Audrey Hepburn

by ethnic on June 5, 2010

Birth Name: Audrey Kathleen Ruston

Date of Birth: 4 May, 1929

Place of Birth: Ixelles, Belgium

Date of Death: 20 January, 1993

Place of Death: Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland

Ethnicity: English, Austrian, Dutch (including Frisian), 1/256 French

Audrey Hepburn was a Belgian-born, Dutch-raised, British actress and humanitarian.

Audrey’s father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston, was born in Úžice/Auschiz, Bohemia, and was of approximately one quarter English and three quarters Austrian ancestry.

Audrey’s mother, Ella, Baroness van Heemstra, was Dutch. Audrey’s mother was of almost entirely Dutch descent (including Frisian), and had some remote non-Dutch roots (Audrey’s mother had 1/128 French ancestry, as well as remote English roots on a similarly distant level).

Audrey’s granddaughter is model Emma Ferrer.

Audrey’s paternal grandfather was Victor John George Ruston (the son of John Joseph Ruston and Barbara Victoria Belha). John Joseph Ruston was English, and is usually stated as having been born in London or in Poplar, near London. Barbara was Austrian.

Audrey’s paternal grandmother was Anna Juliana Franziska Karolina Wells (the daughter of Anton Wels and Karolina Schütz). Anna was born in Kovarce, south-western Slovakia. Anna was of Austrian descent.

Audrey’s maternal grandfather was Aarnoud Jan Anne Aleid, Baron van Heemstra (the son of Willem Hendrik Johan, Baron van Heemstra, and of Wilhelmina Cornelia de Beaufort). Aarnoud was born in Vreeland. Willem was the son of Frans Julius Johan van Heemstra, Baron van Heemstra, and of Henriëtta Philippina Jacoba, Baroness van Pallandt. Wilhelmina was the daughter of Arnoud Jan de Beaufort and Anna Aleida Stoop.

Audrey’s maternal grandmother was Elbrig Wilhelmina Henriette, Baroness van Asbeck (the daughter of Gerrit Ferdinand, Baron van Asbeck, and of Caroline van Hogendorp). Elbrig was born in Almelo. Gerrit was the son of Tjalling Minne Watze van Asbeck, tot Bergen en Munsterhausen, and of Elbrig Bienema. Caroline was the daughter of Dirk van Hoogendorp and Marianne Cathérine van Hogendorp.

One of Audrey’s maternal six times great-grandfathers, Henri Collot D’Escury, was French. One of Audrey’s maternal eight times great-grandfathers, George Clifford, was English. Adurey’s mother had another line of English ancestry on a similarly distant level.

Sources: Genealogies of Audrey Hepburn – http://www.geni.com
http://www.wikitree.com

Information on Audrey’s paternal grandmother, Anna Juliana Franziska Karolina Wels – http://www.pitt.edu

Genealogy of Audrey Hepburn (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew June 12, 2016 at 3:18 pm
ethnicitiies February 10, 2016 at 7:10 pm

GUYS JUST ACCEPT THE FACT SHE IS ENGLISH, DUTCH, FRENCH, AUSTRIAN AND A LITTLE IRISH AND A VERY VERY SMALL PERCENT JEWISH.

ethnicitiies February 20, 2016 at 6:58 pm

Nevermind she has the smallest amount of Jewish. Less than a percent. Probably 0.05327.

passingtime85 February 21, 2016 at 8:33 pm

Where? Where exactly in her family tree does she have Jewish ancestry?

ethnicitiies April 3, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Sorry, i realized that she has no Jewish ancestry whatsoever. A trusted source told me that, but it turned out they were wrong.

madman February 3, 2016 at 5:52 am

Audrey has Frisian ancestry from the Friesland region in the Netherlands.

California July 12, 2015 at 12:18 am

She looked like she was part Asian. Anyway she was beautiful.

cwm85 July 31, 2015 at 7:22 am

Nope all European. I never thought that way about her. I thought she Definitely was from Western europe.

Sully January 20, 2015 at 5:35 pm

I think she could pass for Italian or Hispanic or even with slight Lebanese admixture in some photos.

ExoticNorway April 23, 2015 at 4:16 am

how does one “pass” for Hispanic? Hispanic people don’t have one set of features. Look at Alexis Bledel, Cameron Diaz, etc.

and yeah, she looks 100% European except in some shots where she looks just like Lucy Liu.

