Amy Irving

2009 New York Stage and Film Gala - Arrivals

Irving in 2009, photo by PR photos

Birth Name: Amy Davis Irving

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

Date of Birth: September 10, 1953

*father – Ashkenazi Jewish
*mother – English, along with Welsh, Northern Irish/Scots-Irish, German, Ashkenazi Jewish, Sephardi Jewish

Amy Irving is an American actress. She is known for her roles in the films Carrie, Yentl, and Crossing Delancey, among many others.

She is the daughter of director Jules Irving (born Jules Israel) and actress Priscilla Pointer. Amy’s father was Jewish; his family emigrated from Russia. Amy’s mother has a Jewish (of Ashkenazi and Sephardi descent) great-grandfather; the rest of Amy’s mother’s ancestry is English, Welsh, Northern Irish/Scots-Irish, and German.

Amy is married to documentary filmmaker Kenneth Bowser. She has two sons, one each with her former husbands, directors Steven Spielberg and Bruno Barreto.

Amy’s paternal grandfather was Jacob Israel (the son of Joseph Israel and Bessie Perlberg/Pearlberg). Jacob was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents.

Amy’s paternal grandmother was Ida S. Emanuel (the daughter of Pinkus/Puinkus Emanuel and Bessie Marcus). Ida was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents. Pinkus was the son of Rubin Emanuel and Malky Klectsky. Bessie was the daughter of Abrum Marcus and Tonky Sheapron.

Amy’s maternal grandfather was Kenneth Keith Pointer (the son of John Richard Pointer and Josephine “Josie” Hoffman). Kenneth was born in Missouri. John was the son of Joseph M. Pointer and Artamissa Phillips. Josephine was the daughter of German parents, Ludwig/Louis Hoffman and Jacobine/Josephine Kaw.

Amy’s maternal grandmother was Augusta Leonora/Leonore Davis (the daughter of Walter Juan Davis and Sarah “Sallie”/Sally Cohen). Augusta was born in Colorado. Walter was the son of William Thompson Davis and Augusta Leonora Hughes.

Sarah’s father, Jacob Barrett Cohen, was Jewish; his parents, Jacob Cohen and Sarah Barrett, were from Jewish families that had lived in South Carolina for several generations, and had both Ashkenazi and Sephardi ancestry. Jacob Barrett’s ancestors fought in the American Revolution and the War of 1812.

Sarah’s mother, Amy’s great-great-grandmother Marie Young, was most likely not Jewish.

Sources: Genealogy of Amy Irving –

Amy’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Amy’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Amy’s maternal grandparents, Kenneth Keith Pointer and Augusta Leonora/Leonore Davis –

Marriage announcement of Amy’s great-great-grandparents, Jacob Barrett Cohen and Marie Young –


Curious about ethnicity

4 Responses

  1. Camillebeautyinandout says:

    To over 900
    Where Exactly Do You See It Says Amy Irving Is Part Cherokee indian? I don’t see

  2. over9000 says:

    When you google her it just says she’s white, but she’s quater Cherokee.

  3. mzpreciousz says:

    references at: McBride, Joseph (1999). Steven Spielberg: A Biography. Da Capo Press. pp. 293

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