Lou Diamond Phillips

by ethnic on December 26, 2007

Birth Name: Lou Diamond Upchurch

Place of Birth: Subic Bay Naval Station, Philippines

Date of Birth: February 17, 1962

*English, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish (father)
*Filipino (mother)

Lou Diamond Phillips is an American actor and director. He has starred in the films La Bamba, as musician Ritchie Valens, as well as Stand and Deliver, Young Guns, and many others.

Lou was born in Subic Bay Naval Station, Philippines. His father, Gerald Amon Upchurch, was American, and had English and Scots-Irish (Northern Irish) ancestry. Lou’s mother, Lucita Umayam Araña, was a Filipina, from Candelaria.

Lou’s father has been described as having some Cherokee Native American ancestry. Lou’s mother has been described as having some Japanese, Hawaiian, Chinese, and Spanish ancestry. It is not clear if these lineages have been verified/documented.

Lou has said:

People often mistake me for a Latino or even Indian, so I always mention in interviews that I am Filipino and I’m proud to be one.

He has also said:

I never claimed to be a Native actor, but I do have Native blood.

Lou has a daughter with his wife, makeup artist Yvonne Boismier, and three children with his former wife, model Kelly Phillips.

Lou is named after famous U.S. Marine Lou Diamond (born Leland Diamond).

Lou’s paternal grandfather was Ralph Amon Upchurch (the son of Arthur Jefferson Upchurch and Nora Lee Bowden). Arthur was the son of Jasper Upchurch and Lucinda Abagail Chaffin. Nora was the daughter of James Filmore Bowden and Sara Jane Mayor.

Lou’s paternal grandmother was Louella M. Maloy (the daughter of Rosser Joseph Maloy and Kate Bell Ogletree). Rosser was the son of Thomas Andrew Maloy and Jodie Kelly.

Lou’s maternal grandparents were Policarpo Fumera Arañas (the son of Antonio Arañas and Antonia Fumera) and Eugenia Cocoyog Umayam (the daughter of Justo Dumlao Umayam and Severa Febrero Cacoyog).

Sources: Birth record of Lou Diamond Phillips – https://familysearch.org

Marriage record of Lou’s parents – https://familysearch.org

Genealogies of Lou Diamond Phillips (focusing on his father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Lou’s paternal grandfather, Ralph Amon Upchurch, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Lou’s paternal grandmother, Louella M. Maloy, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Louella M. Maloy on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Marriage record of Lou’s maternal grandparents, Policarpo Fumera Arañas and Eugenia Cocoyog Umayam – https://familysearch.org

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant May 12, 2016 at 9:14 am

Even all those exotic people in hollywood do have european roots

so racist

Adrian1Cram February 27, 2016 at 12:01 am

i don’t see the mestizo look, i just see white

bleachsoda January 22, 2016 at 11:41 pm

isnt he also part hawaiian???

Duke February 14, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Def looks mestizo.

cwm85 July 18, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Until I came onto this site, I always thought he was Mexican or even native Hawaiian. Cool tho. He’s european and Filipino.

fuzzybear44 February 27, 2016 at 1:26 pm

That’s what plays a lot, also native

fuzzybear44 February 27, 2016 at 1:27 pm

meant to say that’s what he plays a lot

Manila July 18, 2015 at 7:54 am

Louella’s maiden initial is still M.

Manila June 9, 2015 at 3:59 am

Please, re-check the spelling for one of his maternal great-grandmothers. Thanks.

follers June 9, 2015 at 11:38 am

Sorry, what do you mean?

Manila February 15, 2015 at 10:52 pm

His paternal grandmother is Louella M. Jerkins

His maternal grandparents are Policarpo Fumera Arañas (the son of Antonio Arañas and Antonia Fumera) and Eugenia Cocoyog Umayam (the daughter of Justo Umayam and Severa Cocoyog).

I couldn’t find the marriage register of Policarpio Arañas and Eugenia Umayam. But, I found the index of their marriage.

These are the sources:
* Gerald Amon Upchurch and Lucita Aranas’ Marriage Certificate: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-25629-2627-53?cc=1852584&wc=S43C-MNB:173630801,167167702,167170402,202512101
* Lou Diamond Upchurch’s Birth Certificate: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-25625-21684-41?cc=1852584&wc=S43W-L2Q:173630801,167167502,167170402,173946701
* Policarpo Arañas and Eugenia Umayam’s Marriage Index: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FNHF-7MD

follers February 15, 2015 at 11:32 pm

Thank you!

WTF August 14, 2014 at 4:57 pm

he looks mexican

me December 15, 2012 at 4:50 am

I thought he was Mexican

ihatemostpeople March 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Me too. He’s played Mexican actors too.

ihatemostpeople March 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Shit, I f*cked that up. I meant to say he’s had Mexican roles before……. I wish this site had a delete button or the option to edit what you wrote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jackie March 16, 2012 at 7:03 am

Are you sure he has also Spanish & Chinese? I’m pretty sure his mom spread that claim to him. A lot of Filipinos abroad like to claim they’re Spanish & Chinese but in reality they’re just plain Filipino. Like Vanessa Hudgens, she claims that she is Spanish, Chinese & Filipino on her mom’s side but look at her mom, she looks very Filipina & I didn’t see any tiny bit of Caucasian on her. I’m sure her mom was lying to her (Vanessa) as well. Same goes with Jasmine Trias, she said her family is Spanish, Chinese & Filipino and yet both her parents look typical Filipino. How pathetic!

Zy March 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Philippines is a multiracial and multicultural country. Before spanish colonization people with different ethnicity settled in this archipelago from Negritos (Aetas), Malays and Indonesians  who were subsequently joined and largely supplanted by migrating groups of Austronesians. The locals traded with people from China, India, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. And a lot of these traders from other countries (mostly from China) inhabited and stayed for good.  Philippines has been colonized by Spain for more than 300 years, that’s why there a lot of Filipinos has Spanish ancestry. The country was also colonized by USA for 48years and since then the Filipinos had close ties with the US. So technically no one from the Philippines is ‘Purely Filipino’ because of racial diversity. Hope this answers your question. I myself has mixed heritage. My paternal great grandfather is Chinese from Guangzhou, China and my paternal great grandmother is a Spanish Mestiza (half Spanish, half Filipino). But me and most of my family members looks Chinese. I’m just not so sure about my heritage on my maternal side though.

EMORY February 1, 2016 at 6:31 am

he looks Chinese to me. we have Chinese and Filipinos here in Taiwan therefore you can frequently compare the different features, so Lou does not look purely Filipino islander. his features look both Chinese and native Filipino. as far as the spanish thing goes, i can see alot of people lying about that. their numbers were never very large to begin with. we have alot of people lying about being dutch here. it’s pretty sad. another thing about the spanish is that they believed they were superior and were colonizers, therefore less likely to mix. the Chinese were ordinary people who migrated there to farm, or fish. the Chinese were also there much longer.

noelle January 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm

ah, you dont just have two parents!! lets do a graft kiddies…your parents had two parents on each side, and then there parents had two…I mean it goes to 2,400..saw a graft once on tv, or the magazine,..but dr once told me..Iam mex,french,sefardic (mediterrean Jewish, spanish…if I had four kids, once would probably have blue eyes and blond hair, my hubby had that, Iam complete opposite..so yea, genetics plays a big part, you never know whats going to show up…ever see black people with a white baby…hey it happens…so god likes to paint with colors….thank God

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