Birth Name: John Joseph Nicholson
Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.
Date of Birth: April 22, 1937
*mother – Irish, with smaller amounts of Scottish, English, Pennsylvania Dutch/German, Welsh
*biological father – unknown: either Italian, or Latvian, or Ashkenazi Jewish, or Baltic German
Jack Nicholson is an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He has won the Academy Award for Best Actor, twice, for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and As Good as It Gets (1997), and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Terms of Endearment (1983).
He was raised in the Catholic faith.
His mother, June Frances (Nicholson), a showgirl, was of Irish, and smaller amounts of Scottish, English, Pennsylvania Dutch [German], and Welsh, descent.
Jack Nicholson was raised believing that his maternal grandparents were his parents. The identity of Jack’s father is not confirmed, and Jack has chosen not to take a DNA test to find out his paternal background. There are two possible fathers. One, showman Donald Furcillo, was of Italian descent, the son of Samuel R. Furcillo/Furcella and Antoinette, of Monteforte Irpino, Campania. The other, Edgar Alfred Kirschfeld/Kirschfeldt (or Kirsfeld), a bandleader and June’s manager, was a Latvian emigrant, from the city Liepāja; Edgar was possibly born Jewish, although he practiced the Episcopalian religion in the United States. Edgar’s mother’s name was Otilia.
Jack has at least four children, a daughter with his former wife, actress, painter, and writer Sandra Knight; a daughter with his former partner, Danish model Winnie Hollman; and two children, including actor Ray Nicholson, with his former partner, actress Rebecca Broussard.
Jack’s maternal grandfather was John Joseph Nicholson (the son of Joseph J. Nicholson and Ella/Ellen Lynch). Jack’s grandfather John was born in New York, to Irish parents. Joseph was the son of Joseph J. Nicholson and Bridget Derrig, who was likely from County Sligo. Jack’s great-grandmother Ella was born in Cork, the daughter of Timothy Lynch and Mary Mahoney.
Jack’s maternal grandmother was Ethel May Rhoads (the daughter of William Jakel Rhoads/Rhoades and Mary Alice Wilkinson). Ethel was born in Pennsylvania. William was the son of Alfred Cook Rhoads/Rhoades and Margaret Blanche “Maggie” Jakels. Mary Alice was the daughter of Joseph John Wilkinson, whose parents were English, and of Ellen Harper, who was born in Pennsylvania, to a Scottish father.
Sources: Genealogy of Jack Nicholson – https://www.geni.com
Jack Nicholson on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Genealogy of Jack Nicholson (focusing on his mother’s side) – https://www.wikitree.com
Genealogy of Jack’s mother (focusing on her father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Jack’s maternal grandfather, John Joseph Nicholson, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Marriage record of Jack’s maternal great-grandparents, Joseph J. Nicholson and Ella/Ellen Lynch – https://familysearch.org
Jack’s maternal great-grandfather, William Jakel Rhoads/Rhoades, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Marriage record of Jack’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Alfred Cook Rhoads/Rhoades and Margaret Blanche “Maggie” Jakels – https://www.familysearch.org
Jack’s maternal great-grandmother, Mary Alice Wilkinson, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Adherents.com material on Jack’s religious and family background – http://www.adherents.com