Joel Kinnaman

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/

15 Responses

  1. madman says:

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

  2. Dildo says:


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

    Complete madness.

  3. Girll says:

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

  4. neiltennant says:

    there are swedish jews ?

    really ?

    are you kidding me ?

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

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