Place of Birth: Miami, Florida, U.S.
Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish, possibly other
Yani Gellman is an American and Canadian actor. He played Paolo in The Lizzie McGuire Movie. He was born in Miami. His mother, Marilyn James, is Australian, and his father, David Henry Gellman, was Canadian.
An article that described Yani as being of Jewish heritage also stated that he was “Born to a Russian-English father from Toronto and a Spanish-English mother from Australia.” His father’s parents were both Jewish (from Russia and England). It is not clear from this description if his mother is of Jewish heritage as well. Some web sites describe Yani as having Sephardi Jewish ancestry.
He was named after a family friend, writer Jan Joors.
Because of his father’s work as a reporter, the family frequently moved during Yani’s childhood, living in Australia, Spain, and Texas, before settling in Toronto, Canada.
Yani’s paternal grandfather was Morris Gellman (the son of David Gelman and Esther Kitz/Kotz). Morris was a Russian Jewish immigrant.
Yani’s paternal grandmother was Annie/Anne Miller (the daughter of Isack Miller and Deborah Seltzer). Annie was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, to Russian Jewish parents.
Sources: Genealogy of Yani Gellman (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.geni.com
Obituary of Yani’s father – https://www.legacy.com
It’s no wonder that, visually speaking, Gellman fit so seamlessly into the cast. Born to a Russian-English father from Toronto and a Spanish-English mother from Australia, Gellman’s striking mix and Jewish heritage has resulted in a set of sultry features: thick black hair, which alternates between side parted and polished to long and rugged, depending on his mood, large dark eyes and a telling smile.
Another Ashkenazi Jew who looks Turkish.