18 Mixed Raced Celebrities Who Are Diversifying Hollywood
These days, interracial couples and multiracial families are becoming increasingly visible in our society, but that doesn't mean multiracial individuals are being represented in the media as readily as other races. While racism is still something that exists and cannot be ignored, multiracial people are continually blurring color lines, and multiracial celebs have paved their way into an industry that is often extremely... well, white. And I don't know about you, but these 18 mixed race celebrities are some beautiful, intelligent people. It's safe to say our future is looking very, very attractive.
Olivia Munn was born Lisa Olivia Munn in Oklahoma City to an American father and Chinese mother. Although her mother was Chinese, she grew up in Vietnam and relocated to the States after the Vietnam War. Munn is fluent in Japanese after going to school in Tokyo when her step-father was stationed there in the Air Force.
Wentworth Miller can truly say he has a global lineage, as each of his parents have at least three different ethnic backgrounds. Miller told GQ Germany, “My father is black and my mother is white. Therefore, I could answer to either, which kind of makes me a racial Lone Ranger, at times, caught between two communities.” In actuality, his father has Jamaican, African-American, Jewish, English ancestry and his mother with Russian, French, Dutch, Syrian, and Lebanese descent. WHEW!
Rashida Jones’ dad is legendary producer Quincy Jones and she is half-white on her mother, actress Peggy Lipton’s side. In an interview with Glamour magazine in 2005, Rashida and her sister Kidada Jones spoke in depth about their biracial family in Hollywood: “I wouldn’t trade my family for anything. My mother shocked her Jewish parents by marrying out of her religion and race. And my father: growing up poor and black, buckling the odds and becoming so successful, having the attitude of ‘I love this woman!’”
Vin Diesel was raised by his African American step-father although his biological father was also black. His mother is described as Caucasian, and Diesel has famously said, ” I am definitely a person of color.”
Karen O is one of my favorite people on Earth and just oozes style, attitude, and talent. This rockstar is half-Korean on her mother’s side. She has expressed her pride in her Asian heritage, and shared a very unlikely reaction to “Gangnam Style,” the song that took over the world by Korean star Psy: “I’m half-Korean and all my life I’ve been waiting for Korea to be on the [musical] radar. Rad stuff has been coming out of Japan for a while now, and I was waiting for Korea to get with the program. So it made me really happy and I did cry the first time I saw it, which is a really strange reaction to ‘Gangnam Style.’” Strange indeed, but totally endearing.
Lou Diamond Phillips
Lou Diamond Phillips has made a career out of looking racially ambiguous (notably in his many Latino roles) but he was actually born in the Philippines to an American father and Filipino mother, who themselves boast a mixture of Cherokee Indian, Scottish-Irish, Hawaiian, and Hispanic roots.
Shannon Marie Kahololani Sossamon owes her looks to her parents who are a mix of Hawaiian, French, Dutch, Irish, Filipino, and German descent. She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, a crossroads for many cultures and her family soon relocated to Reno, Nevada.
Shakira is known for being the Colombian hip-shaker, but Shaki’s full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, a name that means “full of gratitude” in Arabic. Her father William Mebarak was born in NYC to parents from Lebanon and he eventually settled in Barranquilla, Colombia, where Shakira was born.
Actor Jesse Williams has never shied away from speaking out on racial issues, having a Swedish mother and African American father. Williams studied African American history at Temple University and used to teach American and African history to high schoolers. Williams told USA Today of his character on Grey’s Anatomy, “They’re not defined by some b.s. version of TV race, which we see time and time again, where people have to announce their race and feel some need to identify… Black characters on TV are usually limiting; they’re never positive or complimentary. So, I think it’s great to be in a place where that can be real.”
When your parents are Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, your chances of being cool and hot are very high. Her parents are both half African-American and Jewish.
Yaya Dacosta is an America’s Next Top Model alum who is perfect package of brains and beauty. She also boasts a very multicultural background, growing up in NYC to parents with Brazilian, West African, Native American/Cherokee, and Irish lineage. She is open in her support for racial issues, telling Latina magazine, “I want to see more films that reflect how our communities look and sound like… in terms of a movement, I think people should create art and begin to make projects that really depict how diverse Latino America is.”
The super talented actor/singer was born in San Francisco, to an English/German father and mother with Filipino/Chinese/Spanish roots. Criss has been vocal on his Filipino pride and has visited his mother’s homeland on various occasions. In case you think your crush can’t get any bigger, Criss is a true man of the world, and is fluent in Italian after living in Arezzo, Italy for six months.
Jessica Szohr is another actress who is beautiful and racially ambiguous, thanks to her beautiful curly hair, tan skin and light eyes. She owes her exotic looks to Hungarian roots on her father’s side and being one-quarter African American, along with Irish and English roots.
Hailee Steinfeld has a Ashkenazi Jewish father and Filipino mother. Steinfeld is proud to connect with fellow Filipino fans, saying, “I found that the best thing when I am in a group of people, I would have one or two people come up to me and say, ‘You are Filipino!’ I am Filipino, too. And I am like ‘Yes, this is awesome!’ So it is sort of this one thing that connected me with many people that I find is really interesting. It’s really a dream of mine to visit the Philippines one day.”
Shemar Moore was born in Franklin, California to biracial parents. His mother is French-Canadian and his father is African American. Moore has said that his parents’ love has inspired him to always look beyond color. He says, “I think love is blind. I’m half black, half white. So are we going to be mad at my mother and father for being together? I don’t see myself as a “black actor,” I’m just Shemar Moore the actor. I’m very proud to be black but I’m just as much black as I am white.”
Singer Ameriie’s full birth name is Amerie Mi Marie Rogers, and she has a mother from South Korea and African American father. Her father was in the military and she spent her early years living in South Korea and, in fact, her first language is Korean.