Selecciona Edición
Conéctate
Selecciona Edición
Tamaño letra

From Parderrubias to Hollywood: nine international stars with roots in Spanish towns
9 fotos

From Parderrubias to Hollywood: nine international stars with roots in Spanish towns

The family of icons such as legendary actress Rita Hayworth and global pop sensation Bruno Mars can be traced back to Spain

  • The notorious American actor professionally known as Charlie Sheen was born Carlos Estévez – a sign of his Spanish roots. Once the highest-paid star in television, charging over €1.5 million per episode of the hit show ‘Two and a Half Men,’ Charlie Sheen has family links to Parderrubias, a small parish in Pontevedra near the border of Portugal. His grandfather was born there in 1898 but Charlie’s father, acclaimed Hollywood actor Martin Sheen, decided to live in the United States. Charlie’s aunt Carmen continues to live in Spain and spends summers in the family house in Parderrubias, where Martin Sheen often visits. The elder Sheen even has a membership card to the Celta de Vigo soccer club.
    1Charlie Sheen (New York, 1965) The notorious American actor professionally known as Charlie Sheen was born Carlos Estévez – a sign of his Spanish roots. Once the highest-paid star in television, charging over €1.5 million per episode of the hit show ‘Two and a Half Men,’ Charlie Sheen has family links to Parderrubias, a small parish in Pontevedra near the border of Portugal. His grandfather was born there in 1898 but Charlie’s father, acclaimed Hollywood actor Martin Sheen, decided to live in the United States. Charlie’s aunt Carmen continues to live in Spain and spends summers in the family house in Parderrubias, where Martin Sheen often visits. The elder Sheen even has a membership card to the Celta de Vigo soccer club. GETTY IMAGES
  • Singer Bruno Mars, who at just 32 years has sold nearly 130 million records and has had seven number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, was born Peter Gene Hernandez. His multicultural background includes links to Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Ukraine and Hungary. But his great-great-grandfather came from Nava de la Asunción, a small town in Segovia. The newspaper ‘Norte de Castilla’ reported in 2016 that a genealogy expert investigating Mars’ roots had found a document proving that Mariano, the great-great-grandfather of the pop sensation, was born in the town on September 22, 1858.
    2Bruno Mars (Honolulu, 1985) Singer Bruno Mars, who at just 32 years has sold nearly 130 million records and has had seven number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, was born Peter Gene Hernandez. His multicultural background includes links to Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Ukraine and Hungary. But his great-great-grandfather came from Nava de la Asunción, a small town in Segovia. The newspaper ‘Norte de Castilla’ reported in 2016 that a genealogy expert investigating Mars’ roots had found a document proving that Mariano, the great-great-grandfather of the pop sensation, was born in the town on September 22, 1858. GETTY IMAGES
  • The lead singer of indie band The Strokes, Julian Casablancas is the son of John Casablancas, the millionaire owner of model agency Elite Model Look, and the grandson of two Catalans named Fernando and Antonia. These grandparents inherited Fernando Casablancas Planell, a Catalan business that became very wealthy after patenting the “Casablanca mechanism” in 1913. This mechanism revolutionized the textile industry by creating a new system to thread cotton. During the Spanish Civil War, Fernando and Antonia moved to the United States where they took on the surname Casablancas.
    3Julian Casablancas (New York, 1978) The lead singer of indie band The Strokes, Julian Casablancas is the son of John Casablancas, the millionaire owner of model agency Elite Model Look, and the grandson of two Catalans named Fernando and Antonia. These grandparents inherited Fernando Casablancas Planell, a Catalan business that became very wealthy after patenting the “Casablanca mechanism” in 1913. This mechanism revolutionized the textile industry by creating a new system to thread cotton. During the Spanish Civil War, Fernando and Antonia moved to the United States where they took on the surname Casablancas. GETTY IMAGES
  • As a member of the Spice Girls, Geri Halliwell became a global pop star, selling 75 million albums with the group and another five million more as a solo artist. Her mother, Ana María Hidalgo, came from Huesca, a city in north-eastern Spain, in Aragon. This Spanish connection has influenced Halliwell’s artistic career: not only was she a dancer in Mallorca before finding fame with the Spice Girls, she also introduced Latin rhythms and Spanish phrases in her music, both as a solo artist and as a member of the all-female pop group.
    4Geri Halliwell (Watford, England, 1972) As a member of the Spice Girls, Geri Halliwell became a global pop star, selling 75 million albums with the group and another five million more as a solo artist. Her mother, Ana María Hidalgo, came from Huesca, a city in north-eastern Spain, in Aragon. This Spanish connection has influenced Halliwell’s artistic career: not only was she a dancer in Mallorca before finding fame with the Spice Girls, she also introduced Latin rhythms and Spanish phrases in her music, both as a solo artist and as a member of the all-female pop group. GETTY IMAGES
  • The maternal grandparents of Golden Globe winner and two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain come from the Basque Country. According to Basque radio-television service ‘EiTB’, Chastain’s surnames are Astoreka and Egurrola. It is difficult, however, to find out much about her paternal grandparents. The star of ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ who was named one of the most influential people by ‘Time’ magazine in 2012, had no relationship with her father Michael Monasterio, who abandoned his family to pursue a career in music. He died in 2013 from bronchitis. Chastain did not attend the funeral.
    5Jessica Chastain (Sacramento, California, 1977) The maternal grandparents of Golden Globe winner and two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain come from the Basque Country. According to Basque radio-television service ‘EiTB’, Chastain’s surnames are Astoreka and Egurrola. It is difficult, however, to find out much about her paternal grandparents. The star of ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ who was named one of the most influential people by ‘Time’ magazine in 2012, had no relationship with her father Michael Monasterio, who abandoned his family to pursue a career in music. He died in 2013 from bronchitis. Chastain did not attend the funeral.
