Monday, August 22, 2011

Mixed-race women on "Lost"

The characters of "Lost" and the people who play them are multilingual and multinational. They speak at least nine languages and come from more than a dozen countries. There's also interracial marriages/relationships among them.

Despite this diversity, the mixed-race people on the show are never talked about; "mixed-race people" meaning individuals who are mixed race, not a group that's mixed.

I was going to call this "mixed-race people on Lost", then I noticed everyone here is female. I changed it to "women" to be more specific.

Andrea Gabriel

Her character, Nadia Jaseem, is Arab Iraqi but she is mixed Italian, Iranian, Romanian, and Russian. BTW, Iranians aren't Arabs because they don't speak Arabic, however they're Middle Eastern, and Arabs are too.

Reiko Aylesworth

Her first name is a hint of her quarter-Japanese heritage, which also includes Welsh and Dutch. She's in three episodes in season 5.

Tamara Taylor

She was born and raised in Canada and is mixed Black and White. She plays Walt Lloyd's mom and Michael's ex, and appears in two episodes, one in season 1 and one in season 2.

Rachel Ticotin

She portrays the police captain and mother of Ana Lucia Cortez, who's played by Michelle Rodriguez, who is also on this list. Ticotin is mixed Puerto Rican and Russian Jewish.

Kimberly Estrada

The only episode she's in is "Not in Portland" in season 3, where she plays the girlfriend of one of the main character's ex-husband. She is mixed Chinese and Spanish.

Zuleikha Robinson

Her role is Ilana Verdansky, who first appears in season 5 and becomes part of the main cast in season 6. Robinson was born in England, grew up in Thailand and Malaysia, and is mixed English, Burmese, Indian, Iranian, and Scottish.

Marsha Thomason

Like her character, Naomi Dorrit, she's from Manchester, England. She is mixed English and Jamaican (White and Black, respectively).

Kiele Sanchez

Her role is Nikki Fernandez, one of the main characters in season 3. Her heritage is mixed French and Puerto Rican.

Yvonne Midkiff

She plays a receptionist in a lawyer's office in the season 6 episode "The Last Recruit". She was born in the Philippines, grew up in Oklahoma, and now lives in Hawaii.

Hawaii is where the show was made and is also the US state with the highest percentage of mixed-race people.

Maybe Hawaii's multiracial vibe rubbed off on the producers when they casted the actresses (they chose an unusually high number of multiethnic ladies...).


The following actresses are mixed in a different way; they each have multiple ethnicities in one racial group. This is sometimes called intra-ethnic or intra-racial.

Like somebody who's mixed Indonesian and Filipino (Asian), or someone who's mixed Puerto Rican and Mexican (Latino), or a Polish / German / Italian / Russian / Swedish person (White).

Something worth mentioning is all of the below play a mother or a daughter of another woman on this list. Maybe this means Hollywood is starting to portray mixed descent more accurately.

Michelle Rodriguez

Not only is she mixed Dominican and Puerto Rican but she grew up in both of the countries too. She was a regular cast member in season 2 and made cameos in seasons 5 and 6.

Melissa Farman

Her mother is White American and her dad is French (White from France), and she was raised bilingual in English and French, both of which she speaks on the show.

She plays a younger Danielle Rousseau, whose daughter is Alex Rousseau, who is portrayed by the next girl on this list.

Tania Raymonde

Like her character Alex Rousseau, she's of French descent, but she's also Russian and she might be Jewish too, since her real last name is Katz.

How come there's many mixed girls but not mixed guys?


Anonymous said...

Jewish is not a race. It's a religion. I've known blue eyed, blond haired, fair skinned Jews, and then there's Ali Raisman from the Olympic gymnastics team who has olive skin, dark hair, dark eyes. Sammy Davis Jr. was Jewish. What was his race? Black.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, Jewish is also a race. Might want to brush up on your history.

Anonymous said...

jewish is not a race. they are caucasians. it is an ethnicity, a religion and a culture.

Anonymous said...

you can be any race and become a jew if you convert to the religion, like sammy davis.

Anonymous said...

Jewish is religion
religion are just 1500 old
white not only blonde and blue eyes white can have dark hair and eyes and olive skin
but some people believe in Hitler rules
what ever Jewish is religion not race

Anonymous said...

these girls are not mixed
Kiele Sanchez her Puerto Rican is a white
Melissa Farman is white
Tania Raymonde is white
Nationality and religion does not change the race

Isaac Der3i said...

Judaism is a religion. But most people in the world statistically that practice judaism are genetically the same race, caucasian, specifically middle eastern.

The confusion comes from the fact that jews lived in europe for so long, but so did gypsies. Gypsies originate in india and look indian, jews originate in Israel, Iraq, and Iran, and look middle eastern. Some jews look more european than others, even in the same families.

Most jews in the world (and especially in Israel) are olive skinned.

Anonymous said...

Jews are an admixture of races, but Judaism is a religion. There are basically two types of Jews: Ashkenazi and Sephardic. The Ashkenazi look more European whereas the Sephardic look more Middle Eastern/ Spanish.

Anonymous said...

The Jews are not genuine Israelites, either. They admit this in the Jewish Almanac from 1980: "Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a Jew or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew." Modern DNA tests confirm they do not descend from the Israelites:

Anonymous said...

Zuleikha is Greek

Nik "Doom" Bloodstörm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nik "Doom" Bloodstörm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nik "Doom" Bloodstörm said...

Judaism is a religion. Many from various races can be considered Jewish either through conversion or the mother's bloodline (regardless of racial classification). Ethnic Jews (those who have very recognizable facial features) are known as Semites (pertaining to the language, race & culture of the Semitic tribes). Not all Jews are Semites and many are of several different races and ancestry.

Many of the descriptions of these multiracial actors are incorrect in that there is a difference between a race and an ethnic heritage & culture, e.g., Cuban, Puerto Rican, Spaniard, Italian, French, German, English, Irish, Swedish, etc., are ethnicities, not races. An individual can have several ethnic backgrounds yet be of only of one racial classification. Also, Hispanic, Latino are NOT a race, (mixed or otherwise). Many people erroneously think that because e.g., they assume that because a big majority of people from Mexico, Central or South America are short, have a brown complexion, high cheekbones and very straight black hair, that they (and all other) "Hispanics" are of one separate race from Caucasians, Asians and Negroid-Congoid (black), but they are incorrect. The people who have those features described are commonly of Asian ancestry (they are descendants of the ancient Asians of the Beringia) and it's not uncommon for many of them to be a mixed classification of Spaniard (white Caucasian) and even black (Negroid) making their common racial backgrounds Asian, Caucasian and and to a lesser degree, black.

Hispanic is an ethnic, cultural classification. Specifically people who are born into families of Spanish ancestry (language and cultural). The Hispanic ethnicity envelops many races. There are white, black and even Asian Hispanics. As for "Native Americans", they are racially of Asian ancestry based on DNA markers, they have never been indigenous of North, Central and South America. So-called "Indians" were actually Asians who migrated from Asia into Beringia (a region of land now covered by seas between present day Siberia and Alaska). They traveled through Beringia and into North America (and Mexico, Central & South American continents) in three phases of migration during low sea levels over thousands of years between ca. 70,000 BC and ca. 8,000 BC.

So saying that you have e.g., Cuban, Italian and French ancestry, etc., doesn't mean that you are of 3 different races. It simply means that you have three separate ethnic backgrounds, regardless of what color your skin is (racial classification).