David Duchovny

David Duchovny

Duchovny in 2012, photo by kathclick/Bigstock.com

Birth Name: David William Duchovny

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

Date of Birth: August 7, 1960

*Ashkenazi Jewish (father)
*Scottish (mother)

David Duchovny is an American actor, writer, director, producer, singer, and songwriter. He is known for his roles on The X-Files, Red Shoe Diaries, and Californication, and in the films The Rapture, Beethoven, Chaplin, Kalifornia, Playing God, Return to Me, Evolution, House of D, which he also wrote and directed, Things We Lost in the Fire, The Joneses, Phantom, The Estate, and You People.

He is the son of Margaret M. “Meg” (Miller), a teacher, and Amram Mayer Ducovny, a writer and publicist. David’s father was Jewish, of Ukrainian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent, and was a writer, and a publicist for the American Jewish Committee. David’s mother is a Lutheran emigrant, from Scotland, who was raised in a small fishing village.

David has two children, including actress West Duchovny, with his former wife, actress and producer Téa Leoni.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2023) stated that David’s genetic ancestry is:

*50% Ashkenazi Jewish
*50% Scottish

Genetically, he was found to have a common ancestor with actor John Leguizamo, through shared Jewish ancestry.

David’s paternal grandfather was Moshe/Moise “Morris” Duchovny (the son of Abraham/Avraham/Abraam Duchovny/Dukovny and Margolya Dobrish/Doba/Dobe “Dora” Kantor/Kantin). Moshe was a Yiddish-language playwright, novelist, journalist, and reporter. He was a Jewish emigrant, who likely was born in Romanivka, Berdychiv, now in Ukraine, and part of the Russian Empire when David’s grandfather left. The family ran a dairy farm there. They moved to Jaffa, now Israel, in 1910, and then were deported by the Ottoman Empire to Port Said, Egypt, in 1914, before settling in New York.

David’s paternal grandmother was Chany/Hannah “Julia” Fishhoff/Fiskoff (the daughter of Jacob/Jack S. Fishoff/Fiskoff and Esther Sterling). Hannah was a Polish Jewish emigrant, who was born in Warsaw.

Sources: https://lareviewofbooks.org

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak on the birthplace of David’s paternal grandfather, Moshe/Moise “Morris” Duchovny – http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Interviews with David Duchovny – http://duchovny.net

Genealogy of David Duchovny (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.geni.com


Curious about ethnicity

7 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    That is a “boring” DNA test..

  2. Bitchinita says:

    always thought he was russian or ukrainian.

  3. ashash says:

    I loved him on The X-Files and Californication.

  4. levangelista36 says:

    Why is Lutheran a part of his ethnicity? I may be behind, but did that religion become an ethnicity? Confuzzled.

  5. Maria says:

    I heard his father changed there surname to something else when he moved to America.But David changed choose to change it back to Duchovny that`s good.

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