Think you can tell which actors are Mexican?
Well, here are 25 actors and celebrities you probably had no clue had ties to Mexico.
1. Adrian Grenier
The Entourage star is half-Mexican, courtesy of his mom.
On the TV show Discovering your Roots, Adrian found out that his 11th great-grandfather was a Spanish Conquistador!
He was one of the first new settlers of New Mexico.
Adrian’s family has been living there for 400 years.
He also has some Native American ancestry.
Adrian’s family still feels close to their Spanish/Mexican heritage.
2. Lynda Carter
Who would have thought it? Wonder Woman is Mexican!
Lynda’s mom is from Chihuahua in Mexico.
So Lynda’s childhood had a Mexican flavor to it. Her mom frequently threw big Mexican-style parties, which were filled with relatives, dance, and, of course, Mexican food.
Lynda shared on Twitter: “Thinking of my dear mama Juanita, who made sure I would always be proud to be Mexican American.”
Wonder Woman has also said: “Everyone knew I was half Mexican… I was Hispanic Woman of the Year [in 1983]! There was a big celebration. I did a TV special show honoring my Mexican roots… Some of the best parts of my childhood were spent in my grandmother’s kitchen sorting the beans on the table, spreading the masa [dough] on the corn husks, and cutting up that awful tripe [to make a Mexican delicatessen]!”
Lynda’s Mexican mom is of French, Spanish, and possibly Native American descent.
Lynda Cordoba Carter was born in Arizona.
Her career in entertainment began when she won the Miss World USA pageant.
3. Louis CK
Louis is one of the highest-earning comedians in the world, according to Forbes. Some years, he earns up to 50 million dollars.
The comedian’s dad is from Mexico. And Louis was raised in Mexico and calls himself Mexican.
Louis’ parents met while studying at Harvard University. Dad was a dashing economics student from Mexico; mom was an Irish-American. They fell in love, married, and had Louis.
After finishing their studies, they returned to Mexico with baby Louis.
So Louis grew up in Mexico City. He spoke Spanish and was surrounded by grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins… and the house staff. Oh, did we not mention his family is quite wealthy?
Louis once described his relatives as: “These guys who were raised in this Mexican upper class and have servants…”
The family is also influential. Louis’ uncle was the Undersecretary at Mexico’s Ministry of Social Development.
But when Louis was about seven years old, his parents decided to return to the US.
The move was a cultural shock for Louis.
Louis told Conan O’Brien: “I’m Mexican… My father is Mexican; I lived there until I was seven. I only spoke Spanish when I came here [to the US].”
He added: “My whole family on my dad’s side is [still] in Mexico…“
His family, the one that lives in Mexico, is of Hungarian Jewish and Spanish descent.
Louis’ real last name is Szekely.
- Read also: 38 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Jewish
4. Froy Gutierrez
Froy’s background is like Louis’.
He, too, has a Mexican dad and an American mom.
And he, too, spent a lot of his childhood in Mexico.
Froy says: “I spent half of my childhood in Mexico.”
Froylan grew up in the city of Guadalajara.
He learned English and Spanish at the same time. He has said: “I’d go to Mexico and have a very ‘American’ accent when I spoke Spanish. Then I’d come back to the States and I’d speak English with a Mexican accent. So, it was really funny to be both but neither one at the same time… Honestly, growing up between both countries felt more of a privilege than anything else. Especially because it opened my eyes to more than one area of the world at such a young age.”
Froy is an actor, and his breakthrough role was on MTV’s Teen Wolf. Before that, he had recurring roles in series like Bella and the Bulldogs, The Goldbergs, One Day at a Time, and Light as a Feather.
5. Hilary Swank
Two-time Oscar winner Miss Swank is partly Mexican.
Her maternal grandma is Mexican: Frances Martha Dominguez Rodriguez.
During an interview at the Actors Studio, Hilary said her grandma was of “80% Spanish and 20% Shoshone Native American descent.”
Hilary’s Spanish ancestors settled in California when the territory belonged to Spain.
Her family remained in California when the state became part of Mexico, and then when it was annexed by the US.
6. Alexis Bledel
The Gilmore Girl grew up speaking Spanish in Texas. She only learned English at school.
“My dad is from Argentina, and my mom was brought up in Mexico, so we always speak Spanish at home,” the star explains.
