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 many others.

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

Genealogies of Lou Diamond Phillips (focusing on his father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.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

51 Responses

  1. Manila says:

    His paternal grandmother is Louella M. Jerkins

    His maternal grandparents are Policarpo Fumera Arañas (the son of Antonio Arañas and Antonia Fumera) and Eugenia Cocoyog Umayam (the daughter of Justo Umayam and Severa Cocoyog).

    I couldn’t find the marriage register of Policarpio Arañas and Eugenia Umayam. But, I found the index of their marriage.

    These are the sources:
    * Gerald Amon Upchurch and Lucita Aranas’ Marriage Certificate: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-25629-2627-53?cc=1852584&wc=S43C-MNB:173630801,167167702,167170402,202512101
    * Lou Diamond Upchurch’s Birth Certificate: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-25625-21684-41?cc=1852584&wc=S43W-L2Q:173630801,167167502,167170402,173946701
    * Policarpo Arañas and Eugenia Umayam’s Marriage Index: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FNHF-7MD

  2. WTF says:

    he looks mexican

  3. me says:

    I thought he was Mexican

  4. Jackie says:

    Are you sure he has also Spanish & Chinese? I’m pretty sure his mom spread that claim to him. A lot of Filipinos abroad like to claim they’re Spanish & Chinese but in reality they’re just plain Filipino. Like Vanessa Hudgens, she claims that she is Spanish, Chinese & Filipino on her mom’s side but look at her mom, she looks very Filipina & I didn’t see any tiny bit of Caucasian on her. I’m sure her mom was lying to her (Vanessa) as well. Same goes with Jasmine Trias, she said her family is Spanish, Chinese & Filipino and yet both her parents look typical Filipino. How pathetic!

    • Zy says:

      Philippines is a multiracial and multicultural country. Before spanish colonization people with different ethnicity settled in this archipelago from Negritos (Aetas), Malays and Indonesians  who were subsequently joined and largely supplanted by migrating groups of Austronesians. The locals traded with people from China, India, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. And a lot of these traders from other countries (mostly from China) inhabited and stayed for good.  Philippines has been colonized by Spain for more than 300 years, that’s why there a lot of Filipinos has Spanish ancestry. The country was also colonized by USA for 48years and since then the Filipinos had close ties with the US. So technically no one from the Philippines is ‘Purely Filipino’ because of racial diversity. Hope this answers your question. I myself has mixed heritage. My paternal great grandfather is Chinese from Guangzhou, China and my paternal great grandmother is a Spanish Mestiza (half Spanish, half Filipino). But me and most of my family members looks Chinese. I’m just not so sure about my heritage on my maternal side though.

    • EMORY says:

      he looks Chinese to me. we have Chinese and Filipinos here in Taiwan therefore you can frequently compare the different features, so Lou does not look purely Filipino islander. his features look both Chinese and native Filipino. as far as the spanish thing goes, i can see alot of people lying about that. their numbers were never very large to begin with. we have alot of people lying about being dutch here. it’s pretty sad. another thing about the spanish is that they believed they were superior and were colonizers, therefore less likely to mix. the Chinese were ordinary people who migrated there to farm, or fish. the Chinese were also there much longer.

  5. noelle says:

    ah, you dont just have two parents!! lets do a graft kiddies…your parents had two parents on each side, and then there parents had two…I mean it goes to 2,400..saw a graft once on tv, or the magazine,..but dr once told me..Iam mex,french,sefardic (mediterrean Jewish, spanish…if I had four kids, once would probably have blue eyes and blond hair, my hubby had that, Iam complete opposite..so yea, genetics plays a big part, you never know whats going to show up…ever see black people with a white baby…hey it happens…so god likes to paint with colors….thank God

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