Jonathan Demme

VENICE – SEPT 7: Demme attends photocall at the Piazzale del Casino during the 65th Venice Film Festival on September 7, 2007 in Venice, Italy. Denis Makarenko/

Birth Name: Robert Jonathan Demme

Date of Birth: February 22, 1944

Place of Birth: Baldwin, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: April 26, 2017

Place of Death: New York City, New York, U.S.

Ethnicity: English (mostly), some German, small amounts of Scottish, Welsh, and Dutch, remote French, Swedish, and Cornish

Jonathan Demme was an American director and producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for The Silence of the Lambs (1991). He also directed the films Caged Heat, Crazy Mama, Fighting Mad, Handle with Care, Last Embrace, Melvin and Howard, Swing Shift, Stop Making Sense, Something Wild, Swimming to Cambodia, Married to the Mob, Philadelphia, Beloved, The Truth About Charlie, The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Rachel Getting Married, A Master Builder, and Ricki and the Flash.

Jonathan was the son of Dorothy Louise (Rogers) and Robert Eugene Demme, a public relations executive. His cousin was Episcopalian priest, social activist, and actor Robert W. Castle. His nephew was film director, producer, and actor Ted Demme. Jonathan was raised in Rockville Centre, New York, and Miami, Florida.

He was married to Joanne Howard, with whom he had three children.

Jonathan’s paternal grandfather was Frederick Eugene Demme (the son of William Demme and Marguerite/Margaret Whitemore). Frederick was born in Farmingdale, Monmouth, New Jersey. William was German. Marguerite was born in Pennsylvania.

Jonathan’s paternal grandmother was Edith Mary Castle (the daughter of Robert Wilkinson Castle and Mary Ann Davies). Edith was born in New York, to English parents. Robert was the son of Edward John Castle and Susan Wilkinson.

Jonathan’s maternal grandfather was Frederick Alexander Rogers (the son of Frederick Tuthill Rogers and Carrie Eugenia Gavitt). Jonathan’s grandfather Frederick was born in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island, and was of Colonial American (mostly English) descent. Jonathan’s great-grandfather Frederick was the son of William Augustus Rogers and Rebecca Jane Titsworth. Carrie was the daughter of Henry Burch Gavitt and Annie/Anna Manuel Cottrell.

Jonathan’s maternal grandmother was Dorothy Edwards (the daughter of James Augustus Edwards and Mary Eliza/Elizabeth Paine). Dorothy was born in Chicago, Illinois. James was the son of Edward W. Edwards and Catherine Rosalba Diffenderffer. Mary Eliza was the daughter of Joseph Emerson Paine and Eliza P. Glover, and was of Colonial American descent.

Sources: Genealogies of Jonathan Demme –

Marriage record of Jonathan’s paternal grandparents, Frederick Eugene Demme and Edith Mary Castle –

1 Response

  1. jonasbsjr says:

    Demme really dont struck me as a german name…

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