The Ethnic Backgrounds of the Cast of LOST

Italians?  Check.  French?  Check.  Koreans?  Check.  Jews?  Oddly, not so much.

When the creators of LOST were in the casting process, they knew they wanted an “international cast”.  Well done.  Who wants to see another show with a bunch of white people and one African-American thrown in for good measure?

The ethnic diversity on the show adds so much to the characterization and even their storylines.  I have gone through the painstaking process (for most, but for me was a lot of fun!) of searching and studying the ethnicity of the entire cast of LOST.  While I won’t bombard my fellow Losties with every single cast member ever, I will feature most of them.  The phrase in (parenthesis) tells where the actor was raised.

Matthew Fox as “Jack Shephard”: Italian-English (America)

Evangeline Lilly as “Kate Austen”: English (Canada)

Josh Holloway as “James ‘Sawyer’ Ford”: Scottish (America); rare in that he is one of the few Southerners on the show- from Georgia in real life, on the show he was born in Jasper, Alabama

Jorge Garcia as “Hugo ‘Hurley” Reyes”: Chilean-Cuban (America)

Naveen Andrews as “Sayid Jarrah”: Indian (England)

Daniel Dae Kim as “Jin-Soo Kwon”: Korean (America)

Yunjin Kim as “Sun-Hwa Kwon”: Korean (America)

Terry O’Quinn as “John Locke”: Irish (America)

Dominic Monaghan as “Charlie Pace”: English-Irish (Germany); he speaks both  English and German

Michael Emerson as “Benjamin Linus”: English (America)

Emilie de Ravin as “Claire Litteton”: French (Australia)

Henry Ian Cusick as “Desmond Hume”: Scottish-Peruvian (both Scotland and Peru)

Sonya Walger as “Penny Widmore”: Argentinean-English (England)

*oddly, married couple “Desmond and Penny” are both in real life half British, half South American

Alan Dale as “Charles Widmore”: New Zealander (New Zealand)

Ken Leung as “Miles Straume”: Chinese (America)

Francois Chau as “Dr. Pierre Chang”: Cambodian-American-Chinese-Vietnamese (America); random fact- he played “Shredder” in the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze

Andewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as “Mr. Eko”: Nigerian (England)

Nestor Carbonell as “Richard Alpert”: Cuban-Spanish (America)

Elizabeth Mitchell as “Dr. Juliet Burke”: English (America); another rare Southerner (from Dallas, TX)

Jeff Fahey as “Frank Lapidus”: Irish (America); though his character his Greek-American

Cynthia Watros as “Libby Smith”: Greek or Czech (America)

Michelle Rodriguez as “Ana Lucia Cortez”: Puerto Rican-Dominican Republican (America)

Tania Raymonde (Katz) as “Alex”: Jewish (America)

Mira Fulan as “Danielle Rousseau”: Jewish (Croatia)

Katy Sagal as “Helen Norwood”: Jewish (America); played Locke’s love interest, also known as “Peg” on Married with Children

Titus Welliver as “Man in Black (Esau): Irish  (America);  though he looks like Billy Joel, who is Jewish

Mark Pellegrino as “Jacob”: Italian (America)

Since Jews only make up 1.7% of the American population, the three confirmed Jewish actors on LOST accurately and proportionately represent themselves in the large number of actors on the show.  And that’s rare.

Of course, as usual, in the strange case there are no Jews or hardly any Jews on a show or movie (like Family Matters or Family Ties), the producers and/or writers are Jewish.  So it goes without saying, that in fact, LOST creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof are both Jewish.  Along with Jeffrey Lieber (who most likely is based on his name and physical appearance).  Same thing with LOST writer Adam Horowitz.

It’s safe to say that LOST truly has the most international, most diverse cast of any show in American history.  We as Losties have invested years of our lives in these characters.  They’ve become like real people to us.  I’m so glad this show is made up of such a randomly planned cast of characters and actors.

Read more about the astonishing number of Jewish actors in American film: The Funny Thing about Jews

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on this, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one


21 thoughts on “The Ethnic Backgrounds of the Cast of LOST

  1. I believe that at least four of the actors on Family Ties are Jewish or
    one of their parents is Jewish. These are Michael Gross, Justine Bateman,
    Tracy Pollan, and Daphne Zuniga.


    • Wrong! Michael Gross is NOT Jewish! Justine Bateman is NOT Jewish and Daphne Zuniga is NOT Jewish! The only person you got right as being Jewish is Tracy Pollan.


    • Please remind me what does this have to do with the Ethnic backgrounds of the LOST Cast and Crew? Was someone from FAMILY TIES in Lost…? Please… I mean this question most sincerely.


  2. Amazing…everyone else gets their own nuanced and varied family history and yet the actors with Jewish sounding names (who may be jewish…but did you even ask?) just get “Jewish” as if this religion is just one big indistinguishable mass. This is really offensive. Jewish people come from many places and many backgrounds. Tania’s mother is Corsican, for example, and her fathers family is from Austria partly.


  3. Great article, except IMDb list the Scottish-American actor Josh Holloway playing James ‘Sawyer’ Ford (116 episodes, 2004-2010) as California born, though raised in Georgia for part of his youth.However he is also more diverse than he looks at first glance, as he is in an inter-racial marriage with Indonesian, Yessica Kumala, and they have an inter-racial daughter together named, Java Kumala Holloway. 🙂


  4. I played the head doctor in Season One who tells Jack his Dad killed two people in surgery and the priest in Season Three who married Kate and the then pre-“Castle” Nathan Fillian. And I’m 3/4 Irish and a fifth of Scotch 😉


  5. Well, talent will out, Sickle and Hammer. I am not Jewish but am a sometime entertainer. One off the funniest The Simpsons line was when Bart had Krusty the Clown over to dinner and tells his Dad Homer: “Krusty is Jewish.” Homer laughs this off: “What? Whoever heard of a Jewish entertainer.”


    • Jews are not talented! They have connections, they don’t get a job by their own merit. As Siouxsie Sioux wants stated: “Too many Jews for my liking.”


  6. I must say, it was a pretty good reading… until you mentioned Peruvian, Chilean, Argentinean and Cuban as ethnicities when they are actually just nationalities. A Peruvian person is someone with Peruvian citizenship, regardless of race, just like America. Most South Americans are mixed between Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and natives. Knowing that someone descends from Peruvians doesn’t tell anything about their ethnicity. There are a lot of Japanese Peruvians, for example. Next time you search people’s backgrounds, make sure that, when you see a Latin-American, you don’t mention the nationality only, because we have as much interesting backgrounds as you.


  7. I’ve known about the shows with too many jews, but i never knew they do that too.. being the makers/writers of shows they don’t star in.


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