Shemar Moore Defended Biracial Background — Mom Raised Him Alone as He Distanced Himself from His 'Erratic' Dad

Dayna Remus
Jun 27, 2022
07:00 P.M.

Shemar Moore was born to a white mother and black father. Not only was the relationship between his parents challenging for him as a kid, but he also had to face discrimination for being mixed-race. He became much more vocal about this bigotry as he grew older.


The "The Young and the Restless" actor was born on April 20, 1970, in Oakland, California. His mother, Marilyn Wilson, and father, Franklin Sherrod Moore, brought him into this world.

Initially from the United States, his mom took him to Denmark when he was under one year old. After this, they moved to Bahrain, eventually returning to America.

Shemar Moore and mom, Marilyn Wilson, at the 16th Annual Race to Erase MS on May 8, 2009 in Century City.  | Source: Getty Images

Shemar Moore and mom, Marilyn Wilson, at the 16th Annual Race to Erase MS on May 8, 2009 in Century City. | Source: Getty Images

His mother has half French-Canadian roots plus half Irish, while his dad is African-American. Speaking about their interracial relationship, Shemar shared an Instagram post in 2013, which partially read:

"They fought for LOVE and saw PAST COLOR.. They Fell in LOVE n fought for HARMONY and for each other!! They did the Hanky Panky and CREATED ME! [sic]."


Many people commenting on the post responded positively to Shemar discussing biracial relationships. Many remarked that "love is love" and shared similar stories.


However, people haven't always been inclusive of Shemar and his identity as a mixed-race male. When he and his mom moved back to America, there was a lot of bigotry. As he recalled:

"I was six, and I remember how different everyone made me feel when I was in school. Why does your hair look like that, why is your skin that color, how come your mom is white. [sic]."

He stated that children would chase him when school was over, and he threw rocks at them in defense. The trouper still remembers the first time someone used an ethnic slur against him.


As he grew up, Shemar became more vocal about being mixed race. He has stated that he is proud of both of his origins, refusing to denounce his mother or his father's race. He said that he had faced systemic racism as he expanded:

"I've been thrown down on the sidewalk in my lifetime. I understand what it is. I haven't gone through the George Floyd situation... but I'm not going to denounce the other side of me because I'm looking at humanity."

Shemar stated that his caucasian mother would most likely encourage him to join the "Black Lives Matter" movement. She would want him to fight for liberty and truth, he expanded.



While growing up, Shemar's mother was his sole caretaker. She took him to more progressive countries such as Denmark when he was young because he would face less racism there. He expressed:

“I’m an only child raised by a single mom, and I really tip my cap to her, because all my life she was my mentor and my hero.”

He said that beyond being his mother, she was also trying to look after everyone else and became a type of mom to the neighborhood. Sadly, while his relationship with his mom, Marilyn, was healthy, his and his mom's connection to his dad, Franklin, was much more complicated.


Speaking to Larry King in 2016, Shemar opened up about his relationship with his dad. He stated that his father is not good for his mom and had been in prison, expressing:

"I defend my mom. He wasn’t good to my mom...My father was erratic. He ended up spending four years in San Quentin when I was a baby."

Despite all of this hurt, Shemar stated that his father was in his life, although he has strict boundaries surrounding his relationship. He also bought his dad a place to stay because he needed it but implied that he still made a conscious decision to keep his distance.


Shemar continued to show unconditional love towards his father, despite the past. In 2013 for Father's Day, he shared an Instagram post encapsulating their messy and yet clearly loving relationship — it read:

"This is my Father. Sherrod Moore ... The man who helped bless me with this beautiful thing called Life.. He is not perfect by any means but He has lived and is still living an extraordinary Life .. He Is truly one of a kind!!!! As I aim to be!!! Happy Father's Day Pops ... Shemar."

The moving picture showed off the face of his elderly father. He sported a bright white beard against his beautiful dark skin that shone against the surrounding light.



In 2020, Shemar shared another tribute to his father on Instagram. Sadly, this time it was for Franklin's passing. In the caption, the grieving son wrote:

"SHERROD FRANKLIN “FREEDOM” MOORE.... The Man who helped give me life.... My Father... RIP... 🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊..... I wish we had made time to get to know each other... but... we didn’t................. I am grateful for you giving me life.[sic]."

The Instagram post included a picture of Shemar, dressed almost all in black while paying respects to his late dad. The casket stood before him as he crossed his hands over one another, looking somber.


Not long after his father passed away, his mother died after her battle with multiple sclerosis. Her son remained by her side throughout everything. While still alive, she said:

"My quality of life is totally determined by Shemar’s generosity. You take care of your parents, you put your kids through college, and then it’s kind of you. I wasn’t expecting this.”

At the time, Shemar joked that his mom could be pretty annoying. But, the actor also said that he wouldn't have the life he has without her and that he loved her deeply.


When his mother passed away, he took to Instagram to share a video where he spoke directly to his mother. He said that while he was okay, he was in a lot of pain. In the caption, he wrote:

"It was too soon .... and it hurts so bad.... but I know you are with me and will continue to give me strength... I love you mama. ❤️”

He announced her passing and date of death on February 7, 2020 — the day he lost his best friend. Shemar continued to say that he gets his strength from her, and that's why he will survive this loss.


Ashley and Wynonna Judd also lost their mother, Naomi Judd, this year. To commemorate their mom's life, they held an event called "Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration."

Ashley began the ceremony unable to stop herself from crying -- she spoke about Naomi's massive effect on country music. Her sister then sang "River of Time," which was written by their mother.

Other star-studded performers include Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Jamey Johnson, and Emmylou Harri. Heartfelt messages came pouring in from Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, and more.

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