11 television actors who can trace their roots back to Ireland

By: H&I Staff    Posted: March 16, 2022, 11:00AM

St. Patrick's Day is upon us, which means for one day we celebrate all things Irish. That includes these 11 television stars, who can trace their ancestry back to Ireland. 

Did you know these celebrities have some Irish in them? We bet you'll have a "whale of a time" reading this list. 

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Jackie Gleason

Before making it big, Gleason lived with his Irish-Catholic immigrant family in Brooklyn. His childhood address was the same one used on The Honeymooners. 

Image: AllPosters.com


Lucille Ball

Although Ball was mostly English, she also had some Northern Irish ancestry. Perhaps that explains the vibrant red hair.

Image: pixabay


Patty Duke

Duke's father and mother had Irish ancestry. Because of that, Duke obtained dual citizenship in 2013 by becoming a citizen of Ireland.


John Travolta

Although Vinnie Barbarino on Welcome Back, Kotter was Italian-American (the name says it all), Travolta is also half Irish. In the past, he's said he grew up in an Irish-American neighborhood, and his childhood home was primarily Irish in culture. 


Suzanne Somers

Somers, who was born Suzanne Mahoney, is as Irish as they come. The Three's Company actress told her fans in the past St. Patrick's Day was a huge holiday for her family, and she celebrates by wearing green and making corned beef and cabbage. 

Image: pixabay


Clint Eastwood

Although Eastwood has roots in England, Scotland and the Netherlands, he strongly identifies with his Irish heritage as well. In 2012, Eastwood received the first John Ford Award by the Irish Film and Television Academy. The Rawhide star has also said he wants to film a movie in Ireland to pay homage to his roots. 


Jack Lord

The Hawaii Five-O actor grew up in Queens with his Irish-American parents.


Jack Kelly

Just like Lord, Kelly grew up in Queens with his Irish-American family. The Maverick star also came from a long line of performers, with his mom having been a popular stage actress and model. 

Image: Blogspot


Barbara Stanwyck

Although Stanwyck's mother was from Nova Scotia, Canada, The Big Valley star can trace her lineage back to Scotland and Ireland.


Patrick Duffy

If you couldn't tell from the last name, Duffy has some Irish in him. Just don't confuse the Dallas actor with the famous Irish politician of the same name. 

Image: Warner Bros. Television


Ron Howard

Howard has some Irish ancestry, along with German, English, Scottish, Dutch and Cherokee.