Joel Kinnaman

by follers on October 16, 2012

Birth Name: Charles Joel Kinnaman Nordström

Place of Birth: Stockholm, Sweden

Date of Birth: 25 November, 1979

*German, English, Scottish, Irish (father)
*Swedish Jewish (mother)

Joel Kinnaman is a Swedish-born actor, with dual Swedish and American citizenship.

Joel’s father, Steve Kinnaman (born David Kinnaman), is an American, of German, English, Scottish, and Irish descent. Joel’s mother, Brittmari Paulin Nordström, is a Swedish Jew. She is descended from Jewish emigrants from the Ukraine. His half-sister is actress Melinda Kinnaman.

Joel is married to tattoo artist and model Cleo Wattenström.

Joel has said:

I speak English with my dad and Swedish with my mom; it’s quite schizophrenic… I always identified myself as non-Swedish. I was never discriminated against, because I looked Swedish and speak without an accent. But I had an outsider’s perspective.

Joel’s paternal grandfather was David H. Kinnaman (the son of Porter Kinnaman and Lillian Shute). David was born in Perry Township, Marion County, Indiana, to a father from Indiana and a mother from Illinois. Porter was the son of Joseph Kinnaman and Ruth P. McCoy. Lillian was the daughter of Hezekiah Shute and Laura R. McQueen.

Joel’s paternal grandmother was Rosalie L. Mitchell (the daughter of Joseph R. Mitchell and Theoda Louise Royer). Rosalie was born in Kansas City, Kansas, to a father from Missouri and a mother from Michigan. Joseph was the son of William Wiley Mitchell and Julia Maude/Maud Finn. Theoda was the daughter of James Calvin Royer and Ida Dell Andrus.

Sources: Joel mentions his Jewish background –

Genealogy of Joel’s paternal grandfather, David H. Kinnaman (focusing on his own father’s side) –

Partial genealogy of Joel’s paternal grandmother, Rosalie L. (Mitchell) Kinnaman Kreger –

Genealogy of Joel’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Ida Dell Andrus (focusing on her own mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Joel’s paternal great-great-great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Welch (focusing on her own mother’s side) –

image via kathclick/

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

madman July 30, 2016 at 2:08 pm

“Nordström” is a very Swedish surname. Maybe only Joel’s maternal grandmother was Jewish. I’d write:
*Ashkenazi Jewish, possibly Swedish (mother)

follers July 30, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Eh, name changes. Having said that, I wrote “Swedish Jewish” because of the uncertainty, as opposed to the usually simple “Ashkenazi Jewish”.

Interestingly, his wife also has a Swedish surname, “Wattenström”, but evidently no Swedish ancestry.

madman July 30, 2016 at 2:48 pm

It is possible that the name was changed, and with no evidence but his statements, I guess it’s good as it is.

There were not much information about his wife, but there are possible explanations for her name, such as adoption.

follers July 30, 2016 at 3:22 pm

I can’t find anyone named “Nordström” on his relatives’ Facebook pages’ lists of friends, so that didn’t help much.

I wonder if anyone can do Swedish genealogy?

follers July 30, 2016 at 2:13 pm

BTW, an inconclusive, but interesting quote:
“I always identified myself as non-Swedish. I was never discriminated against, because I looked Swedish and speak without an accent. But I had an outsider’s perspective”

Dildo August 30, 2015 at 10:59 am


There is no such thing as a “Swedish jew”!!!

Complete madness.

Girll June 13, 2015 at 6:32 pm

“Swedish Jew” more like the descendent of Eastern European Jews who then moved to Sweden.

neiltennant July 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm

there are swedish jews ?

really ?

are you kidding me ?

his hair looks light brown and his eyes hazel , not pure brown

follers July 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm
andrew July 21, 2013 at 7:09 pm

he’s quite blonde, are ppl blind? btw there are Jews everywhere

follers July 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I usually picture something like this when I think of blond:

Armie Hammer (with dyed? hair).

I’ll change it a bit if you wish!

andrew July 22, 2013 at 5:37 am

Hammer is light brown, he was blond as kid for sure, typical for European ppl

Masterlord July 24, 2015 at 7:26 am

Jews have been around and been allowed to settle legally in Sweden since the early 18 century (although they werent allowed full citizenship until 1870)

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