Kim Basinger

Basinger in 2002, photo by Joe Seer /

Birth Name: Kimila Ann Basinger

Place of Birth: Athens, Georgia, U.S.

Date of Birth: December 8, 1953

Ethnicity: English, as well as some German, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and distant French

Kim Basinger is an American actress, fashion model, and singer. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for L.A. Confidential (1997).

Kim is the daugher of Ann Lee (Cordell) and Donald Wade Basinger. Much of Kim’s ancestry is English, and she also has some Scottish and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, as well as distant French, roots. Her surname, Basinger, is usually of German origin. She has a daughter, model and actress Ireland Baldwin, with her former husband, actor Alec Baldwin.

At the 1990 Academy Awards, Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced Kim with, “part Cherokee Indian and part Swedish. Talk about a smorgasbord!” Kim stated on Inside the Actors Studio (1999), that her maternal grandmother had Cherokee Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this Cherokee Native American ancestry has been verified/documented. Kim’s maternal grandmother is listed as “White” on U.S. Censuses, as are Kim’s maternal grandmother’s parents. Kim’s ancestry, as far as can be documented, is non-Native American. Similarly, no Swedish ancestry appears among Kim’s genealogy.

Kim’s paternal grandfather was Michael Herman Basinger, Sr. (the son of Richard Basinger and Elizabeth Pheby “Lizze” Pence). Michael was born in North Carolina. Richard was the son of John Calvin Basinger and Marinda Augusta Cromwell. Elizabeth was the daughter of Michael S. Pence and Sara Julia Kirk.

Kim’s paternal grandmother was Jessie Belle/Jessiebelle Ashley (the daughter of Clarence Allen Ashley and Carrie May Ellis). Jessie was born in South Carolina. Clarence was the son of Jesse Thomas Ashley and Milly Catharine Abel. Carrie was the daughter of Richard Archibald Ellis and Mary Matildia “Mamie” Pressy.

Kim’s maternal grandfather was James Cullen Cordell (the son of James Lindsey Cordell and Morning/Mourning Ann Shiflett/Shiflet). Kim’s grandfather James was born in Georgia. Kim’s great-grandfather James was the son of Thomas J. Cordell and Lindsey Jane Cunningham. Morning was the daughter of John P. Shiflett and Morning Ann Taylor.

Kim’s maternal grandmother was Mary/Mamie Elizabeth Howard (the daughter of John James Howard and Hannah Webb). Mary/Mamie Elizabeth was born in South Carolina. John was the son of George Howard and Sarah Ann Heron. Hannah was the daughter of Samuel M. Webb and Caroline Branyon.

Basinger in 1990, photo credit: Alan Light

Sources: Genealogies and obituaries of Kim’s parents –

Kim’s mother on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Kim’s maternal grandparents, James Cullen Cordell and Mamie Elizabeth Howard, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Kim’s maternal grandfather, James Cullen Cordell, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Kim’s maternal grandmother, Mary/Mamie Elizabeth Howard, on the 1900 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

36 Responses

  1. erik says:

    Looks 100% european!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Many beautiful have indian blood why would any one want to dis-claim there indian blood… .Let them claim the blood why jump the gun and say they just look white…

  3. ethnic says:

    Tian, thanks for the comment. I noticed that celebs who assume they have Native American ancestry have a DNA test they realize that the percentage of Native American blood is a lot less than they expected.


  4. tian says:

    I think most of the native american ancestry claims are real, not all though. But to simply make up such a claim would be pretty silly. Some are based on rumors, and most turn out to be true. I wonder myself just what percentage of “white” people in the US have some native. A lot of old stock pioneer families have it, especially in the south (Kim Basinger was born in Georgia) but also in other places, Ashton Kutcher is from Iowa. There is something about Kim’s that deviates from a purely european look, if you look beyond the hair eye coloring… her lips and facial structure… it’s more visible in some of her younger pics. Contrary to latin american countries, where the white contribution is (darker) spanish, in the US you have a lot of people from Holland, England, Scandinavia. So they still look “white” despite native ancestry.

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