Mark-Paul Gosselaar

by follers on February 20, 2009

"Splice" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Birth Name: Mark-Paul Harry Gosselaar

Place of Birth: Panorama City, Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: March 1, 1974

Ethnicity: Dutch Jewish, German, Dutch, Indonesian

Mark-Paul Gosselaar is an American actor. He is known for playing Zach Morris on the television series, Saved by the Bell.

Mark-Paul’s father, Hans Gosselaar, is of half Dutch Jewish and half German descent (it is not clear whether Mark-Paul’s German ancestors were Jewish, too). Mark-Paul’s mother, Paula, who is originally from Bali, Indonesia, is of Dutch and Indonesian (Asian) background. Her maiden surname, van den Brink, is Dutch. Mark-Paul has mentioned that he was at one time fluent in Dutch, as a child (his three older siblings were born in The Netherlands). Pictures of Mark-Paul with his mother can be seen here and here.

Mark-Paul has two children with his wife, advertising executive Catriona McGinn, and two children with his former wife, model Lisa Ann Russell.

Mark-Paul’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced back to his four times great-grandfather, Jacob Nathan Gosselaar, who was born, c. 1733, in Rotterdam, and to his own parents, Nathan Jacob Godslaars/Gosselen/Gosselaar and Betje/Blommetje Israel Machiel/Livirden.

Mark-Paul’s paternal grandfather was Aron “Arie” Gosselaar (the son of Hartog “Herman” Gosselaar and Hester van Emden). Aron was a Dutch Jew, and was born in The Hague, in The Netherlands. Aron’s parents both came from old Dutch Jewish families, with traceable genealogy in The Netherlands going back to the 1700s (he also had more distant German Jewish, Danish Jewish, and Polish Jewish ancestry). Hartog was the son of Nathan Gosselaar and Vrouwtje Hijman de Jong. Hester was the daughter of Clara van Emden. Mark-Paul’s paternal great-grandparents Hartog and Hester both died in The Holocaust. They were killed in the Sobibor extermination camp, in Nazi-occupied Poland, on April 9, 1943.

Mark-Paul’s paternal grandmother was Ida Ferdinande/Ferdinanda “Itty” Kosel/Kossel (the daughter of Johann Kosel and Maria Theodore Elisabeth Söte). Ida was German, and was born in Paderborn, Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is not clear if Ida was Jewish or not.

Sources: Mark-Paul mentions some of his background, in The Washington Post, 2008 –

Genealogy of Mark-Paul Gosselaar (focusing on his father’s side) –

Genealogy of the Jewish Gosselaar family in The Netherlands –

Marriage record of Mark-Paul’s paternal grandparents, Aron “Arie” Gosselaar and Ida Ferdinande/Ferdinanda “Itty” Kosel/Kossel –

Genealogy of Mark-Paul’s paternal grandfather, Aron “Arie” Gosselaar –

Genealogy of Mark-Paul’s paternal grandfather, Aron “Arie” Gosselaar (focusing on his own mother’s side) –

Photo by Pr Photos

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

savanna June 20, 2016 at 2:02 pm

The ethnicity should be listed like this-
*Dutch Jewish, German (father)
*Dutch, Indonesian (mother)

follers June 20, 2016 at 3:46 pm

I think people are becoming too pre-occupied with instructing exactly how that line should be written out.

And in this case in particular, there’s enough ambiguity about most of his family tree (specifically his paternal grandmother’s and his mother’s) that I don’t think it should be split.

savanna June 20, 2016 at 5:16 pm

I just figured it should be split since his mother is part Indonesian and his father is not.

neiltennant July 21, 2018 at 1:02 pm

it is wrong

father half Dutch Jewish half German Jewish
his father was 100 percent of Jewish descent

his mother half Indonesian and half Dutch

neiltennant July 26, 2015 at 11:20 am

another proof that I’m right about asians !!

