Vanessa Hudgens

Hudgens in 2010, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: Vanessa Anne Hudgens

Place of Birth: Salinas, Monterey, California, United States

Date of Birth: December 14, 1988

*father – English, some Scottish, Irish, and German
*mother – Filipino, along with Spanish and Chinese

Vanessa Hudgens is an American actress and singer, also credited under her full name, Vanessa Anne Hudgens. Her roles include High School Musical, Bandslam, Sucker Punch, Machete Kills, and Dog Days.

Vanessa’s father, Gregory Hudgens, was of English, and some Scottish, Irish, and German, descent. He was also said to have Native American roots, although it is not clear if this Native American ancestry has been verified/documented. Vanessa’s mother, Gina (Guangco), is Filipino, and has Filipino, Spanish, and Chinese ancestry. Her sister is actress Stella Hudgens.

Vanessa does not speak Tagalog. She has stated that her mother tried to teach her the language when she was younger. Vanessa has also stated that she loves Filipino food and is proud to be a Filipina.

Vanessa is married to professional baseball player Cole Tucker.

Vanessa’s paternal grandfather was John Robert Hudgens (the son of Claude Bryan Hudgens and Elsie Simpson). John was born in Illinois, and was a trumpet player during the big band era. Claude was the son of Zachariah/Zack Hudgens and Carrie Fly. Elsie was the daughter of John A. Simpson and Elizer J. White.

Vanessa’s paternal grandmother is Bonnie Lee Karnes (the daughter of Dawsey Karnes and Freda Colene Pemberton). Bonnie was born in Missouri. Dawsey was the son of Charles Herman Karnes and Emma Jane Sloan. Freda was the daughter of William Riley Pemberton and Lucy Eva Sessions.

Sources: Genealogy of Vanessa Hudgens (focusing on her father’s side) –

Genealogy of Vanessa’s father (focusing on his father’s side) –

Vanessa’s paternal grandfather, John Robert Hudgens, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Vanessa’s paternal grandfather, John Robert Hudgens –

Genealogies of Vanessa’s paternal great-grandparents, Dawsey Karnes and Freda Colene Pemberton –


Curious about ethnicity

421 Responses

  1. closer2fame says:

    It’s confirmed that her mother Gina Guangco also has some distant Chinese ancestry because her surname alone “Go-Ang-Co” is the name of her distant Chinese ancestor who registered it as a surname possibly during the Claveria decree of 1849.

    Meanwhile, her White father also claims that he has some distant Native American ancestry…

  2. archer says:

    I’m surprised to hear she has Asian in her, I don’t see it at all.

    • italiano90 says:

      She doesn’t look white either. People saying she looks spaniard and I just don’t see it. Her cheekbones, mouth shape, eye shape etc are ethnic. She doesn’t look asian but she doesn’t look white either. She looks mixed because that’s what she is. At first glance I’d assume she’s a Mestiza Latina.

      • passingtime85 says:

        “Looks ethnic” is a silly way to phrase it. Everyone “looks ethnic” because everyone is apart of an ethnicity, so it’s a misnomer.

        What I think you meant was that, t she looks like she has heritage of an ethnicity that is a minority in the US, and would be a minority in a multitude of other places. Yet it can also be said her look would be apart the majority in other places.

        Idk how to break that down succinctly, but “looks ethnic” just seems too inaccurate. Especially considering that this website gets international traffic. Some people out in the Philippines or Meso-America may say she doesn’t look ethnic at all, because that’s their version of typical.

        All these international posters have put me on edge lately. No need to only speak from a white US, or even European, stand point and fan their flames of perceived racism.

        • andrew says:

          Such comments make no sense. You can’t assume an half-Filipino person to look white.

          • passingtime85 says:

            I don’t disagree. But the East Asian/Malayo-Polynesians/mestizo look out numbers the European look. So implying that she looks like an ethnic minority is a mislabel.

            I was just calling for more accurate description. If you want to say she doesn’t look white, fine it makes sense to the general public, but saying she looks ethnic, is a hollow incorrect statement, especially considering world wide stats. Put a caveat to it, if you want, she looks ethnic for an American.

            A call for accuracy is not nonsensical. This site has international posters and alot of them are accusing Americans of being racist. Using more taxonomical correct terminology may help quell these accusations.

          • Lee says:

            If white means blue eyed, blonde hair and pale skin, then I don’t have any of them. What am I, an alien? Lol. You can’t assume a “white person” to have actual white skin either. “White” was coined as a way to separate those of European extraction from the rest of the world, it’s Western tribalism. It’s an offensive, racist and incorrect term to use, same with “black”

          • passingtime85 says:

            White means European. North South East West European. They have a melange of skin tones red, to pink, to brownish, to pale as ghosts, variety of hair and eye coloring. Southern and South Eastern Europeans come in majority darker varieties. Caucasian is a different story, the entire MENA area is chock full of Caucasians, doesn’t make them white. They come with variations on skin tone and hair and eyes, but they’re phenotypical a separate ethnicity. North India has tons of Caucasians. The further south you go, you get more of an Austronesian influence.

            All races and ethnicities are wonderfully diverse. Different skin tones, different skull and face shapes, different bone geometry, higher prevalence of pelvis types, different tissue types, different dental arches, the list goes on. Anthropologist, pathologist, medical examiners can clearly distinguish between the races from a skeleton. This isn’t ground breaking stuff. It’s just anthropology.

            You can eyeball a person and if they don’t have high admixture, you should at the very least get a continent or ocean of origin. Most people don’t pay attention to this stuff, but a large number of posters on this site do this categorization as a hobby or a fun pass time. Berating us will not make us stop.

  3. mayra.santana says:

    The spanish part is most likely false. Most filipinos dont have any spanish ancestry and her mother is most likely one of them. It is merely a myth in filipino families. The same myth in african american families about a “cherokee princess” grandmother.

    • italiano90 says:

      My friend’s wife who is Filipino swore up and down she had distant Spaniard and Italian ancestry only to find out her results came out 100% East Asian and Polynesian. Self hate is real.

  4. bablah says:

    Some online trees have this man as her paternal grandfather, but I haven’t been able to confirm:

  5. andrew says:

    Her father’s background has to be solved

    Irish/Native American looks very fake. Hudgens is not even an Irish last name

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