John Leguizamo

2014 Tribeca Film Festival - "Chef" - Arrivals

Leguizamo in 2014, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: John Alberto Leguizamo Peláez

Place of Birth: Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia

Date of Birth: July 22, 1960

Ethnicity: Colombian [Spanish, Indigenous, Basque, distant African and Jewish]

John Leguizamo is a Colombian-born American actor, stand-up comedian, film producer, playwright, and screenwriter. His many roles include the films Super Mario Bros., To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, Executive Decision, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, Spawn, Summer of Sam, Moulin Rouge!, Collateral Damage, Ice Age, Land of the Dead, John Wick, The Menu, and Violent Night, television’s The Kill Point, Bloodline, and When They See Us, and one-man shows on stage.

John was born in Bogotá, Colombia, the son of Luz Marina Peláez and Alberto Rudolfo Leguizamo. John’s family moved to New York City in the 1960s, living in Queens. He is married to costumer Justine Maurer, with whom he has two children.

Over the years, John had stated that he has Puerto Rican, Italian, Lebanese, and/or other ancestry. These statements are not accurate. John at least has no significant ancestry from these communities.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2022) stated that John’s genetic ancestry is:

*59.4% European-Majority Spanish
*24.5% Indigenous
*3.1% Middle Eastern/North African
*2.9% Sub-Saharan African
*10.1% Unmatched

His mtDNA is of the Indigenous Americas.

Genetically, he was found to have a common ancestor with actor David Duchovny, through shared Jewish ancestry; John’s mother has a small amount of Jewish heritage.

John’s paternal grandfather Martín Vargas Cualla (the son of Nicolas Vargas Villegas and Elisa Cualla Ricaurte). Martín was born in Bogota, Cundinamarca, Colombia. He was a wealthy landowner. Elisa was the daughter of Higinio Cualla, who was Mayor of Bogotá, from 1884 to 1900, and helped modernize the city.

John’s paternal grandmother was named María Emilia Leguizamo. María Emilia was born in Orocué, Casanare, Colombia.

John’s maternal grandfather was named Alfonso Espitia Flerro.

John’s maternal grandmother was María Waldina Peláez Pérez (the daughter of Juan Crisóstomo Peláez Chica and Leonilde Pérez Quesada). Juan was the son of Juan Crisóstomo Peláez Gallego and María Waldina/Ubaldina Londoño/Chica Idárraga. Through this line, John’s seventh great-grandfather was Corregidor Sancho Londoño Zapata, a local administrator for the Spanish crown, who was the richest person in the province of Rio Negro at the time of his death.



Curious about ethnicity

21 Responses

  1. anen87 says:

    23andme company doesn’t account for all Native American samples unlike Ancestry so it has an “unmatched” category. So for Latinos it just means more indigenous American blood (I know this cause I’ve tested with both companies). So in actuality he is 34.6% indigenous Americas which makes sense cause LOOK AT HIS FACE!

  2. fuzzybear44 says:

    he says his grandfather who was Puerto rican, does that mean his mother side then?

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