Oscar Isaac

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

Birth Name: Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada

Place of Birth: 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 Inside Llewyn Davis, Show Me a Hero, Ex Machina, and X-Men: Apocalypse, among many other projects.

He was born in Guatemala, as Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada. Oscar’s father, Oscar Gonzalo Hernández-Cano, 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 in Miami, Florida. 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.

On his mother’s side, Oscar likely is descended from Salvador Estrada Rodríguez and Amelia Nicolle Morales (the daughter of Agustín/Augusto Nicolle and Leonor Morales). Agustín was born in France, the son of Luis Victor Nicolle and Virginia Lavasseur/Lavassur.

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.

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

23 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    His great-grandmother’s surname, Lluch (note the “ll” digraph) , is a common Catalan one.

    “Spinola” is an Italian surname, from Genoa; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Spinola

    Given his grandmother was Cuban, she likely had Corsican roots.

    “Dorado” is Galician: https://www.misapellidos.com/significado-de-Dorado-30208.html

    “Cano” otherwise is common throughout all Spain.

  2. zachbickle says:

    Looks completely ordinary east mediterranean. Turkish, Lebanese, Greek, Sephardic etc…

  3. jonasbttencourt says:

    Looks a bit french indeed.

  4. Alyx says:

    He looks Middle Eastern.

  5. madman says:

    His maternal grandfather was French, so the amount is not that small.

    “My grandfather was French in Guatemala and my father is Cuban but he grew up in the States as well. I came to the States when I was five months old and I grew up my entire life mostly in Miami, between Miami and New York.”


    • anen87 says:

      A French named Estrada??? I don’t think so. I believe he meant maternal great-grandfather…Benjamin Nicolle (Nicolle is a french surname). Oops on him making himself more french than he is.
      1/8 French he is.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.