10 Celebs You Didn't Know Were Asian
In today's world, one of the most beautiful things about our society is that we are all starting to truly embrace our similarities as well as our differences. Get ready to be amazed by the ethnicities of these Third Culture Kids. Let’s continue to celebrate diversity and support each other. Dream big guys! If they did it, you can do it too.
Keanu Charles Reeves
Who doesn’t love Keanu? Not only is he known for his dreamy looks, he is also known to live with great humility and respect for others. His first name means “cool breeze over the mountains” in Hawaiian. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon. His English mother, Patricia Taylor, was a showgirl and costume designer. His father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr is of Chinese, English, Native Hawaiian and Portuguese ancestry.
Naomi was born in Streatham, South London. Her parents are both Jamaican, although her father is of part-Chinese ethnicity. Her mother, Valerie Morris, is an ex-dancer. Who would’ve thought that Naomi’s paternal Asian grandmother’s family name is Ming? The supermodel has criticized the lack of diversity in Vogue, highlighting the complete absence of non-white faces under former editor Alexandra Shulman.
Dwayne Douglas Johnson
Also known as The Rock in World Wrestling Entertainment, he was born in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles). His father is of Black Nova Scotian descent, and his mother has Samoan blood. He began his career as a wrestler in 1996, and on his 17th year as a professional wrestler, he became the WWE Champion in WrestleMania XXVIII. Furthermore, Dwayne is a popular actor, and has starred in films such as The Scorpion King, The Rundown and Get Smart.
Tiger’s ancestry is a very interesting one. His mother, Kultida, is from Thailand. She met Earl, his father, while he was on a tour of duty in 1968. She is of mixed Dutch, Chinese and Thai descent. Earl was a Vietnam War veteran and a retired lieutenant colonel. He was a mostly African American with traces of European ancestry. The successful golfer has a traditional Thai middle name “Tont”. The nickname Tiger was coined in honour of his father’s friend Col. Vuong Dang Phong, who had also been known as Tiger.
Robert Michael Schneider
This one was a huge surprise. Did you know that Robert’s maternal grandmother is from the Philippines? His parents are Pilar, a former kindergarten teacher and ex-school board president, and Marvin Schneider, a real estate broker. Robert was born in San Francisco, California. He is an American director, screenwriter, comedian and actor. Robert has starred in comedy films such a Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick, and Grown Ups.
We would’ve never guessed this one. Ne yo is part Chinese! His real name is Shaffer Smith and he was born in Camden, Arkansas. His father is of African American and Chinese ancestry and his mother, Loraine (Parham) is African-American. It seems that musical talent runs in the family because his parents were both gifted musicians. Ne-Yo’s maternal grandfather’s brother, Bobby Parham, is in the band The Dramatic Force.
We were convinced that Enrique was Spanish but it turns out that he is half Filipino! Enrique was born in Madrid, Spain. He is the third and youngest child of Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and well known Filipina socialite and magazine journalist Isabel Preysler. His father is of Jewish descent and has claimed that there is Puerto Rican blood on his mother's side.
Freddie’s background is a very original and captivating one. This legendary musician was born in the British colony of Sultanate of Zanzibar, East Africa. Both of his parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, were Parsis from the Gujarat region of the then province of Bombay Presidency in British India. His father was a cashier at the British Colonial Office in Zanzibar. Freddie spent most of his childhood in India and began taking piano lessons at the young age of seven.
Norah’s mesmerizing voice can be recognized instantly. It seems that musical talent runs in her veins as her father is a famous Indian musician. Her full name is Geetali Norah Jones Shankar and she is an American actress, musician and singer-songwriter. Her parents are sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones. Her first widely acclaimed solo album “Come Away With Me” was launched in 2002.
Vanessa Anne Hudgens
This Disney star was born in Salinas, California. Her younger sister, Stella Hudgens, is also an actress. Her mother, Gina Hudgens (Guangco) is from the Philippines, and is of Filipina, Spanish and Chinese descent. Her father, Greg Hudgens, is a firefighter, with Irish and Native American ancestry. What an exotic combination!