Damien Chazelle

"Whiplash" Los Angeles Special Screening - Arrivals

Chazelle in 2014, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Damien Sayre Chazelle

Place of Birth: Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 19, 1985

*father – French
*mother – English, Irish, German, as well as Scottish, Dutch, remote Belgian

Damien Chazelle is an American director, film producer, and screenwriter. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for La La Land (2016). He has also directed the films Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, Whiplash, First Man, and Babylon. At 32 at the time of his win, he is the youngest winner of Best Director; Norman Taurog, who won in 1931, was also 32, but older than Chazelle at the time of his win. Damien wrote all of his films, except for First Man. He also wrote the film Grand Piano, and co-wrote the films The Last Exorcism Part II and 10 Cloverfield Lane. He directed episodes of the show The Eddy.

Damien is the son of Celia Sayre (Martin) Chazelle, a writer and professor, and Bernard Chazelle, a computer scientist at Princeton University. His sister is actress and filmmaker Anna Chazelle. Damien is married to actress Olivia Hamilton, with whom he has two children.

His father is originally from Clamart, France. His mother was born in California, and was raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He speaks fluent French.

His parents are Catholic.

Damien’s paternal grandfather was named Jean Chazelle.

Damien’s paternal grandmother was named Marie-Claire Blanc.

Damien’s maternal grandfather was John Sayre Martin, Jr. (the son of John Sayre Martin and Eileen Elizabeth Earle/Earl). Damien’s grandfather John was born in Reigate, Surrey, England, and was raised in Beverly Hills, California; a professor, he had minor film roles in the 1930s. Damien’s great-grandfather John was the son of American parents, John Sayre Martin and Mary Somerville Van Duzer; he worked at Paramount Pictures in London. Damien’s great-grandmother Eileen was an English stage actress, and was born in Hull, Yorkshire, the daughter of George Albinus Earle and Emily Sargent.

Damien’s maternal grandmother is Constance Stephenson (the daughter of Charles Howard Traunweiser and Helenita Constance Kenealy). Damien’s grandmother Constance was born in California, and was raised in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Her stepfather Richard Davids/David Stephenson was a U.S. Navy flier who was killed in action in WWII. Damien’s great-grandfather Charles was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the son of Charles Traunweiser and Mary Anne Sophia Millie Adams, and had German and English ancestry. Damien’s great-grandmother Helenita was born in San Francisco, the daughter of James Francis Kenealy, whose parents were Irish; and of Helen Riordan, who was the daughter of Dennis M. Riordan, who was of Irish origin, and of Mary Alice Baer, who was born in France.

Sources: Information about Damien’s family and religious background – http://www.jewishjournal.com

Genealogy of Damien Chazelle – https://www.geni.com

Obituary of Damien’s paternal grandmother, Marie-Claire (Blanc) Chazelle – https://www.dansnoscoeurs.fr

Genealogy of Damien’s maternal grandfather, John Sayre Martin, Jr. – https://www.familytreenow.com

Damien’s maternal grandfather, John Sayre Martin, Jr., on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Obituary of Damien’s maternal grandfather, John Sayre Martin, Jr. – https://mhfh.com

Marriage record of Damien’s maternal great-grandparents, Charles Howard Traunweiser and Helenita Constance Kenealy – https://www.familysearch.org

Marriage record of Damien’s maternal step-great-grandfather, and great-grandmother, Richard Davids/David Stephenson and Helenita Constance Kenealy – https://www.familysearch.org

Obituary of Damien’s maternal great-grandmother, Helenita Constance (Kenealy) Stephenson – https://www.washingtonpost.com

Damien’s maternal great-great-grandparents, James Francis Kenealy and Helen Riordan, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Damien’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Helen Riordan, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Death record of Damien’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Helen (Riordan) Kenealy – https://www.familysearch.org

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