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September 27, 2015

List of people of self-identified Cherokee ancestry

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Here is a list of people who self-identify as having Cherokee heritage, but who are not enrolled in any Cherokee tribe.

 

A

  • Tori Amos – Amos has said that her maternal grandparents each had an Eastern Cherokee grandparent of their own.

C

  • Asa Earl Carter, speechwriter and member of the Ku Klux Klan, attempted to reinvent himself as “Cherokee” author under the name “Forrest Carter”
  • Johnny Cash, singer. Believed he had Cherokee heritage but dropped claim after he had his genealogy checked and none was found.
  • Cher, actor and singer. Actually Armenian.
  • Ward Churchill, author and professor, who claims to be Cherokee-Muscogee Creek
  • Kenneth Copeland, televangelist –
  • Kevin Costner, actor

D

  • Johnny Depp, actor has “guessed” that he has Cherokee, “or maybe Creek,” despite his genealogy showing no Native ancestry.
  • Cameron Diaz, actor – Her father’s family is Cuban, and Diaz’s ancestors had originally moved from Spain to Cuba. Her mother has English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry.
  • Jimmie Durham, artist

F

  • Four Arrows, Don Trent Jacobs, professor, writer, b. 1946

G

  • James Garner, actor
  • Crystal Gayle, country singer
  • Superstar Billy Graham (Eldridge Wayne Coleman), professional wrestler and fine artist

H

  • Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970), musician, singer, and songwriter.
  • Jamake Highwater, author who claimed to be Cherokee-Blackfeet;

J

L

  • Sylvester Clark Long (Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance, 1890–1932), actor, author, journalist
  • Loretta Lynn, country singer

J

  • James Earl Jones, actor, also identifies Choctaw descent.

K

  • Thomas King, American-born novelist and broadcaster in Canada

M

  • Meggan Mallone, American pornographic actress, 1986

N

  • Joseph Noonan “Waáno-Gano,” artist
  • Chuck Norris, actor, martial arts expert

P

  • Dolly Parton, country singer
  • Lou Diamond Phillips, actor

R

  • Robert Rauschenberg, artist (Rauschenberg did not identify as Cherokee but may have had a Cherokee grandmother.)
  • Della Reese, actress, singer
  • Burt Reynolds, actor, director
  • Bob Ross, painter and television personality

S

  • Selena (1971–1995), singer
  • Andrea Smith, associate professor, author
  • Leon Polk Smith, Modernist painter

T

  • Quentin Tarantino, film director

V

  • Sarah Vowell (born 1969), author and journalist

W

  • Elizabeth Warren (born 1949), U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (elected 2012)
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