Birth Name: Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States
Date of Birth: February 17, 1981
Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, and entrepreneur. He is known for playing Tommy on 3rd Rock from the Sun, as well as for his roles in the films 10 Things I Hate About You, Mysterious Skin, Brick, The Lookout, Stop-Loss, (500) Days of Summer, Inception, 50/50, The Dark Knight Rises, Premium Rush, Looper, Don Jon (which he also directed), Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Walk, Snowden, The Trial of the Chicago 7, and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, among many others.
Joseph is the son of Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt. His brother was photographer and fire spinner Daniel Gordon-Levitt, and his maternal grandfather was director Michael Gordon. Joseph is married to businessperson Tasha McCauley, with whom he has two children.
Joseph’s parents are both Jewish. His father’s family were Russian Jews and Polish Jews, while his mother’s family were Lithuanian Jews, Romanian Jews, and Russian Jews. A picture of Joseph’s parents can be seen here.
Joseph has stated, likely referring to having taken a DNA test, that his ancestry is:
*100% Ashkenazi Jewish
Joseph’s paternal grandfather was Milton R. Levitt (born Milton Levitz, the son of Louis Levitz and Fraudel “Fannie” Isaacson). Milton was born in Ohio, to Russian Jewish parents. Louis’s parents were Meyer Levitz and Lena Friedsohn (the daughter of Nathan Friedsohn and Rachel). Joseph’s great-grandmother Fraudel was the daughter of Dave Isaacson and Irene/Lena Ida/Riva Feinstock. While census records list Fraudel as having been born in Russia, one source states that Fraudel was born in then-Ottoman Palestine, in 1894. At the time, known as the First Aliyah, many Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe had moved to the area.
Joseph’s paternal grandmother was Celia Roth (the daughter of F. Charles Roth and Fanny/Fradel Mekel). Celia was born in Pennsylvania, to Polish Jewish parents. Fanny was the daughter of Boruch Mekel and Sarah.
Joseph’s maternal grandfather was film director Michael Gordon (born Irving Kunin Gordon, the son of Paul Gordon and Eva Kunen). Michael was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Paul and Eva were Jewish. They are listed as being born in Russia in some records, Lithuania in another record, and in yet another record, Paul is listed as having been born in Russia, while Eva is listed as having been born in Pennsylvania, to parents who were born in Russia. Paul’s parents were Leyb/Louis Gordon and Rachel Gviemer/Gviener/Greiner.
Joseph’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth A. Cohn (the daughter of Isaac “Isak” Cohn/Cohen and Mollie Fineberg). Elizabeth was born in Ohio. Isaac was a Romanian Jewish immigrant, the son of Frank/Efraim Cohn and Hanna/Hena. Mollie was a Russian Jewish immigrant.
Marriage record of Joseph’s paternal grandparents, Milton Levitz (later Milton Levitt) and Celia Roth – https://familysearch.org
Joseph’s paternal grandfather, Milton Levitz, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Joseph’s paternal grandmother, Celia Roth, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Joseph’s maternal grandparents, Michael Gordon (“Mickeal Gordon”) and Elizabeth Gordon, on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Joseph’s maternal grandmother, Elizabeth A. Cohn, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Joseph is able to speak French and is a self-confessed Francophile. The YouTube link below shows an interview with Joseph on a television show where he speaks French – http://www.youtube.com