20 Celebrities You Probably Didn’t Know Had Lebanese Roots

Some of these, like Shakira and Salma Hayek you probably know. Others, you might have never heard of before.

Either way, we are proud to give you a list of 20 influential celebrities who have Lebanese blood coursing through their veins.

#1 Jenna Dewan

Best known for her work in the dance movie Step Up, Jenna Dewan’s father is of Lebanese-Polish descent and her mother is of German-English descent. She was married to Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum before splitting in 2018.

#2 Vince Vaughn

This one came as a surprise. The Hollywood go-to for smart buddy comedies has Lebanese roots from his paternal grandmother who comes from the Saba family of Innabet.

He also has ‘roots’ in Italy, Holland, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Switzerland. His new movie, Dragged Across Concrete, is hitting cinemas soon. Maybe check it out.

#3 Shakira

Yupp, this one is no big secret. Born Shakira Mebarak to a Lebanese father and a Spanish-Italian mother, the 42-year old is multi-platinum record singer who honors both her Latino and Lebanese heritage in her music.

#4 René Angélil

Musical producer, talent manager, and singer Rene Angelil was born to a Lebanese mother and a Syrian father. He was the manager and late husband of the Canadian singing sensation Celine Dion.

#5 Mika

Born in Beirut to a Lebanese mother and an American father, Michael Holbrook Penniman, commonly known as Mika, is a British singer and songwriter who is deeply attached to his Lebanese roots.

#6 Juliana Awada

The First Lady of Argentina is of Lebanese and Syrian descent. She is a fashionable businesswoman and wife of the president of Argentina Mauricio Macri.

#7 Paul Anka

Anka is a singer, songwriter, and actor who shined in the US between the 1950s and the 1970s. His father Andy and his mother Camelia were Canadian-Lebanese from the Lebanese town of Kfarmishki.

Anka also wrote such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones’s biggest hits, “She’s a Lady”, as well as the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s signature song, “My Way”! WHAAAT?!

#8 Zoe Saldana

While she was born in New Jersey to a Dominican dad and a Puerto Rican mum, Zoe confirmed that she is also part Lebanese and that she is proud of her Middle Eastern roots and food.

Zoe has been the lead actress to more than one sci-fi blockbuster including AvatarGuardians of the Galaxy, and Star Trek.

#9 Cassey Kassem

Not a very well-known name, but an incredibly recognizable voice, Casey Kassem is the talent behind our childhood’s favorite dork. He was the voice of Shaggy in Scooby-Doo! Sadly, however, Kasem passed away in 2014.

#10 Salma Hayek

No surprises here. Salma credits her sultry looks to her gorgeous heritage – she is part Lebanese and part Mexican and Spanish.

Her dad is from Baabdat, Lebanon, a city Salma (with dad in tow) visited in 2015 to promote her movie Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Recently, her billionaire husband donated 100 million euros for France’s Notre Dame Cathedral.

#11 Wentworth Miller


His name may not sound Lebanese, but this green-eyed heartthrob is actually of Lebanese and Syrian descent mixed with African American blood.

Wentworth is best known for his roles in Prison Break, and The Flash, and for his screenwriting.

#12 Shannon Elizabeth

This vocal activist and film star has a father of Lebanese and Syrian ancestry. Shannon is best known for her roles in comedies and parody movies like American Pie, Jack Frost, and Scary Movie.

#13 Tony Shalhoub

His name kind of gives it away. The 65-year old actor stole our hearts with his sensational portrayal of detective Adrian Monk in the USA TV series Monk, for which he won a Golden Globe Award.

He has also received a Tony, 3 Emmys, and 3 SAG awards, the latest of which is in 2019 for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Wow!

#14 Catherine Keener

Catherine Keener is a twice-Oscar nominee of formidable acting chops. Despite partaking in many critically-acclaimed films and independents, her best-known role is as Steve Carrell’s love interest in The 40-Year-Old Virgin

She also starred in 2017’s breakout horror Get Out. Catherine is Irish on her father’s side and Lebanese on her mother’s. Kind of obvious once you know. Her latest gig is as Jim Carrey’s co-star in Kidding, a show about children’s television icon Mr. Jeff Pickles.

#15 Massari

Sari Abboud is a Lebanese Canadian R&B/pop singer whose music combines Middle Eastern melodies with western culture.

#16 Karl Wolf

Another Lebanese Canadian musician, Karl Wolf –born Carl Abou Samah– is an R&B artist based in Montreal, Canada.

#17 Frank Zappa

70’s rock legend Frank Zappa was part Lebanese through his father. He was born in Partinico, Sicily, and had Greek and Arab ancestry. His amazing work as a musician, composer, activist, and filmmaker inspired generations.

Zappa was characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture.

#18 Tiffany


Tiffany was the first teen singer to have her first two singles go straight to number one in the Billboard charts. She was born Tiffany-Renee Darwish to a father of Lebanese and Syrian descent.

#19 Ralph Nader

This environmental activist/politician is making us proud. Nader was born in Connecticut to Lebanese immigrants and was raised to speak both Lebanese and English.

He ran for President of the United States 8 times. Albeit unsuccessful, his candidacy brings attention to the actions of the Green party.

Who knows? With the climate change headed the way it is, 2020 might be his year after all. Our only hope is that it isn’t too late for Nader to save the world by then. 

#20 Marlo Thomas


Actress Marlo Thomas is the daughter of Lebanese-American comedian Danny Thomas. She’s most famous for starring as “Rachel’s mom” in Friends.

This is but a small taste of numerous influencers, artists, and entrepreneurs that have graced the world with their talent and creativity.

We haven’t mentioned accomplished people like Marcus Lemonis, Nick Tarabay, and Amal Alamuddin, for example, for no other reason than the article’s length.

In other words, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.

For other interesting picks, we highly recommend you check out this list of 14 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Lebanese.