Christopher Walken

by ethnic on June 1, 2010

Birth Name: Ronald Walken

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

Date of Birth: March 31, 1943

*German (father)
*Scottish, small amount of Irish (mother)

Christopher Walken is an American actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Deer Hunter (1978).

He was born in Queens, to immigrant parents. His father, Paul Wälken, was German, from Essen. His mother, Rosalie (Russell), was Scottish, and also had a small amount of Irish ancestry. Christopher’s maternal grandparents were from Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Christopher is married to casting director Georgianne Walken (born Georgianne Leigh Thon).

Christopher’s maternal grandfather was Joseph Egen (the son of Matthew Egen and Alice Chambers).

Christopher’s maternal grandmother was Mary/Molly Burgess Russell (the daughter of William Charles Russell and Mary MacFarlane Burgess). William was born in Ireland, the son of John Russell, who was Scottish, and of Catherine Sullivan, who was Irish. Christopher’s great-grandmother Mary MacFarlane Burgess was the daughter of John Grant Burgess and Ann/Anne MacFarlane.

While he is not of Italian descent, Walken has played many film characters of Italian heritage, including in the films True Romance (Vincenzo Coccotti), A Business Affair (Vanni Corso), Suicide Kings (Carlo Bartolucci), Illuminata (Umberto Bevalaqua), Joe Dirt (Anthony Benedetti), The Affair of the Necklace (Alessandro Cagliostro), Catch Me If You Can (Frank Abagnale Sr.), Kangaroo Jack (Salvatore Maggio), The Sentinel (Det. Rizzo), and Jersey Boys (Gyp DeCarlo).

image via Featureflash /

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

pookerella June 25, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Christopher Walken’s Dad was Jewish, but he converted to marry his Mom.

follers June 26, 2013 at 12:29 am

What’s your proof of that? His father, Paul Walken, moved to the States in 1928, before any major waves of immigration by Jews from Germany because of the Nazis (the Nazis were elected in 1933, of course).

fuzzybear44 May 28, 2013 at 2:07 am

had no idea, he wasn’t Italian.Very good actor(great as Gabriel in The Prophecy)

andrew May 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm

He played many Italian roles in his career:

True Romance (Vincenzo Coccotti), The Sentinel (Det. Rizzo),The Affair of the Necklace (Alessandro Cagliostro), Catch Me If You Can (Frank Abagnale Sr.), Kangaroo Jack (Salvatore Maggio), Jersey Boys (Gyp DeCarlo), A Business Affair (Vanni Corso), Suicide Kings (Carlo Bartolucci), Illuminata (Umberto Bevalaqua), Joe Dirt (Anthony Benedetti)


fuzzybear44 May 10, 2016 at 11:32 pm

@ Andrew

Exactly the reason why I thought he was Italian. However Andy Garcia Plays Italian a lot also , and he’s not either

ethnic May 11, 2016 at 2:12 am

Interesting. I have added that info to the profile.

Jane Wood November 25, 2011 at 8:03 am

Christopher Walken…a very gifted actor…a commanding presence on screen. The saying goes..”beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and I for one think he is beautiful, his captivating eyes, boyish grin and the way he moves so gracefully, I’m glad he’s here.

Melissa S May 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I knew it! I knew it! I’m exactly the same and only those bloodlines combined can make a forehead like a flattened helmet. I see it in my family and in the mirror.

Anonymous March 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Who are they trying to fool when they cast him as an Italian/Sicilian-American? That’s like having Brad Pitt play a Greek!

COOLGUY2012 September 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I could agree in some way that Brad Pitt could not look like an average greek (although there are blonde greeks and that is because they are europeans and mixed with other european groups) and in some way too with christopher walken not looking like a sicilian american. But lets not forget, not all italians that went to USA came from southern italy, but there were some northern italians settled in america (real italians) and swiss and austrian people has resemblance with them.

total23 June 2, 2010 at 12:56 pm

he is also the father or angelina jolie!

anna June 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm

no,it’s jon voight!!!
great actor!

total23 June 2, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Thanks For Correcting Me.

TheKing April 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

shut up total23

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