Gena Rowlands

The Notebook Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Rowlands in 2004, photo by

Birth Name: Virginia Cathryn Rowlands

Place of Birth: Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.

Date of Birth: June 19, 1930

Ethnicity: Welsh, English

Gena Rowlands is an American actress. She is the daughter of Lady Rowlands (born Mary Allen Neal), an actress, and Edwin Myrwyn Rowlands, a banker and state legislator, who was a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and the Wisconsin State Senate.

She is married to businessperson Robert Forrest. She has three children with her late husband, director and actor John Cassavetes, to whom she was married until his death; Nick Cassavetes, Alexandra Cassavetes, and Zoe Cassavetes, all of whom have been involved in filmmaking, including acting, directing and writing.

Her father was of Welsh descent. Her mother had English ancestry.

Gena’s paternal grandfather was David Morris Rowlands (the son of Morris J. Rowlands and Catherine Owens). David was born in Wisconsin, to Welsh parents.

Gena’s paternal grandmother was Emma Davies (the daughter of Edwin Davies and Jane Ann Hughes). Emma was born in Wisconsin, to a Welsh-born father and a mother who was born in New York, to Welsh parents. Edwin was the son of Thomas Davies and Margaret Williams. Jane was the daughter of Richard Hughes and Ann Williams.

Gena’s maternal grandfather was William Joel Neal (the son of Younger Neal and Martha Thomas Dyer). William was born in Arkansas. Younger was the son of William Jay Neal and Mouncy Nancy Robinson. Martha was the daughter of Joel Westley Dyer and Sarah Ann Talkington.

Gena’s maternal grandmother was Tennessee Virginia Hickey (the daughter of Charles Midland Hickey and Saphronia C. “Froney” Wright). Tennessee was born in Arkansas. Charles was the son of John Richard Hickey and Margaret Macom.

Sources: Marriage record of Gena’s parents –

Gena’s father on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Gena’s maternal grandfather, William Joel Neal, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Gena’s maternal grandmother, Tennessee Virginia Hickey, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

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