Paul Rust

Rust in 2016, by John Henry Müller

Birth Name: Paul Robert Rust

Place of Birth: Le Mars, Iowa, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 12, 1981

Ethnicity: German

Paul Rust is an American actor, comedian, writer, and musician. His roles include the films Semi-Pro, I Love You, Beth Cooper; Inglourious Basterds, Ass Backwards, iSteve, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, which he also co-wrote; Fun Mom Dinner, Queenpins, and Robots (2023), and the shows Comedy Bang! Bang!, which he also wrote for; Super Fun Night, Love, which he also co-created and wrote for; The Great North, Ten Year Old Tom, and Santa Inc., which he also wrote for.

Paul was raised in a Catholic family in a small town in Iowa. Both of Paul’s parents, Jeanne and Bob, are of German descent. Their families had all come to Iowa and Wisconsin from Germany in the 1800s. Paul is of completely German descent going back to at least the late 1700s.

Paul is married to writer Lesley Arfin, with whom he has a daughter.

Paul’s paternal grandfather was Paul Henry Rust (the son of Paul Henry Rust and Bernadine Mary Olberding). Paul’s grandfather Paul was born in Iowa. Paul’s great-grandfather Paul was the son of Henry Hulbert/Hubert Rust and Margaretha Agnes Topf, both of whom were born in Iowa, both of them to German parents, all from Prussia. Paul’s great-grandmother Bernadine was born in Iowa, to a German father, Franz Henrich Olberding, from Lehmden, Steinfeld, Kreis Vechta, Oldenburg, Germany, and to Catherine Terlisner, who was born in Iowa, to German parents, a father from Sudlohn, Westphalia and a mother from Dingden, Westphalia.

Paul’s paternal grandmother was Lucille Blanche Coenen (the daughter of William Howard Coenen and Catherine Sophia Von Tersch). Lucille was born in Iowa. William was born in Iowa, to German parents, John Coenen and Anna Christina/Christena Butzen, from Reil on Mosel, Germany. Catherine was born in Iowa, to German parents, Joseph John Von Tersch, from Westphalen, Germany, and Catharine/Katherine Theresa Bauer, from Munich, Bavaria.

Paul’s maternal grandfather was Theodore Joseph “Ted” Sondag (the son of Joseph Peter Sondag and Mary Anna Hammes). Theodore was born in Iowa. Paul’s great-grandfather Joseph was born in Iowa, to Theodore Sondag, an ethnic German immigrant, and to Mary A. Korth, who was born in Wisconsin, to German parents. Paul’s great-grandmother Mary was born in Iowa, the daughter of a German father, Frank Hammes, and of Susan Ludwig, who was born in Iowa, to German parents.

Paul’s maternal grandmother was Joan Marie Mumm (the daughter of Peter Charles Mumm and Frances Bernadine Gross). Joan was born in Iowa. Peter was born in Iowa, the son of Gottfried Mumm, whose parents were German, and of Mary/Maria Saller, who was German. Frances was the daughter of Frank William Gross, who was born in Wisconsin, to German parents, and of Bertha T. Rueschenberg, who was German. Paul’s great-great-grandmother Bertha was the daughter of Joseph Franz Rüschenberg/Rueschenberg and Maria Josepha/Josephine Sasse/Sahse.

Sources: Genealogy of Paul’s paternal grandparents, Paul Henry Rust and Lucille Blanche Coenen –

Genealogy of Paul’s maternal grandparents, Theodore Joseph Sondag and Joan Marie Mumm –

Genealogy of Paul’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Bertha T. Rueschenberg (focusing on her mother’s side) –

11 Responses

  1. hugomariano says:

    100% jewish

  2. jonasbsjr says:

    he is very german looking, really no mistery here

  3. passingtime85 says:


    A part of this interview leads me to believe that Paul is at least partly of Jewish heritage.

    What was it like auditioning for that movie? Was every young Jewish comic in Hollywood in the waiting room?

    Paul – etc etc etc. “But yeah, everybody who was in the room was a young Jewish actor.”

  4. nnnnn says:

    Funny, that a lot of celebrities are called “german”, just
    because they have german-sounding names, w.e., Federline or Maria Shriver’s father, especially some
    Maurizio, the son of Giorgio (Klara Bruni claims, he’s her
    father). 30% americans have german roots, but they
    are not really “german”, that Paul Rust is really rare
    for USA

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