Daniel Day-Lewis

by ethnic on December 26, 2007

Birth Name: Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis

Place of Birth: Kensington, London, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 29 April, 1957

*English, Northern Irish, remote Welsh (father)
*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Daniel Day-Lewis is a London-born actor. He has thrice won the Academy Award for Best Actor, for My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007), and Lincoln (2012).

His father, poet Cecil Day-Lewis, was the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, from 1968 until his death in 1972. His mother was actress Jill Balcon (Jill Angela Henriette Balcon), whose own father, Michael Balcon, was a famous film producer who ran Ealing Studios.

Daniel is an Irish citizen. Daniel’s father was born in Ballintubbert, County Laois, Ireland, to a Protestant family of English, Northern Irish, and remote Welsh, descent. Daniel’s mother, who was born in London, England, was Jewish (of Latvian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent).

Daniel is married to actress, director, and writer Rebecca Miller. He has two children with Rebecca, and a son, musician and model Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis, with his former partner, actress and singer Isabelle Adjani.

Daniel’s paternal grandfather was The Rev. Frank Cecil Day-Lewis (the son of Frank Edward Day-Lewis and Elizabeth Mary Butler). Daniel’s grandfather The Rev. Frank was an Anglican minister, who was raised in Dublin. Daniel’s great-grandfather Frank was born in Hertfordshire, England, the son of George Day and Esther Ann Potts/Pott. Frank took the surname Day-Lewis as a combination of the surnames of his birth father, Day, and of his adoptive father, Lewis. Daniel’s great-grandmother Elizabeth was the daughter of John Butler, an architect.

Daniel’s paternal grandmother was Kathleen Blake Squires (the daughter of William Alfred Squires and Annie Victoria Goldsmith). Daniel’s grandmother Kathleen was born in Dublin, Ireland. William was born in Canterbury, Kent, England, the son of George Alfred Squires and Caroline Sabine. Annie was from a Northern Irish Protestant family, and was the daughter of Joseph Edgar Goldsmith and Jane Mills, who was from Cherryfield, Elphin, Roscommon.

Daniel’s maternal grandfather was Michael Elias Balcon (the son of Leib/Louis Balcon and Laura Greenburg/Greenberg). Michael was born in Warwick, Warwickshire, England, to Jewish parents from Riga, Latvia. Leib was the son of Zalig Balken, who was born in Golina, and of Sury Lewkon. Laura’s mother was named Toba.

Daniel’s maternal grandmother was Aileen Freda Leatherman (the daughter of Harry or Max Jacobs Leatherman and Beatrice Freedman). Harry was of Polish Jewish descent, the son of Samuel Leatherman and Fanny Razandski. Beatrice was born in Glamorgan, Wales, the daughter of Abraham Maurice Freedman and Rose Koppelwicz, who were Jewish emigrants from Eastern Europe.

Sources: Genealogies of Daniel Day-Lewis – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Daniel Day-Lewis (focusing on his father’s side) – https://blog.findmypast.ie

Genealogies of Daniel Day-Lewis (focusing on his mother’s side) – http://www.geni.com

Daniel’s maternal grandfather, Michael Elias Balcon, on the 1911 England and Wales Census – https://www.familysearch.org

image via Entertainment Press / Shutterstock.com

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew January 24, 2018 at 7:12 am
phaedra March 12, 2016 at 12:54 am

He has a look that dark/brown eyes would suit him more. :/

Capricious October 8, 2015 at 6:10 am

He does have a Jewish look.

passingtime85 September 18, 2014 at 11:13 pm


‘Jewish’ should be added to his tags, just to make the site search more accurate.

Alice July 21, 2011 at 6:35 am

Fantastic actor and such a mysterious man.

cheese June 22, 2010 at 8:00 am

why did they pick him to play as the guy from The Last of the Mohicans??? he is white/jewish. he’s not even close to native american. he doesnt look native american. im tired of white ppl always playing native roles in movies.

ethnic June 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

yeh I agree. I guess hollywood thinks pure Native Americans look too exotic for mainstream media. I mean Taylor Lautner isnt and doesnt even look like most Native Americans.

Z October 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Um, Daniel Day-Lewis’s character in Last of the Mohicans is a Caucasian who was adopted by Native Americans; therefore, the Caucasian Day-Lewis is not an illogical choice for the role of Hawkeye. The Native American characters, at least the main ones like Uncas, Chingachgook, and Magua, are all played by Native American or Native Canadian actors in the film.

That being said, as someone who has some Native American ancestry, I am irritated when Native American characters are played by obviously white actors, though Hollywood seems to have gotten a little better about that over the years. :)

ashash March 12, 2016 at 9:19 am

He never played a Native American man.

typepope May 29, 2018 at 6:05 am

He played a white guy that was adopted by Indians.
Do you want an Indian actor playing a white guy that was ADOPTED by Indians?

ethnic February 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm

that filth was deleted.

Anonymous February 1, 2010 at 11:17 am

fuck you anonymous!

lilyloves December 29, 2009 at 11:58 am

Cindy, Jews are seen as an ethno-religious group, and that is why very many people lay claim to ‘Jewish’ roots. Having said that, not all Jews are born into it, and not all individuals of Jewish descent practice Judaism as a religion, but the culture may remain strong within their lives.

im kira December 28, 2009 at 8:40 am

Just saw Gangs of New York, I must say best actor of this generation:)

cindy August 27, 2009 at 5:51 am

Jewish is a religion, not an ethnicity. There are Jews in many different countries. Some are Isreali, European, Etc…So this does not clarify his ethnicity.

ethnic August 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Cindy, thanks for the comment. I just found a good source that says he is of Baltic Jewish descent.

Greyface April 12, 2016 at 3:33 am

when did people start making this asinine claim that Jews are only a religion? what was the Holocaust then?

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