There are many europeans or especially dutch people with asian eyes and i talked to people and they laughed at me and said.. HE OR SHE IS FROM X AND Y AND 100 PERCENT WHITE

what a shame

his eyes look very asian

andrew July 26, 2015 at 12:29 pm

don’t make me laugh…

neiltennant July 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm

i swear i had those moments in my life when i thought some is asian looking

but i thought on the other second NO SHE OR HE CANT BE ASIAN BECUASE they were born in eureope

but thats not right
even polish, dutch, german, spanish etc. could have asian descent

and i don’t speak about the migrants but of those euros who live in europe for 300 years

andrew May 21, 2016 at 2:43 pm
neiltennant November 26, 2017 at 6:09 am

he has something Asian in his face and eyes

be sure that I can tell you about Asians

i was born in an Asian country but Im pale white and I know who is Asian and who not

neiltennant July 21, 2018 at 1:02 pm

he has the eyes from his mother

but just another color but same shape

M July 23, 2015 at 8:47 pm

This mofo is white, never once did I think he looked Asian. AND TRUST ME, I can usually tell when someone has Asian admixture.

andrew August 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm

first follers celeb

follers August 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

No. I think ethnic changed the article creator to my name (that can be done).

ShawntheGod July 26, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Doesn’t look part Asian, at all.

cwm85 July 23, 2015 at 6:24 pm

He’s only like 1/8th his mom is dutch and Asian. So his percentage is low. But I see it in eyes a little

ShawntheGod July 26, 2014 at 6:05 pm
Freerk July 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm

He has a typical North German/Dutch face. Looks like the younger Brother of Matthias Sammer (a former German football – “soccer” – player). “of mixed Dutch and Indonesian background” can say anything. Her name is definitely Dutch, perhaps one of her 16 nearer ancestors is Indonesian …

andrew July 12, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Sammer? You couldnt find a worst look-alike

Freerk July 12, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Mike Tyson?

Freerk July 12, 2014 at 4:23 pm

The young Sammer looks very similar.

SEEXYPUREBLOODLATINA July 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Certainly not into whitebois at all but he is ..decent.

Princess June 12, 2014 at 8:25 pm

His nose looks Black. Might be the little bit of Asian in him. Asians have noses like Blacks.

andrew July 6, 2014 at 6:19 am

Stop spamming!!

WTF May 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm

he ain’t asian. his mother must not be his real mother. maybe he was adopted or his father remarried an asian woman and lied and said that was his real mom. he looks whiter than white. bullfknshit!

ashash August 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

He is biracial like Troian Bellisario. They just look white because they are mostly white.

qutsflyd September 20, 2015 at 10:49 pm

He’s just diluted, dude. Penn Bagdley has 1/32 of black heritage and he’s the palest guy i’ve ever seen! Don’t be ignorant, please

ihatemostpeople February 26, 2014 at 6:01 am

He’s white, end of discussion. His Asian ancestry isn’t relevant. He lives his life as a white man and is seen as one.

Aaron Mcdonnell Zellenburg November 15, 2013 at 10:27 pm

His nose bridge looks somewhat flattened/asiatic, but apart from that he could very easily pass as a 100% white. The blonde hair helps too. If he had black hair he would probably look more asiatic, I know he definitely looked more asiatic in “Dead Man on Campus” with died black hair.

nnnnn March 20, 2013 at 2:47 am

Nevertheless, even is Van Damme is “half”

andrew March 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm

most of Dutch surnames are in the form Van- (that mean “of” or “from”)

andrew March 20, 2013 at 4:16 pm

also surnames ending in -aar are pretty common in Holland

andrew March 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm

surname is Levie is a variant of Levi, Levy, Levine etc.

nnnnn March 21, 2013 at 12:30 am

There are even
jews, who have names with “von”. Some person,
von Südof by name, told, his grandfather was a jew

nnnnn February 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm

One should add “polish”, cuz his mother isn’t pure german,
her name “Kosel” is polish and means a “goal”

gottlob February 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm

It’s a German surname. Different variations of the name include Kos, Kose.

nnnnn March 2, 2013 at 3:29 am

As “german”, as Nowitzki. A polish word as a “german”

SeanieCooper January 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I know what his mother looks like because I saw a picture of Mark with his mother. His mother has brown skin and dark hair and eyes. I have no clue what his dad looks like but I guess he could have blonde/light brown hair and blue eyes. As for Mark himself has dark brown hair and hazel eyes.