Alexis’ mom is a first-generation Mexican and loves Mexico. She has French, British, Irish, Dutch, and German ancestors.
Alexis’ dad is a fourth-generation Argentine. He is of Danish, German, Irish, and British descent.
Alexis always visits her relatives in Argentina, South America. She stays at her cousins’ houses in Buenos Aires, the nation’s gorgeous capital. And then she visits the family’s ranches in the countryside.
Her family is well-to-do.
And as a self-respecting Mexican-Argentine, Alexis plays soccer, which is the national sport of both countries.
7. Stacey Dash
The movie Clueless catapulted Stacey to fame.
The New Yorker elaborates: “… I’m Mexican, I’m black [through her dad], I’m Native American [through her mom], and I love my people.”
8. James Roday
James was one of the leads on the TV show Psych.
He is Mexican through his dad: “[My dad] is a proud Air Force veteran, and he’s a proud Mexican-American man.”
James Roday Rodriguez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. His family still lives there.
James, on the other hand, moved to California to pursue acting.
So he only sees his family a few times a year in Texas. He jokingly shared: “For most of my life I have identified as Mexican-American once or twice a year, and that’s when I go home and see all the Mexicans. [His paternal family] [Laughs].’
9. Sara Paxton
Sara loves talking about her big Mexican family: “My mother is originally from Mexico. She immigrated to the US when she was a child.”
Sara explained her background on a podcast: “My grandmother was born in Puebla, in Mexico, and she met my grandfather [also born in Mexico]… My grandmother always had this dream of coming to America. They were very, very, very poor. My grandmother used to sell loaves of bread and gum on the corner… so they would make ends meet… So basically [my grandparents] formed a plan… My grandfather came over first [to the US]. She helped him get all his paperwork and to get his Green Card. He went to Los Angeles, and he started off as a busboy in the restaurant business… He slowly worked his way up to become the manager.”
Once Sara’s granddad had enough money, his wife and their six small children followed him to the US.
In time, Sara’s granddad came to own a restaurant. And one of his daughters became the head of the Hispanic women’s council in LA.
Since grandpa had six children, Sara grew up in California surrounded by family. “Everybody in my family is very close… So every weekend is a party. Everyone was over celebrating… Lots of food… With being Mexican and with my grandfather being in the restaurant business, food is like everything in my family… So many cousins running around, aunts and uncles singing songs.”
She adds that her house was full of laughter: “Everybody in my family is a storyteller, and everybody in my family is so funny… It is like stand-up comedy, and everyone is laughing.”
Some of her favorite foods? Tortillas and chorizo beans for breakfast.
Sara’s family lived in Mexico for at least five generations. They are of Spanish, German, and Dutch Jewish descent. They are practicing Jews.
Sara Paxton’s breakout role was as a mermaid in a movie called Aquamarine.
10. Nicole Richie
Nicole Richie is, of course, the daughter of famous singer Lionel Richie. But Lionel is her adoptive dad.
Nicole’s biological father is musician Peter Michael Escovedo.
Peter is half Mexican and half Louisiana Creole.
On the Mexican side, he has Native and European blood.
11. Kid Cudi
And rapper Kid Cudi is also partly Mexican.
Kid has long described his dad as Mexican/Native American, but he has not shared much about his history.
So we did a little digging.
Kudi’s paternal grandfather was, indeed, Mexican. His name was Charles Mescudi.
According to the US census of 1930, Charles was born in New Mexico. And his parents, Joseph Mescudi and Vaira Escudero, were born in New Mexico too.
But then, a twist.
The following section on the census contradicts all that. It states that grandpa Charles was an immigrant from Mexico who became a US citizen in 1895. But this section has been struck out!
So which one is it?
For our purposes, it does not matter. Both possibilities make Charles a Mexican.
If Charles was born in Mexico and emigrated, he is Mexican. If his parents were born in New Mexico, he is still of Mexican descent. That is because, at the time, New Mexico belonged to Mexico.
So Kid is indeed 25% Mexican.
One more thing. On the census, grandpa Charles Mescudi is listed as black, so he may have been a black Mexican.
12. Mitt Romney
Wherever you are in the political spectrum, you probably have heard of Mitt Romney.
He is a senator, and in 2012, Mitt was a candidate for the US presidency.
What you may not know, though, is his family’s interesting history.
