Joseph Gordon-Levitt

by ethnic on January 27, 2009


Birth Name: Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: February 17, 1981

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an American actor, writer, director, and singer. He is known for playing Tommy on the television series 3rd Rock from the Sun, as well as for his roles in the films 10 Things I Hate About You, (500) Days of Summer, 50/50, and The Dark Knight Rises.

Joseph is the son of Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt. His brother was photographer and fire spinner Daniel Gordon-Levitt, and his maternal grandfather was director Michael Gordon. Joseph is married to businessperson Tasha McCauley, with whom he has two children.

Joseph’s parents are both Jewish. His father’s family were Russian Jews and Polish Jews, while his mother’s family were Lithuanian Jews, Romanian Jews, and Russian Jews.

Joseph’s paternal grandfather was Milton R. Levitt (born Milton Levitz, the son of Louis Levitz and Fraudel “Fannie” Isaacson). Milton was born in Ohio, to Russian Jewish parents. Louis’s parents were Meyer Levitz and Lena Friedsohn (the daughter of Nathan Friedsohn and Rachel). Fraudel’s parents were Dave Isaacson and Irene/Lena Ida/Riva Feinstock. While census records list Fraudel as having been born in Russia, one source states that Fraudel, Joseph’s great-grandmother, was born in then-Ottoman Palestine, in 1894. At the time, known as the First Aliyah, there were residences of Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe in the area.

Joseph’s paternal grandmother was Celia Roth (the daughter of F. Charles Roth and Fanny/Fradel Mekel). Celia was born in Pennsylvania. Celia’s parents were Polish Jews. Fanny’s parents were named Boruch Mekel and Sarah.

Joseph’s maternal grandfather was film director Michael Gordon (born Irving Kunin Gordon, the son of Paul Gordon and Eva Kunen). Michael was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Paul and Eva were Jewish. Paul and Eva are listed as being born in Russia in some records, Lithuania in another record, and in yet another record, Paul is listed as having been born in Russia, while Eva is listed as having been born in Pennsylvania, to parents who were born in Russia. Paul’s parents were Leyb/Louis Gordon and Rachel Gviemer.

Joseph’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth A. Cohn (the daughter of Isaac Cohn and Mollie Fineberg). Elizabeth was born in Ohio. Isaac was a Romanian Jewish immigrant. Mollie was a Russian Jewish immigrant.

Sources: Genealogies of Joseph Gordon-Levitt –

Marriage record of Joseph’s paternal grandparents, Milton Levitz (later Milton Levitt) and Celia Roth –

Joseph’s paternal grandfather, Milton Levitz, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Joseph’s paternal grandmother, Celia Roth, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Joseph’s maternal grandparents, Michael Gordon (“Mickeal Gordon”) and Elizabeth Gordon, on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Joseph’s maternal grandfather, Irving Kunin Gordon (later Michael Gordon), on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Irving Kunin Gordon on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Joseph’s maternal grandmother, Elizabeth A. Cohn, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Joseph is able to speak French and is a self-confessed Francophile. The YouTube link below shows an interview with Joseph on a television show where he speaks French –

photo by Debby Wong/


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

alexgxo September 15, 2016 at 2:28 pm

The only odd feature is his eyes. Everything else looks cacasoid to me. Though is nose bridge is pretty low, it’s still bridged and not really wide..

neiltennant November 11, 2017 at 2:53 am

HE LOOKS afghan

there are tons of afghans with that look

andrew November 29, 2015 at 12:04 pm

I don’t know if the last link is necessary, it’s not the only actor who is able to speak French: Jodie Foster, Bradley Cooper, Kristin Scott-Thomas and many others .

Capricious October 10, 2015 at 6:35 pm

I’m a full Semite myself and my eyes are kinda similar to his.

My father has big bulging eyes though, but mother’s eyes are small.