  • One of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s golden era, Rita Hayworth was originally born as Rita Cansino. Her father, Eduardo Cansino Sr, was from Castilleja de la Cuesta, a small town near Seville and the same place Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés died in 1547. Eduardo was a dancer and emigrated to New York to perform on Broadway. While performing in the musical ‘Ziegfeld Follies,’ he met fellow dancer Vola Hayworth. They later married and had three children. Their eldest child Margarita chose to go by the name Rita and her mother’s surname Hayworth. After scoring the lead role in ‘Gilda,’ Rita Hayworth was on her way to becoming a household name.
    6Rita Hayworth (New York, 1918-1987) One of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s golden era, Rita Hayworth was originally born as Rita Cansino. Her father, Eduardo Cansino Sr, was from Castilleja de la Cuesta, a small town near Seville and the same place Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés died in 1547. Eduardo was a dancer and emigrated to New York to perform on Broadway. While performing in the musical ‘Ziegfeld Follies,’ he met fellow dancer Vola Hayworth. They later married and had three children. Their eldest child Margarita chose to go by the name Rita and her mother’s surname Hayworth. After scoring the lead role in ‘Gilda,’ Rita Hayworth was on her way to becoming a household name. GETTY IMAGES
  • Considered the most influential Latino singer in the United States and the predecessor of pop singers such as Shakira and Jennifer López, Gloria Estefan is the granddaughter of Leonardo García, an immigrant from Pola de Siero in Asturias, who left Spain to look for a better life in Cuba, and a woman originally from Logroño in La Rioja. Estefan’s husband, American music producer Emilio Estefan, also has links to Galicia. The music icon has sold more than 100 million albums both as a solo artist and with Miami Sound Machine, the band that launched her career. In her first tour to Spain in 1991, Esteban told EL PAÍS: “I really want to see the land of our ancestors.” Since then, she has made regular visits to the country.
    7Gloria Estefan (Havana, Cuba, 1957) Considered the most influential Latino singer in the United States and the predecessor of pop singers such as Shakira and Jennifer López, Gloria Estefan is the granddaughter of Leonardo García, an immigrant from Pola de Siero in Asturias, who left Spain to look for a better life in Cuba, and a woman originally from Logroño in La Rioja. Estefan’s husband, American music producer Emilio Estefan, also has links to Galicia. The music icon has sold more than 100 million albums both as a solo artist and with Miami Sound Machine, the band that launched her career. In her first tour to Spain in 1991, Esteban told EL PAÍS: “I really want to see the land of our ancestors.” Since then, she has made regular visits to the country. GETTY IMAGES
  • In Sweden, parents can choose whether the mother’s or father’s surname goes first on their child’s name. If there is no agreement, the mother’s surname comes first. That’s why the maiden name of the ‘Prometheus’ star is Noren (she changed it to Rapace after getting married) and not Durán, after her Spanish father Rogelio Durán Ramos, who was born in Badajoz in Extremadura in 1958. Durán became a famous dancer and moved to Sweden where he taught at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts and starred in a few small films. In Stockholm, he married Anette, with whom he had three children. But Rapace was not one of them. Durán only realized the actress of ‘The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’ was his daughter once she had grown up. Rapace was the product of a short-lived relationship Durán had had years ago with a young Swedish woman. The two saw each other on various occasions but her father died in 2007 and never saw Rapace become an international star.
    8Noomi Rapace (Hudiksvall, Sweden, 1979) In Sweden, parents can choose whether the mother’s or father’s surname goes first on their child’s name. If there is no agreement, the mother’s surname comes first. That’s why the maiden name of the ‘Prometheus’ star is Noren (she changed it to Rapace after getting married) and not Durán, after her Spanish father Rogelio Durán Ramos, who was born in Badajoz in Extremadura in 1958. Durán became a famous dancer and moved to Sweden where he taught at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts and starred in a few small films. In Stockholm, he married Anette, with whom he had three children. But Rapace was not one of them. Durán only realized the actress of ‘The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’ was his daughter once she had grown up. Rapace was the product of a short-lived relationship Durán had had years ago with a young Swedish woman. The two saw each other on various occasions but her father died in 2007 and never saw Rapace become an international star. GETTY IMAGES
  • The leader of legendary rock band the Grateful Dead was one of the most magnetic musicians of the 1970s and 1980s, listed by ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine as the 13th best guitarist of all time. What is less known about the music icon is that his grandfather, Manuel Papuella García, was born in Sada, a small municipality in A Coruña. His grandfather emigrated to the United States to work as an electrician in 1918, and once he had a job, he was joined by García’s grandmother, Aquilina López. García had a successful career as the singer of the Grateful Dead but battled with addiction and weight problems. He died from a heart attack in August, 1995.
    9Jerry García (San Francisco, 1942-1995) The leader of legendary rock band the Grateful Dead was one of the most magnetic musicians of the 1970s and 1980s, listed by ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine as the 13th best guitarist of all time. What is less known about the music icon is that his grandfather, Manuel Papuella García, was born in Sada, a small municipality in A Coruña. His grandfather emigrated to the United States to work as an electrician in 1918, and once he had a job, he was joined by García’s grandmother, Aquilina López. García had a successful career as the singer of the Grateful Dead but battled with addiction and weight problems. He died from a heart attack in August, 1995. GETTY IMAGES