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Joe Manganiello Finds Out The Italian Man He Thought Was His Grandfather ISN'T, His Biological Grandfather Is Mixed Race

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Actor Joe Manganiello recently found out his paternal grandfather isn’t actually related to him and that his biological grandfather is a Black man of mixed race. Deets inside….

Not thinking you’re Italian your whole life only to find out you’re actually the offspring of a Black man of mixed race.

Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello embarked on an extraordinary ride to uncover his ancestors in an episode of “Finding Your Roots. And what he discovered shocked him.

The “True Blood” actor - who has indeed played into his “Italian Stallion” image his entire career - found out that he’s not even related to any Manganeillos and the man he thought was his grandfather ISN’T. His actual biological grandfather is actually a Black man of mixed race.

Once the discovery was made, host Henry Louis Gates Jr. called Joe with the news so he wouldn’t find out first during taping.

The Associated Press reports:

“My family and I had a betting pool of what it is, like what’s so bad that you can’t announce it on the episode?” Manganiello told a TV critics meeting Thursday. Gates informed Manganiello that the man the family believed to be the actor’s paternal grandfather really wasn’t.

“My grandfather was a Black man of mixed race,” said Manganiello, who is white. “That was fascinating.”

As a result, Gates told him, “You are zero percent genetically related to anyone named Manganiello in the world.”

Gates didn’t stop there. The show’s research traced back to the actor’s fifth great-grandfather who was a slave who became free before slavery was abolished in Massachusetts, where Manganiello’s father was born outside of Boston. His father’s family came from Italy.

Manganiello found out his distant relative joined the Continental Army and fought alongside other Blacks for the colonies against the British in units that were non-segregated.

“None of us would have guessed that if we’d had 10 years of guessing,” the actor said. “If Manganiello’s not my last name, what is?”


The show’s research team traced back to the actor’s fifth great-grandfather, who was a slave who became free before slavery was abolished in Massachusetts, where Manganiello’s father was born outside of Boston. His father’s family came from Italy.

Researchers also solved another mystery from his mother’s side.

Manganiello’s maternal great-grandmother was a survivor of the Armenian genocide during World War I in which her husband and seven of her children were killed. She was shot, but played dead and escaped with an eighth child, who later drowned while they traversed the Euphrates River.

Manganiello was told his great-grandmother was incarcerated and met a German officer stationed at the camp. He said she became pregnant by the officer, who later returned to Germany without her. The actor’s aunt had a picture of the man, which later got lost.

“We had nothing to connect us being German other than this,” he said.

The show’s researchers found that the actor’s mother and aunt were the children of the half-German baby.

“That was a really profound moment for me,” he said.

Gates said it took nearly a year to uncover the ancestry in part because the Turkish government doesn’t give researchers access to vital records and population documents dating to the Ottoman Empire.

“To think that I don’t look like the other people in m family is because I look like the Germans, OK, now that makes sense,” he said. “It’s really wild what we uncovered.”

We’re sure it was mind blowing for the actor and his wife, Colombian born actress Sofía Vergara.

The new season of “Finding Your Roots” premieres January 3, 2023. Among those featured are Oscar winners Viola Davis and Julia Roberts, as well as Carol Burnett, political activist Angela Davis and actor Danny Trejo.


1. 50+ protein and nutritional shake brands - including Premier Protein - has been recalled due to possible microbial contamination. STORY

Photo: Tinseltown/Shutterstock 

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