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Homophone corner

summer
So, a colleague mentioned to me casually that actress Sandra Bullock is half Albanian.

Really? I mean, I know about the Belushi brothers, John and Jim (whose father came from the same village as independent Albania's first proper leader Fan Noli, the one who was overthrown by Ahmet Zogu later King Zog); and a quick glance at her WikiPedia entry seemed to confirm the news:
Bullock was born to the late German-born opera singer Helga Meyer, and American-Albanian voice teacher John Bullock.
But it didn't quite ring true to me; "Bullock" is not an obviously Albanian name. Not very much more digging and I came up with what appears to be an authorised biography:
Her mother, Helga, the daughter of a German rocket scientist, initially studied to be an opera singer in Nuremberg. To support her studies, she worked as a clerk, one day being called to the town's Palace of Justice (where the notorious post-WW2 trials took place). Here she was to takes letters for the new head honcho, one John Bullock. Bullock, originally from Birmingham, Alabama, was a Juilliard scholar who'd joined the Army as a runner and risen to become the boss of the military Postal Exchange for the whole of Europe.
So, if the Sandra-is-Albanian story is true, we are being asked to believe that at the height of the Cold War, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the US Army allowed its PX operation for the whole of Europe to be run by an Albanian? I somehow think not. Also notable that the people posting on this pro-Albanian website seem to laugh at the idea.

Almost certainly she (or someone) told a journalist once that she is half German, half Alabamian, and the journalist misheard the second bit (and possibly had never heard of Alabama). And so a legend was born.

Happy birthday, Sandra! She is 41 today.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
burkesworks
Jul. 26th, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC)
Never knew Gramsci was Albanian! And Gwen Stefani isn't - she's ethnic Armenian.
(Anonymous)
May. 31st, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
it's supposed to be spelled Gramshi!!(city name in albania)
(Anonymous)
May. 31st, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
It's very hard to believe that a journalist never heard of Alabama. I'm sure he had never heard about Albania. That's a fact!!
(Anonymous)
Jun. 12th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
hansy
Well, I do not know if her father was of Albanian origins, but Bullock is an Albanian name. In Vlora, south of Albania there is a village named Bullok. There are some families in Albania named Bulloku or Bolloku (-u is common in the termination of names in Albania), but once again, you can not say that she's half Albanian because her family name may have something in common with Albania. Hope that one day she clears this up.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 17th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
Re: hansy
The reason why all this thing about Albanian origin of Bulloc came out is cuz Sandra sated this by herself. No Albanian invented this. So, your researches mean nothing. She has stated by herself during the start of making of a movie, the her origin is Albanian and that she was proud of it.
nwhyte
Aug. 17th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
Re: hansy
Well, this site seems to disagree with you! But if you have any actual evidence, I will of course be interested to see it!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 2nd, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
Re: hansy
In Kosova, Drenica region, there are a lot of Albanian family with surname BULLAKU.
nwhyte
Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
Re: hansy
Look, let's be clear about this. Sandra Bullock's father was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1935. Her grandfather, Jesse Burch Bullock, was born in Kentucky in 1883. Her great-grandfather, Eli Albert Bullock, was born in Kentucky in 1855, and he was descended from a Bullock whjo came from Virginia in the late 18th century. There is no connection with the Bullaku family, except in the sense that we are all related if you go back far enough.
(Anonymous)
May. 29th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
Bullock
She is an Albanian,love it or not...when she was in Kosovo,she had an interview, and she accepted,that she is from her father albanian, and she was proud of it.Im glad that,very important people,in industry and politics,they accept they're origins,and they are proud.Time is coming,and we gona have the big state we had ILIRIA,and the power we had....Karma
nwhyte
May. 29th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Bullock
None of this is true! Her mother is German, her father is descended from the guy Bullock County in Alabama is named after. Sorry to dispel the myth.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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