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Celebrity Ancestry: L-Word Actress Jennifer Beals Ethnicity & Parents Background: Is She Biracial? Was Her Father Alfred Beals Black? 70,000 Ask Google

IS JENNIFER BEALS BLACK, WHITE, BIRACIAL? Her ethnicity and heritage seem hard to place for many fans, who turn to Google for details about her ancestry and her parents racial background. By Ben Arogundade. Nov. 20, 2019.

THE PLACE OF RACE: Is Hollywood film and television star Jennifer Beals black? What is her ethnicity and her father Alfred Beals racial background? These are just some of the 70,000 queries Internet users Google about the celebrity each year. 

AESTHETICALLY, SHE HAS much in common with Mariah Carey, Rosario Dawson, Paula Patton and Alicia Keys — other celebrities of biracial ancestry who could pass for a range of ethnicities and nationalities. Hollywood actress and former model, Jennifer Beals, star of the films ‘Flashdance’, ‘The Book Of Eli’, and the hit TV show The L-Word, was born on the south side of Chicago, Illinois on December 19, 1963. Her parents were from different ethnic and professional backgrounds — her mother, ex-schoolteacher Jeanne Anderson, is of Irish American ancestry, while her late father, Alfred Beals, was an African American grocery store owner. He died when Beals was nine.


JENNIFER BEALS - BIRACIAL OUTSIDER

The 55-year-old actress grew up in a predominantly African American neighbourhood, where she was cruelly teased about her biracial heritage by local children, who called her “Whitey”, on account of her light skin tone. It was experiences like this that turned her into a loner — a feeling that she was later able to harness and channel into her acting. Of her role in the TV show The L-Word, she said, “Because I’m biracial, I’ve always lived sort of on the outside. The idea of being ‘the other’ in society is not foreign to me.”


JENNIFER & ALFRED BEALS & GOOGLE

Beals' biracial ethnicity is a major curiosity online, where thousands of fans type search queries about her heritage and the racial background of her parents into their Google browsers. The search giant — which records and publishes monthly Internet search figures on all subjects — report that approximately 500 people Google the term, “Jennifer Beals ethnicity” each month, while a further 1,120 search terms relating to Jennifer Beals family, nationality and parents race. 1,600 people also Google “Alfred Beals” each month. The total number of queries about her ethnic and family background adds up to over 70,000 per year.


A BLURRING ETHNICITY

While Beals' ethnicity and racially ambiguous beauty may have awarded her a diverse range of film roles over the years — she played a Latina in In ‘The Soup’ (1992) and a white Brit in ‘Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle’ (1994) — like many other light-skinned African American actresses and models of her generation, she has often been passed over for more overtly “black” roles. “People say that I don’t look black enough,” she told ‘Vibe’.


But today these racial colour lines are blurring fast, as people break free of the traditional definitions of the past. Beals belongs to a growing group of Americans (led by Barack Obama) of racially mixed ethnicity — seven million, according to the 2000 census. “I think that America is going to have to wake up and realize that the dominant face of this country is not white,” said Beals. “It’s many things...The whole country is changing, and the whole idea of race has got to change.”


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LIFE AND WORK: Hollywood actress Jennifer Beals' as a young schoolgirl; Beals' parents are of mixed ethnicity and nationality. Her mother Jeanne, is of Irish American ancestry, while her late father Alfred Beals was African American; Jennifer Beals and her mother attend the 'Flashdance' movie premier, 1983; Beals poses nude with the cast from the television show, 'The L Word'.

*JENNIFER BEALS ETHNIC BACKGROUND & PARENTS - ACCORDING TO GOOGLE SEARCH

260

The number of people worldwide who Google the term, “Jennifer Beals black,” each month.

\600

The number of people worldwide who Google the term, “Jennifer Beals parents,” each month.

1,600

The number of people worldwide who Google the term, “Alfred Beals,” each month.


*All figures for “Jennifer Beals Ethnic Background & Parents - According to Google Search”, supplied by Google. Stats include global totals for laptop and desktop computers and mobile devices.

JENNIFER BEALS INTERVIEW ABOUT L-WORD NEW SERIES

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