Adrien Brody

Brody in 2010, DFree /

Birth Name: Adrien Nicholas Brody

Place of Birth: Woodhaven, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 14, 1973

*75% Ashkenazi Jewish
*25% Hungarian

Adrien Brody is an American actor and producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Pianist (2002).

Adrien’s father, Elliot Brody, is Jewish (from a family that emigrated from Poland).

Adrien’s mother, Sylvia Plachý, is a prominent photographer, who was born in Budapest, Hungary. Adrien’s maternal grandfather was Hungarian (of non-Jewish background). Adrien’s maternal grandmother was a Czech Jew, whose own parents were killed in the Holocaust. Adrien’s mother was raised a Catholic, and did not know about her own mother’s Jewish background until her teenage years. Sylvia’s mother was hidden by Sylvia’s father during the Holocaust.

Adrien has said that he was raised around both Judaism and Catholicism.

His mother’s surname, Plachý, means “shy” in Czech.

Adrien’s maternal grandfather was named Willy Plachý (the son of Matild Ábrányi). Willy was born outside of marriage, and took on the surname of his stepfather, Zsigmond Plachý. Matild was the daughter of Ábrányi Lajos/Louis, a noted painter, who was born in Békéscsaba, Békés, Magyarország, and of Róza Vay.

Adrien’s maternal grandmother was the daughter of Jahr Miklos and Iren Shvartz. Jahr was born in Kőrösmező, Czechoslovakia, the son of Shmuel. Adrien’s great-grandfather Jahr was killed in the Dachau concentration camp.

Sources: Interview with The Guardian newspaper –

The New York Sun article about Adrien’s mother –

The Foward article about Adrien’s mother –

Genealogy of Adrien Brody (focusing on his mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Adrien’s maternal great-grandmother, Matild Ábrányi –


Curious about ethnicity

22 Responses

  1. vitordesouza says:

    if weren’t for the big nose, i’d say he looks french

  2. madman says:

    *75% Ashkenazi Jewish
    *25% Hungarian

  3. Freerk says:

    It’s a classic European Jewish story that the time of the Nazi regime cutted their ethnic continuity and people didn’t know about her ethnic background. A friend of mine just came to knowledge that his mother was Jewish when she had died. She hadn’t told anyone. Even his father, her husband, hadn’t known it.

  4. The Beautiful Ones says:

    He looks a mess! He needs to get that nose chopped down a bit! dang!

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