Mitt’s great-grandparents, the Romneys and the Pratts, lived in the US. But they left with hundreds of other Mormons when the US passed laws that interfered with their way of life.
The fleeing Mormons established colonies in Mexico.
Mitt’s great-grandparents lived in a colony called Dublan, in Chihuahua.
Their children grew up there. And, eventually, a Romney married a Pratt.
The happy couple had a son named George. George was born in Chihuahua and was a third-generation colonist. He is Mitt’s father.
Years after George was born, the Mexican Revolution broke out. Most of the Romneys fled Mexico in 1912 and returned to the US.
For a while, they stayed in a US refugee camp. Then, George attended a school in Los Angeles, where the kids called him “Mex.”
As an adult, George returned to Mexico with his father to visit their former home.
In these colonies, the settlers marry each other to preserve their religion, they are bilingual, hold dual citizenship, and send their children to study college in the US.
13. Scout Taylor-Compton
When people ask Scout why she has starred in so many horror movies, she has a simple answer: she loves the genre.
When Scout takes a break from horror, she appears in films alongside Helen Mirren (Love Ranch) and Kirsten Stewart and Dakota Fanning (The Runaways).
Scout’s mother is from Mexico.
14. Alanna Ubach
But before that, you may have caught her in productions like Bombshell (playing Judge Jeanine Pirro opposite Charlize Theron), a Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Meet the Fockers, or as Reese Whitherspoon’s sorority sidekick in the Legally Blonde movies.
The New York Times has called Alanna “a seriously talented actress.”
Alanna was born in California, but both her parents were born abroad. Her dad is from Puerto Rico, her mom from Mexico.
Of her ethnicity, Alanna says: “The average American who has not spent a lot of time… in Latin American countries… they don’t know there was a giant influx of Europeans that went through those countries… We even had Jews who settled in Argentina and Cuba. It’s really funny that when anyone thinks Mexican or Puerto Rican, they immediately think…” to which her interviewer cut in and said, “They think we all look like Jennifer Lopez.”
And they both laughed at the misconception since not everyone in Latin America is of mixed blood.
Alanna is of European descent.
She was part of the animated movie Coco, which revolves around Mexican traditions. She voiced the character Mama Imelda.
Of that movie, she shares it is “One of the most magnificent things ever. First of all, it’s my cultura, I’m Mexican and Puerto Rican… And… the creators went to live in Mexico for about a month to really find all of the intricacies of the culture… I basically dedicated a character to all the aunts and uncles with whom I grew up. My Tia Flora being the most important. She had a very thick Mexican accent, I thought: ‘Oh! That’s what I’ll do, I’ll do my Tia Flora.‘”
15. Natalia Livingston
And the soap opera star is half-Mexican too.
Her mom, Martha Echavarria was born in Mexico City. But fatefully, she grew up in Guadalajara.
Enter the love story.
Young James Livingston, from the US, went to study medicine in Guadalajara. And guess who was his Spanish teacher at the university? Yes, Martha.
The duo fell in love, got married, and eventually relocated to the US where Natalia was born.
Natalia spent her summers in Mexico visiting relatives. She speaks Spanish fluently.
Through her mom, Natalia descends from Spaniards, Germans, Jewish Germans, and Swiss emigrants that settled in Mexico.
16. Zach de la Rocha
Three of Zach’s grandparents were born in Mexico. Through them, the musician has African, Jewish, and Spanish blood.
Zach’s full name? Zacarias Manuel de la Rocha.
17. Kevin Alejandro
Kevin has played several Mexican characters, so you may suspect he has Mexican roots.
“I am Mexican... I grew up in a very culturally Mexican environment,” the actor says.
Both his parents are Mexicans.
His maternal grandparents are from Guadalajara.
While the actor’s dad is “very, very Mexican, but Tex-Mex,” according to Kevin. Which means he is a Texan of Mexican descent.
Kevin too was born in Texas, and as a kid, Kevin shares that “my mom forced me to speak Spanish.”
Kevin calls his background humble. And he says he is superstitious: “I grew up scared of La Llorona [a Mexican spooky folktale] and El Coco [the Spanish Bogeyman], and things like that. I have always been very superstitious… which is something I don’t like to admit, but I do believe in these things and I am very scared of them…”
18. Camren Bicondova
Camren played Selina Kyle/Catwoman on the series Gotham.
The role was perfect for her because Camren is a dancer, so she could pull Catwoman’s gracious movements.
