Arliss Howard

Howard in 2015, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: Leslie Richard Howard

Place of Birth: Independence, Missouri, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 18, 1954

Ethnicity: Norwegian (paternal grandfather), English, some Swiss and French-Canadian, possibly distant Cherokee Native American

Arliss Howard is an American actor, writer, and film director.

His brother is actor and writer James “Jim” Howard. Arliss is married to actress and producer Debra Winger. He has a son with his former wife, talent agent Karen Sellars; and a son with Debra.

Arliss’s paternal grandfather was Haakon Dahlback/Dahlbeck, later Frank H. Howard (the son of Harald Christian Dahlback and Kristine Berntine “Bertha” Myhr). Arliss’s grandfather Haakon was born in Beitstad, Steinkjer, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway. Arliss’s great-grandfather Harald was the son of Salomon Høyer Dahlback, lensmand and Hanna Marie Kleven. Kristine was the daughter of Karsten Petersen Myhr and Berith Pedersdatter Myhr.

Arliss’s paternal grandmother was Audrey Leone Perry (the daughter of William Henry Perry and Emma Beckwith Swival). Audrey was born in Illinois. William was born in New York, to Canadian parents, Joseph G. Perry and Malinda Geniethier. Emma was the daughter of Frederick/Fredrick/Fred Swival, who was born in Glarus, Switzerland, and was likely of Swiss-German descent; and of Permelia Catherine Jones.

Arliss’s maternal grandfather was Charles Brock Peavy/Peevy (the son of Sylvester Laborn Peavy/Peevy and Patsy Dixon). Charles was born in Alabama. Sylvester was the son of Isaac Peavey and Mary “Polly” Roebuck. Patsy was the daughter of Claiborne Houston Dixon and Rebecca Ann Townsend.

Arliss’s maternal grandmother was Alma America Jernigan (the daughter of Benjamin Lomax Jernigan and America Ann Cobb). Alma was born in Florida. Benjamin was the son of Thomas Jefferson Jernigan and Martha Jane Travis. America was the daughter of Stephen Riley Cobb and Mary Jane Maine/Main.

Sources: Genealogies of Arliss’s parents –

Arliss’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Arliss’s paternal grandmother, Audrey Leone (Perry) Howard (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Arliss’s maternal grandmother, Alma America Jernigan, on the 1900 U.S. Census –
Alma America Jernigan on the 1910 U.S. Census –

4 Responses

  1. madman says:

    Giarus doesn’t exist, it has to be Glarus.

    Frederick Swival says he speaks German on these censuses:

  2. bablah says:

    >William was born in New York, to Canadian parents, Joseph G. Perry and Malinda Geniethier.

  3. andrew says:

    Arliss Howard’s maternal grandmother had some distant Native American ancestry. I suppose that is the reason why you included those Census records.

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