Liza Koshy

Koshy in 2016, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: Elizabeth Shaila Koshy

Place of Birth: Houston, Harris, Texas, U.S.

Date of Birth: March 31, 1996

*father – Malayali Indian
*mother – Swiss-German, German, some English

Liza Koshy is an American actress, television host, comedian, and YouTuber.

Liza is the daughter of Jean and Jose Koshy. She has stated that her father is Indian, of Malayali descent, from Kerala, south India. Her mother is white. Liza’s parents are pictured here.

She co-starred in the film Work It. In the film Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016), Liza’s character, Aday Walker, was African-American.

Liza has said:

I just took a DNA test, turns out, I’m 6% Jewish and I’m invoicing my mother for my Bat Mitzvah and 23 years of Hanukkahs.

Liza’s maternal grandfather was John Asa Hertzler (the son of Asa Miller Hertzler and Rebecca Susanna/Susan Shenk). Liza’s grandfather John had mostly Swiss-German and German, along with some English, ancestry, with roots in Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Bern and Zürich, Switzerland; and Northumberland, England. His family were mostly Pennsylvania Dutch (ethnic Germans in Pennsylvania). Liza’s great-grandfather Asa was the son of Joseph Kanagy Hertzler and Nancy J. Miller. Rebecca was the daughter of John M. Shenk and Frances Annie “Fannie”/Fanny Good.

Liza’s maternal grandmother was Rebecca Evans Henkels (the daughter of George Jacob Henkels and Johanna M. Hammer). Rebecca was born in Pennsylvania, also of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent. George was the son of John S. Henkels and Mary E. Knight. Johanna was born in Pennsylvania, to parents from Germany.


Genealogies of Liza Koshy (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Obituary of Liza’s maternal grandmother, Rebecca Evans (Henkels) Hertzler –

Liza’s maternal great-grandparents, George Jacob Henkels and Johanna M. Hammer, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Obituaries of Liza’s maternal great-grandparents, George Jacob Henkels and Johanna M. (Hammer) Henkels –

25 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    Ethiopians and South Indians look alike?? That is crazy.

  2. stlucas says:

    “i just took a DNA test, turns out, i’m 6% Jewish and i’m invoicing my mother for my Bat mitzvah and 23 years of Hanukkahs.”

  3. stlucas says:

    Apparently, her father has Malayali ancestry.

  4. Kimmel says:

    Does she not realize both her parents are Caucasian..?

  5. follers says:

    She played the daughter of two black parents in Boo! A Madea Halloween.

    • fuzzybear44 says:

      So I guess hiring a black person to play a black was just crazy. Tyler perry is doing the same thing the rest of Hollywood does

      • fuzzybear44 says:

        Well i don’t call anybody anything they don’t call themselves

      • Multiethnicchick says:

        Why are you upset. You insist mixed people are black but then when a mixed person plays a black person it’s an issue? Maybe if you and other one drop rule touting idiots accepted mixed people as mixed, black people would get to play the roles of black people.

    • andrew says:

      because the people you Americans keep calling black people are not anywhere close to real black people but they’re actually brown folks whose ambiguous looks can be found in many parts of Latin America, Asia and Austronesia, hence the casting choice of an half-Indian girl.

      • kay perez says:

        Black people come in different forms . She played a black role because she can pass as a black person . Did you forget Africa and middle eastern are connected ? A lot of Indians are even mixed with black . Most of anyone that even has some curl in their hair is black or has black in them period ..

        • andrew says:

          Actually not many Indians are “mixed with black”:

          Europeans can normally have curly hair (think to redheads) while Black African have wooly ones. That’s not the same thing.

          • Jacklyn 224 says:

            Indians descend from the ancient black race that once occupied Egypt/north Africa and horn Africa(sadly most people forget India is a multiracial nation) Though the ancient blacks weren’t the Bantu/subsaharan blacks we know today but they were genetically similar to blavks and had the same skin tone range plus its well known that Dravidian Indians are genetically similar to Africans.

          • fuzzybear44 says:


            Quote(And since when is bantu the only black?)

            They’re the only group of people they will acknowledge as being black. Everyone else to them is just dark skin, that’s how they see it

        • Jacklyn 224 says:

          Well I wouldn’t say mixed with black so to speak.Don’t forget that Dravidian Indians cone from the ancient black race that occupied Egypt/north and horn Africa. Plus if you do some googling its well known that Dravidian Indians are genetically similar to blacks(that’s why some can pass as black themselves),that probably explains why most Half white half Indian girls pass as brown/light skinned half white half black or even black girls.

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