M June 9, 2015 at 6:58 am

Alexis Bledel isn’t Hispanic. She’s a white person whose parents were born in Latin American countries. Example: A black Kenyan isn’t Asian if they were born in China.

thomas1987 June 10, 2015 at 7:12 am

Hispanic isn’t a race, Hispanic means you speak Spanish, many races of people speak Spanish.

Nikki February 4, 2016 at 9:39 pm

She did in fact live in Italy for part of her life, though she was not Italian. She could speak Spanish but she isn’t Italian, Spanish, or Lebanese. (I know you didn’t declare that she was, I am just stating he fact)

Freerk November 21, 2014 at 1:10 am

@midori: You have travelled “through Europe” and now you are an expert for Europeans? :D You have spent two weeks in Amsterdam, one of the most international cities in Europe, and now you know about “the European population”? C’mon!

“There is and have always been Middle Easterners, North Africans, black Africans, Roma Gypsies and all sorts of Asians living in Europe.”

“Always”? … No. Today, yes, but where, and to what extent? – The extent of non-Europeans (esp. “non-whites”) who live in Europe is not so big and has been very much smaller when Hepburn was born. Migration to Europe is a relatively new phenomenon. On the other hand, the range of phenotypes of Europeans is much wider than anywhere else. That doesn’t mean they are not Europeans, but that there is not ONE European phenotype.

As Europe is not one homogenous region. Esp. the “Asians in Europe” – people with partly Asian/Mongolian phenotype – mainly live in regions where the Mongols were – the south of Russia, Kazakhstan etc. That’s far away from the Netherlands and there has been nearly no exchange. In the Netherlands, you have relatively many people from Indonesia, that’s right. But the Netherlands are not Europe.

The Greeks are completely European, and if you had any knowledge in history you should know that the ancient Greek culture is the core of “the” European civilization, besides Roman efficiency and Jewish (-derived) religion.

On the other hand, the Arabs and Iranians are white as well. I don’t know your Iranian friend, but I have some friends who were born in Tehran (in the North of Iran, of course), and they are just a bit darker than me, a Middle/Northern European, and totally “white”, and their phenotype is obviously “European” (what makes no sense geographically, but you understand nevertheless, I hope). “Brown” doesn’t mean another race, but just a darker skin. (No one is really “white”.) The Northern European phenotype (light skin, blonde hair, blue eyes) is just a small segment of what is “white” or European.

midori29 November 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm

@freerk I know both Iranians and Greeks who do not consider themselves 100 percent white, some even say brown. Im not saying these people are not white but I am saying there is likely a “mongoloid” admixture .There are only three races on earth 1. Caucasoid 2. Negroid and 3. Mongoloid.

Freerk November 25, 2014 at 2:27 pm

“Just because you see a white person with dark hair it does not mean they are mixed.”
You recognize this? :D

I never saw a Greek who doesn’t consider him- or herself 100 percent white/European. It’s a part of the Greek cultural identity. Btw the myth about the origin of the name “Europe” is Greek. The Iranians I know don’t think in terms of white or brown or whatsoever. Their distinction to Europeans is not the colour, it’s based on culture, religion and history.

Freerk November 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm

So you seem to have “special” fríends.

andrew November 25, 2014 at 5:12 pm

@midori

They have a neo-nazi party in Greece.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Dawn_%28political_party%29

Anything more “white”

midori29 November 20, 2014 at 10:01 am

I have traveled all over Europe and have relatives living in Holland . I live in a high Iranian populated area and Audrey looks similiar to to the Iranian women I see.

andrew November 20, 2014 at 11:31 am

You dont have to be European to be white. That’s why people from North Africa and Middle East are considered White by US census. Iranians are generally White\Caucasians, believe it or not. They’re not even Arabs.

