Melissa McCarthy

LAS VEGAS - APR 18:  Melissa McCarthy arrives to the CinemaCon 2

McCarthy in 2013, photo by PrPhotos

Birth Name: Melissa Ann McCarthy

Place of Birth: Plainfield, Will, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 26, 1970

Ethnicity: [fractions approximate]
*69% Irish
*19% German
*12% English

Melissa McCarthy is an American actress, comedian, writer, fashion designer, and producer. Throughout the 2000s, she played bit roles in Hollywood films while co-starring on the show Gilmore Girls. She began her career as a movie star in 2011 with the comedy Bridesmaids. Her films also include Go (1999), Pumpkin, The Life of David Gale, Cook Off!, The Nines, Pretty Ugly People, The Back-up Plan, This Is 40, Identity Thief, The Hangover Part III, The Heat (2013), Tammy, St. Vincent, Spy (2015), The Boss, Ghostbusters (2016), Life of the Party, The Happytime Murders, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, The Kitchen (2019), Superintelligence, Thunder Force, The Starling, and Disney’s live action The Little Mermaid (2023). Continuing her work on television series, she has also starred on Samantha Who?, Mike & Molly, Little Big Shots, Nine Perfect Strangers, and God’s Favorite Idiot.

Melissa is the daughter of Sandra Lynne (Cook) and Michael Dennis McCarthy. Her cousins include actress Jenny McCarthy and basketball player Joanne McCarthy. She grew up in a Catholic family, on a corn and soybean farm. She is married to actor and filmmaker Ben Falcone, who directed her films Tammy, The Boss, Life of the Party, Superintelligence, and Thunder Force; the two also co-wrote the first three films, and Ben wrote the fifth. The couple has two children.

In detailing Melissa’s ancestry, genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak described Melissa’s roots as approximately 69% Irish, 19% German, and 12% Colonial American, likely English.

Melissa’s paternal grandfather was Michael Joseph McCarthy (born Michael Joseph Carty, the son of Thomas Carty and Sarah Owens). Michael was born in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Scotland, of Irish descent. Thomas was born in Currygranny, Clongesh, County Longford, Ireland, the son of John Carty and Maria Quinn. Sarah was born in Holytown, Bothwell, Lanarkshire.

Melissa’s paternal grandmother was named Ann/Anne O’Reilly (the daughter of John O’Reilly and Sarah). Ann was born in Carfin, Lanarkshire, Scotland. John and Sarah were also born in Scotland, both of them to Irish parents.

Melissa’s maternal grandfather was Lewis Elza Cook (the son of Elza Eothel/Ethol Cook and Amanda Marie Hoffman). Lewis was born in Meriden, LaSalle, Illinois. Melissa’s great-grandfather Elza was the son of William Albert Cook and Eva May/Mae Wakefield. Amanda was the daughter of William C. Hoffman, who was German, and of Emma Anna Weidner/Wechner, whose parents were from Prussia, Germany.

Melissa’s maternal grandmother was Marjorie Lucille Moore (the daughter of Daniel Patrick Moore and Bessie M. Dagenhart). Marjorie was born in Illinois. Daniel was the son of John W. Moore and Catherine/Kath/Kate Condon, who were born in Illinois, both of them to Irish parents. Bessie was the daughter of Peter H. Dagenhart, who was born in Illinois, to German parents, and of Anna/Hannah Daley, who was born in Illinois, to Irish parents.

Melissa has ancestry from County Armagh.


Genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak on Melissa’s ancestry –

Genealogy of Melissa McCarthy (focusing on her father’s side) –

Melissa’s maternal grandfather, Lewis Elza Cook, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Lewis Elza Cook on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Melissa’s maternal great-grandparents, Elza Eothel/Ethol Cook and Amanda Marie Hoffman –

Melissa’s maternal grandmother, Marjorie Lucille Moore, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Marjorie Lucille Moore on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Melissa’s maternal great-grandfather, Daniel Patrick Moore, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Melissa’s maternal great-grandmother, Bessie M. Dagenhart, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

8 Responses

  1. Donkfest says:

    Very Irish

  2. liaasunshinecrazy says:

    She’s scotissh, i think that she’s are 100 american. Half American, Half Scotissh

    • jackson9 says:

      what do you mean by half American? Native American?and she does have Scottish born grandparents who were ethnically Irish. is that what you are referring to?

      • liaasunshinecrazy says:

        i don’t read, i just see born in Scotland lmao. No native, american, cuz she’s have grandparents born in EUA

        • dargabarga12 says:

          1. American is NOT an ethnicity, there’s not a single american of european descent that is “american”. They’re just europeans calling themselves americans

          2. She’s not scottish, she’s irish

  3. savanna says:

    “Melissa McCarthy is of mostly Irish heritage (though with a twist – more on this shortly) – roughly 69%. German comes in second with 19% and the remaining 12% is deep American, mostly tracing back to England.”

  4. savanna says:

    Her parents are Sandra and Michael McCarthy,,20472991,00.html

  5. Devotion says:

    Looool so true.

    She looks like a typical urban Brit.

    But she’s cute though.

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