Alessandra Torresani

Torresani in 2010, image via kathclick/

Birth Name: Alessandra Olivia Toreson

Place of Birth: Palo Alto, Santa Clara, California, United States

Date of Birth: May 29, 1987

Ethnicity: 3/8ths Polish, one eighth Tyrolean Italian, along with German, Irish, English, some Welsh

Alessandra Torresani is an American actress. Her roles include the series Caprica, Husbands, The Fosters, and The Big Bang Theory, the made-for-tv movie Going to the Mat, and the films Playback (2012), The Moment (2013), Car Dogs, and Step Sisters. She has also been credited under her birth name Alessandra Toreson.

Alessandra’s father has one quarter Tyrolean Italian, as well as Irish, German, English, and some Welsh, ancestry. Alessandra’s mother is of three quarters Polish and one quarter German descent.

Alessandra has stated that she is “half Jewish.” However, this is not correct. Alessandra is not of Jewish heritage. Alessandra is also listed in many places on the internet as being the daughter of Italian immigrants, however she is not; or as being of Italian ancestry. One eighth of her ancestry is Tyrolean Italian, from Trentino-South Tyrol, which was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time of her great-grandfather’s birth. Tyrol is now split between both Austria and Italy, and had a historically ethnically Austrian and Italian population, among others. Her great-grandfather listed his language as “Tyrolean.”

Alessandra’s paternal grandfather was James R. Toreson (the son of Sylvester/Silvio Ludwig/Lodovico Toreson/Torresani and Catherine Boyle). James was born in Pennsylvania. Sylvester was born in Rumo, Trentino-South Tyrol, then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now in Italy, and was the son of Luigi/Louis Giovanni Torresani/Toreson and Domenica Caterina Bonan. Alessandra’s great-grandmother Catherine was born in Pennsylvania. Catherine’s father, Manus Boyle, was Irish, the son of Manus Boyle and Mary Ferry. Catherine’s mother, Catherine Elisabeth Lindeman, was German, the daughter of Conrad Lindeman and Anna Dorothea Jane Coleman/Collmann.

Alessandra’s paternal grandmother was Ruth E. Babcock (daughter of Bert H. Babcock and Lulu E. Davis). Ruth was born in Michigan, and had English, and some Welsh, ancestry. Bert was the son of Caleb S. Babcock and Sarah L. Thomas. Lulu was the daughter of Joseph Horace Davis and Willamina Elizabeth Georgina Bothwell.

Alessandra’s maternal grandfather was Stanley A. Glow (originally Glowczewski, the son of Stanley Ignacy Glowczewski and Mary Magdalene Kahler). Alessandra’s grandfather Stanley was born in Ohio. Alessandra’s great-grandfather Stanley was of Polish descent, the son of Ignatius F. Glowczewski and Francis Slupecki/Slupeck. Mary Magdalene was of German ancestry, the daughter of Frank Kahler and Louisa Nieman.

Alessandra’s maternal grandmother was Dorothy M. Kaminski (the daughter of Frank J. Kaminski and Stella/Estella Lewandowska/Lewandowski). Dorothy was born in Ohio, to Polish parents. Stella was the daughter of John Lewandowski and Marianna Pawlowska.

Sources: Genealogy of Alessandra Torresani (focusing on her father’s side) –

Marriage record of Alessandra’s paternal grandparents, James R. Toreson and Ruth E. Babcock –

Alessandra’s paternal grandfather, James R. Toreson, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Alessandra’s maternal grandfather, Stanley A. Glow –

Alessandra’s maternal grandmother, Dorothy M. Kaminski, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Alessandra’s maternal grandmother, Dorothy M. (Kaminski) Glow –

Obituary of Alessandra’s maternal great-grandmother, Stella/Estella (Lewandowska/Lewandowski) Kaminski –

31 Responses

  1. passingtime85 says:


    I don’t exactly how I’d corroborate this because if you don’t have an account you won’t be able to see it, but I signed up to and looked at some of the census’s the Torresons filled out.

    The 1910 census said that Sylvester’s mother tongue was Austrian/Italian. Then in 1920 it changed to Tyrolean, mispelled as Tyrollian, but whoever transcribed it claims it says Slovak, but it clearly doesn’t. Then in the 1930 census Sylvester’s brother Ralph, called so in 1910 and 1930 but Rudolph in 1920, filled out his own census and he put down that he was born in Italy, his parents were born in Italy, and Italian was solely his mother tongue. Not only that but the named changed to Torresani. Yet for some reason his draft cards say he was born in Austria.

    Long story short, Slovak doesn’t seem to be apart of the equation, Italian seems to be the most frequently cited mother tongue. I don’t know what to make of it, but Slovakian isn’t mentioned on any of the censuses.

    I was also able to find Catherine Boyle’s parents names. Manus Boyle born to Manus Boyle and Mary Ferry both born in Ireland and Catherine Elisabeth Lindeman who was born to Conrad Lindeman and Anna Dorothea Jane Coleman/Collmann both born in Germany.

  2. passingtime85 says:


    According to this, Sylvester Toreson was born in Austria.

  3. black plague says:

    From where Greta Gustafsson picked the
    Garbo surname.I think she was very young
    in Sweden and already she was known as
    Greta Garbo.

  4. andrew says:

    Greta Garbo and Portia De Rossi did the same

  5. Affellay says:

    Italian as hell

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