Finding their roots - top Hollywood Irish and their heritage - PHOTOS
What Jack Nicholson, John Travolta and Anne Hathaway have in common
Larry King asked him "Are you angry, Bill? Are you by nature angry?
Maher responded "You see that I'm trying – Irish, all Irish people are.
King: Why is that? We have never discussed this.
King. We didn't have enough potatoes in the 1850s. They ran out of them. It has been in out blood ever since.
King: It does stem back from that?
Maher: But I think we need more angry people, and among them Democrats. That's why Democrats used to be great Irish politicians. And there is not enough of those Irish..."
John Travolta has more of a claim than others, being half Irish on his mother Helen's side and growing up in a predominantly Irish neighbourhood in New Jersey.
His mother was also a drama coach. Although the Italian side of his lineage is what he is most recognised for, Travolta himself sees it differently. He told Plus Magazine "The emotional, romantic, whimsical part of me is Irish. Spiritually, I probably feel more like an Irishman – that's where my heart is."
Nicholson said of his maternal grandmother "She began as Ethel May Rhoads of Chester, Pennsylvania, only daughter of upright Pennsylvania Dutch Protestants, and when she married John Nicholson, a working class Irish Catholic, her irate family broke their ties and disinherited her."
Murray, who will be spending more time at home in upstate New York, has come a distance from his humble Irish roots. Growing up in a large Catholic family in the suburbs of Chicago, Murray was one of nine children of Lucille and Edward Murray, a lumber salesman.
He once said "I'm a hundred per cent Irish. I'm an American – but the blood is green."
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