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: Dutch (including Frisian), English, Austrian and/or German, 1/256 French, possibly Czech

Audrey Hepburn was a Belgian-born, Dutch-raised, British actress and humanitarian. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Roman Holiday (1953).

Audrey’s father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston, was born in Úžice/Auschiz, Bohemia, and was of English and Austrian and/or German, as well as possibly Czech, descent.

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 was sometimes said to have some degree of Jewish ancestry on her mother’s side. No Jewish ancestors have of yet been documented/verified for Audrey’s family.

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

Audrey’s paternal grandmother was Anna Juliana/Julianna Franziska/Francisca Karolina/Carolina Wels/Wells/Welsová (the daughter of Antonius/Anton Wels/Wells and Carolina Schütz). Anna was born in Kovarce, south-western Slovakia, and was of Austrian and/or German descent.

Audrey’s maternal grandfather was Aarnoud Jan/Johan Anne Aleid, Baron van Heemstra (the son of Willem Hendrik Johan, Baron van Heemstra, and of Wilhelmina/Wilhelmine 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/Philippine Jacoba, Baroness van Pallandt. Wilhelmina was the daughter of Arnoud Jan de Beaufort and Anna Aleida Stoop.

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

Information on Audrey’s paternal grandmother, Anna Juliana Franziska Karolina Wels/Wells/Welsová –

Baptismal record of Audrey’s paternal grandmother, Anna Juliana Franziska Karolina Wels/Wells/Welsová –

Genealogy of Audrey Hepburn (focusing on her mother’s side) –

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

ihatemostpeople April 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm

One of the classiest women to grace this planet.

Too bad most girls these days think dressing and acting like a whore is “attractive”. Audrey Hepburn was the epitome of classy and beautiful. Girls should take note and act like she did.

Nikki April 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm



follers April 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I think her ancestry is pretty well addressed here. Do you know something else about the ancestry of her paternal grandfather?

Nikki April 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Yes she said in an interview and there is dna results. i do not know where they are now, but i have seen them before clearly

follers April 20, 2014 at 10:54 pm


Nikki April 27, 2014 at 8:37 am

Well, someone should change it to the correct info that Audrey said and documented herself.

Mother: Dutch
Father: Austrian, Welsh, English

follers April 27, 2014 at 9:24 am

Where did she say this? It’s all up there already except for Welsh.

Nikki May 8, 2014 at 6:31 pm

She is not french, she is austrian, english, welsh and dutch. I hoped this helped!

ethnicitiies February 4, 2016 at 10:04 pm


Nikki April 9, 2014 at 5:53 pm

She said her ethnicity in an interview in 1979

tinasheeeee September 29, 2014 at 4:19 pm

show us proof or it’s fake

Nikki February 4, 2016 at 9:42 pm

OH MY GOSH. My little cousin took my account and posted these comments. I am so so sorry. She is a fan haha

Nikki April 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Audrey Hepburn is Welsh (mostly), Scottish, English, Austrian, Dutch, and a little French, but not a lot at all.

cecile August 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm



Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on 4 May 1929 at number 48 Rue Keyenveld in Ixelles, a municipality in Brussels, Belgium.[4] Her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston (1889–1980), was born in Úžice, Bohemia,[5] to Anna Ruston née Wels of Austrian descent[6] and Victor John George Ruston of British and Austrian descent.[7] Ruston had earlier been married to Cornelia Bisschop, a Dutch heiress he met in the Dutch East Indies.[8] Although born Ruston, he later double-barrelled the surname to the more “aristocratic” Hepburn-Ruston, mistakenly[7] believing himself descended from James Hepburn, third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.[8]
Her mother, Baroness Ella van Heemstra (1900–1984), was a Dutch aristocrat of Frisian ancestry and the daughter of Baron Aarnoud van Heemstra, who was mayor of Arnhem from 1910 to 1920 and served as Governor of Suriname from 1921 to 1928. Ella’s mother was Elbrig Willemine Henriette, Baroness van Asbeck (1873–1939), who was a granddaughter of Dirk van Hogendorp. At age nineteen, Ella had married Jonkheer (Esquire) Hendrik Gustaaf Adolf Quarles van Ufford, but they divorced in 1925. Hepburn had two half-brothers from this marriage: Jonkheer Arnoud Robert Alexander Quarles van Ufford, known as “Alex”(1920–1979) and Jonkheer Ian Edgar Bruce Quarles van Ufford, known as “Ian” (1924–2010).[8][9]

cecile August 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm

her mother was of frisian descent this is a province in the most nordic part of the netherlands

andrew August 7, 2013 at 6:38 am

excuse me but where Hepburn surname come from?

cecile September 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm

scottish ore english just look at the ethnicity of Katarine Hepburn ( same surname and she was scottish, english )

andrew September 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm


Audrey’s dad changed his surname to the more “aristocratic” Hepburn-Ruston, mistakenly believing himself descended from James Hepburn, third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

ethnicitiies February 4, 2016 at 10:05 pm

I’m sorry but Audrey had no Hungarian ancestry. Her mother was Dutch, ENGLISH, and French.

beyfox February 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Her cheekbones and eyes remind me a asian person,Zhang Ziyi, specifically. I always thought she(Audrey) was part Asian.

