Actor Joe Manganiello Discovers Details About His Armenian Background

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Actor Joe Manganiello Discovers Details About His Armenian Background

Joe Manganiello has uncovered more details about his Armenian background with the help of the PBS genealogy show FINDING YOUR ROOTS.

The actor, who had always known his great-grandmother was Armenian, discovers some shocking details. Terviz "Rose" Darakjian, who escaped the Armenian Genocide after her husband and seven of her eight children were murdered in front of her by Turks, ended up in a refugee camp where she was impregnated by Karl Wilhelm Beutinger, a German officer. The officer later returned to his wife and three sons in Germany, one of whom became a Nazi SS officer.

Joe Manganiello shares: "It's virtually impossible that I exist. In 1915, the Turks came into her village of Harput in Armenia. They killed her husband. Shot her. And she had the presence of mind to lay on the ground and pretend she was dead, even though she wasn't. Seven gunshots then went off as they killed her children while she lay there. They left the eight child — an infant — to stave in the crib. After they left her house, she got up off the ground, took a piece of clothing from each one of the children, put the infant on her back and escaped the village. There were death marches where, after killing all the men, they would chain the women and children together. They released Kurdish prisoners, gave them coats, horses and weapons, and unleashed them on these Armenian women and children. She escaped past those death marches, got to the Euphrates Rivers, and swam across it with the baby on her back. By the time she got to the other side of the river, the baby had drowned. She lived in a cave, and then she was picked up by German officers and put into a camp. We don't know the nature of it, but she was impregnated by a German officer in that camp who then went back to Germany and left her in that camp to fend for herself. And she gave birth to my grandmother, who was born in a camp."

Joe Manganiello has always been very vocal of his Armenian background, frequently posting about the Armenian Genocide.

PBS will air the episode, FAMILY: LOST AND FOUND, on February 7, 2023.