Mario Van Peebles

Mario Van Peebles at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Manchurian

Van Peebles in 2004, photo by Starfrenzy/Bigstock.com

Birth Name: Mario Cain Van Peebles

Place of Birth: Mexico City, Mexico

Date of Birth: January 15, 1957

Ethnicity:
*African-American (father)
*German, English (mother)

Mario Van Peebles is an American director and actor. He is known for directing and starring in the films New Jack City and Posse, among others.

He is the son of Melvin Van Peebles (born Melvin Peebles), an actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, novelist, and composer, and Maria Marx, an actress and photographer. His father is African-American. His mother is white, of German and English heritage. He has seven children, including, with his former wife, actress Lisa Vitello, actor and rapper Mandela Van Peebles.

Mario has said:

We did our DNA and just found out West Africa, some German, French, British, Spanish and Portuguese.

Mario’s paternal grandparents were named Marion Peebles and Edwin Griffin. Edwin was from Natchitoches, Louisiana. Marion was from Birmingham, Alabama.

Mario’s maternal grandfather was Fritz Morstein Marx, known as F. M. Marx (the son of Ludwig Morstein August Marx and Amanda Plumhof). Fritz was born in Hamburg, Germany, and was a political and administrative scientist. He moved to the U.S. in 1933, because of the rise of the Nazis. Ludwig was the son of Wilhelm Nicolaus Jürgen Marx and Emma Margaretha Hinriette Südhölter. Amanda was the daughter of Friederich/Friedrich Wilhelm Julius Plumhof and Amanda Caroline Henriette Möller.

Mario’s maternal grandmother was Barbara Spackman (the daughter of Henry Spencer Spackman and Jennie Fryer Spencer). Barbara was born in Pennsylvania. Henry was the son of The Rev. Henry Spencer Spackman and Anna Cornelia Elliot. Jennie was the daugher of Robert Smithurst Spencer and Katharine Violetta Fryer.

Sources: Mario writes about his upbringing – https://www.talkhouse.com

Birth record of Mario’s father – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of and biographical information on Mario’s maternal grandfather, Fritz Morstein Marx – https://www.deutsche-biographie.de

Van Peebles with son Marley in 2013, photo by Prphotos

A DNA test whose results Mario’s daughter Maya displayed on Twitter stated that her genetic ancestry is (Maya’s mother is also of African and European descent):

*56.4% European
*41.4% Sub-Saharan African
——–*38.0% West African
——–*1.9% Central & South African
——–*1.5% Broadly Sub-Saharan African
*1.4% Middle Eastern & North African
*0.3% East Asian & Native American
*0.5% Unassigned

ethnic

Curious about ethnicity

8 Responses

  1. alexgxo says:

    Hi, hopefully one of the editors see this, but I just want to say, Is there any actual, reliable proof that his mother, Maria Marx is German, and that she’s not an American of German (and possibly other European) origin or something like that?

    I ask because I know Peebles page here back in the day use to cite his Wikipedia page for being the source of his background, but the only source I’ve seen cited for his background on Wikipedia is a link to Peebles “Film Reference” profile, which actually makes no mention of where his family’s from. Just that his mothers name is “Maria Marx”. Here’s the link,: http://www.filmreference.com/film/59/Mario-VAN-Peebles.html

    A few sources I’ve seen mentioning his mom being a German model/photographer are written recently, and all seem to rehash a lot of the same stuff that his Wikipedia page says. The “African American Registry” profile on him cites Mario Van Peebles IMDb as a reference, and I’m not so sure where they got their information. See: https://aaregistry.org/story/mario-van-peebles-actor-and-director/

    Here’s an article that he wrote himself. He makes NO mention of his mother being German or from Germany. In fact, he states his parents were Americans who left for Europe in the 1950s for his father to find work for a bit, and somewhere along the line came back to the U.S and Peebles studied in New York’s Columbia University.

    Here’s the article:
    https://www.talkhouse.com/why-film-is-our-family-business/

    A quick Google search of his apparent mothers IMDb shows that all her known acting credits, a movie in 1975 and one of Peebles’ movies in 1998, which were both American/Canadian productions. There’s also no mention on her IMDb of her being from Germany. Her IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0555642/?ref_=nmbio_trv_1

    • alexgxo says:

      Okay, in the “Talk House” article, he never explicitly states that his parents were both Americans, but he also never mentions his mother being German/from Germany. He does say that both his parents “took off for Europe” because his father said that he wouldn’t he wouldn’t be able to find film work in 1950s U.S.A.

      All in all, if someone I haven’t found anything beyond his unreliably sourced Wikipedia page and other sources rehashing the exact same information that his mother is a German (as in from Germany) actress/photographer. I think its more likely that his mothers an American of German and possibly other European ancestry. IDK.

    • bablah says:

      His aunt’s obituary:
      https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/arlington-va/barbara-marx-6029259

      Her parents (and Mario’s grandparents) were Fritz Morstein Marx and Barbara Spackman (the daughter of Henry Spencer Spackman and Jennie Fryer Spencer).

      Fritz immigrated to US in 1933, two years before Maria was born, so you were right, she was born in the US, precisely Massachusetts. Also Barbara Spackman was from Pennsylvania.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Morstein_Marx

      https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KQYN-KP4

      • bablah says:

        Mario’s maternal grandfather was Fritz Morstein Marx (the son of Ludwig Morstein August Marx and Amanda Plumhof). Fritz was born in Hamburg, Germany.

        Mario’s maternal grandfather was Barbara Spackman (the daughter of Henry Spencer Spackman and Jennie Fryer Spencer). Barbara was born in Pennsylvania. Henry was the son of Rev. Henry Spencer Spackman and Anna Cornelia Elliot. Jennie was the daugher of Robert Smithurst Spencer and Katharine Violetta Fryer.

  2. stlucas says:

    Mario Van Peebles, 59, who directs his son 21-year-old son Mandela in Night 2 of the series, found an eclectic mix in his background. “We did our DNA and just found out West Africa, some German, French, British, Spanish and Portuguese.”

    http://people.com/celebrity/roots-cast-learn-surprising-connections-after-dna-ancestry-tests/

  3. fuzzybear44 says:

    Melvin Van Peebles is a cool dad. Any man who puts his son in a sexual scene with a grow woman, well what can I say. Now I going to be a hypocrite and say, any man or woman who puts there daughter in that same situation, need their a$$ whooped

  4. andrew says:

    His father is the prominent film director/actor Melvin Van Peebles

    birth record of Mario’s father:

    https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2S8-NNYD

    Mario’s paternal grandparents: Marion Peebles and Edwin Griffin. Marion was from Birmingham, Alabama. Edwin was from Natchitoches, Louisiana.

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