Paul Dano

"Prisoners" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Dano in 2013, image via

Birth Name: Paul Franklin Dano

Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: June 19, 1984

*50% Rusyn
*25% Swedish
*25% mix of Slovenian and Bohemian Czech

Paul Dano is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and musician. His roles include the films The Newcomers, L.I.E., The Emperor’s Club, Taking Lives, The Girl Next Door, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, Little Miss Sunshine, Fast Food Nation, There Will Be Blood, Taking Woodstock, Knight and Day, Cowboys & Aliens, Being Flynn, Ruby Sparks, Looper, For Ellen, 12 Years a Slave, Prisoners, Love & Mercy, Youth (2015), Swiss Army Man, Okja, The Batman (2022), and The Fabelmans, and television’s War & Peace (2016) and Escape at Dannemora. He also directed the film Wildlife.

Paul is the son of Gladys and Paul Dano, a financial advisor. His father is originally from Pennsylvania. Paul was raised partly in New Canaan and Wilton, both in Connecticut. He has two children with his partner, actress and screenwriter Zoe Kazan. The two co-wrote Wildlife.

Paul’s paternal grandfather was John Dano/Danno (the son of Nicholas Dano/Danno and Mary Matey). John was born in Pennsylvania, to Rusyn parents (Carpathian Ruthenians).

Paul’s paternal grandmother was Anna/Annie H. Herzo/Heras (the daughter of John Herzo/Heras and Mary Trapchak/Ivopetok). Anna was born in Pennsylvania, also to Rusyn parents.

Paul’s maternal grandfather was Frank Jacob Pipp (the son of Frank Jacob Pipp and Caroline I. “Carrie” Snyder). Paul’s grandfather Frank was born in Michigan. Paul’s great-grandfather Frank was born in Michigan, to parents from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, John Pipp and Mary Pangrelic/Pechie; John was from Feistritz an der Gail, a Slovenian-speaking town. Caroline was evidently born in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of Frank/Franc William Snyder and Anna/Annie/Anne Macek, and was of Bohemian Czech descent.

Paul’s maternal grandmother was Gloria Charlotte Nilsson (the daughter of Okie Richard Nilsson and Elsie Anna Hanson). Gloria was born in Illinois. Okie was born in Sweden, the son of Johan Nilsson and Hella Gram. Elsie was of Swedish descent.

Sources: Paul’s father on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Paul’s paternal grandparents, John Dano/Danno and Anna/Annie H. Herzo/Heras, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Paul’s paternal grandmother, Anna/Annie H. Herzo/Heras, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Paul’s maternal grandfather, Frank Jacob Pipp, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Paul’s maternal great-grandparents, Frank Jacob Pipp and Caroline I. “Carrie” Snyder –

Paul’s maternal great-grandmother, Caroline I. “Carrie” Snyder, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Death record of Paul’s maternal great-grandfather, Okie Richard Nilsson –

Obituary of Paul’s maternal great-grandfather, Okie Richard Nilsson –

22 Responses

  1. No Name says:

    He looks like Trump. Poor guy ….

  2. jonasbttencourt says:

    He looks like what he is : A “mix” of eastern european and scandinavian. But i would say that the scandinavian part came strong in his make up, once i saw a swedish guy that looked a lot like him.

  3. bablah says:

    Wait, you accidentaly removed Bohemian. Snyder/Macek family was from Bohemia.

  4. andrew says:

    Nicholas Dano was born in West Bohemia (near Plzeň) so he was unlikely Slovak.

  5. andrew says:

    John Pipp and Mary Pechie (Pangrelic?) were probably Croats. Both Croatian surnames.

    Anything Austrian in that family (as usual for “Austrians”), except maybe Snyder.

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