Lily Collins

Collins in 2012, image via DFree/Bigstock

Birth Name: Lily Jane Collins

Place of Birth: Guildford, Surrey South Western, Surrey, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 18 March, 1989

*75% mix of English, and small amount of German
*25% Ashkenazi Jewish

Lily Collins is a British and American actress and model. She has starred in the films Mirror Mirror and Rules Don’t Apply, and the series Emily in Paris, among other projects.

Lily was born in Guildford, Surrey South Western, Surrey, England, and moved to Los Angeles, California, at a young age. She is the daughter of British musician Phil Collins (Philip David Charles Collins) and American Jill Tavelman. Lily is married to film director and writer Charlie McDowell. Charlie is the son of British actor Malcolm McDowell and American actress Mary Steenburgen.

Lily’s father is of English descent. Lily’s maternal grandfather was Jewish, of Russian Jewish descent, while Lily’s maternal grandmother had English, and some German, ancestry.

Lily’s paternal grandfather was Greville Philip Austin Collins (the son of Austin George Percy Collins and Phillis/Phyllis Mary Piper). Greville was born in Richmond, Surrey, England. Austin was the son of Arthur James Collins and Ellen Piper. Phillis was the daughter of George Henry Piper and Eliza Hall.

Lily’s paternal grandmother was Winifred M. Strange (the daughter of Charles Ronald Strange and Lillie/Lilly Maud Tozer). Winifred was born in Fulham, London, England, and was a prominent theatrical agent. Lily’s great-grandmother Lillie was the daughter of Alfred Tozer and Sarah Ann Whall.

Lily’s maternal grandfather was Jack Charles Tavelman (the son of Joseph B. Tavelman and Clara Gelen). Jack was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to Russian Jewish parents. Joseph was the son of Jacob Tavelman and Freida Brill.

Lily’s maternal grandmother was Billie Jeanette/Jane Shoaff (the daughter of David Ernest Shoaff and Mary Tommie Miller). Billie was born in California, and had English, and some German, ancestry. David was from Virginia, and was the son of The Rev. James Watts Shoaff, a Protestant minister, and of his wife, Nettie Frasher. Lily’s great-grandmother Mary Tommie was from Mississippi.

Sources: Genealogies of Lily Collins (focusing on her father’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

40 Responses

  1. ses101 says:

    If she is 0% Phil Collins as you think, then she is 0% her mum as well. Two not particularly good looking parents can still have nice looking children if their “faults” are blended out, especially when parents are different races. As it happens, I CAN see a wee bit of her dad in her from his much younger days.

  2. Kimmel says:

    I agree. She’s always looked remarkable compared to standard English People — its probably the American mix (and not knowing specifically with what) that makes her stand out more. I also think she does look Eastern European above, never noticed that before.

  3. marlenebeckers says:

    Her hair is naturallyblack?!

  4. ihatemostpeople says:

    She’s so pretty. I love her eyebrows.

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