Alan Arkin

24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala - Arrivals

Arkin in 2013, photo by PR Photos

Birth Name: Alan Wolf Arkin

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: March 26, 1934

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Alan Arkin is an American actor, director, comedian, singer, and musician. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Little Miss Sunshine (2006).

Alan is the son of Beatrice, a teacher, and David I. Arkin, a teacher, painter, lyricist, and writer. He is from a Jewish family. They emigrated from Russia and Alsace-Lorraine.

Alan is married to psychotherapist Suzanne Newlander. He has a son, Anthony Arkin, with his former wife, actress and screenwriter Barbara Dana; and two children, actors Adam Arkin and Matthew Arkin, with his former wife Jeremy Yaffe.

Alan’s paternal grandfather was Arthur Eleazar/Lazar Arkin (the son of Louis/Lobe Elias Arkin and Ida Silberberg). Arthur was a Russian Jewish emigrant, from Wasalishki.

Alan’s paternal grandmother was named Fannie/Freeda Krinski/Krimski (the daughter of Shaia Krinsky, and Sher). Fannie was a Russian Jewish emigrant, from Walkevisk.

Alan’s maternal grandfather was Harry Wortis (the son of Zev Wolf Wortis and Rosa Weintrop). Harry was a Jewish emigrant from Russia. Zev was the son of Simcha Fortis and Bathia Weintraub.

Alan’s maternal grandmother was Selina Brunswick (the daughter of Isaac Brunswick and Rosine/Louise Bloch/Block/Black). Selina was a Jewish emigrant from Alsace-Lorraine. Isaac was the son of Corneille Brunschwig and Jeanette Grumbach. Rosine was the daughter of Joseph Bloch and Marguerite Katz.

Sources: Genealogy of Alan Arkin (focusing on his father’s side) –

Alan Arkin on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Alan’s parents –

Alan’s parents on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Alan’s paternal grandparents, Arthur Eleazar/Lazar Arkin and Fannie/Freeda Krinski/Krimski –

Alan’s paternal grandfather, Arthur Eleazar/Lazar Arkin, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Alan’s mother on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Alan’s maternal grandparents, Harry Wortis and Selina Brunswick –

6 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    “His grandparents were immigrants from Ukraine, Russia, and Germany”

    • follers says:

      Three of his grandparents were born somewhere in the Russian Empire, which could include Ukraine. His maternal grandmother is listed as being from either “France” or “Germany”, and it looks like she was from Alsace-Lorraine, which explains that.

      • Freerk says:

        It depends on when it was. “Alsace” is the French writing of the German “Elsass”, Lorraine is German “Lothringen”. “Alsace-Lorraine” (“Elsass-Lothringen”) was the name of these two regions as one united part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918.

        Both regions have been inhabited by Celts and Franks for 1500 years and were part of the Francian Empire. When Louis the Pious, the son of Charlemagne, died, his Empire was divided in the Treaty of Verdun (843) in three parts between his three sons. Unfortunately the oldest son, who reigned over Middle Francia, died in 855; in the Treaty of Meerssen 870 both Alsace and Lorraine were given to Louis the German; but when he died, the forever conflict between the Western Franks in France and the Eastern Franks in Germany began …

        Parts of Alsace were given to the French king in the late 17th century and Lorraine in 1766, but up to the French Revolution, both regions were culturally German and there are still many German surnames today.

        From 1871 to 1918 (when the Germans lost WWI), “Elsass-Lothringen” as a unit was part of the then German Empire. That was probably the time Arkin’s parents were born. That would explain that he says in an interview that he saw German films in his youth (, and the “Honolulu Advertiser” can write about him in an article: “Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Russian and German immigrants” … (

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