Gwyneth Paltrow

by ethnic on December 29, 2007

Birth Name: Gwyneth Kate Paltrow

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: September 27, 1972

*Ashkenazi Jewish (father)
*German, with a smaller amount of Swiss-German, English, Irish (mother)

Gwyneth Paltrow is an American actress, singer, and food writer. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Shakespeare in Love (1998).

She is the daughter of director Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner. Her father was from a Jewish family (they immigrated from Poland, Lithuania, Russia, and Belarus). Her mother, who attended a Quaker school, is of mostly Pennsylvania Dutch (German), with some Swiss-German, English, and Irish, descent, including some ancestors who lived in Barbados.

Gwyneth’s brother is writer and director Jake Paltrow. Gwyneth is married to producer Brad Falchuk. She has two children with her former husband, English musician Chris Martin. Gwyneth is a maternal cousin of actress Katherine Moening, whose father was a half-brother of Gwyneth’s mother. One of Gwyneth’s paternal cousins, filmmaker Rebekah Paltrow Neumann, is married to businessperson Adam Neumann, the co-founder of WeWork.

Gwyneth was raised around both Judaism and Christianity (her brother had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony). In recent years, she appears to have embraced the Jewish faith.

Her father’s family can be traced back to 17th century Russia, and includes many rabbis. She has stated, “I am the result of generations and generations of rabbis back in Minsk.” Gwyneth is a second cousin of U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, of Arizona. Gwyneth’s paternal great-grandparents Meyir Paltrowitz and Ida W. Hyman were also Gabrielle’s paternal great-grandparents.

Gwyneth’s paternal grandfather was Arnold P. Paltrow (the son of Myer/Meyir/Mike Paltrowitz and Ida W. Hyman). Arnold was born in New York. Myer was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Simcha “Simon” Paltrowicz/Paltrovitch, a Polish Jew, and Tsipora/Zipporah “Sophia” Levitansky, a Lithuanian Jew; Myer’s ancestry can be traced back to Paltieyl Pelterowicz, who was born c. 1775, in Poland. Ida was born in Gmina Suwałki, Poland, the daughter of Jewish parents, Yoseyf/Joseph Heyman/Hyman and Rivka/Rebecca Epshtein/Epstein.

Gwyneth’s paternal grandmother was Dorothy S. Weigert (the daughter of Irving Mortimer Weigert and Fruma “Frances”/Francis Plat). Dorothy was born in New York. Irving was born in New York, to Polish Jewish parents, Isidor Weigert and Emma Sharman. Fruma was a Polish Jewish immigrant, the daughter of Mordechai/Morris Plat/Plott and Reyza/Rose Silver.

Gwyneth’s maternal grandfather was Harry Earl Danner (the son of Harry/Henry Bollinger Danner and Ida May Yetter). Gwyneth’s grandfather Harry was born in Pennsylvania. Gwyneth’s great-grandfather Harry was the son of John Solomon/Shaffer Danner and Arabella Bollinger. Most of Gwyneth’s great-grandfather’s ancestry was Pennsylvania Dutch (German); also, one of his own great-great-grandmothers, Sarah Daugherty, was Irish. Gwyneth’s great-grandmother Ida was the daughter of David T. Yetter, who had German ancestry, and of Rosamund Isabel Stoute/Stout, who had English ancestry (some of Rosamund’s family had lived in Barbados).

Gwyneth’s maternal grandmother was Katherine M. Kile (the daughter of Harry Frederick Kile and Pauline Friedericke Holzwarth/Holzworth). Katherine was born in Pennsylvania. Harry was the son of William Harry Kile, who was of German descent, and of Rosa Schlump, who was born in Pennsylvania, to German parents. Pauline was an immigrant from Oberweißbach, Germany, who came to the U.S., at the age of fourteen, as an indentured servant (in 1903).

Sources: Genealogies of Gwyneth Paltrow –

Genealogy of Gwyneth Paltrow (focusing on her father’s side) –

Information about Gwyneth’s appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? (2011) –

Gwyneth’s maternal great-grandfather, Harry Frederick Kile, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Entertainment Press /

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew May 21, 2016 at 9:13 am
andrew November 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm
ashash December 28, 2014 at 12:14 am
JasonBaker December 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm

So what if Jewish people can trace their ancestry to the Middle East? They´re still white.

