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We Never Knew They Had Irish Ancestors. Did you?
A new book about Bruce Springsteen ‘Land of Hope and Dreams: Celebrating 25 Years of Bruce Springsteen in Ireland’, has traced the Boss’ roots back to Co Westmeath.
Alan Ryan and Michelle Di Battiste take a quick look at Springsteen and nine other US musicians, actors and personalities who have Irish heritage.
1. Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen
The American singer/songwriter known for hits such as Born in the USA, is of Irish descent. The Book, Land of Hope and dreams traces Springsteen’s family tree back to the famine ravaged Ireland of the 1850s.
2. Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain, who is famously known for forming grunge band Nirvana, was a singer/songwriter who was born in Washington. His Irish ancestry goes back to the 1870s when his descendants migrated from Co Tyrone to America.
3. Zachary Quinto
Zachary John Quinto is an American actor and producer who played parts in the serial drama series 24 and the reboot of Star Trek in 2009, where he played Spock. He was born and grew up in Pennsylvania with his mother and brother. Zach is half Irish and half Italian.
4. Stephen Colbert
Born in Washington, Stephen is a political satirist, writer, comedian and actor who has appeared on Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people list. His Irish catholic ancestors fled Ireland before and during the great famine.
5. Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher, him of that’s 70s show and MTV smash hit programme Punk’d, is an actor, producer and comedian who was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His ancestry with Ireland comes through his mother who is of Irish, German and bohemian descent.
6. Alfred Hitchcock
English-born film director and producer Alfred Hitchcock’s mother and paternal grandmother were of Irish descent. He was raised Catholic in London.
7. Zooey Deschanel
The American actress and member of the band She & Him comes from and French and Irish background. She was actually named after a character in the novel Franny and Zooey written by a J.D. Salinger – who is part Irish (and German and Scottish) himself.
8. James Earl Jones
Born in1931, he is a famous American actor who made his debut on Broadway. He is part Irish, Cherokkee (Native American) and African.
9. Jack Nicholson
He admitted in The Irish Time in 2008 that “I come from the Lynches of Sligo.” His mother was Irish, English, and Dutch, yet him and his family self-identify as Irish and Catholic. He actually thought his grandparents were his parents until he found out that his “sister” was actually his mother.
10. Ben Stiller
Stiller’s father is Jewish, and his mother came from an Irish Catholic background, but converted to Judaism after meeting his father. He identifies as half Jewish, half Irish.