The family pedigree is an important part of everyone’s life which should not be ignored. While some people are aware of their family trees, some others live in the dark about who they really are or where they come from. It is fascinating to discover that many celebrities who are US citizens are actually from different parts of the world. In this article, celebrities with Asian roots are our target of discussion. Most of these celebrities do not look in any way Asian, because they have lived too long in the US and UK. But when you delve into their parenthood, you will discover the Asian blood running through their lineage – mostly Chinese, Japanese or Filipino. Here are 10 Asian-American celebrities.
1. Naomi Campbell
British-born top model, Naomi Elaine Campbell, is part Jamaican part Chinese. She was born in London in May 1970 to a Jamaican woman and her half Jamaican and half Chinese father whom she has never met. Naomi has always used the surname of her mother’s second husband, Campbell instead of her father’s surname, Ming.
2. Dean Cain
Dean Cain is best known as Superman in the TV series, Lois & Clark. He was born in July 1966 as Dean George Tanaka which suggests his Asian roots – his paternal grandfather (Mr Tanaka) was Japanese. Dean Cain is also part French-Canadian, Irish and Welsh, and took his stepfather, film director Christopher Cain’s surname when he and his brother, musician Roger Cain, were adopted by Cain.
3. Vanessa Hudgens
26-year-old American singer and actress, Vanessa Hudgen is half Irish. Her mother was born in Manila in the Philippines, and is of mixed descent, making her part Asian, with Filipino, Chinese and Spanish roots. The “High School Musical” star who was born in California has appeared in numerous movies and television series and has successfully released several albums. This year (2015) she will be playing the title role in the Broadway stage musical Gigi.
Successful american singer, songwriter, dancer, actor and record producer, Ne-Yo, born as Shaffer Chimere Smith, is primarily African-American and has Chinese descendants, which of course makes him part Asian. Born in Arkansas in October 1979, to a family of musicians, Ne-Yo’s mother is part African-American and part Chinese-American.
5. Keanu Reeves
Canadian actor, musician, director, producer and author, Keanu Charles Reeves was born in Lebanon in September 1964 to a British mother – which entitles him to British citizenship. Though he is a naturalized Canadian, he has an American green card … and he owns property in the US. For the rest, he’s a quarter Chinese, and a quarter Hawaiian, on his father’s side.
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6. Kirk Hammett
One of the Greatest Guitarists of All Time, American musician, Kirk Hammett is half Asian (Filipino) and half Irish. He was born in San Francisco in November 1962, and is the lead guitarist of the heavy metal rock band, Metallica. Hammett, who still lives in San Francisco, is married to his second wife, Lani and the couple have two sons who are of course, also part Asian.
7. Nicole Scherzinger
Born Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente in Hawaii in June 1978, Nicole Scherzinger is a singer, songwriter, actress and record producer. Probably best known for being one of the Pussycat Dolls, she is also a former girlfriend of racing driver, Lewis Hamilton. While Nicole’s mother, a native of Hawaii is half Russian, her father is Filipino, making her half Asian. To confuse the issue, she decided to use the name of her stepfather, a German American who adopted her when she was a child.
8. Enrique Iglesias
Spanish singer, songwriter and actor, Enrique Iglesias is part Asian from his mother’s Filipino descent. He was born in Madrid and is the youngest child of singer Julio Iglesias, who is Spanish with Jewish and Puerto Rican blood on his mother’s side of the family. When he first started singing, Enrique Iglesias temporarily changed his surname to Martinez, and claimed to be from Guatemala – because he didn’t want to be judged in the shadow of his internationally famous father.
9. Kristin Kreuk
Award-winning Canadian actress, Kristin Laura Kreuk, is also part Asian, with Chinese, rather than Japanese blood in her ancestry. Born in December 1982, Kristin’s mother is part Chinese, even though she was born in Indonesia and her maternal grandmother was Chinese-Jamaican. Her father is of Dutch descent. Laura is best known for her roles in Smallville and the award-winning television series,Beauty & the Beast.
10. Tiger Woods
World famous successful and professional golfer, Tiger Woods, is said to refer to himself as “Cablinasian,” a supposed abbreviation of Caucasian, Black, American-Indian, and Asian. 39-year-old Woods was not born in the woods but in California to an African-American father, reputedly with a bit Caucasian, possibly Native American, and even Chinese ancestry. His father met his mother in Thailand and she has a mixed ancestry – Thai, Dutch and Chinese. So when it comes to Tiger Woods, there’s no denying he’s part Asian and a bit of other continents too.