Virginia Madsen

by follers on April 15, 2014

"Red Riding Hood" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Birth Name: Virginia G. Madsen

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 11, 1961

*Danish (father)
*Irish, English, Scottish, German (mother)

Virginia Madsen is an American actress and producer. She is known for her role in the film Sideways, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Virginia is the daughter of Elaine (Melson), an award-winning filmmaker, and Cal Madsen, a firefighter. Her brother is actor Michael Madsen. Virginia has a son with her former partner, actor Antonio Sabato, Jr.

Virginia is of Danish descent on her father’s side, and has English, Irish, Scottish, and German ancestry on her mother’s side. Virginia has stated that her mother is of part Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this Native American ancestry has been documented/verified.

Virginia’s paternal grandparents were Soren/Samuel Madsen and Anna Marie Andersen. Virginia’s grandparents were born in Denmark.

Virginia’s maternal grandfather was Lance Eugene Melson (the son of Luther Elmore Melson and Dorothy Christine “Dolly” Williams). Luther was the son of Leandor/Leander Elmore Melson and Mary Ellen Wingfield. Dorothy was the daughter of Henry Wade Williams and Caroline/Calline Lanier.

Virginia’s maternal grandmother was Lavina Loretta Shay (the daughter of Harry Earnest Shay and Cora Lavina Rhodes). Lavina’s step-father was William Riley Jennings. Harry was the son of David Shay and Anna Elizabeth Hendrick. Cora was the daughter of Charles Winfred Rhoades and Clara Bell Courtney.

Sources: Genealogies of Virginia Madsen –

Genealogy of Virginia Madsen (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Virginia’s maternal great-grandfather, Luther Elmore Melson –

Virginia’s maternal grandmother, Lavina Loretta Shay (then under her stepfather’s surname, “Jennings”), on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Virginia’s maternal great-grandfather, Harry Earnest Shay –

Virginia’s maternal great-grandfather, Harry Earnest Shay, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Photo by PrPhotos

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Capricious April 1, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Looks like a typical woman from the South. Lol

andrew April 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm

brother Michael claimed Native

follers April 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm

It was Virginia who said it. She said her mother is “Irish and Native American”.

andrew June 11, 2017 at 8:14 am

Maybe Wampanoag?

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