Athena45 January 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I’m guessing you missed the comment by wendelin where it showed what MPG’s mother looks like. Not sure if you’re blind but Mark-Paul has Brown (not dark brown) hair and Green eyes.

Athena45 December 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Nice find.

Athena45 December 24, 2012 at 11:44 pm

@ Are you the real ethnic, where did your avatar go?

To be totally honest, I do not love it. The one I suggested was more flattering. But it will do. The former was beyond horrid and should have not been posted in the first place. He was caught off guard licking his lip and making a weird face, how is that “pretty good”? Thanks to ethnic all the same for taking the time.

I think people are shocked to know that he’s part Asian. He looks about as all-American white as they come.

Personally I think he looks better now as an adult with his natural brown hair compared to his teen-blond days. He’s grown to be a pretty handsome young man.

wendelin December 27, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Agree on all counts.

Found a blog by this former child actress (an All-American white girl) who knew MPG back when he did that celebrity circus thing. Try and tell me they don’t look like siblings? For a moment I thought it was his sister. You can also find photos of Mark- Paul’s mom who is clearly Eurasian (half white/asian). I think he takes after his father. For the record I’m not putting down his ethnicity- I’m honestly surprised. I’m sure he’s proud of his Dutch and Indonesian heritage.

Athena45 December 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Exactly. He was never ashamed or tried to hide his background it just never came up do to the way he looks. In fact there’s an interview during ‘SBTB: The College Years’ where he stated being part Indonesian.

“Q: We knew you were of Dutch heritage, but you recently told us that your mother is Indonesian–have you ever been to her homeland?

A: No I haven’t, but I plan to. One of my goals in the future is to go back to Indonesia and see where my mother came from…Bali…I collect a lot of things from Indonesia, so I’m pretty interested in that background.”

Athena45 December 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

And what is up with that heinous picture? Admin please change it.

ethnic December 24, 2012 at 9:41 pm

How do you like this pic Athena45? its surprising how many facebook shares this profile got compared to other celebs. he has an interesting background i guess.

Athena45 December 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm

If I didn’t know better I’d think he was full white. Many full white people look alike like him. Breckin Meyer, his Co-star in ‘Franklin in Bash’ for example. In conclusion, he’s only a quarter Asian, which explains why he looks full white.

Athena45 December 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Sure everything is possible. I go by facts, and the facts state he’s a quarter Asian. Latin Americans for example. A brother and sister, one is lighter the other darker, even though they both come from the same paternal background. Race/Ethnicity is a tricky thing.

Athena45 December 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm

It does if their parents come from a different ethnic background. For now I’ll stick to what is presented here and what I see with my own eyes. A guy who looks full white, who is actually a quarter/or part Asian.

Athena45 December 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm
MaYaYaYa June 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm
MaYaYaYa May 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm
MaYaYaYa June 2, 2012 at 7:04 am

*Correction* (link above) – His father is Dutch from France and his mother is Filipino from Indonesia

eee February 27, 2012 at 10:50 am

i found on some site that his mother is ducth indonesian so hes white

Bre June 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Wow, he’s half Asian? Never would’ve guessed.

selena_hott 1980 August 23, 2010 at 12:05 am

oh damn i thought he was Norweigian just about oneof the HOttest guys him and morten haarket of A-ha. and george micheal billy idol and morrissey the hottest fine five id mack

Anonymous August 23, 2010 at 12:04 am

oh damn i thought he was norweigian!

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