Holly12 February 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm

The link below is from Audrey Hepburn’s official website, where it claims her father had English, Scottish, Irish, French & Austrian ancestry. It also claims her mother had Dutch, Hungarian & French descent too.
I don’t know how true the information is on the website about her ancestry, but it is her official website & it is ran for her charity ‘The Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund’. Both her son’s have helped to run the charity too, & her younger son Luca Dotti is the chairman of the charity fund, so I can’t see why they would allow false information to be made public about their mother’s ancestry.
Also Ethni I think Audrey deserved a nicer photo too.

Petrarca May 28, 2012 at 11:28 pm

There are rumors that Her mother’s side is part Jewish.

Holly12 June 7, 2012 at 4:13 am

I think it’s unlikely that Audrey was Jewish, first of all her ancestry has been traced back for a couple of centuries as far as the 1600’s in England and to Austria through her Father’s ancestry and to the Netherlands through her Mother’s ancestry and shows no sign of Jewish ancestry. Secondly she lived in the Netherlands during World War 2, which was occupied by the Nazis. If they had suspected at all that she had any Jewish ancestry whatsoever she would have been sent to the concentration camps. I remember an interview of her later in life where she was talking about seeing Jewish children being deported to the concentration camps by train during World War 2 and how at the time as she was only a little girl and that she didn’t really comprehend what was happening, a very sad memory.

follers October 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm

“If they had suspected at all that she had any Jewish ancestry whatsoever she would have been sent to the concentration camps”
-Not true. No one was sent to cocentration camps because of “suspected” Jewish ancestry. Unlike some commentators on ethnicelebs, the Nazis did not operate on the “I call it like I see it” principle (at least when it came to people’s family history).

People with Jewish ancestry any smaller than one grandparent were generally left alone, as well.

The book Audrey: Her Real Story (1997), by Alexander Walker, which is one of the better resources on her ancestry, states that Audrey’s mother had “Jewish connections”, but does not elaborate. It also states that her mother had Hungarian ancestry.

These are pretty good family trees of Audrey’s mother, and I’ve seen others. None show any Jewish or Hungarian roots that I can see, so I doubt her mother had Jewish or Hungarian ancestry (not that the two are connected).

ripper122 August 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm

stop making this beautiful lady jewish, better check ir ur not a jew urself

ethnicitiies February 4, 2016 at 10:07 pm

She had barely any Jewish ancestry. Her jewish heritage was so small, it was less than a percent.

sadie March 10, 2012 at 5:26 am

She was a beautiful and amazing actor!

I love you, Roger Scientist March 8, 2012 at 10:24 pm

The Slovak explains her slanted eyes.

Marc March 9, 2012 at 12:09 am

Audrey had not Slovak heritage!
Her grandmother from father’s side Anna Juliana Franziska Karolina Wels is Austrian,ethnically! Or Czech,cause was born in Bohemia,but not Slovak!

Alex_66 February 26, 2013 at 3:28 am

You are terribly wrong, because Audrey´s grandmother was Slovak and her name was Anna Welsova and was born in slovak village Kovarce, that´s cca 10 kilometers from slovak town Topolcany. According to written sources, this family owned sugar-house in Kovarce. It burned down, so they moved abroad. Stay calm, dude… ;-)

storm February 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm

she has a similar ethnicity to Angelina Jolie

Lil Vacha July 4, 2011 at 11:33 am

Audrey Hepburn does not have any Irish ancestry. She is actually of English, Slovak, and Dutch descent. She was actually incorrect stating she is Irish. If you look at her genealogy/tree it mentions no Irish ancestry in it.

ethnic July 5, 2011 at 6:20 am

thanks lil Vacha

Marc August 15, 2011 at 11:04 am

actually Bohemia is historical name of modern Czech Republik not Slovakia.

Lil Vacha August 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Yeah I kno tht lol. I just didn’t know which one to put… so tht confused me…

Kimmi June 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I actually thought that she was part indonesian
since many dutch(including me :D) have indonesian ancestry
But in those days and even now people are ashamed to admit it(primarely the elderly ofcourse)

Emily May 19, 2011 at 3:32 am

I have heard that her grandfather was Slovak. So she is probably part slovakian.

Jo April 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm

It’s strange she had not an ounce of Asian blood in her, for all she looked it! I love how she started the exotic beauty appreciation movement =D

Suran March 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Although she claimed her Father was Irish there’s actually no evidence of this. Donald Spoto’s book Enchantment states “Later identified by Hepburn biographers as an Anglo-Irish banker, he was neither Irish nor a banker”.

Her English heritage can be seen here. She is related to Medieval English families as well as being related to Queen Elizabeth 2nd.

To Ethnic September 6, 2010 at 3:53 am

I think the above needs changing

Ric September 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Audrey Hepburn quote: ”My mother is Dutch, my father is Irish and I was born in Belgium, if I was a dog I’d be in a right mess.”

I think you need to change it ethnic.

Nikki February 4, 2016 at 9:46 pm

I’m sorry but that quote does not seem to be true

Deanna September 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Her father was 100% Irish, and her mother was 100% Dutch, thus making her 50% Irish and 50% Dutch.

ethnicitiies February 4, 2016 at 10:08 pm

Audrey was actually mixed with a lot of different ethnicities. Her father was English, Austrian, Irish, and a small amount of French, and her mother was Dutch, English, and French.

Nursii July 7, 2010 at 6:07 am

Shes soo beautiful !!

Jo June 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Goes without saying… ;p

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