Place of Birth: Spring Valley, New York, U.S.
Date of Birth: June 8, 1966 (possibly 1967)
Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish
Julianna Margulies is an American actress and producer. She has starred on television’s ER, The Mists of Avalon, The Sopranos, The Good Wife, Dietland, The Hot Zone, and The Morning Show, and in the films Dinosaur, What’s Cooking?, Ghost Ship, Evelyn, Snakes on a Plane, City Island, Stand Up Guys, and The Upside.
Julianna is the daughter of Francesca (Goldberg, later Gardner) and Paul Margulies (Paul Eli Margulies). Her father was a writer, philosopher, and creative director in the advertising industry; he wrote many jingles, including “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh What a Relief it Is!” for Alka-Seltzer. Her mother was a ballet dancer and eurythmy teacher.
Julianna’s parents were born Jewish; their families were Jewish emigrants from Romania, Austria, Hungary, Latvia, and Russia. During her childhood, Julianna’s parents divorced, and her mother converted to Christianity. Julianna identifies herself as Jewish, though she is not religious. Julianna is married to lawyer Keith Lieberthal, with whom she has a son.
Julianna has stated:
[My parents were] both 100% Jewish, but my mother’s family tried to keep their Jewishness quiet. Because her grandmother, who had fled from Prussia, persecuted for being a Jew didn’t want to cause any reason for someone to harm her. So they didn’t celebrate Passover and Yom Kippur and Hanukkah… They spoke Yiddish and they had Jewish food but they didn’t advertise their Jewishness, because that caused tremendous pain in their family… I wasn’t Bat Mitzvahed. And I married a Jewish man who said, I want to raise our son Jewish, and I want a Jewish wedding… I’ve sort of grown into the role of my life, as not just the actress and the independent woman, but also as part of a unit, part of a family. We do Shabbat on Fridays, even if it’s just to light the candles, and to say goodbye to the workweek, and to say hello to our friends and family. Putting down phones. It’s the tradition of Judaism.
A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2016) stated that Julianna’s genetic ancestry is:
*96.3% Ashkenazi [Jewish]
*3.2% Broadly European
*0.2% Broadly Southern European
*0.1% Eastern European
*0.1% Broadly Northern European
Julianna’s patrilineal ancestry most likely traces to Rabbi Jacob Margolith, who was born in the 15th century, in Worms, Bavaria.
Julianna’s paternal grandfather was Irving Margulies (the son of Pincus Margulles/Margulies and Matilda Lazarus). Irving was born in New York. Pincus and Matilda were born in Romania. Pincus was the son of Abraham Margulies and Beila Riker. Matilda was born in Galatz, the daughter of B. Lazarus/Lazar and Malka Herman.
Julianna’s paternal grandmother was Henrietta G. Greenspan (the daughter of Wolf William Grünspan and Molly/Mollie Tiger/Tieger). Henrietta was born in New York. Wolf and Molly were born in Austria, with Wolf being from Galicia. Molly was the daughter of Samuel A. Tieger and Edith Bodenstein.
Julianna’s maternal grandfather was named Mandel Max Goldberg (later Michael Gardner).
Julianna’s maternal grandmother was Isabel Berman (the daughter of Morris Berman and Ida Ginsberg). Isabel was born in New York. Morris and Ida were born in the Russian Empire, with Ida being from Glazmanka, now in Latvia. Morris was the son of Isack Berman and Annie/Anna Lanar. Ida was the daughter of Merkel/Max Ginsberg and Rebecca/Lena Cohen.
Sources: Genealogy of Julianna Margulies – https://www.geni.com
Julianna’s paternal grandfather, Irving Margulies, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Julianna’s paternal grandmother, Henrietta G. Greenspan, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Obituary of Julianna’s maternal grandfather, Michael Gardner – http://obits.abqjournal.com
Julianna’s maternal grandmother, Isabel Berman, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org