Mike Nichols RIP

by ethnic on July 13, 2014

The Film Society of Lincoln Center Honors Dustin Hoffman

Birth Name: Michael Igorevitch Peschkowsky

Date of Birth: November 6, 1931

Birth Place: Berlin, Germany

Date of Death: November 19, 2014

Place of Death: New York

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Mike Nichols is an American director. He was born in Berlin, Germany. His father, Igor Paul Nichols (Peschkowsky), was born in Vienna, Austria, to Russian Jewish parents. His mother, Brigitte (Landauer), was a German Jew. He was married to journalist Diane Sawyer. Mike was a third cousin, twice removed, of scientist Albert Einstein.

Mike moved to New York in April 1939 with much of his family, to escape the Nazis.

Mike’s paternal grandparents were Nicholai Peschkowsky and Anna Distler (the daughter of Grigory Distler).

Mike’s maternal grandparents were Gustav Landauer, a theorist on anarchism (the son of Hermann Landauer and Roese/Rosa Neuburger), and Hedwig Lachmann, an author, translator, and poet (the daughter of Isaak Lachmann).

Nichols was featured on the 2010 television series Faces of America, which examined his genealogy and that of other notables. In his 2010 book elaborating on the series, “Faces of America: How 12 Extraordinary People Discovered their Pasts”, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. writes: The Broad Institute’s testing of Meryl [Streep]’s autosomal DNA revealed that she shares recent ancestral connections to Mike Nichols (of four million base pairs on chromosome 13) and to Eva Longoria (of five million base pairs on chromosome 2), as well as an extraordinarily close ancestral connection to Stephen Colbert. Indeed, Meryl and Stephen share thirty million base pairs – a huge stretch of identical DNA.”

Sources: Genealogy of Mike Nichols – http://www.geni.com



Chris Hemsworth

by follers on September 17, 2013

"Snow White and the Huntsman" World Premiere - Arrivals

Birthplace: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Date of Birth: 11 August, 1983

Ethnicity: English, Irish, Scottish, German

Chris Hemsworth is an Australian actor. He is the brother of actors Luke Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth. He is married to Spanish actress Elsa Pataky.

Chris has English, Irish, Scottish, and German ancestry.

Chris’s paternal grandfather is Keith Hemsworth (the son of William Hamilton Hemsworth and Frances Margaret Jobson). William was born in Footscray, Victoria, Australia, to John Richard Hemsworth, who was of English descent, and to Carroline Sophie Fahle, who was the daughter of German immigrants, Heinrich Fahle (from Minden, Lower Saxony; then belonging to Prussia) and Carroline Schwer (from Hannover). Frances Margaret Jobson was the daughter of Jack Jobson and Janet Bibby. Frances’s maternal grandfather, Thomas John Bibby, was born in Argyle, Scotland, and Frances’s maternal grandmother, Ann McKeown, was born in Dublin, Ireland.

Chris’s paternal grandmother is Priscilla Outen.

Sources: Genealogy of Chris Hemsworth (focusing on his father’s side) – http://records.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Chris Hemsworth’s paternal great-grandmother, Frances Margaret Jobson (focusing on her own mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Photo by Prphotos


Kevin James

by follers on October 5, 2012

Birth Name: Kevin George Knipfing

Place of Birth: Mineola, New York

Date of Birth: April 26, 1965

Ethnicity: German

Kevin James is an American actor. His father was of German ancestry. It is unclear if Kevin’s mother is also of German descent. Kevin is married to actress Steffiana de la Cruz.

He was born Kevin George Knipfing, the son of Janet and Joseph Valentine Knipfing, Jr.

Kevin’s paternal grandparents were Joseph Valentine Knipfing (the son of Michael John Knipfing and Anna Marie Leist) and Helen Josephine Wolf. They were both of German descent. Michael was born in Himmelstat, and Anna was born in Brooklyn, to German parents.

Sources: Genealogy of Kevin James (focusing on his father’s side) – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Kevin’s paternal grandfather, Joseph Valentine Knipfing (through Joseph’s brother, Robert Louis Knipfing) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

image via actionsports/Bigstock.com


Dustin Hoffman

by ethnic on December 27, 2007

HBO's "Luck" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Birth Name: Dustin Lee Hoffman

Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA

Date of Birth: August 8, 1937

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Dustin Hoffman is an American actor. He is the son of Lillian (Gold) and Harry Hoffman. His father was born in Massachusetts, to Ukrainian Jewish parents. His mother was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a Polish Jewish father and a Romanian Jewish mother.

Dustin had a non-religious upbringing. He has said, “I don’t have any memory of celebrating holidays growing up that were Jewish”, and that he “realized” he was Jewish when he was around ten years old. Dustin became famous after starring in the 1967 movie The Graduate.

Dustin’s paternal grandparents were Hyman Hoffman and Clara. Hyman and Clara were both Ukrainian Jewish immigrants.

Dustin’s maternal grandparents were Louis Gold and Celia Epstein. Louis was a Jewish immigrant from Russia/Poland. Celia was a Romanian Jewish immigrant.

Sources: Interview with Dustin about his Jewish faith – http://www.thejc.com

Dustin’s father, Harry Hoffman, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Dustin’s mother, Lillian Gold, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

photo by PR photos


Thom Yorke

by Check7t on November 21, 2014

Radiohead in Concert at Victoria Park in London - June 25, 2008

Birth Name: Thomas Edward “Thom” Yorke

Place of Birth: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England

Date of Birth: October 7, 1968

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Type/Color: Light Brown (brunet)

Ethnicity: English, possibly other


Photo by Prphotos.com

Thom Yorke is an English musician, he was born in October of 1968 in Wellingborough, England.

He was born in England and his surname is English, so we can only assume he is fully of English descent, although it’s possible he could have non-Anglo ancestry.

Thom is most renowned for being the lead vocalist of the critically acclaimed band, Radiohead.


David Sedaris

November 21, 2014

Birth Name: David Raymond Sedaris Place of Birth: Binghamton, NY Date of Birth: December 26, 1956 Hair Type/Color: Brown Ethnicity: Greek, remote Middle Eastern Family info: David Sedaris is a famous comedian, author, and radio contributor. He is a Greek American who found out on the show Finding Your Roots he is also remote Middle […]

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Miguel Ferrer

November 21, 2014

Birth Name: Miguel José Ferrer Place of Birth: Santa Monica, California, U.S. Date of Birth: February 7, 1955 Ethnicity: Spanish-Puerto Rican (father); Irish, German, English, Scottish, Northern Irish (mother) Family info: Miguel Ferrer is an American actor. He is the son of Puerto Rican Academy Award–winner José Ferrer (born José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y […]

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

November 21, 2014

Place of Birth: Rudkøbing, Denmark Date of Birth: 27 July 1970 Ethnicity: Danish, German Family info: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is a Danish actor. He is the son of Hanne Søborg Coster and Jørgen Oscar Fritzer Waldau, of German descent. His wife Nukaka is a Greenlandic actress and singer of Inuit descent. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolaj_Coster-Waldau Photo by Prphotos.com

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Timothée Chalamet

November 19, 2014

Place of Birth: New York City (likely) Date of Birth: December 26, 1995 Ethnicity: French-Ashkenazi Jewish Timothée Chalamet is an American actor. His father is French. His mother, who is American, is Jewish (it is not clear if Timothée’s father is Jewish, too, but it is possible). Timothée’s uncle (his mother’s brother) is director Rodman […]

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