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Toni Collette’s one in a million man hunt – What we know

Friday, August 14, 2015

Actor Toni Collette has made a public plea during Who Do You Think You Are? on SBS for information to help solve a family mystery.

In a WDYTYA first, a DNA test reveals that the man on Toni’s dad’s birth certificate is not his biological father. So who is Toni’s real biological grandfather? Toni is asking for anyone with information about the identity of a mystery man in a photograph, believed to be her biological grandfather, to come forward.

Toni’s grandmother Norma admitted to having an affair with an American serviceman, but she refused to name him.The only clue the family has is a photograph found in Norma’s divorce papers, showing Norma with a ‘mystery man’ in uniform. Could this be Toni’s grandfather?

Many military and family history organisations, websites and newsletters in both Australia and the USA were contacted to see if the man in the photo can be identified during the research stage. Unfortunately the WDYTYA team have been unable to identify the man in the photograph, but have been able to put together some clues. 

What we know:

 • A uniform expert identified this man as being with the US Navy, holding the rank of Chief Petty Officer, and the insignia on the arm indicates he was a Chief Commissary man, also referred to as a Chief Commissary Steward (CCS). 

• Norma was reportedly seen with an American Serviceman at a Sydney theatre in August 1944 (witness statement in the divorce papers) 

• Bob was born in early November 1946, so conception would be most likely February 1946. So this puts the man in Sydney after the war concluded.  

If you have information about the identity the man in the photograph, contact 

Join the conversation #WDYTYA

“If anyone, anyone, anyone has any information about this guy here, I’ll kiss you. 

Please come forward with it.” – Toni Collette.