Seven famous 'ex-Pats'

Back in 1911, a whopping 10% of males living in Ireland shared a name with their country’s patron saint. Today Patrick is still proving to be a popular choice, but when we were compiling a list of our favourite famous Pats we noticed another crucial similarity with their namesake – they weren’t actually from Ireland!

So below we’ve listed some of our favourite ambassadors of the name out-with the Emerald Isle, or as we like to call them, our ‘ex-Pats.’

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Sir Patrick Stewart

Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls:

The Englishman has proven himself as a distinguished actor through a huge spectrum of protagonists, from tackling the trickiest roles of The Bard to playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

His nod to Irish heritage comes from his portrayal as Vladimir in Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ in which he acted opposite his X-Men colleague and fellow knight, Sir Ian McKellen.


Patrick Swayze

Credits: photo by Alan Light

Next up is a man with talents to challenge the Lord of The Dance himself.

Patrick Swayze is perhaps most fondly remembered for his iconic role as the heart-throb dance instructor in ‘Dirty Dancing’, a film which he not only showcased his skill as an actor and dancer, but also as a singer/songwriter with the track ‘She’s Like The Wind.’

He went on to appear in movies such as ‘Ghost’, ‘Point Break’ and Donnie Darko, receiving three nominations for Golden Globe awards.


Patrick Dempsey

Credits: Greg2600 -

While he will forever be known as Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd by fans of the hit series ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, Patrick Dempsey has enjoyed equal success on the big screen –particularly within the rom-com genre.

From Reese Witherspoon’s fiancé in ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, to Colin Firth’s love rival in ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ – Dempsey has appeared in over 30 movies, and still found time to squeeze in a career as a professional race car driver!


Patrick Warburton

Credits: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, USA

This is where two of our Patricks meet in Hollywood, as both Patrick Dempsey and Patrick Warburton had supporting roles in the third instalment ofthe ‘Scream’ Franchise.

Boasting one of the most recognisable voices in television, Patrick Warburton’s deep booming tones have made him a star as both an actor and a voice artist, with roles suchas Jeff Bingham in ‘Rules of Engagement’, Lemony Snicket in ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ and Joe Swanson in ‘Family Guy’.


Patrick Vieira

Credits: Steindy

Now we come across our first Patrick on the list to hail from the same side as the Atlantic Ocean as Ireland!

 Widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders of all-time, Patrick Vieira enjoyed great success in both international and domestic football, lifting the FIFA World Cup Trophy with France in 1998, and winning three Premier League titles and four Serie A titles (with Arsenal and Inter Milan respectively).

He is currently the Manager of OGC Nice in France, after a two-year stint coaching New York City in the MLS.


Patrick Ewing

 Credits: Seidenstud

Vieira isn’t the only sportsman to make the list, with Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Patrick Ewing coming up right behind him.

Ewing played for the New York Knicks for the majority of his career, and to date remains the only player to don the Knick uniform in more than 1,000 games. In 2003, the team retired the number 33 jersey in his honour.

As well as his success in the NBA, Patrick Ewing also has two Olympic Gold Medals to his name, as he was a member of the successful USA teams from 1984 and 1992.


Patrick Star


Last but not least, and the true star on the list, is none other the Sponge Bob Square Pants’best friend – Patrick Star.

Why the patron saint of Ireland was picked as a namesake for a starfish sidekick in Nickelodeon’s highest rated series of all-time is not immediately clear, but we’re not complaining. Patrick’s hilarious naivety and good nature have made him a firm favourite with children and adults all over the world. He got his big break in the pilot episode of the programme, and has starred in two feature length movies, with a third being released this year. He has also developed something of a cult following, thanks to his popularity as a meme on social media.

His underwater hometown of Bikini Bottom is thought to be somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, meaning that Patrick is unlikely to hail from Ireland itself. However, there are a few of us with Celtic skin tones that would turn a perfect Patrick Pink in his tropic conditions…



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