10 Celebrities You Might Not Know Are Irish
With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, everyone is suddenly discovering their Irish heritage. Ever the bandwagon jumpers, celebrities are also likely to be wearing green this year. (You know Kim Kardashian will.) But there are plenty of celebs who can actually claim Irish roots.
Sure, you know that Bono and Colin Farrell like to throw back a pint and chow down on Irish stew, but there are plenty of other celebrities whose Irish backgrounds might surprise you. Take a look at a few famous faces who have the luck o’ the Irish in ‘em.
Though born in West Germany, the Oscar-nominated star of ’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘X-Men: Origins,’ and ‘Inglourious Basterds’ can claim an Irish-German ancestry. His mother, Adele, hails from County Antrim in Northern Ireland. As a child, he spent time in Killarney and even served as an altar boy. Even more legit, according to family legend, his mom is the great-great niece of famed Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins. If that doesn’t earn him a pint at his local pub, we don’t know what will.
Singing star, former ‘X-Factor’ judge and tabloid favorite Demi Lovato comes from a Mexican, Italian and (yes) Irish background. (She gets the Irish from her mom’s side.) Is that why she likes to party? No comment.
The Jonas Brothers
Nick, Joe and Kevin, aka The Jonas Brothers, are all multi-talented and multi-cultural. The brothers come from Italian, German, Irish, English, Cherokee and French-Canadian heritage. No wonder they make other guys green with envy.
The ‘Glee’ star gets his Irish side from his father, who grew up in Pittsburgh. (He also attended the San Francisco private Catholic schools Stuart Hall for Boys and Saint Ignatius College Prep.) We imagine he can perform a killer version of ‘Danny Boy.’
Despite her French-sounding last name, Zooey, who comes from a Hollywood family (dad is a director/cinematographer, mom is an actress and sister Emily is best known for her work on ‘Bones’), can also claim an Irish background. Her mom, Mary Jo Deschanel, was born Mary Josephine Weir. (You might remember her as Ed Harris’ wife in ‘The Right Stuff’ and as Donna’s mom on ‘Twin Peaks.’) No wonder Zooey is as plucky as a leprechaun.
Born Olivia Jane Cockburn, the sultry actress is the daughter of journalists Leslie and Andrew Cockburn. Thanks to her parents, she can claim dual citizenship in the US and Ireland. Her stage name is even a nod to her Irish heritage — she took the last name Wilde as a tribute to famed Irish writer Oscar Wilde and the many writers in her family. She also appeared opposite pretty much every Irish actor in Hollywood on the short-lived TV series ‘The Black Donnellys.’
Singer/actress Mandy Moore gets her Irish roots from her father, Donald Moore, who is from Irish and Cherokee descent. She was born the far-more-Irish-sounding Amanda Leigh, a name which Mandy used as the title of her 2009 album.
Fox can thank her Irish, French and Native American background for her famed good looks. Raised Catholic by strict parents, she attended Catholic school and wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend. No wonder she grew up to be such a vixen.
Funnyman Cook comes from a Roman Catholic background, and grew up the son of Donna and George Cook in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Cook’s upbringing is the source for much of his standup material.
In addition to his Irish/Italian background, the ‘Star Trek’ star also is known for his Irish Wolfhound terrier mix named Noah. As Spock would say, “Highly adorable.”