiple times in a row, and his incredible talent has amassed many soccer fans around the world, earning him a spot among the most famous Dutch soccer players!

23. Ruud Gullit:

Name: Rudi Dil
Date of birth: 01-11-1962
Birthplace: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ruud Gullit is absolutely not to be missed in the list of the most famous Dutch soccer players ever. He is perhaps one of the most iconic soccer players the Netherlands has produced.

Ruud Gullit has played at major clubs such as AC Milan, Chelsea, and Feyenoord during his career. He also played 66 international matches for the Dutch national team, in which he managed to score 17 times.

Thanks in part to Ruud Gullit's 1-0 goal in the 1988 European Championship final, the Netherlands won the only international tournament in Dutch soccer history to date.

24. Arjen Robben:

Name: Arjen Robben
Date of birth: 23-01-1984
Birthplace: Bedum, The Netherlands

Arjen Robben is the face of Dutch soccer in the modern era. He has taken the national team to incredible heights and played for years at the highest level in Germany, cementing his place in the history books as one of the best wingers in the world.

His professional career was plagued by injuries, and he recently called it quits, but that does not diminish his incredible worldwide fame and his place on this list!

25. Virgil van Dijk:

Name: Virgil van Dijk
Date of birth: 08-07-1991
Birthplace: Breda, The Netherlands

Virgil van Dijk, also known as "big Virg", is one of the best defenders in the game currently. He has played for Liverpool since 2018 and has since won both the Champions League and the Premier League.

The captain of the Dutch national team enjoys incredible fame and popularity with fans around the world! Any soccer fan will know Virgil van Dijk's name, and he has more than earned his spot among some of the most famous Dutch soccer players in history!

26. Frenkie de Jong:

Name: Frenkie de Jong
Date of birth: 12-05-1997
Birthplace: Arkel, The Netherlands

We have so far primarily been discussing Dutch soccer heroes of the past, but our current generation also has a lot to offer. This can clearly be seen when we look at Dutch superstar Frenkie de Jong.

Frenkie de Jong made the move from Ajax, where he had progressed from the youth academy to the first team, to Barcelona in 2019.

In the meantime, he is indispensable in the midfield of FC Barcelona and now is one of the best players in the Spanish competition and the whole of Europe.

He has gathered fans around the world and his fame simply cannot be denied anymore. That combined with his incredible potential for further growth has earned him a spot on the list of most famous Dutch soccer players.

Most Famous Dutch DJs

The Netherlands is world-famous for its DJs. Despite being a small country, it has been running at the top of international electronic music for many years.

In the past decade, Dutch DJs have also won the award for best DJ in the world several times. That's why some Dutch DJs are among the most famous Dutch people in the world.

27. Armin van Buuren:

Name: Armin Jozef Jacobus Daniël van Buuren
Date of birth: 25-12-1976
Birthplace: Leiden, The Netherlands

Armin van Buuren is one of the pioneers of the DJ world, and we are proud to call him Dutch!

He has produced many incredible worldwide hits over the years, and even now that he is 46 years old, this incredible DJ shows no signs of stopping anytime soon!

His hits have gathered a huge army of fans all over the world, and he has been named the best DJ in the world no less than five times, earning him a place among the most famous Dutch people ever!

28. Martin Garrix:

Name: Martijn Gerard Garritsen
Date of birth: 14-05-1996
Birthplace: Amstelveen, The Netherlands 

Martin Garrix is one of the younger DJs on this list, and at just 27 years old, he has already done incredibly well for himself.

Despite his young age, he actually has had a very successful career already, becoming globally famous back in 2013 with his hit Animals.

Since then, he has released multiple global hits, and his audience has only been growing. He is a true fan favorite, and for all the right reasons!

It looks like Martin Garrix will have a bright future ahead of him, as he still has many years left in the industry!

29. Tiësto:

Name: Tijs Michiel Verwest
Date of birth: 17-01-1969
Birthplace: Breda, The Netherlands

DJ Tiësto, aka Tijs Verwest, is a well-known name in the international music industry. He has earned his place among the best in the business, and other famous Dutch artists surround him at the top!

