Gwyneth's paternal grandparents, Arnold P. Paltrow and Dorothy Weigert, were both from Jewish families from Eastern and Central Europe (Poland, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania), and Gwyneth's father had many generations of rabbis in the family tree. Gwyneth's maternal grandparents were Harry Earl Danner and Katherine M. Kile, and Gwyneth's mother is of German, with smaller amounts of English and Irish, descent. Some of her mother's ancestors lived in Barbados.
Gwyneth Kate Paltrow was born on September 27, 1972, in Los Angeles, California, the United States, to noted producer and director Bruce Paltrow and Tony Award-winning actress Blythe Danner. She has a younger brother, Jake Paltrow, who is a director and screenwriter. Her godfather is director Steven Spielberg.
Her father's Ashkenazi Jewish family emigrated from Belarus. Paltrow's paternal great-great-grandfather was a rabbi in Nowogród, Poland, and a descendant of the well known "Paltrowicz" family of rabbis from Kraków. She was raised celebrating "both Jewish and Christian holidays."
Paltrow grew up no stranger to the world of Hollywood. After living in Los Angeles, Paltrow moved with her family to New York at the age of 11. By her own account, Paltrow knew from a young age that she wanted to act, and she appeared in her first part, a stage walk-on role, at age five.