J.J. July 10, 2014 at 12:45 am

middle easterns (arabs & persians) are still white, so jews are white despite originating in the middle east, europeans aren’t the only whites

ashash July 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm

I always considered Ashkenazi Jews to be European.

sahlav dino September 5, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Not all Jews are white. There are African Jews(Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopiya, &more), Ashkenazi

sahlav dino September 5, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Not all Jews are white. There are African Jews(Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopiya, &more), middle&far east (around Israel, India, Pakistan &more).
Take me for example, my mom is an Indian Jew and she is brown and my dad is Iraqi and white.

sarahle September 5, 2015 at 1:30 pm

your mom must be baghdadi jew. many iraqi jews moved to india.

neiltennant August 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Ashkenazi Jews are European

andrew September 15, 2013 at 5:29 am
ethnic May 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm

I wonder if she even checks out this site anymore

levangelista36 August 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Paltrow’s not white.

Uniscorn August 9, 2014 at 3:42 am

Jewish people are white.

levangelista36 July 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

I don’t understand why hundreds of people were calling her “white” and a “c******”.

levangelista36 July 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I feel like talking to myself now. But what does it even matter?

Uniscorn August 9, 2014 at 3:42 am

Middle Eastern people are white too.

levangelista36 July 15, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I don’t understand why hundreds of people were calling her “white” and a “c____r”.

ONLY ANGLO-SAXONS ARE WHITE March 13, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I will be honest.

yes March 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm

paltrow is not white

neither is chelsea handler

storm January 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm
Morgan March 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I live in Israel.

ONLY ANGLO-SAXONS ARE WHITE March 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm
levangelista36 May 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm
Haley January 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I think she has Russian Jewish heritage also.

nnnnn October 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

You think.WHY she should be “russian”?

nnnnn March 20, 2013 at 1:41 am

I read, she “has 33 rabbis among her ancestors”
Haley means, Rabbi is a favourite jobs of russian
people? Or russian women were eager to marry a Rabbi?

andrew March 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I think that was a family tradition

John November 27, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Russian is also a nationality. Many Jews lived in Russia. Make no mistake, they were ethnic Jews, not ethnic Russians, however. So, those “Russian” Rabbis, were actually Jewish people that just lived in Russia.

Khail Jo January 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

She is Jewish from her father’s side, and Pennsylvania Dutch, also known as German, on her mother’s side. But she also has Anglo-Saxon descent, also known to be the ancestors of the English people, on her mother’s side.

ONLY ANGLO-SAXONS ARE WHITE March 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Who cares?

Angel Syrene January 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm

She’s made it big.

Marcos Berenstein December 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I’m Jewish and know hundreds of blonde (real), blue-eyed Jews, born from 100% Jewish parents.
I’m not blonde, but got blue eyes. Ashkenazi ( German ) Jews are Europeans by definition.

Morgan March 1, 2012 at 10:32 pm
ONLY ANGLO-SAXONS ARE WHITE March 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm
Roger Is My Lover March 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm

It doesn’t even matter.

history buff October 23, 2011 at 7:53 am

She has her mother’s bone structure but her features are just like her father! It is so obvious when she and her mother are photographed together. Her brother inherited the father’s bone structure but has the mother’s features. Especially her large expressive eyes…Gwyneth is definitely inherited more of her father’s looks…..

ONLY ANGLO-SAXONS ARE WHITE March 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm

How can you even tell?

Jess March 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

Gwyneth Paltrow’s birthday is September 27, 1972, not December 27, 1972.

zuzanna August 9, 2010 at 3:08 am

so what now ethnic and Olga :D ??

Olga August 9, 2010 at 5:53 am

Not ALL Polish surnames have -vich- ending.

Zuzanna, in Eastern Europe surnames with -vich- are mostly used among Belarusians. For Poles -ski-, -ek- and -yk- are typical (Piotr Wiwczarek of the death metal band VADER, Petrus T. Ratajczyk of TYPE O NEGATIVE).

Again it’s a historical matter. A lot of Belarusians think that they are Poles because of the influence of Kingdom of Poland. There are another Belarusians who think that they are Russians because of the influence of Russian Empire. What’s more a lot of people suppose that The Rzeczpospolita = Poland. It’s a great mistake. Only those who don’t know history think like that. The Rzeczpospolita is a Union of The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (of which Belarus was a greater part) and Kingdom of Poland.

-wicz- is just a Polish suffix as I said.