Trust me doesn’t mean I have Mongoloid roots. Lol

memphis October 13, 2015 at 5:44 pm

He’s of Russian Jewish ancestry and last time I looked most of Russia is in Asia. When someone is Semite that could mean Lebanese, Saudi or any Arab speaker or Afro Asiatic speaker. Jews originated in West Asia and some say North Africa but jumped continents thousands of years ago. Ashkenazi Jews y dna has the highest haplogroup radiation of E1b1b than other Jewish groups. Jewish people are mostly Middle Easterners that migrated out to almost every continent and in some cases mixed with other cultures including mine.

undashing October 18, 2015 at 6:52 am

Russians are White Europeans. The Native people of Siberia are Mongols.

memphis September 17, 2016 at 8:38 am

Russians that are of European decent are of Viking stock with maybe a litte Sami. Siberia is still Russia with a variety of Asian ethnic groups like the Yakuts, Intelmen, Tatars and other Turkic groups. Gordon Levitt looks very Asian but looks are deceiving but people of Jewish descent can have variety of phenotypes.

andrew November 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm

@ Capricious/Devotion/Theropod

if you claimed to be half or part Serbian you’re hardly “full Semite”.

visokozen September 27, 2015 at 12:43 pm

He looks like f****** asshole. :) End of discussion.

memphis October 13, 2015 at 5:45 pm

I agree.

athelya November 23, 2015 at 9:23 am

the opposite actually.. he looks really nice and friendly.

xoxo August 6, 2015 at 4:49 am

He was cuter when he was younger.

neiltennant July 30, 2015 at 3:09 pm

as @rekta said

he looks very mongolid

with this looks he can pass for turkish or afghan !

Rekta April 25, 2015 at 4:46 am

He looks Eurasian.

With a Turkic/Mongolian hat and a horseshoe mustache, he could pass as a Central Asian Turk.

ashash December 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm

He looks Jewish.

Shlomo Goldberg December 4, 2014 at 2:32 pm

He is an Ashkenazim Prince.

passingtime85 November 22, 2014 at 2:32 am

Jews didn’t originally keep surnames, they usually just used the designations of (insert male first name here) Ben(son of) (parent’s name) or (insert female first name here) Bat(daughter of) (parents name).

There were only 3 surnames that have been used for the last few thousand years.

Cohen, Levy, and Israel. Cohen and Levy come in many, many variations. Cohn, Cahn, Cone, Coen, Kohn, Kahn, Katz, Kain, Cain, Cane, etc. Levi, Levin, Levenson, Leven, Levine, Levitt, Levay, Levey, Lever, etc.

JGL’s original surname of Levitz seems to fit the mold.

jim May 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Vladimir Lenin, for example was of Ashkenazic Jewish, Yakut, and Slavic Russian ancestry

jim May 22, 2014 at 4:08 pm

(This comment is out of order, and in regards to my response several pages back)

sweetipie1985 March 28, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Yes I agree he does look like he might have some Asian in him. But still he’s handsome and very talented..

Nikki April 23, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Yeah youre right he looks as if he might have some asian ancestry

noneofyourbusiness December 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm

He does.

bobboomerang January 14, 2015 at 2:23 pm

“still”? Your comment implies that being handsome and talented is incompatible with being Asian.

H.Schlickmann February 20, 2015 at 9:55 am

Haha! True, it does!

Capricious April 3, 2015 at 4:38 am

Small hooded eyes = NOT ASIAN…

Slanted eyes with epicanthal folds = MOST LIKELY to have ASIAN roots

blahblahblah February 16, 2014 at 10:57 am

It makes sense that he’s Jewish.

Khazar February 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Ashkenazi Jews are the most homogeneous ethnic group according to genetic studies.

Dogg November 21, 2014 at 11:43 pm

The Khazar theory hasn’t been disproven yet but there is not much evidence to back it up.

neiltennant January 21, 2014 at 7:38 am

looks really good

i read that she has also spanish roots.

she was named after her aunt which had a spanish name.

neiltennant January 21, 2014 at 7:39 am

I’m sorry false person !

i wanted to write this about COLBIE SMULDERS

gordon levitt looks like an ugly guy

RIA KALINOWSKI January 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm

alot of jews have the name gordon and levitt

AnonymousPerson December 23, 2013 at 1:56 am

He doesn’t look 100% White. He looks sort of Eurasian to me. Like maybe 25% Asian.

michaelmichael January 8, 2014 at 10:15 am

Love JG-L. Totally agree looks like some Asian DNA in there, although 25% too high. I just googled “JG-L asian” but alas have found no proof. Here is a J-GL Asian doppleganger:

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