Vera Farmiga

by ethnic on December 14, 2009

Birth Name: Vera Ann Farmiga

Place of Birth: Clifton, New Jersey, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 6, 1973

Ethnicity: Ukrainian

Vera Farmiga is an American actress, director, and producer.

She was born in Clifton, New Jersey, one of seven children of Ukrainian immigrants, Lubomyra (Spas), a schoolteacher, and Michael Farmiga, a computer systems analyst. Her father was raised in Argentina, before moving to the U.S. Vera speaks fluent Ukrainian. Her sister is actress Taissa Farmiga. Her cousin is artist Adriana Farmiga. Vera is married to musician Renn Hawkey, with whom she has two children.

Vera has said:

[My grandparents] went through hell, saw unimaginable things, stuff you shouldn’t have to bear. Then they eked it out for years after the war in displaced-persons camps in Germany until my grandmother got a job with the Americans, and things slowly started coming together for them. But I consider myself to be 100% Ukrainian-American. I went to Ukrainian Catholic school, all my extracurricular activities were within the Ukrainian community, I even became a professional Ukrainian folk dancer.

Vera’s maternal grandfather was Theodor Spas (the son of Alexander Spas and Anna Mycheilschyy).

Vera’s maternal grandmother was Nadia Peletenciw/Pletenciw (1925-2014; the daughter of Alexander Pletenciw and Anna). Nadia was born in Debaltseve, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union.


Obituary of Vera’s maternal grandmother, Nadia (Peletenciw/Pletenciw) Spas –

profile by Ann

s_bukley /

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

APS May 5, 2016 at 5:41 am

Her maternal grandmother Nadia was born in Ukrainian region were most population is ethnic Russian, and after that she even had a Russian surname. Accordingly it should be added, at her ethnicity here, at least “Ukrainian, possibly Russian”.

APS May 5, 2016 at 5:48 am

Sorry: “where” the most population…

follers May 5, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Well, that seems speculative. How do you know “Pletenciw” is only a Russian surname?

APS May 5, 2016 at 2:32 pm

But how do you know what “Spas” or “Farmiga” is originally ukrainian names? Its the same.
But Nadia was born in region with mostly ethnic Russian population, her last name is end on -iw (iv, ev), like typical russian surnames, not ukrainian.
Actually I didn’t find anybody with this surname “Peletenciw/Pletenciw”, but find a lot of people with lastname “PletencEW”, which is Russian. We have this facts and think its enough to write “possibly part Russian”.
P.s. There is a lot of mistakes with Slavic (Eastern European) surnames. Vera’s great-grandmothers surname sound also so stupid “Mycheilschyy”, and i have no idea how it can be correct.

follers May 6, 2016 at 1:01 am

I don’t know it, but Vera Farmiga is described as of Ukrainian descent in articles, and has described herself as such, and genealogical information seems to support that. If she’s confirmed to have Russian ancestry, too, it should be listed, but I don’t think there’s strong evidence, just an ambiguous surname (especially since Eastern European ethnic groups can be tricky).

BTW, I don’t know if it’s accurate here, but Wikipedia lists Debaltseve as having had a 64.4% ethnic Ukrainian population in 2001.

APS May 7, 2016 at 12:42 am

Yes, but if she didn’t say about it, it does not mean anything. We look at the facts, that the surname of her grandmother’s Russian. And I don’t think that Vera engaged in research of the origin of her family surnames. I’m not saying that her grandmother was 100% Russian. I know Croatian, who has absolutely typical Hungarian last name, he realizes that he has some Hungarian blood, but he does not know how many and don’t associate themselves with Hungary. The same situation in Russia, with Ukrainian surnames, and in the Ukraine with the Russian surnames. Because its typical for people of this countries be assimilated this each other.

visokozen May 4, 2016 at 4:21 am

She looks a little turkish.

andrew May 4, 2016 at 12:29 pm

She would be very atypical in Turkey. Are you kidding?

visokozen May 4, 2016 at 10:08 pm

Besides the blue eyes and the blonde hair I think she kinda does.

Gurrl May 5, 2016 at 6:49 am

If she had thicker and darker eyebrows she could pass as a turkish/balkan mix
this Turkish actress is half Albanian for example

MettaWorkPlease September 7, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Lol you must be kidding. But I enjoyed the laugh

MadBadDog September 8, 2016 at 2:01 am

Every celebrity looks turkish to someone on this site, no matter ethnicity or facial features. Really surprised nobody has said she looks assyrian – multi-purpose ethnicity par excellence-.

me February 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm

She’s beautiful,her surname sounds spanish.

lelo4 September 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm

not at all lol

ann November 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Her maternal grandmother was Nadia Peletenciw (or Pletenciw) (1925-2014), daughter of Alexander and Anna Pletenciw. She was born in Debaltseve, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union.

follers November 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Thank you.

everyoneisthesame November 7, 2014 at 6:11 am

Peletenciw (or Pletenciw) seem russian surname,not ukrainian.ukrainian surnames ending at o or uk , like Marchenko or Marchuk.

ann November 7, 2014 at 9:23 am

This may be true. Anyway, am sure that an incorrect translation or spelling of this name

ann November 7, 2014 at 9:24 am

It can be Pletencev.

everyoneisthesame November 7, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Pletencev looked more correct. Yes i think it russian surname. Many russian last nnmes ending at ev like Tolkachev or Pletchev.

deadite July 27, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Her name sounds spanish or something like that

andrew December 8, 2014 at 5:51 am

Italian too

lelo4 September 3, 2015 at 1:56 pm

u are both stupid if you think that

crunty May 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Oh come on, the comments on here are hilarious most of the time. At least no-one has mentioned she looks Asian…

deadite July 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm

She’s pretty

Anonymous July 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm

I’am a huge FAN of Vera Farmiga, can’t wait to see her on more movies!

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