Race is a complicated social construct of course, and Hollywood has been home to plenty of people who are biracial over the years. Skin color doesn’t translate into race or ethnicity, though, so some celebrities look like they may be white while they actually have a partly black heritage. Melanin is like that. A few of these celebrities are pretty pale, while others have more pigment in their skin—and as such, they don’t have to deal with the pain of bad sunburns.
MadameNoire.com points out that while some stars may look white, they are “in fact mixed—and for all intents and purposes, black.”
Yup, this famous guitarist is actually biracial. Slash was born in 1965 to a black mother and a white father, and they didn’t name him Slash, of course. His birth certificate reads Saul Hudson. He’s currently working on his solo career after selling over 100 million records worldwide with Guns N’ Roses.
9. Troian Bellisario Of Pretty Little Liars
Troian Bellisario plays the ultra-white, waspy Spencer Hastings on Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars. Her fair skin and dark hair point to an Italian or perhaps a Greek descent, right? Wrong. In real life, her mother has an African and Creole family lineage. Her father is Italian and Serbian.
8. Maya Rudolph
Maya looks like she’s definitely mixed, but it might be tough to figure out just what she’s made up of. Her father, Dick, is Ashkenazi Jewish; her mother, soul singer Minnie Riperton, was African American. Maya’s multiracial appearance has helped her with a wide range of roles and impersonations on Saturday Night Live.
7. Blake Griffin
Blake’s father, Tommy Griffin, is Haitian and African American. He was also an athlete and played track and basketball at Northwestern Oklahoma State. Blake’s mother is red-haired and Caucasian.
(Side note: If you’re a Blake Griffin fan, make sure you check out his guest appearance on Broad City. It’s great.)
6. Mariah Carey
This classic diva counts her bestselling music career among the greatest of all time. She’s got beautiful olive skin and that might cover up the fact that she’s biracial—her father is black.
“My mother is Irish, my father is black and Venezuelan, and me—I’m tan, I guess,” she’s said.