Oscar Isaac

Isaac in 2012, image via Debby Wong/bigstock.com

Birth Name: Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada

Place of Birth: Guatemala City, Guatemala

Date of Birth: March 9, 1979

Ethnicity: Cuban-Guatemalan-Spanish, small amount of French, possibly distant Jewish heritage

Oscar Isaac is an American actor and singer. His roles include the films The Nativity Story, The Life Before Her Eyes, Che, Body of Lies, Agora, Balibo, Robin Hood (2010), Sucker Punch, W.E., Drive, For Greater Glory, The Bourne Legacy, Won’t Back Down, 10 Years, Inside Llewyn Davis, In Secret, The Two Faces of January, A Most Violent Year, Ex Machina, Mojave, the Star Wars universe, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Promise, Suburbicon, Annihilation, Operation Finale, At Eternity’s Gate, Triple Frontier, The Card Counter, Dune, and Big Gold Brick, and television’s Show Me a Hero, Scenes from a Marriage, and Moon Knight.

He was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, as Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada. Oscar’s father, Oscar Gonzalo Hernández-Cano, a pulmonologist, is Cuban, and left the country for the U.S. before the Cuban Revolution. Oscar’s mother, María Eugenia Estrada Nicolle, is from Guatemala, where Oscar’s parents met. One of Oscar’s recent maternal ancestors was French. His sister is climate scientist Nicole Hernández-Hammer.

The family settled in the U.S. when Oscar was around five months old, and he was raised mostly in Miami, Florida, as well as in Baltimore and New Orleans. He became a U.S. citizen in 2006. Oscar was raised in a religious, Evangelical Christian (Protestant), household.

Oscar is married to Danish film director Elvira Lind, with whom he has two children.

Oscar’s paternal grandfather was named Oscar Hernández.

Oscar’s paternal grandmother was Maria Teresa Cano y Lluch (the daughter of Miguel Angel Cano and Dolores Lluch Dorado). Maria Teresa was born on Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Miguel was the son of Jose Cano Spinola.

Oscar’s maternal grandfather was Guillermo Estrada Ménendez (the son of Rufino Estrada and Asunción Menendez).

Oscar’s maternal grandmother was Graciela Argentina Nicolle Penagos de Estrada (the daughter of Benjamin Estrada and Guadalupe Penagos). Graciela was born in Amatitlán, Guatemala, Guatemala. Guadalupe was the daughter of Luciano Penagos Herrera and Anastacia Flores.

Oscar has also stated, “Isaac is Jewish from my father side. I am definitely a big mix of many things,” implying that his father has the surname Isaac in his family tree, and some degree of Jewish heritage from that surname. If this is the case, then the most recent ancestor of Oscar’s that could have been Jewish and surnamed Isaac is Oscar’s paternal great-grandmother, making him of perhaps at most one eighth Jewish ancestry.

Sources: Genealogy of Oscar Isaac (focusing on his mother’s side) – https://www.geni.com

Death record of Oscar’s maternal grandfather, Guillermo Estrada Ménendez – https://www.familysearch.org

Death record of Oscar’s maternal grandmother, Graciela Argentina Nicolle Penagos de Estrada – https://www.familysearch.org

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