midori29 November 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

My ex boyfriend was Iranian. He told me some Iranians consider themselves white and other Iranians do not, they seem themselves as brown people. Nevetheless, even if the United States or whomever considers Middle Easterners, Arabs and North Africans as white they are certainly not pure whites because of their Asian and African admixtures in higher numbers

thomas1987 November 21, 2014 at 2:43 am

i dont get why you are bringing iran up?
they are white too they are not arab
natalie portman is from iran and she is white and looks like keira knightley’s clone who is english
and audrey looks exactly like what her ancesty is
she is a white woman
i bet you think only blonde people are white haha
if shes not white then most of europe isn’t white either
http://38.media.tumblr.com/2e32cead2ef9d23a91ade24a10e164fe/tumblr_n2r39urQY91rfwfq9o1_500.jpg
she fits right in

Freerk November 21, 2014 at 2:34 pm

1. Even the Arabs are white/Caucasians; but the Persians/Iranians are in addition Indo-Europeans (genetics vs. linguistics).

2. Natalie Portman is Jewish, and her ancestors are from Russia and Austria resp. Poland and Romania; she’s totally Ashkenazi.

3. I’m afraid that midori29 actually means that “most of europe isn’t white”. She seems to have a special interpretation of “white”. Probably the Nordic phenotype.

midori29 November 24, 2014 at 5:21 pm

@thomas 1987 my Iranian ex boyfriend did not consider himself white and he was half italian and half Iranian.

midori29 November 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Im not saying she is not “white” but she looks mixed with Asian to me.

Sully January 20, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Natalie Portman is from Israel.

alexgxo October 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Actually it’s pretty common for people to think that if you’re not European descent you’re a person of color. Lord knows people were proclaiming Gigi Hadid and her siblings were only half white because they have middle eastern ancestry the ignorance of some people. And now Audrey is not full white? even if she was Arab she would still have looks more closer to a European then someone from SS Africa for example lol..

Nikki February 4, 2016 at 9:40 pm

She is not Iranian. Her ethnicity is English, Dutch, Austrian, and French :)

ethnicitiies February 10, 2016 at 7:05 pm

She has no Iranian ancestry. In her family tree, there are no Iranian ancestors.

alexgxo November 22, 2016 at 3:46 pm

If you’re boyfriend is half Iranian why do you keep calling him full? And you say she looks mixed with non white yet get mad when people point out African Americans having somewhat White looking features smaller noses thinner lips or hair texture. Jeez.

midori29 November 20, 2014 at 9:36 am
midori29 November 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm

All all honesty to me she looks mixed and unlike the typical white woman. Her eyebrows alone look middle eastern. She has to have some non european exotic blood. And back when she worked in the 1940s she likely could not admitt admixture. She is not 100% white. I know a white friend who looked like her and she was Eastern European Irananian. Then another greek friend who looks like her. Countries mean nothing. Holland Dutch is an extremely international city, all races live there. She could be part Indian and she looks it.

midori29 November 19, 2014 at 1:33 pm

For some reason I think of that Indian actress aiswarya rai when I think of her.
http://www.apunkachoice.com/names/ais/aishwarya_rai/cid_6/photos/cewp_6_105/wallpaper.html

Dutch (Holland) has always been a very international place amd not just white. Lots of Indians.

andrew November 19, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Midori29 you’re a pathetic Afrocentric loser, your comments are complete fun to us. This kind of silly comments alwais come from non-whites against whites, you’re clueless. And racist, obviously. There is not even such thing as “Eastern European Irananian”, and if you don’t know Greeks are White. Get back to your slum.

midori29 November 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Wow you assume im black and from a slum and you call me racist lol wow. I did not call Audrey Hepburn black but she does not look
all white without some other ethicity. And Greeks are mixed whites many have non european genes. Call me afrocentric but whites many are mixed too. Just being honest.

midori29 November 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm

@andrew the above comment was meant for you. I have been around many Greeks, middle easterners, iranians and to me she looks a bit non european influenced. Those thick eyebrows and thick hair. Im from a very mixed country of South America.

andrew November 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm

you’re a fool. “Typical white woman”, “thick hair”, “think eyebrows”. I bet this is your idea of “white” woman LOL

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/07/30/article-2020557-0D3B7DDB00000578-619_468x587.jpg

Check7t November 19, 2014 at 6:29 pm

“and Greeks are mixed whites, many have non european genes’

All Europeans have non-European genes, however Greeks are unequivocally pure Caucasoid Europeans, like all Europeans. Non-Euro admixture in Europeans is predominately from the MENA, the highest amount of non-Caucasoid genes in Europe is in Finland with Mongoloid admixture on average about 7% overall, so much for ‘pure white Nordics’.

