Adrien Brody

by ethnic on May 5, 2010

Birth Name: Adrien Nicholas Brody

Place of Birth: Woodhaven, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 14, 1973

*75% Ashkenazi Jewish
*25% Hungarian

Adrien Brody is an American actor and producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Pianist (2002).

Adrien’s father, Elliot Brody, is Jewish (from a family that emigrated from Poland).

Adrien’s mother, Sylvia Plachý, is a prominent photographer, who was born in Budapest, Hungary. Adrien’s maternal grandfather was Hungarian (of non-Jewish background). Adrien’s maternal grandmother was a Czech Jew, whose own parents were killed in the Holocaust. Adrien’s mother was raised a Catholic, and did not know about her own mother’s Jewish background until her teenage years. Sylvia’s mother was hidden by Sylvia’s father during the Holocaust.

Adrien has said that he was raised around both Judaism and Catholicism.

His mother’s surname, Plachý, means “shy” in Czech.

Adrien’s maternal grandfather was Willy Plachý (the son of Matild Ábrányi). Willy was born outside of marriage, and took on the surname of his stepfather, Zsigmond Plachý. Matild was the daughter of Ábrányi Lajos/Louis, a noted painter, who was born in Békéscsaba, Békés, Magyarország, and of Róza Vay.

Adrien’s maternal grandmother was the daughter of Jahr Miklos and Iren Shvartz. Jahr was born in Kőrösmező, Czechoslovakia, the son of Shmuel. Adrien’s great-grandfather Jahr was killed in the Dachau concentration camp.

Sources: Interview with The Guardian newspaper –

The New York Sun article about Adrien’s mother –

The Foward article about Adrien’s mother –

Genealogy of Adrien Brody (focusing on his mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Adrien’s maternal great-grandmother, Matild Ábrányi –

DFree /

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

madman July 20, 2016 at 3:44 pm

*75% Ashkenazi Jewish
*25% Hungarian

Freerk November 27, 2014 at 6:12 pm

It’s a classic European Jewish story that the time of the Nazi regime cutted their ethnic continuity and people didn’t know about her ethnic background. A friend of mine just came to knowledge that his mother was Jewish when she had died. She hadn’t told anyone. Even his father, her husband, hadn’t known it.

neiltennant November 26, 2017 at 5:38 am

this is not only an European story of the Jews

me on myself also part Jewish due to my paternal grandfather and we also found this out few years ago

The Beautiful Ones December 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

He looks a mess! He needs to get that nose chopped down a bit! dang!

Freerk July 12, 2014 at 3:21 pm

On the contrary! If I weren’t such a heterosexual schmock, I would immediately fall in love with him …

andrew November 9, 2013 at 6:32 pm

I thought he was full Jewish

follers November 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I don’t know if he necessarily identifies strictly as Jewish, although he is Jewish by matrilineal descent. His mother was raised Catholic, though, and he was raised in a mixed-faith home.

guurl November 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm

He’s Jewish. In the Jewish sense, he is “fully Jewish” whether he identifies as one or not.

neiltennant November 26, 2017 at 5:39 am

me too he looks like a typical Sephardi Jew

sadie March 26, 2012 at 5:11 am

He is not sexy, he is sooooooooooo very ugly!!!!!!!!!!!

Morgana Brianna March 13, 2012 at 12:07 am

Sexy as hell !!! even with the nose & I see other people think so, too.

nnnnn January 15, 2013 at 12:29 am

“other people think so, too”. O’k, 3 persons.All other people in the world don’t mean, he’s “sexy” , cuz he looks ridiculous – his nose…

lopac March 12, 2012 at 8:44 pm

He’s cool.

Amanda February 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Well that explains a lot!!! I love him and I find him every sexy!

Lana February 21, 2012 at 6:39 am

I like him.

ooo February 27, 2012 at 1:29 am


ann July 25, 2011 at 9:45 am

His maternal grandmother was Czech Jew.

Jo June 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I love his heritage. He’s very cool-looking.

Svinja March 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Isn’t he also Czech?

Hanka October 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

Yeah. His mother named Sylvia Plachý/Plachá. Plachý means “shy” in Czech. Plachý is male name and Plachá is female name. It’s an adjective.

moi September 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm

i thought he was mixed

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