Mary Elizabeth Winstead

LOS ANGELES - OCT 10:  Mary Elizabeth Winstead arriving at the P

Winstead in 2011, photo by kathclick/

Place of Birth: Rocky Mount, Nash, North Carolina, U.S.

Date of Birth: November 28, 1984

Ethnicity: English

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is an American actress and singer. Her roles include the films Sky High, Death Proof, Final Destination 3, Live Free or Die Hard, The Thing (2011), The Spectacular Now, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and Black Christmas (2006), and the soap Passions.

She is of English descent. Her family has lived in the United States, and in the American South in general, for many generations.

Mary Elizabeth is married to Scottish actor and director Ewan McGregor, with whom she has a son.

Mary Elizabeth’s paternal grandfather was Ambler William “Jack” Winstead (the son of George William Alford Winstead and Rosa Berdie Wells). Ambler was born in North Carolina. George was the son of George Washington Winstead and Rilda Annie/Anna Olive Gardner. Rosa was the daughter of John Bernet Wells and Martha Williamanne Roberson.

Mary Elizabeth’s paternal grandmother was Oveda Rochelle Proctor (the daughter of Walter Young Proctor and Eva Gertrude Bowden). Oveda was born in North Carolina. Walter was the son of John F. Proctor and Lucy Jane Batchelor. Eva was the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Bowden and Sarah Elizabeth Batten.

Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandfather was The Rev. Johnnie/Johnie/Johnny Wilbur/Wilber Knight (the son of Wilbur/Wilber Lee Knight and Nancy/Lucy Bell Tucker). The Rev. Johnnie was born in North Carolina, and was a Church of God minister. Mary Elizabeth’s great-grandfather Wilbur was the son of John Robert Knight and Dorcus Elizabeth/M. Sparks.

Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother was Virgie Kathleen/Catheline Strickland (the daughter of James Purdie Strickland and Mittie/Millie Elizabeth Horne). Virgie was born in North Carolina. James was the son of Isaac Calvin Strickland and Idella Frances Warren. Mittie was the daughter of John Franklin/Frank Horne and Martha Elizabeth Jolly.

Mary Elizabeth is a second cousin, three times removed, of actress Ava Gardner. Mary Elizabeth’s paternal great-grandfather, George William Alford Winstead, was the son of George Washington Winstead and Rilda Annie/Anna Olive Gardner. Rilda was the daughter of William Spencer Gardner and Elizabeth Weaver Edwards. William was the son of William Gardner and Cynthia Eliza Batts. William and Cynthia, Mary Elizabeth’s great-great-great-great-grandparents, were also the paternal great-grandparents of Ava Gardner.

It is sometimes claimed on the internet that Mary Elizabeth has some degree of Native American ancestry. No Native American ancestry has been verified/documented in any publicly available family trees of Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Mary Elizabeth’s surname, Winstead, is shared by the paternal grandmother of actress Evan Rachel Wood, who is also from North Carolina. While Mary Elizabeth and Evan likely have a common Winstead ancestor, this shared connection must be distant, in or before the mid 1700s.

Mary Elizabeth is a third cousin, once removed, of politician Roy Cooper, who has been Governor of North Carolina, since January 1, 2017. Mary Elizabeth’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Lucy Jane Batchelor, was the sister of Roy’s maternal great-grandfather, Bunion Ward Batchelor.

Sources: Genealogy of Mary Elizabeth Winstead –

Mary Elizabeth’s paternal grandfather, Ambler William “Jack” Winstead, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Mary Elizabeth’s paternal grandmother, Oveda Rochelle Proctor, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogies of Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandparents, The Rev. Johnnie/Johnie/Johnny Wilbur/Wilber Knight and Virgie Kathleen/Catheline Strickland –

Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandfather, Johnnie/Johnie/Johnny Wilbur/Wilber Knight, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Death record of Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandfather, The Rev. Johnnie/Johnie/Johnny Wilbur/Wilber Knight –

Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother, Virgie Kathleen/Catheline Strickland, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

2011 Eyegore Awards - Arrivals

Winstead in 2011, photo by


Curious about ethnicity

67 Responses

  1. porkarella says:

    In some pics looks Eurasian in others Berid a Spaniard and Portuguese.
    But mostly an Asian mixed to European.
    Her real roots are covered up.

  2. Jason 7 says:

    That old stock (in North Carolina, home of many Highland Scots and Cherokee, no less) and yet 100% English? Hard to believe. And ironically she has a child with a Scot with no English ancestry. If she (instead of Gwyneth Paltrow) had a child with Chris Martin, that child would be 100% English. And how much of England’s population is still 100% English?

    Here is a map of early settlement in North Carolina if her 100% English background can be disputed:

    • jonasbttencourt says:

      Well its pretty obvius that she is not literally ”100% English”(whatever this means, since England is one of the most mixed places in EU historically, the mixing with continental euros has almost always been common). Its quite safe to presume that, since the middle ages, theres no english person with ancient/original genetic ancestry exclusively from England. The reason why there’s only ”English” in her profile is that all the names on her traceble background appear to be of english origin, thats still the case for millions of people, but this does not mean these people are literally 100% ENGLISH. Documented heritage and genetic testing only tells you half of the story, but even so, i doubt if she took, lets say, a 23andMe test, the only England appears as a traceble region of genetic origin.

