Lou Diamond Phillips

by ethnic on December 26, 2007

Birth Name: Lou Diamond Upchurch

Place of Birth: U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, Olongapo, Zambales, 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 at U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, 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 is named after famous U.S. Marine Lou Diamond (born Leland Diamond).

Lou’s father has been described as also having Cherokee Native American ancestry. Lou’s mother has been described as also having 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 stated:

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

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

Lou’s paternal grandfather was Ralph Amon Upchurch (the son of Arthur Jefferson “A J” Upchurch and Nora Lee Bowden). Ralph was born in Georgia. Arthur was the son of Jasper Upchurch and Lucinda Abagail/Abigail 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 “Katie” Ogletree). Louella was born in Georgia. Rosser was the son of Thomas Andrew Maloy and Jodie Kelly.

Lou’s maternal grandfather was Policarpo Fumera Arañas (the son of Antonio Arañas and Antonia Fumera).

Lou’s maternal grandmother was Eugenia Cocoyog Umayam (the daughter of Justo Dumlao Umayam and Severa Febrero Cocoyog/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

{ 52 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

no November 18, 2011 at 6:46 pm

no filipinos are filipinos

Jeannie and George Walsh September 19, 2011 at 6:34 am

I would like to get a message to Lou Diamond Phillips: Would you remember when you lived in the Phillipines being in a youth club called the Beagles club, and the two people who started the Club for the youth living on Subic Bay naval base? We remember you as Lou UpChurch. We have pictures of you as a 9 or 10 year old child.

mayn August 22, 2011 at 10:39 am

The only race he looks like to me is Mongoloid…

Thee baddest bitch August 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Ethnicity honey get it right

amber berg July 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Wow this goes to show filipinos can look like any ethnicity- mexican, puerto rican, chinese, mulatto, mestizo, african, polynesian, the list goes on and on- wonderful melting pot! Soon hopefully the United States will be the same

no July 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm

anybody,and everybody looks puerto rican

Amber Berg August 5, 2011 at 10:18 pm

I think filipinos have puerto ricans beat with the melting pot! They literally can look like any race in the world!

no November 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm

No, how many philipinos do you know? they look like dark asians. very distinct

STALKers! November 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm

My brothers ex girlfriend/baby mama was phillipino and she wasnt that dark but definately has the features and one of their kids has blond hair blue eyes and the little one is tan and has black eyes and hair .lol and my brother has black hair and eyes so we dont know how the blonde and blue eyes came from . Genetics are crazy. And my mom looks like a str8 cherokee indian but she only 1/5

Amanie July 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm
is it friday yet April 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm

hes a bullsh__ter..when la bamba came out he said he was half filipino half mexican..anything to sell a movie >>>?????

Midnight July 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Hey, he never said that. He did say he was two kinds of Native American Irish Scottish and Filipino. I’m waiting for someone to make him Black lol. He has never claimed Mexican Heritage to my knowledge but if you want to get technical. Mexicans are made up of South American Natives and The Apache could speak spanish when they would trade so…. maybe?

maria April 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Wow I would have never guessed.I had always thought he was Hispanic. I guess now it makes sense that he’s Filipino.. I never do understand how one can be so many ethnicities if you only have 2 parents.. o_o Now all I need to know now is what Mariah Carey is,then my life will be complete..not.haha.

Chorva October 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm

He is Hispanic. Filipinos are Hispanics.

no November 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm

no, filipinos are filipinos

subic crowd December 29, 2011 at 7:43 pm

….what Philippine history book did you read? Spaniards forced last names on many as well as religion. They even influenced the language but Filipinos are not Hispanic.

UR April 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Well you claimed your Indian side which possibly got you those movie roles in Young Guns, Sioux City……etc.
Why not be proud to say you are all….or is that just too long……?

blackfricand me March 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm

he looks more mexican or hawaiian

Chorva October 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm

LOL. You probably never heard of the Acapulco-Manila Galleons and more than half of Hawaiians have Filipino ancestry.

Filipinos are of mixed heritage (Malay, Chinese, Spanish)

Azafrantoo June 5, 2010 at 11:22 am

Oh. I’m mostly English. Some Scottish. Some Irish. Some German. With a Cherokee great great grandma on maternal grandad’s side. And some Blackfoot wandering round in there on the maternal (German) grandma’s mom’s. Got pointy German nose and thick Scottish hair. Look kinda like Brent Spiner when I/ he’s had a bad day. /Sigh.
We can’t all luck out and be as handsome as Phillips.

Azafran June 5, 2010 at 11:05 am

Always thought he had a very distinctive look. Very open yet no-nonsense. Played best bliddy character in Young Guns. – His hard-to-pin-down (ethnically) features are probably a curse/blessing: casting people in Hollywood tend to look only for Anglo actors unless the script actually says specifically “Black doctor” or “Asian nurse” etc. (sexism same: “woman doctor” or “male nurse” has to be spelled out in script). But makes him… versatile for ‘ethnic’ roles.
Bright side: he’s great in sf. Interracial marriage is on the upswing. So that means more n more of us are gonna look more n more heinz. He has a nice head-start. So… casting for say 300 years in the future… Puts a friendly face on things, if we turn out so handsome.

pinksghetti April 27, 2010 at 3:17 am

I thought he was Native American and Latino (Mexican) all this time.

Jimmie- female February 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

What ever Lou Diamond Phillips is—He sure is handsome and can really act!!!
Would love to see him in more TV and movies!!!

ilovemyethan January 31, 2010 at 6:05 pm

im filipino…and african-american, and french, and spanish from somewhere, lou has a huge mix kinda

Fabian January 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Damn, what the hell.isn’t he a little bit of everything.

Kristine January 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Lou looks VERY Filipino, at least he acknowledges it

lis October 31, 2009 at 5:17 am

he look pervuvian like an inca. i don’t see no whtie in him.

ethnic October 24, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Its amazing that he played such a convincing Mexican role in the movie La Bamba.

anen October 24, 2009 at 6:25 am

He’s a BIG MUTT but he’s basically Asian mixed White

Scottish, Irish, Spanish = White/Caucasian

Hawaiian, Cherokee, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese = Asian/Mogoloid race

“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”

that’s because people from the Americas are part of the Mogoloid race that’s why U would kinda look like them. As for Indian that’s cause ur Brown

sillau July 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm

hawaiian is apart of the pacific/polynesian culture

Midnight August 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Hey, so you just trough his Polynesian and Native American in the can. I bet if he said he was part Black you’d probably say Black guy lol.

Blasian && Proud June 25, 2009 at 12:39 am

wow nice mix

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