The postulation that Audrey Hepburn doesn’t look is absurd, she’s predominately Alpine type with maybe some minor Med influence.

Common type in France, Southern Germany, and British Isles.

She doesn’t even look Southern Euro to me, let alone non-European.

Alice November 19, 2014 at 8:27 pm

@midori29 – No offence to you but you should go to Europe. Lots of variety in very European populations. Audrey looks fully European to me.

andrew November 20, 2014 at 5:08 am

@midori

This is Hepburn family

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9t_LMVIWYXQ/Ugfib1O_v2I/AAAAAAAAK84/1OA_62jQAOs/s400/mae.jpg

P.S. : I dont even like her, I prefer other types of woman. And she wasn’t Dutch though.

midori29 November 19, 2014 at 2:49 pm

@andrew check this link of iranian women Audrey Hepburne would fit in , there are tons of middle easterners in Europe.
http://reale-states.blogspot.com/2013/06/iranian-actress-photos-beautiful-women.html?m=1

andrew November 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm

George Clooney wife is Middle Easterner, is she “white” or what else to you?

Alice November 19, 2014 at 8:37 pm

First women on that link is nothing like the way she was born. She has had extensive plastic surgery, is completely photo shopped and wears contact lenses. Her name is Haifa Wehbe. A lot of those women are very artificial and don’t look like most Middle Eastern women at all.

Alice November 19, 2014 at 8:39 pm

I meant a lot of the famous Middle Eastern women. For some reason a lot have had plastic surgery and have changed their natural look quite extensively. There are some that are naturally beautiful but Haifa Wehbe is definitely not one of those.

Alice November 19, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Here’s some pictures of her. There are some around of her even earlier than these because she has had some plastic surgery in these. Just saying she is not a good example to use.

http://imgsrv2.pxdrive.com/pics/norm/240354.jpg
http://imgsrv2.pxdrive.com/pics/norm/240347.jpg

Alice November 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm

I’ve just realised the woman you’ve used is not Haife Wehbe but Claudia Lynx but they are so similar due to contact lenses and plastic surgery. Here is Claudia Lynx. Those women are completely artificial.

http://up.98ia.com/images/j0173ufytg2mr4qewv9y.jpg
http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/31500000/Claudia-Lynx-Before-After-Plastic-Surgery-claudia-lynx-31595844-486-500.jpg

midori29 November 20, 2014 at 9:18 am

@Andrew I know there are variations of white women and they are not just blondes. I have Eastern European, Greek, and Italian, Irish friends. But in my opinion the typical white woman does not have super thick hair and eyebrows, they tend to have thin hair and fine eyebrows. Not saying there arent exceptions.
I am not saying Audrey Hepburn is not white, she is white but I am 100 percent sure there is Asian/ Middle Eastern in her phenotype (maybe even North African ) And people seem to ignore the large presence of “gypies” all over Europe who are originally from the middle east and India. I am sure they mixed into some of the white population. The picture you posted of her parents , they look even more exotically white than she does

midori29 November 20, 2014 at 9:52 am

@Alice, I have traveled to Europe and around the world. Ive spent two weeks in Amsterdam Holland. I have Eastern Europeans married into my family. Europe is not just white. Saying someone is European means nothing. There is and have always been Middle Easterners, North Africans, black Africans, Roma Gypsies and all sorts of Asians living in Europe. Some Europeans are mixed. I am from the most mixed continent in the world, South America. Ive seen multiple combinations of every race mixture on earth.

andrew November 20, 2014 at 11:37 am

Midori if you think their parents are exotic you’re completely crazy, I cant help you.

andrew November 20, 2014 at 11:38 am

*her parents

ethnicitiies February 10, 2016 at 7:08 pm

@andrew That isn’t Audrey’s family. That is Elfreide Granger and Otto Frank. Otto is Anne Frank’s father and Elfreide is Anne’s stepmother. Audrey’s parents were Ella van Heemstra and Joseph Ruston.

midori29 November 20, 2014 at 9:20 am

I see tons and tons of white women daily and if I saw Audrey Hepburn in the crowd, she would stick out as an “exotic”. To me.

