Russian Jewish

Wyatt Oleff

by stlucas on January 22, 2018

Wyatt Oleff – “Thor: Ragnarok” Los Angeles Premiere – Arrivals – El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Boulevard – Los Angeles, CA, USA – Photo Credit: Izumi Hasegawa /

Birth Name: Wyatt Jess Oleff

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: July 13, 2004

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Wyatt Oleff is an American actor. He is known for his role as Stanley in the film It (2017).

Wyatt is the son of Jennifer W. and Douglas “Doug” Oleff.

Wyatt’s paternal grandfather was Paul Kenneth Oleff (the son of Fred M. Oleff and Diana Ester Davis). Fred and Diana were born in Russia.

Wyatt’s paternal grandmother was Gayle Kastil (the daughter of Edward “Izey” Kastil and Jean Cohen). Edward was likely the son of Victor Kastil and Fannie/Faga Saltzer, who were from Russia.

Sources: Obituary of Wyatt’s paternal great-grandmother, Diana Ester (Davis) Oleff –

Obituary of Wyatt’s paternal great-grandfather, Edward Kastil –

Obituary of Wyatt’s paternal great-grandmother, Jean (Cohen) Kastil – 


Patricia Clarkson

by madman on January 16, 2018

Birth Name: Patricia Davies Clarkson

Place of Birth: New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.

Date of Birth: December 29, 1959

Ethnicity: 1/8th Basque, 1/8th Ashkenazi Jewish (matrilineal), as well as German, English, French, Irish, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, remote Dutch

Patricia Clarkson is an American actress. She is the daughter of Jackie Clarkson (born Jacquelyn Brechtel), a politician and councilwoman, and Arthur Alexander “Buzz” Clarkson, a school administrator.

Patricia’s father has German, English, Scottish, Scots-Irish (Northern Irish), and remote Dutch ancestry. Her maternal grandfather was of French, Irish, German, and English descent, while her maternal grandmother’s ancestry was half Basque (from Spain) and half Russian Jewish or Lithuanian Jewish.

Patricia’s paternal grandfather was likely Arthur Alexander Clarkson (the son of Rutgers Clarkson and Lillian May Strunk). Rutgers was the son of Rutgers Clarkson and Margaret Ann McLeod.

Patricia’s paternal grandmother was likely Elizabeth D. Portner (the daughter of Robert Prichard Portner and Katherine “Katie” Hammond Beggae/Bigger). Robert’s father was German.

Patricia’s maternal grandfather was John Patrick Brechtel (the son of John Patrick Brechtel and Jennie M. Shinn). John was the son of Charles Joseph Brechtel and Annie Whelan/Whalen, who was Irish. Jennie was the daughter of John Burr Shinn and Eulalie Dupuis.

Patricia’s maternal grandmother was Sophie Berengher (the daughter of Joseph Whilliam Berengher and Sophie Bass). Joseph was born in Bilbao, Spain. Sophie was born in Russia or Lithuania, and was Jewish.

Sources: Genealogies of Patricia’s paternal great-grandfather, Rutgers Clarkson –

Patricia’s paternal grandmother, Elizabeth D. Portner, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Patricia’s maternal grandfather, John Patrick Brechtel, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
John Patrick Brechtel on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Patricia’s maternal great-grandmother, Jennie M. Shinn (through Jennie’s sister, Eulalie Teresa Shinn) –

Patricia’s maternal grandmother, Sophie Berengher, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Sophie Berengher on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Photo by kathclick/


Kara Crane

by stlucas on January 14, 2018

Kara Crane – 2nd Annual “Fashion With a Passion” Teen Celebrity Fashion Show to Benefit Camp Ronald McDonald – Arrivals – Twentieth Century Fox Studios – Century City, CA, USA – Photo Credit: Tony Lowe / PR Photos

Birth Name: Kara Taylor Crane

Place of Birth: Fountain Valley, Orange, California, United States

Date of Birth: November 30, 1990

*Ashkenazi Jewish (father)
*Filipino (mother)

Kara Crane is an American actress.