Tiësto has produced several global hits, and he has scored collabs with some of the biggest artists throughout his career.

All of this has provided him with infinite international fame and glory, and let’s not forget he is a Dutchman!

30. Afrojack:

Name: Nick Leonardus van de Wall
Date of birth: 09-11-1987
Birthplace: Spijkenisse, The Netherlands

The last of the most famous Dutch DJs we'll be scrutinizing today is certainly not the least. Many people have heard of the famous name Afrojack, and his impressive career doesn't lie!

He has millions of followers on social media and has performed at the biggest festivals in the world.

He has worked with the greats of the world, such as Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Pitbull, Ne-Yo, and many more. Partly because of this, Afrojack is one of the most famous DJs in the world.

He really makes Holland proud with his music and fame, and whether you like him or not, you can't deny his place among the most famous Dutch DJs in history!

Most Famous Dutch Musicians

Unfortunately, the Netherlands plays no real role of significance in the international music world. With the exception of our DJs, of course.

Nevertheless, there are some famous Dutch musicians who did build up a reputation internationally. Who these are you can read below.

31. Eddie Van Halen:

Name: Edward Lodewijk Van Halen
Date of birth: 26-01-1955
Date of death: 06-10-2020
Birthplace: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Eddie van Halen is probably the most famous Dutch musician of the last century. Originally from the Netherlands, he moved to America at a young age and later took up American citizenship.

Together with his brother, Eddie van Halen started the hard rock band Van Halen. The band managed to become one of the best hard rock bands of the last century, producing hits such as Jump, Runnin' with the devil, and Why Can't This Be Love.

Eddie van Halen was also active as a solo guitarist. For example, he played the famous guitar solo in Beat It by Michael Jackson. He is also considered the one who popularized the two-hand-tapping technique.

32. Duncan Laurence:

Name: Duncan de Moor
Date of birth: 11-04-1994
Birthplace: Spijkenisse, The Netherlands

Duncan de Laurence is definitely one of the best-known Dutch singers of the 21st century. He managed to gain international fame by winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019. He did this with the self-written song Arcade.

That Duncan Laurence is well known these days is not surprising. After all, more than 182 million people watched the final of the Eurovision Song Contest he won.

33. André Rieu:

Name: André Léon Marie Nicolas Rieu
Date of birth: 01-10-1949
Birthplace: Maastricht, The Netherlands

André Rieu is a Dutch violinist and orchestra conductor. With his orchestra, he tours all over the world, from Europe to Australia and America.

That he is among the most famous classical musicians can be seen from the fact that in 2009 he was the best-selling classical artist in America.

His tours in America are also a huge success. For example, in 2009, he gave no less than 112 shows, which brought in a sum of $95,854,338. This put him in the 6th spot on the Billboard Top 25 Tours that year.

These enormous successes ensure that André Rieu is among the most famous Dutch musicians.

Most Famous Dutch Explorers

In the past, the Netherlands was a true seafaring country. They fought sea battles, traded with other countries, and discovered new countries and continents.

Therefore, the Dutch explorers belong to history's most famous Dutchmen.

34. Abel Tasman:

Name: Abel Janszoon Tasman
Date of birth: 1603
Date of death: 10-10-1659
Birthplace: Lutjegast, The Netherlands

Abel Tasman is the first Dutch explorer we will look at in this category. You may recognize his name, and that's probably from your history classes in high school!

Abel Tasman was a Dutch explorer in the service of the Dutch East India Company. Between the years 1633 and 1652, he discovered several countries.

His greatest discoveries were New Zealand, the island of Tasmania, parts of Australia, and islands off the coast of Australia.

Abel Tasman is best known for his discovery of Tasmania. This island is also named after this Dutch explorer. This incredible discovery earns him a spot on this list of the most famous Dutch explorers!

35. Willem Barentsz:

Name: Willem Barentsz
Date of birth: 1550
Date of death: 20-06-1597
Birthplace: Terschelling, The Netherlands

The next famous Dutch explorer we’ll be looking at is Willem Barentsz. He is famous for his attempt to find a northern route to Asia via the North Pole!

In his attempt, he explored a large part of the Northern hemisphere until he got stuck in a place called Nova Zembla.