midori29 November 20, 2014 at 9:54 am

Europe is more international than Africa and Asia because its been the hub of commerce, immigration and war for centuries

shobohunter November 24, 2014 at 6:39 pm

the gypsies were not originally from India. they migrate to India from eastern Europe or maby from centre /West Asia.

thomas1987 November 20, 2014 at 2:21 am

what the hell is a typical white woman?
is it Mila kunis, Anne Hathaway, sandra bullock, Lana Del rey, Katy Perry,Jennifer Lawrence Nicole kidman Penelope Cruz,Amy Adams, Taylor swift, ariana grande,or Angelina jolie?
all of the women above are white and look completely different from each other.
and FYI Greeks are white
and any women can have eyebrows like that with proper grooming, are you saying Cara delevine is not white because she has big eyebrows?
Audrey looks like a white woman
i think you are blind or a black person who wants to claim white people

thomas1987 November 20, 2014 at 2:37 am

and noone is born with thick eyebrows
you have to get them fixed like that
Audrey as a girl-http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/30400000/Audrey-as-a-Young-Girl-Audrey-hepburn-30467795-600-743.jpg
and thick hair is very common is the white race
have you ever heard of lorde- she has allot of hair
http://stealherstyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/lorde-curly-hair-side-part.jpg
so stop thinking the way you do
there is no such thing as a typical white woman
all white women look different
go to Europe and see how diverse it is

WTF December 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm

She doesn’t look Middle Eastern, but in some pictures she does have a pseudo-Asian look.

passingtime85 September 18, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Correction.

I don’t know how much stock we should put in the Nazi’s overly paranoid and critical distinction of who had a Jewish background, but they did think Baroness Heemstra had Jewish ancestry.

These two People articles mention it.

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20063477,00.html

“On May 18, 1940, the German army attacked Arnhem—and Audrey’s life changed forever. Hitler’s soldiers purged the town of Jews and “traitors.” The Van Heemstra family was reportedly of part-Jewish ancestry. Hepburn’s uncle and a cousin were executed as enemies of the Third Reich.”

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20066358,00.html

“Hepburn will not discuss those years, but she suffered from anemia and saw one of her half brothers sent to a German labor camp. Because of Jewish ancestry, some of her relatives were killed by the Nazis. Hepburn has said, ‘I’m sure other people have been through much worse. I dislike talking about it because I feel it’s not something that should be linked to publicity.’ “

follers September 19, 2014 at 12:27 am

I’ve looked at Audrey’s mother’s family tree at length going back many generations and I’ve yet to see any confirmed Jewish ancestors.

Here is one such tree focusing on her mother. There are probably others.
http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=deunhouwer&id=I208151

If anyone can name any Jewish ancestors of Audrey Hepburn – I’ll add it. It would have to be pretty distant (distant enough that the Nazis wouldn’t have cared about it anyway), but like I said, I’ll add it.

Check7t September 19, 2014 at 8:28 pm

“1/256 French”

Amazing.

follers September 19, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Sorry but it’s true.

Nikki February 4, 2016 at 9:35 pm

She is more French. It isn’t that distant haha

Nikki February 4, 2016 at 9:34 pm

Hi. I found out that Audrey had Jewish ancestry, but it was pretty distant. I learned it was at most less than a percent.

passingtime85 February 21, 2016 at 8:28 pm

Where in her family tree? I’d like to know the name.

ethnicitiies April 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Nevermind. I was told by a “reliable” source.

BlackSheep October 17, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Why are you people so hellbent on trying to prove people have Jewish background? Sometimes it’s as if you’re trying to fit a round peg into a square hole for no reason. What’s your motivation for this?

passingtime85 October 20, 2014 at 10:39 am

Honestly it’s just because of thoroughness.

A good majority of the profiles on this site have comprehensive family trees attached to them. If someone’s ethnicity hints toward any link to provable lineage, it gets added. Gina Carano is 1/4096 Mohawk Native American. That’s a denomination so miniscule that it most likely wouldn’t show up in a DNA admixture test. Yet it still mentioned in her profile. It’s just a case of being thorough.

Audrey’s family was thought to have Jewish ancestry, so I mentioned it. No biggie.

ectag November 16, 2014 at 9:19 am

Any claim to be 1/4096th anything is inherently dubious.

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