Zuzanna, in this case you wanna tell me that I am a Pole? :) I have Polish roots as well. But my grandfather whose surname was Litvinovich (Litwinowicz) considered himself ONLY as Belarusian (Litvin).

In fact, -vich- can also be used among Serbian and Croatian surnames. For example, Mila Jovovich.

Returning to Polish and Belarusian names: who is a person with “…vich” surname just depends only on his/her point of view. Ones think they are Poles (as Paul Mazurkiewicz), others think they are Belarusians (for example, Edouard Radzukevich or Konstanty Kalinowski).

Kalinowski is a national hero of Belarus, Poland and Lithuania. He did his best to promote the Greek-Catholic faith (typical for Belarusians) and Belarusian language in Russian Empire.

In fact, I’m not to blame that today there are several countries in Eastern Europe with different names which once were under Russian Empire. People from these modern countries are equal in rights using surnames with -vich- endings no matter who they are, Belarusians, Poles or Ukrainians.

If Gwyneth refers to herself as a Polish descendant, it’s her right. However she just doesn’t suppose that there were always a lot of Belarusians (Litvins) in Poland. No wonder that their descendants think they are Poles.

zuzanna August 9, 2010 at 7:06 am

hehe i am from Poland so you don’t need to explain me everything but if her gret-grandfather was PaltroWICZ not -vich and was a rabbi in Cracow which is Polish city on south exactly so she is also Polish-Jewish i am not saying not ONLY Polish-Jewish she is Belearusian and Polish – Jew too !

and thanks Olga for explaining but i know everything what you wrote because i am living in Poland and people from Europe know history very well, i think better many than americans .

But i just wanted to say that she is not only Belarusian-Jew, Polish too

zuzanna August 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

But i still don’t know what you mean? Cracow wasn’t “in” Belearus .during wars or another things which happend in the past… i think you know what i mean

zuzanna August 9, 2010 at 7:17 am

anyway i don’t have typical Polish surname and i have many reasons to doubt in my 100% Polish heritage.. btw do u have messenger od sth like that?

ethnic August 10, 2010 at 10:37 am

Thanks for the input Zuzanna. profile edited.

zuzanna August 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm

no no ethnic she is Jewish-Polish… because her great-grandfather was a RABBI from Cracow

ONLY ANGLO-SAXONS ARE WHITE March 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm

What are you idiots going on about?

ethnic November 3, 2009 at 11:29 am

Olga I think you are right.


Olga October 31, 2009 at 7:06 pm

But Paltrowitch is a belarusian surname, not russian. It’s different things, so I guess she also has belarusian roots.

ann June 12, 2010 at 1:09 am

Paltrowitch is not belarusian, paltrowitch is Jewish name. So Russian Jewish also have same names.

Olga August 7, 2010 at 11:01 am

“Paltrowitch is not belarusian, paltrowitch is Jewish name. So Russian Jewish also have same names.”

No, Ann. Paltrowitch or Paltrovich is a typical Belarusian surname. And the suffix “vich” is typical Belarusian suffix. My surname is LitvinoVICH and I am Belarusian.

The point is that, in Belarus there were always a lot of Jewish people and, of course, they took Belarusian-like surnames.

Sometimes, Belarusian or Polish Americans write their names in Polish manner like PaltroWICZ, LitWinoWiCZ. It’s Polish suffixes. For example, drummer for Cannibal Corpse Paul Mazurkiewicz has his surname in Polish manner, however this surname can be also considered as Belarusian one, i.e. Mazurkevich.

Olga August 7, 2010 at 11:21 am

Moreover, typical Russian or Russian Jewish surnames have -ov- or -ev- endings. For example, Abramov or Golubev. There is another matter, the matter of history. Belarusian lands were under Russian Empire and Soviet Union for 200 years that’s why some people consider Belarusians as Russians. That’s wrong!

To sum up, the suffix -vich- (-wicz-) is Belarusian one (sometimes Polish, because of The Rzeczpospolita). You can find them among Jewish-Belarusians as well. So, you should believe me, because I’m of a Belarusian (Litvin) descent.

ethnic August 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Thanks Olga, great info!

ethnic October 17, 2008 at 12:57 pm

thanks for the information Charli.

charli October 17, 2008 at 8:28 am

Her mother is part Pennsylavia Dutch also. (German)

ethnic August 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm


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