To her Mexicannes: Camren’s granddad, Patrick Bicondova, is mostly of Mexican descent.
Three of his grandparents were Mexican-Americans from New Mexico and Arizona.
The fourth grandparent was a Spaniard. His last name, Viconda, was misspelled as Bicondova when he arrived at Ellis Island.
19. Catherine Bach
Remember gorgeous Daisy from the Dukes of Hazzard, the one who used to parade around in her shorts?
Well, she was played by Catherine Bach. And Cat describes herself as: “half Mexican and half German.”
She is Mexican through her mom, Norma Jean Verdugo.
And turns out the Verdugos are quite famous in California. They were among the first European settlers of the Los Angeles area. And they were uber-wealthy.
The Verdugos owned a ranch called San Rafael. The ranch was so big that the entire modern cities of Glendale, La Canada, and parts of LA stand on the ranch’s land.
That is right, all of Glendale and its surroundings used to belong to Catherine’s family!
Glendale is still sometimes called Verdugo City. And nearby, you can still visit the Verdugo Mountains, Verdugo Canyon, and the Verdugo Springs.
In the 1980s the Nautical Heritage Museum at Dana Point decided to use Catherine’s image on one of their boats.
They told the press they had chosen her for more than her good looks: “Catherine is a descendant of Southern California’s Verdugo family, and thus has a connection with historical California.”
Catherine herself was born in Ohio, away from her Verdugo legacy.
She is Mexican because her ancestors lived in California when it was part of Mexico.
20. Michael Young
The baseball star has a Mexican mom.
Michael grew up in California surrounded by her culture. He says: “In a lot of ways, I relate to it more [Mexican culture]. My dad’s family, for the most part, was in Nevada when I was a kid, so I was with my mom’s family all the time.
With Mexican families, you’re together almost daily -baptisms, first communions, birthday parties, whatever the case may be. You’re together all the time. I’ve been hearing Spanish since the day I was born.”
Michael partly credits his success to his upbringing: “Who I am today.. [is] a product of where I came from as a kid and the people I grew up with…”
He believes that social and family-oriented background makes it easy for him to get along with his teammates: “[In Mexican culture] Everything revolves around family… Win, lose or draw, we’re a family, we’re in this together.”
So he applied the same mantra to his teammates: “we’re in this together.” And voila, it worked.
Michael’s favorite food? Mexican. Michael’s wife? Mexican-American. What does he wish he could do better? Speak Spanish fluently.
Michael is a famous baseball player. He has played for the Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
21. Anthony Edwards
The Top Gun and ER star has Mexican roots too.
His father, architect Peter Edwards, had a Mexican grandmother.
Her name was Josephine Maria Arenas. She was a Mexican of Spanish descent.
22. Tony Romo
Tony is half-Mexican.
His grandfather was born in Mexico and married a Mexican-American.
Their son, Ramiro, expanded his horizons and married a US woman of Polish and Danish descent, Tony’s mom.
Tony -or Antonio Ramiro Romo-, was an NFL quarterback for 14 seasons and is now a sports commentator.
23. Devin Booker
Devin’s granddad was Jesus Gutierrez.
Jesus was born in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He eventually relocated to the US.
Devin has said that his granddad’s example molded him. And that Jesus “was just a really caring guy. He always helped my mom out when she was in need, which was really important for me. She just always talked about his character and how loving he was, and just how he was the backbone of the family.”
The basketball player has also shared that new people started reaching out to him “the moment everybody found out that I had Mexican in my bloodline.” And Devin cherished that experience.
24. Tessa Thompson
Tessa is more Latin American than people think. Three of her grandparents were born in Latin America.
Her granddad, Rosendo ‘Bobby’ Ramos, worked as an actor in the US.
Tessa has followed in his footsteps.
25. Prince Albert II of Monaco
And to close our list, we give you Prince Albert of Monaco… or shall we say Albert of Mexico?
Albert’s father, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, was fond of saying: ”Some tequila runs through my veins.”
The tequila comes via his grandmother, Susana de la Torre y Mier. She was born in Mexico to a wealthy family of Spanish descent.
After marrying a French count, Susana relocated to Europe. But she always missed Mexico and visited it frequently.
Her great-grandson Prince Albert has been to Mexico several times too -perhaps visiting his many relatives that live there.
So, did you have any inkling these celebrities were Mexican?