Lisa Bonet

Bonet in 2011, _bukley /

Birth Name: Lisa Michelle Boney

Place of Birth: San Francisco, California, United States

Date of Birth: November 16, 1967

*father – African-American, some Louisiana Creole [African, French]
*mother – Ashkenazi Jewish

Lisa Bonet is an American actress. She is known for playing Denise Huxtable on the series The Cosby Show.

Lisa was born in San Francisco, California. Her father, Allen, was from Texas, and had African-American, and some Louisiana Creole, ancestry. Her mother, Arlene, was Ashkenazi Jewish, from a family that emigrated from Russia, Poland, Belarus, and Moldova. Lisa was raised Jewish. Lisa has a daughter, actress and model Zoë Kravitz, with her former husband, singer and actor Lenny Kravitz; and two children with her former husband, actor, model, and producer Jason Momoa.

Lisa is a half-sister of musician and singer Kadhja Bonet.

In 1995, she legally changed her name to Lilakoi Moon.

Lisa’s paternal grandfather was Samuel Murry Boney (the son of Albert Boney and Jennie Coatney).

Lisa’s paternal grandmother was Mary Orphy (the daughter of Victor Orphy/Orphe and Eloise/Elloise Eugene). Mary was born in Texas. Victor was born in Louisiana, the son of Babilas/Babila Orphy/Orphée, who was of Louisiana Creole descent, and of Jenevieve/Genevieve Johnson.

Lisa’s maternal grandfather was Eli Litman (the son of Abraham E. Litman and Fannie/Fanny Lillian Ageloff). Eli was born in Pennsylvania, to a Jewish immigrant father from Tourchen, Russia, and a Jewish immigrant mother from Vitebsk, Belarus. Fannie was the daughter of Hillel/Eli Ageloff and Chaia/Chai/Cha Rochell/Rochel/Ida Rose Liebman/Leibman, from Ulla, Russia.

Lisa’s maternal grandmother was Sylvia Ellen Goldvarg (the daughter of Louis Goldvarg and Sarah Silverman). Sylvia was born in Pennsylvania, to Russian Jewish immigrant parents. Louis was from Tiraspol, now Moldova, the son of Moishe Goldvarg and Elke. Sarah was the daughter of Harry M. Silverman and Sophie Grossman, from Siroca.

Sources: Information on the family of Lisa’s paternal great-great-grandfather, Babilas/Babila Orphy/Orphée –

Genealogy of Lisa Bonet (focusing on her mother’s side) –

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

Marriage record of Lisa’s maternal grandparents, Eli Litman and Sylvia Ellen Goldvarg –

Lisa’s maternal grandfather, Eli Litman, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Lisa’s maternal grandmother, Sylvia Ellen Goldvarg, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Sylvia Ellen Goldvarg on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

17 Responses

  1. transemacabre says:

    Her father is a bit mysterious. It seems like his surname changed several times in his early life, and he appears under the spelling ‘Boney’ in the 1950 census living in the Negro Child Center of Houston, TX. But his birth was registered under the surname Orphy, and he appears in the 1940 census as Handy.

    His mother was Mary Orphy who married Herman Handy, but I do not know if Herman was Allen Bonet’s father. He is not living with Mary and her children in 1940. Mary died in 1961, and her parents are Victor and Eloise Orphy on her death record.

    Victor was born about 1855 in Louisiana. His father was Babilas Orphy or Orphée, who is living with Victor’s family in 1900. Victor’s mother was Jenevieve Johnson, who was Babilas’ wife. Both of Victor’s parents were born in Louisiana.

    • bablah says:

      His father is listed as Samuel Murry Boney (1986-1979) in several family trees. Samuel was the son of Albert Boney and Jennie Coatney.

      Some more info on Babilas Orphée

      ”My grandfather’s maternal aunt Marie Idéa VAVASSEUR married François Dasincourt CHRÉTIEN in 1884 at St. Martinville. If you are confused by the same names repeated in this post, then it is justified! But, they are not the same Dasincourts. This François was a legitimate son of Prospère CHRÉTIEN and Henriette Zélime RAMEL. Since Louisiana Creoles customarily passed names down in each generation, this offers you clues as to Prospère’s relationship to the son of Joseph and Magdeleine. In fact, he was Joseph and Magdeleine’s grandson, a natural son of their son François Dasincourt CHRÉTIEN and a négresse slave the latter owned, by the name of Fanny. In 1810, William BRENT, an American, sold Fanny, 14 years old, to Hyppolite CHRÉTIEN at St. Martinville. Fanny bore several nègre children, one, named Babilas ORPHÉ, for Orphé, a nègre slave owned by the CHRÉTIEN brothers”


  2. Akwaba says:

    One of her half siblings is musician and singer Kadhja Bonet :

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