Maya Forbes

2015 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Infinitely Polar Bear" Afterparty - Arrivals

Birth Name: Maya C. Forbes

Place of Birth: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Date of Birth: July 23, 1968

*Scottish, French, English (father)
*African-American (mother)

Maya Forbes is an American writer, director, and producer. She is the daughter of Peggy Woodford and Donald Cameron Forbes. Her sister, China Forbes, is a singer and songwriter, who is known for being the lead singer for band Pink Martini.

Maya’s father was white and Maya’s mother is black. Maya’s father had Scottish, French, and English ancestry. All of Maya’s maternal grandparents and great-grandparents were black.

A picture of Maya’s mother can be seen here.

Maya is a fifth cousin, once removed, of politician John Kerry. Maya’s paternal five times great-grandparents, The Rev. John Forbes and Dorothy Murray, were also John’s maternal four times great-grandparents. Maya is also related to singer Ed Droste, of the band Grizzly Bear.

Maya’s paternal grandfather was Gordon Donald Forbes (the son of Gerrit Forbes and Marthe De La Fruglaye). Gerrit was the son of John Malcolm Forbes and Sarah Coffin Jones. Martha was French.

Maya’s paternal grandmother was Faith Fisher (the daughter of Richard Thornton Fisher and Georgina Paine). Richard was the son of Edward Thornton Fisher and Ellen Bowditch Thayer. Georgina was the daughter of Charles Jackson Paine and Julia Bryant.

Maya’s maternal grandfather was Hackley Elbridge Woodford (the son of Thomas Elbridge Woodford and Bessie/Bassie Agnes Hackley). Thomas was the son of Thomas Woodford and Mary A. Bennett. Bessie was the daughter of Jerome Irenious Hackley and Molly Burnett.

Maya’s maternal grandmother was Mary Imogene Steele (the daughter of Percy Howard Steele and Mary Imogene Lavenia Waring). Percy was likely the son of James Campbell Steele and Mary Johnson. Maya’s great-grandmother Mary Imogene Lavenia was the daughter of James Henry Nelson Waring and Caroline/Carrie Alexine Brown.

Sources: Profile of Maya’s family –

Obituary of Maya’s paternal grandmother, Faith (Fisher) Forbes –

Maya’s maternal grandfather, Hackley Elbridge Woodford, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Maya’s maternal grandmother, Mary Imogene Steele, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Photo by Prphotos

7 Responses

  1. Mixing really is a delicate process, I swear.

  2. Connerfromvine says:

    Looks Ashkenazi Jewish.

  3. Devotion says:

    Looks full European to me.

    A surprising one…

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