To honor Willem Barentsz, the Barents Sea was named after him because he sailed and explored a lot in these regions.

Tragically he died during one of his voyages, but his legacy will live on forever and earned him a spot on the list of most famous Dutch explorers.

Most Famous Dutch Politicians

Of course, the Netherlands is only a small country compared to world powers like America, Russia, and China. Nevertheless, the Netherlands has several internationally known politicians.

These persons are known because of their role in Dutch politics or because they hold or have held a position in European politics.

Below I explain to you who the most famous Dutch politicians are and what exactly they are known for.

36. Mark Rutte:

Name: Mark Rutte
Date of birth: 14-02-1967
Birthplace: The Hague, The Netherlands

We, of course, cannot exclude our very own prime minister, Mark Rutte, from this list!

Mark Rutte became the leader of the Netherlands in 2010, and he remains prime minister to this day, making him one of the longest-sitting prime ministers in the history of the country!

He is famous for his international involvement in things like the NATO alliance and the European Union.

Mark Rutte is highly regarded internationally by great leaders like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. In the Netherlands, he is the leader of the largest political party. In recent years, however, Mark Rutte's popularity has declined.

37. Frans Timmermans:

Name: Franciscus Cornelis Gerardus Maria Timmermans
Date of birth: 06-05-1961
Birthplace: Maastricht, The Netherlands

Frans Timmermans has been running in Dutch politics for decades. He gained international fame in European politics because of his various positions.

These were always positions in which he had a lot of contact with politicians from other countries. These were positions such as Secretary of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Today, he holds the following positions in European politics: European Commissioner and also the first Vice-Chairman of the Von der Leyen Commission.

38. Geert Wilders:

Name: Geert Wilders
Date of birth: 06-09-1963
Birthplace: Venlo, The Netherlands

Geert Wilders is probably the most controversial Dutch politician today. In 2004, he founded his own political party, with which he espouses an extreme right-wing ideology.

Wilders' political party fights mainly against Islam and extremism. For example, he wanted to introduce a tax for wearing a headscarf in the Netherlands.

Geert Wilders also makes himself heard internationally. For example, he called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a terrorist on Twitter in 2020. This caused a lot of tension between various international heads of state.

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders' political party seems to be gaining popularity and was among the three largest parties in the country during the 2021 elections.

Most Famous Dutch Models

The Dutch are often thought to be beautiful people. This, of course, is purely a matter of taste. Nevertheless, the Netherlands has produced several international top models over the years.

Below I will cover some of the most famous Dutch models.

39. Doutzen Kroes:

Name: Doutzen Kroes
Date of birth: 23-01-1985
Birthplace: Giekerk, The Netherlands

Doutzen Kroes is by far the most famous and successful model from the Netherlands. This Dutch-born beauty signed her first modeling contract already at the age of 18.

After that, her career went sky high, and she broke through internationally in 2005 during Victoria's Secret fashion show.

Doutzen Kroes runs fashion shows for major international fashion brands such as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent, and Viktor & Rolf.

In 2011, Doutzen Kroes made her acting debut in the Dutch film production Nova Zembla.

40. Lara Stone:

Name: Lara Catherina Stone
Date of birth: 20-12-1983
Birthplace: Geldrop, The Netherlands

Lara Stone is a Dutch model who was discovered at 14 in a Paris subway. When she was 16, she moved to Paris, where her modeling career began.

Her career began slowly and was not very successful. She finally experienced her big break in 2006 when she signed a contract with IMG.

Lara Stone walked shows for major brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Hermès, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Dolce & Gabbana.

In 2010, Lara Stone won the Model of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards.

Like Doutzen Kroes, Lara Stone also aspires to an acting career and made her debut in 2016 with her role in the French film En Moi.


There you have it, the most famous Dutch people who ever lived! As you can see, the Netherlands has produced many famous people in many different categories! Many more than you would expect from such a small country.

I hope this article was informative and that you learned more about the most famous Dutch people ever.

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Written by

Leo van den Berg
As a Dutchman I am extremely proud of the beautiful country in which I live. My goal is to convey my passion and love for the Netherlands to as many people as possible.

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