Zach Galifianakis

Galifianakis in 2011, DFree/

Birth Name: Zachary Knight Galifianakis

Place of Birth: Wilkesboro, Wilkes, North Carolina, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 1, 1969

*father – Greek
*mother – Scottish, English, as well as small amounts of Welsh, French Huguenot, Irish

Zach Galifianakis is an American actor, writer, and comedian.

His father is of Greek descent. His mother has Scottish, English, and small amounts of Welsh, French Huguenot, and Irish, ancestry. Zach was baptized in his father’s Greek Orthodox church.

Zach is married to Quinn Lundberg, co-founder of the Growing Voices charity. The couple has two children. His cousin is cartoonist Nick Galifianakis, and his uncle was Democratic politician Nick Galifianakis, who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina, from January 3, 1967 to January 3, 1973; both of whom have the same name.

Zach’s paternal grandfather was Emmanuel “Mike” Galifianakis (the son of John Galifianakis and Katerina/Katherine Manouras). Emmanuel was born in Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

Zach’s paternal grandmother was Sophia Kastrinakis (the daughter of Leonidis Kastrinakis and Ephalia Derakis). Sophia was born in Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

Zach’s maternal grandfather was Paul Lindsay Cashion (the son of Andrew Archer “Archie” Cashion and Clara Elouise Grist). Paul was born in Virginia. Andrew was the son of John Andrew Cashion and Fannie Beard. Clara was the daughter of John Taylor Grist and Mary Nancy Davis.

Zach’s maternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Knight (the daughter of Rufus Merritt Knight and Mary Mcleod Morrison). Zach’s grandmother Mary Elizabeth was born in North Carolina. Rufus was the son of John Wesley Knight and Rebecca Elizabeth Gilmore. Zach’s great-grandmother Mary was the daughter of John Allen Morrison and Mary Frances/Francis Smith.

Sources: Interview with Zach, where he mentions his Greek background –

Interview with Movies Ireland; Zach mentions having Irish and French Huguenot ancestry –

Genealogy of Zach Galifianakis –

Zach’s maternal grandfather, Paul Lindsay Cashion, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Zach’s maternal grandfather, Paul Lindsay Cashion –

Zach’s maternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Knight, on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

8 Responses

  1. cwm85 says:

    I see mixes of both but he definitely leans his mother’s ancestry more than Greek. There are plenty of welsh who share his hair and eye color especially.

  2. The King says:

    Correction – zach said in an interview something about his mothers ancestors being French huguenot and Irish. It was from an interview with MoviesIreland or something like that.

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