Josh Pais

Birth Name: Joshua Pais

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

Date of Birth: June 21, 1964

*Sephardi Jewish, Ashkenazi Jewish (father)
*English, Irish, German, Swiss-German (mother, who converted to Judaism)

Josh Pais is an American acting coach, and film and television actor.

He is the son of Lila Lee (Atwill) and Dutch-born physicist and historian Abraham Pais. Josh’s father was born in Amsterdam, to Dutch Jewish parents of Sephardi (with roots in Portugal and Italy) and Ashkenazi (with ancestry in Germany and Ukraine) origin. Josh’s mother was an American of English, Irish, German, and Swiss-German descent, who converted to Judaism when marrying Josh’s father.

Josh is married to life coach and motivational speaker Marie Forleo. He is the father of actor Zane Pais, with his former wife, actress Lisa Emery.

Josh’s paternal grandfather was Isaiah/Jesaija “Jacques” Pais (the son of Abraham Pais and Naatje de Raaij). Abraham was the son of Jesaias Benjamin Pais and Rachel Meijer de Mark. Naatje was the daughter of Mozes de Raaij and Leentje Jonas Kloot.

Josh’s paternal grandmother was Kaatje P. F. “Cato” van Kleeff (the daughter of Levie van Kleef/Kleeff and Anna Swaab). Levie was the son of Isaac van Kleeff and Betje Hekster. Anna was the daughter of Machiel Samuel Swaab and Kaatje de Groot.

Josh’s maternal grandfather was Spurgeon Tennyson Atwill (the son of Lewis Franklin Atwill/Atwell and Rosetta “Rosa” Rowland). Lewis was the son of John Tennison Atwill/Atwell and Nancy Long. Rosetta was the daughter of William Thomas Rowland and Serena Arminta Billingsley.

Josh’s maternal grandmother was Helen Louise Clark (the daughter of Clifford Henry “Cliff” Clark and Grace Farmham). Clifford was the son of Henry Clark and Parley/Parlee/Paralee L. Wensted/Winstad/Winstead. Grace was the daughter of William Logan Farmham and Sarah Elizabeth Heltzell.

Sources: Genealogy of Josh Pais (focusing on his father’s side) –

Genealogy and obituary of Josh’s maternal grandfather, Spurgeon Tennyson Atwill –

Photo by Joe Seer/

2 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    if Serena Arminta Billingsley was the daughter of John Billingsley and Jane Hoodenpyle, Josh has Dutch ancestry too. This would make him and Julia Roberts 6th cousins, once removed, through James Billingsley and Elizabeth Crabtree

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