Liev Schreiber

Schreiber in 2011, s_bukley /

Birth Name: Isaac Liev Schreiber

Place of Birth: San Francisco, California, United States

Date of Birth: October 4, 1967

*father – German, Swiss-German, Danish, Dutch, English, French, Norwegian, Belgian/Flemish, Scottish, and Welsh
*mother – Ashkenazi Jewish

Liev Schreiber is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and narrator. His roles include the films The Daytrippers, the original Scream trilogy, Ransom, Dean Koontz’s Phantoms, The Hurricane, Kate & Leopold, The Sum of All Fears, The Manchurian Candidate (2004), The Omen (2006), Defiance, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Taking Woodstock, Salt, Goon, and its sequel; Pawn Sacrifice, Spotlight, The 5th Wave, Chuck, which he also co-wrote; Human Capital, The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun; Asteroid City, Golda, and, in voice role, My Little Pony: The Movie, Isle of Dogs, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; and television’s Ray Donovan and Hard Knocks. He directed and wrote the film Everything Is Illuminated. He has also narrated the documentary Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals, the series Hard Knocks and 24/7, and programs on PBS.

Liev is the son of Heather, a painter, who also drove a cab, and Tell Schreiber (Tell Carroll Schreiber III), an actor and carpenter. His half-brother is actor Pablo Schreiber. Liev’s father’s ancestry included German (the origin of his surname), Swiss-German, Danish, Dutch, English, French, Norwegian, Belgian [Flemish], Scottish, and Welsh. Liev’s mother is Jewish, of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish descent, and Liev practices the Jewish religion.

He was named after either Russian author Leo (Lev) Tolstoy or a doctor who assisted in his birth. During his early childhood, Liev was raised in Winlaw, an unincorporated rural community in the southern interior of British Columbia, and then New York City, New York.

Liev has two children with his former partner, actress Naomi Watts; and a daughter with his partner Taylor Neisen, who was Miss South Dakota 2012.

Liev’s paternal grandfather was Tell Carroll Schreiber II (the son of Tell Carroll Schreiber and Marie/Mary Louise Didrichsen). Liev’s grandfather Tell was born in New Jersey. Liev’s great-grandfather Tell was the son of Louis Georg Adolf Schreiber, who was born in Cassel, Germany, and of Ida Laura Gebner, who was Swiss, of Swiss-German descent. Liev’s great-grandmother Marie Louise’s parents were William Gordon Nicholas Cornelius Franz Didrichsen, who was born in Denmark, and Marie Louise Van Zandt, who was born in New York, of Dutch, English, German, French, Norwegian, and Belgian Flemish descent.

Liev’s paternal grandmother was Pamela Dutton Prime (the daughter of William Albert Prime, Jr. and Ruth Melville Shaw-Kennedy). Pamela was born in New York, and was of mostly English descent, with more distant Scottish, Welsh, and Dutch, roots. Some of Pamela’s ancestral lines have been in the United States since the 1600s, and through her, Liev is descended from several Mayflower passengers. Through Pamela, Liev is also the great-great-great-great-grandson of James Shaw Kennedy, a British soldier and military writer. Liev’s great-grandfather William was the son of William Albert Prime and Marion Sands Dutton. Liev’s great-grandmother Ruth was the daughter of Vernon Hugh Primrose Shaw Kennedy, who was born in Kirkmichael, South Ayrshire, Scotland, and of Grace Dunlap Cummings.

Liev’s maternal grandfather was Alexander “Alex” Milgram (the son of Hirsh “Harry” Milgram and Fannie Zevin). Alexander was a Jewish emigrant, from Lodz, Poland.

Liev’s maternal grandmother was Hazel Dubroff/Dubrovosky (the daughter of Isadore Dubroff/Dubrovosky and Esther Ernestine Weisblatt). Hazel was born in New York, to Russian Jewish immigrants. Isadore was born in Pryluky, now in Ukraine, the son of Morduch Dubovitzky and Ida Ruth Dubroff. Liev’s great-grandmother Esther was born in Łódź, Poland, the daughter of Josef/Joseph Weissblatt/Weisblatt, who was born in Warsaw, and of Hannah Heilbron or Roth, who was born in Wieruszów County.


Genealogies of Liev Schreiber –

Genealogies of Liev Schreiber (focusing on his father’s side) –

Obituary of Liev’s father –

Birth record of Liev’s paternal great-grandfather, Tell Carroll Schreiber –

Liev’s paternal great-grandfather, Tell Carroll Schreiber, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Liev’s paternal great-grandmother, Marie/Mary Louise Didrichsen (“Marry Didrichsen”), on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Liev’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Marie Louise (Van Zandt) Didrichsen (focusing on her father’s side) –

Biography of Liev’s paternal great-great-great-great-grandfather, James Shaw Kennedy, a British soldier and military writer, at Wikipedia –

Liev’s maternal grandfather, Alexander “Alex” Milgram, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Liev’s maternal grandmother, Hazel Dubroff/Dubrovosky, on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

35 Responses

  1. JackB says:

    Just noticed there is a drop of Irish in him after all The Scottish Kennedy name arrived in Ayrshire from Ireland☘️ Ray Donovan is really Irish

  2. JackB says:

    Apparently there are some these days who are not happy with non Jewish actors playing Jewish characters. Cillian Murphy currently playing Robert Oppenheimer being an example. I wonder so how do they feel so when many Jewish actors are playing non Jewish characters? Like Liev Schreiber playing Irish Ray Donovan? As an Irish man I think he is absolutely brilliant as Ray Donovan. He is an actor. That is his job.

  3. AutisticApe says:

    Interesting heritage. This guy is definitely what you would call a ‘European Mutt’

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