Did you know actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar is Asian? Well, somewhat.
The star, whose Mixed-ish premieres next week on September 24, and who could show up for the streaming Saved By the Bell reboot, is a quarter Indonesian. His mother was born in Bali and is both Dutch and Indonesian. And while that might not sound like much, Mark has spoken proudly of his background in the past.
“Zack Morris is half-Asian. That’s why the blonde hair was dyed for all those years,” he told Jimmy Fallon a few years ago. “People think, ‘That was your natural hair color.’ It was not. That was colored by Clairol. That is not natural, guys.”
We just learned about all of this and thought it was quite intriguing, so we did some additional digging to see which stars folks see only as white are also technically Asian or Latin. We actually found quite a few recognizable names. See below!
Sign Up For Our Newsletter!
1. Bella ThorneSource:WENN
The former Disney Channel star who was raised in Miami is half Cuban thanks to her father. On her mother’s side, Bella is Italian. She told Glamour she actually grew up speaking Spanish before she learned English. “I was raised in a very Latin family. My first language was Spanish, but I had to drop it when I started school because of my dyslexia,” she said in 2015. “I still understand it, though, especially since my mom uses Spanish to tell me to take out the trash or do the dishes!”
2. Vanna WhiteSource:WENN
Your favorite game show personality on Wheel of Fortune is half Puerto Rican. Her father, Miguel Angel Rosich, was born in Puerto Rico. The TV personality took her stepfather’s name though after Miguel left the family when she was young.
3. Emilia ClarkeSource:Getty
In case you missed the memo, the TV mother of dragons from Game of Thrones is happy to say that she’s one-eighth Indian. Her grandmother was Indian and English, and according to Clarke, tried to hide her complexion with makeup. “The fact that [my grandmother] had to hide her skin color, essentially, and try desperately to fit in with everyone else must’ve been incredibly difficult,” she said. “So, yeah: history of fighters.”
4. Darren CrissSource:WENN
The former Glee and Assassination of Gianni Versace star is the son of a Filipino mother born in the Philippines and an English, German and Irish father. He was the first Filipino American to win a Golden Globe for his role as serial killer Andrew Cunanan in Assassination of Gianni Versace. “I’ve said this before,” he said, “but being half Filipino is one of my favorite things about me.”
5. Vanessa HudgensSource:WENN
The former High School Musical star is both Filipino, as well as Irish and Native American. Her mother, Gina Guangco, is a native of Manila, Philippines.
6. Fred ArmisenSource:Getty
The former SNL star and comedian was actually born Fereydun “Fred” Armisen to a Venezuelan mother and a German and Korean father. He speaks Spanish, including on the HBO comedy he’s behind called Los Espookys (which is hilarious by the way). He has opened up about his background before, saying it has influenced his work. “I think it helps when I’m covering a character with a Spanish accent,” he said to Latina.com. “My mother has one since she’s Venezuelan and my maternal side of the family, so that always helps.”
7. David GallagherSource:Getty
The former ‘7th Heaven’ child star is of both Cuban (mom is Elena Lopez) and Irish heritage (father is Darren Gallagher).
8. Aubrey PlazaSource:Getty
The actress, who you likely know from Parks and Recreation, is the daughter of a Puerto Rican father and an Irish and English father. “A lot of people don’t assume I’m Puerto Rican because I’m fair skinned,” she told Cosmopolitan. “But I feel very connected to that side of my family.”
9. Ryan LochteSource:Getty
The Olympic swimmer is the daughter of a first-generation Cuban mother (Ileana Aramburu). She was born in Havana. His father is Dutch, English and German.