Lou Diamond Phillips

Phillips in 2010, Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Lou Diamond Upchurch

Place of Birth: U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines

Date of Birth: February 17, 1962

*father – English, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish
*mother – Filipino

Lou Diamond Phillips is an American actor and director. He has starred in the films La Bamba, as musician Ritchie Valens, as well as Stand and Deliver, Young Guns, and Courage Under Fire, and the series Longmire, among many other works.

Lou was born at U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, Philippines. His father, Gerald Amon Upchurch, was American, and had English and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish ancestry. Lou’s mother, Lucita Umayam Araña, was a Filipina, from Candelaria. Lou is named after famous U.S. Marine Lou Diamond (born Leland Diamond).

Lou’s father has been described as also having Cherokee Native American ancestry. Lou’s mother has been described as also having Japanese, Hawaiian, Chinese, and Spanish ancestry. It is not clear if these lineages have been verified/documented.

Lou has said:

People often mistake me for a Latino or even Indian, so I always mention in interviews that I am Filipino and I’m proud to be one.

He has also stated:

I never claimed to be a Native actor, but I do have Native blood.

Lou is married to makeup artist Yvonne Boismier. He has three children with his former wife, model Kelly Phillips; and a daughter with Yvonne.

Lou’s paternal grandfather was Ralph Amon Upchurch (the son of Arthur Jefferson “A J” Upchurch and Nora Lee Bowden). Ralph was born in Georgia. Arthur was the son of Jasper Upchurch and Lucinda Abagail/Abigail Chaffin. Nora was the daughter of James Filmore Bowden and Sara Jane Mayor.

Lou’s paternal grandmother was Louella M. Maloy (the daughter of Rosser Joseph Maloy and Kate Bell “Katie” Ogletree). Louella was born in Georgia. Rosser was the son of Thomas Andrew Maloy and Jodie Kelly.

Lou’s maternal grandfather was Policarpo Fumera Arañas (the son of Antonio Arañas and Antonia Fumera).

Lou’s maternal grandmother was Eugenia Cocoyog Umayam (the daughter of Justo Dumlao Umayam and Severa Febrero Cocoyog/Cacoyog).

Sources: Birth record of Lou Diamond Phillips – https://familysearch.org

Marriage record of Lou’s parents – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Lou Diamond Phillips (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.geni.com

Lou’s paternal grandfather, Ralph Amon Upchurch, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Lou’s paternal grandmother, Louella M. Maloy, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Louella M. Maloy on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Marriage record of Lou’s maternal grandparents, Policarpo Fumera Arañas and Eugenia Cocoyog Umayam – https://familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

55 Responses

  1. italiano90 says:

    i assumed he was mexican or ecuadorian with an american stage name.

  2. ethnogenesis says:

    He has a stepfather and Wikipedia includes him under “Cherokee Nation people”, but he has NO Cherokee or Native American blood, either it’s part of family lore or he made it up to get a certain movie role. Is this like David Carradine whose step father or half brother were Cherokee, or Steven Tyler had a GF Teresa Barrick from the region of OK where the Cherokee Nation is. And Im still trying to find Maxine Sneed who was married to Tommy Chong to have their daughter Rae Dawn have any Cherokee or Creek ancestry. There’s like 100 extra celebs who claim to have some Cherokee ancestry on ethnicelebs without a shred of evidence, about twice as much than the ones already tagged to have their Cherokee ancestry verified or documented, and Lou Diamond Phillips is another (yet there are lots of Phillips in the Cherokee Nation and their ethnic diaspora).

  3. RamboJohnJ says:

    C mon ? Lou looks all Indian. Documented or not he’s part Indian

  4. roman2886 says:

    When he was younger, He looked Cherokee but now that he is older he looks Filipino, He never looked Hawaiian Chinese, and Japanese.

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