  3. FLASHP01NT says:

    I worked at Paramount Pictures (for a few years) and I was told she is 1/4th Japanese on her mother side. Which makes sense because she looks exactly 1/4th Japanese.

  4. Reefshark says:

    YES! She is Part Asian.
    Her biography is a Bought and Paid for LIE.
    THe first thing Celebrities Do before they become Famous, maybe before they start out in the Movie Business is SCRUB THEIR PERSONAL HISTORY of ANYTHING they don’t like or BELIEVE the Industry wont like.
    Have you people Forgotten about Raquel Welch?!?! Who was not even NAMED Raquel Welch?
    Who had a History of Doing porn and had the studios Go to Mexico (where she was From) and buy EVERY PORN MOVIE she made? Don’t Believe What you Read. it’s Not ALL a lie (THey are Smarter than that) but But enough of it is to shade the truth.
    NOBODY gets a face and Eyes like that without Asian ancestry
    Believe your EYES!
    What do you See?
    A half-Asian woman.
    Believe that.

    • passingtime85 says:

      Calm down Beavis.

      • jackson9 says:

        I think Reefshark is on to something! Which Asian culture though is she ethnically? Japanese? Korean? etc. Are you sure she is 50% Asian exactly though? not 62.5%? And tell us more about why the industry is so racist against Asian celebrities, please.

    • fuzzybear44 says:

      Raquel Welch did porn?

      • passingtime85 says:

        Old Hollywood rumor. The rumor mill basically says all major female film stars from the silent era to the now have either worked as child prostitutes and/or adult prostitutes, were in porns , were female impersonators, had sex reassignment surgery or were hermaphrodites/intersex, were heavily into swinging culture, or were into bestiality or incest, slept with any and all co-stars (male and female), directors, producers, agents, managers, studio heads, writers, anyone who was famous or about to be famous, or were closeted lesbians that had all women orgies disguised as “sewing parties”. Sometimes the rumors get darker and involve sex cults or satanic/demon worship stuff that crosses sex and murder and blood offerings to keep success, wealth, fame, youth.

        The rabbit hole can get very deep and eventually goes off the rails and turns into one world governments, or aliens, or lizard people, or extra-dimensional beings feeding off of psychic energy… It’s all just a mess of nonsense.

        Almost all of it is completely unsubstantiated. It’s frequently mentioned on multiple message boards that collect these rumors, but it’s all decades old information that just keeps getting repeated over, and over, and over with nothing to back it up.

        Think of a major starlet from 1910-2000 and she’s probably been apart of the gossip. It’s less frequent in the information age, but the rumors still persist for the younger generation of actresses that have been born in the last 20 years or so.

        Oddly enough while there have been rumors about male actors, they seem to be less frequent and less intense. Women seems to get the brunt of the attacks.

        • andrew says:

          In this case, Harvey Weinstein would be a virgin. Or a monk.

          • passingtime85 says:

            Oddly I think because he was so blatant and well known for his quid pro quo tactics, and straight up rape, that there’s not much more people say about him. Unless it turns out he was apart of large scale human trafficking, I don’t believe there’s much more that can be said, unless he was apart of that super elite cannibal cult *insert

          • passingtime85 says:

            *insert random public figure of your choosing* is apart of.

            Hit the post comment button accidentally a bit early.

    • Raggy Bitt says:

      lol I love it how racist americans, the most racist people and nation in the universe will claim that this woman isn’t white because she doesn’t look like it. LMAO
      But then they will look at someone from the racially mixed balkan countries of europe like martina ivezaj or rita ora and say “they’re a bunch of nasty white girls who try to look black” – and that’s because american airheads believe that “european” or “white” always means the same thing.
      Man get your racist asian american a$$ outta here and take your Mary Elizabeth white girl with you. Nastiest racist nation in the world with the nastiest racist people in the world.
      How can a multiracial country be this racist?
      Your nation is responsible for racism, hatred and conflict worldwide

      • jackson9 says:

        Telling us to get our Asian American Asses outta here. I guess you really are too stupid to realize the irony of your post calling others racist, nasty, and hateful :(

        • Raggy Bitt says:

          Twas 2020 when I posted that comment and I don’t know if the pandemic got to me or whatever but I do apologize for the comments that I left here.
          I said “comments” cause I’m sure I posted more comments similar to this one.

      • andrew says:

        Are you telling me that she does not look white??

        With some haircuts/make-up looks looks 1/4 East Asian, but that’s all.

      • passingtime85 says:

        Raggy Bitt how do you know where the posters that claim she isn’t white, hail from? Why do you assume they’re American?

      • Oaken05 says:

        Troll, troll, troll….

      • pedro_henrique says:

        Americans looks like nasty GESTAPO racial theorists fanatics…They think every german person, or northern european should have blonde hair, blue eyes, otherwise he is mixed and degenerated. In same way every non northern european with blonde hair is descendant of “nordics” who migrated there hahahah

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