Leonor Varela

Leonor Varela

Varela in 2008, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Leonor Magdalena Varela Palma/Pilme

Place of Birth: Santiago, Chile

Date of Birth: December 29, 1972

Ethnicity: Chilean [including Galician Spanish], one quarter Romanian (or Romanian Jewish)

Leonor Varela is a Chilean actress and model. She is known for her roles in television’s Cleopatra (1999) and the films Blade II, The Tailor of Panama, Texas Rangers, Hell Ride, and Alpha (2018), among others.

Her father, Francisco Varela (Francisco Javier Varela Garcia), was a biologist, philosopher, and neuroscientist. Her mother, Leonor Palma/Pilme Keller, is a massage therapist. Leonor is married to producer Lucas Akoskin, with whom she has two children.

At least some of Leonor’s ancestry is Spanish, including from Galicia, Spain. Her maternal grandmother was from Romania, and was possibly Jewish.

Leonor is also said have French, Hungarian, Syrian, and/or German ancestry. It is not clear if this is accurate.

Her family left Chile during her childhood, escaping from the country’s military dictatorship. They lived in Costa Rica and Paris, France, for several years, before returning.

Leonor’s paternal grandfather was Raúl Andrés Varela-Rodríguez (the son of Luis Felipe Varela-Pinto and Julia Rodríguez-Rojas). Raúl was born in La Serena. Luis was the son of Andrés Varela-Cisternas and Natalia Pinto-Rodríguez. Julia was the daughter of Basilio Rodríguez and Eulalia Rojas.

Leonor’s paternal grandmother was Corina María Elena García-Tapia (the daughter of Ramón García García and Corina Rosa Esperanza Maria Filomena Tapia Urizar). Leonor’s great-grandmother Corina was the daughter of Exequiel Tapia Portus, a doctor, and of Manuela Corina Urizar Corvera y Uribe.

Leonor’s maternal grandfather was named Daniel Palma Robledo. Daniel was born in north Chile, and was the Secretary General of the Chilean Communist Youth. He was kidnapped by the country’s military regime on August 4, 1976, and remains a missing person.

Leonor’s maternal grandmother was Rosalía Keller Keller (the daughter of Pablo Keller Blondel and Fanny Einhorn). Rosalía was born, c. 1919, in Tășnad, Romania.

Sources: Genealogies of Leonor Varela – http://www.genealogy.com

Baptismal record of Leonor’s paternal great-grandmother, Corina Rosa Esperanza Maria Filomena Tapia Urizar – https://www.familysearch.org

21 Responses

  1. alexgxo says:

    I have checked the source which allegedly mentions her French and other ancestry. Supposedly, it may have come from this interview: https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/2013/09/17/te-amo-tal-cual-actriz-leonor-varela-hace-publica-la-dura-enfermedad-de-su-hijo.shtml

    But I’ve checked the interview and it mentions nothing about her family background. It was just talking about becoming a mother. So it seems to be nothing more than internet rumours.

  2. jackson9 says:

    Rosalie Keller’s (maternal grandmother) parents full names were Pablo Keller Blondel and Fanny (Einhorn). Fanny was born in 1880. I know that doesn’t help figure out if they were ethnically Romanian or Ashkenazi Jewish but additional information.

    • andrew says:

      Blondel is a French surname. Einhorn is either German or Ashkenazi Jewish.

      I think they were anything but not Romanian.

      • jackson9 says:

        She did say she has French and German ancestry. Maybe the quarter Romanian/ Romanian Jewish ethnicity doesn’t exist despite a Romanian born grandmother?

        • andrew says:

          A Jewish community was recorded in Tășnad, so that is a possibilità. She is said to have French ancestry, and Blondel is a French surname. So things are getting clearer.

  3. andrew says:

    * Corina María Elena García-Tapia (the daughter of Ramón García García and Corina Rosa Esperanza Maria Filomena Tapia Urizar). Corina was the daughter of Exequiel Tapia Portus, a doctor, and Manuela Corina Urizar Corvera y Uribe.

  4. andrew says:

    According to C.I.A. (definitely a reliable source!), Leonor’s maternal grandmother, Rosalía Keller, was born, c. 1919, in Tășnad, Romania, to Pablo Keller and Fanny.

    Leonor’s paternal grandfather, Daniel Palma Robledo, was the Secretary General of the Chilean Communist Youth


  5. andrew says:

    Leonor has 1/128 English ancestry through Edmund Holt Eastman White (or Don Edmundo Eastman White in Spanish), born in 1810 in London.She has also distant Basque ancestry. Some of her forebears were born in Argentina

    Genealogy of Leonor’s paternal great-grandfather, Raúl Varela Cerda (through Raúl’s brother, Edmundo Varela Cerda) – https://www.geni.com/people/Edmundo-Varela-Cerda/6000000032439836178?through=6000000009899019538

    • follers says:


      If you want to look through her actual Geni ancestry to see if she has Basque, Argentinian, etc. ancestry, go ahead.

      • andrew says:

        I only checked genealogiachilenaenred.cl (great site for Chilean family trees). She also has distant ancestors from Perù, and Panama.

        • follers says:

          The point is, your random geni link is (mostly) not of Valera’s ancestors. The geni tree already linked is. The extremely important information about her 1/128th English ancestry isn’t even accurate. It was just a way to spend my time on nothing.

        • andrew says:

          Adolfo Eastman Quiroga, the brother of her paternal 4th great-grandmother, Filia Eastman Quiroga, was an engineer and politician who served as President of the Senate of Chile in 1891, among other duties, and was a candidate for the Presidency of Chile in 1896. Adolfo’s brother, Tomás Eastman, was also an engineer and politician

          • andrew says:

            This is according to Genealogiachilenaenred’s tree.

          • follers says:

            Yes, which lists Raúl Andrés Varela-Rodríguez, born in 1914, as the son of parents born in 1915 and 1920.

            I think it’s time for you to take a vacation. Italy must be amazing this time of year. Why are you looking at false information about remote ancestors instead of enjoying your country’s landscape and culture? Don’t you deserve a break?

          • andrew says:

            I’ve never checked any birth date of any random link I’ve posted so far. That is not my business, I’m not the admin. However, sorry.

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