Kara is the daughter of Celesie Elago (Fuentes) and Steven M. Crane. Kara’s father has Russian Jewish ancestry. Kara’s mother was born in Zamboanga City, the Philippines, and speaks Chavacano.

Kara’s paternal grandfather was Robert Allan Crane/Rosencranz (the son of Ben “Bennie” Rosencranz and Goldie Schwartz). Ben was born in Ohio, to parents from Russia, Moses Rosencranz and Rebecca. Goldie was born in Canada.

Kara’s paternal grandmother was Joanne Krasny (the daughter of Harry L. Krasny and Mitzi L. Zaslov/Zaslove/Zaslavsky). Harry was born in Ohio, the son of Peter Krasny and Dorothy Barratz. Mitzi was born in New York, to parents from Russia, Morris Zaslove/Zaslavsky and Jennie Sherman.

Kara’s maternal grandfather was Renato Fuentes (the daughter of Jose Fuentes and Filomena Guingona). Filomena was the daughter of Vicente Guingona and Francisca Javellana Jamora.

Kara’s maternal grandmother was named Cely Elago.


Birth record of Kara Crane –

Birth record of Kara’s father –

Marriage record of Kara’s paternal grandparents, Robert Allan Crane and Joanne Krasny –

Genealogy of Kara’s mother –

Marriage record of Kara’s parents –


Joel Grey

by madman on January 10, 2018

Joel Grey – 65th Annual Tony Awards – Arrivals – Beacon Theatre – New York City, NY, USA – Photo Credit: Wild1 / PR Photos

Birth Name: Joel David Katz

Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 11, 1932

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Joel Grey is an American actor, singer, dancer, and photographer. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Cabaret (1972).

Joel is the son of Goldie “Grace/Grayce” (Epstein) and Mickey Katz (Meir/Meyer Myron Katz), an actor, comedian, and musician. He has two children, including actress Jennifer Grey, with his former wife, Jo Wilder.

Joel’s paternal grandfather was Menachem/Max Mandel Katz. Menachem was born in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Joel’s paternal grandmother was Johanna/Anna Sarah Herzberg (the daughter of Joseph/Josel Herzberg and Yetta L. Josephson). Johanna was born in Courland, Latvia. Joseph was the son of Jacob Herzberg and Tillie.

Joel’s maternal grandfather was Morris Epstein (the son of Louis Epstein and Hinda Howitz). Morris was born in Russia.

Joel’s maternal grandmother was Fanny Bordovsky/Bodofsky/Vorodosky (the daughter of Gedelia Bordovsky/Bodofsky and Buly Korloitsky). Fanny was born in Russia.

Sources: Genealogy of Joel Grey –

Marriage record of Joel’s parents –


Gillian Zinser

by stlucas on January 8, 2018

Birth Name: Gillian Amalia Zinser

Place of Birth: Washington, D.C., U.S.

Date of Birth: November 4, 1985

*German (father)
*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Gillian Zinser is an American actress.

Gillian is the daughter of Dale B. Appleman and Volker A. Zinser. Her father was born in Berlin, Germany, and was likely an ethnic German. Her mother is Jewish.

Gillian’s maternal grandfather was Irving L. Appleman (the son of Harron Appleman and Anna Weisman). Harron was born in Romania, the son of Ela Appleman. Anna was from Poland.

Gillian’s maternal grandmother was Harriet B. Birkenholtz (the daughter of Samuel “Sam” Birkenholtz/Birkenhotz and Ray Hornig). Samuel was born in Galicia, Austria, the son of Simon Birkenholtz and Fanny Levon. Ray was born in Galicia, the daughter of Hav Hornig and Rose Herbst.

Sources: Gillian’s maternal grandfather, Irving L. Appleman, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Gillian’s maternal grandfather, Irving L. Appleman –

Photo by Joe Seer/