Birth Name: Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Date of Birth: February 17, 1981
Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an American actor, writer, director, and singer. He is known for playing Tommy on the television series 3rd Rock from the Sun, as well as for his roles in the films 10 Things I Hate About You, (500) Days of Summer, 50/50, and The Dark Knight Rises. His parents are Dennis Levitt and Jane Gordon, and his maternal grandfather was director Michael Gordon. Joseph is married to businessperson Tasha McCauley.
Joseph’s parents are both Jewish. His father’s family were Russian Jews and Polish Jews, while his mother’s family were Lithuanian Jews, Romanian Jews, and Russian Jews.
Joseph’s paternal grandfather was Milton R. Levitt (born Milton Levitz, the son of Louis Levitz and Fraudel “Fannie” Isaacson). Milton was born in Ohio, to Russian Jewish parents. Louis’s parents were Meyer Levitz and Lena Friedsohn (the daughter of Nathan Friedsohn and Rachel). Fraudel’s parents were Dave Isaacson and Irene/Lena Ida/Riva Feinstock. While census records list Fraudel as having been born in Russia, one source states that Fraudel, Joseph’s great-grandmother, was born in then-Ottoman Palestine, in 1894. At the time, known as the First Aliyah, there were residences of Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe in the area.
Joseph’s paternal grandmother was Celia Roth (the daughter of F. Charles Roth and Fanny “Frade” Mekel). Celia was born in Pennsylvania. Celia’s parents were Polish Jews. Fanny’s parents were named Boruch Mekel and Sarah.
Joseph’s maternal grandfather was film director Michael Gordon (born Irving Kunin Gordon, the son of Paul Gordon and Eva Kunen). Michael was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Paul and Eva were Ashkenazi Jews. Paul’s parents were Leyb (Louis) Gordon and Rachel Gviemer. Paul and Eva are listed as being born in Russia in some records, Lithuania in another record, and in yet another record, Paul is listed as having been born in Russia, while Eva is listed as having been born in Pennsylvania, to parents who were born in Russia.
Joseph’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth A. Cohn (the daughter of Isaac Cohn and Mollie Fineberg). Elizabeth was born in Ohio. Isaac was a Romanian Jewish immigrant. Mollie was a Russian Jewish immigrant.
Sources: Genealogy of Joseph Gordon-Levitt – http://familypedia.wikia.com
Marriage record of Joseph’s paternal grandparents, Milton Levitz (later Milton Levitt) and Celia Roth – https://familysearch.org
Joseph’s paternal grandfather, Milton Levitz, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Joseph’s paternal grandmother, Celia Roth, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Joseph’s maternal grandparents, Michael Gordon (“Mickeal Gordon”) and Elizabeth Gordon, on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Joseph’s maternal grandfather, Irving Kunin Gordon (later Michael Gordon), on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Joseph’s maternal grandfather, Irving Kunin Gordon, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Joseph’s maternal grandmother, Elizabeth A. Cohn, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Joseph is able to speak French and is a self-confessed Francophile. The youtube link below shows an interview with Joseph on a television show where he speaks French – http://www.youtube.com
photo by Debby Wong/Bigstock.com