Laura Benanti

Benanti in 2012, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: Laura Ilene Vidnovic

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

Date of Birth: July 15, 1979

Ethnicity: Serbian, German, English, Irish

Laura Benanti is an American actress and singer.

Laura is the daughter of Linda and Martin Vidnovic. Laura was raised by her mother and stepfather, Salvatore Benanti, in Kinnelon, New Jersey.

Laura’s father has Serbian ancestry. Laura’s mother is of half German descent, and also has English and Irish ancestry. Laura is also said to have Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this Native American ancestry has been verified/documented.

Laura is married to Patrick Brown, with whom she has two children.

Laura’s paternal grandfather was Burke Vidnovic (the son of Božo Vidnjević/Vidnovic and Smilyna/Cecilia Devic). Burke’s parents were from Ponikve, Yugoslavia.

Laura’s paternal grandmother was named Marge/Mary M.

Laura’s maternal grandfather was named William Karl Wonneberger (the son of Oswald K. Wonneberger and Louise). William was born in Washington, D.C., to a German father, and to a mother who was born in New York, to German parents.

Laura’s maternal grandmother was Elsie Ilene Jones (the daughter of Ertie Lee “Casey” Jones and Mary Elizabeth Byrne). Ertie was the son of William Fleming “Wild Bill” Jones and Mary Jane Norris.


Obituary of Laura’s uncle (father’s brother) –

Obituary of Laura’s great-uncle (paternal grandfather’s brother) –

Obituary of Laura’s uncle (mother’s brother) –

Laura’s maternal grandfather, William Karl Wonneberger, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

5 Responses

  1. bablah says:

    >Laura’s paternal grandparents were Burke Vidnovic (the son of Bozo Vidnovic and Smilyna/Cecilia) and Marge/Mary M. Bozo and Smilyna were from Ponikve, Yugoslavia (now Serbia).

    Božo Vidnjević from Ellis island records was from ”Hungary”, meaning Croatia. There’s a last name Vidnjević in Ogulin, and there’s a place called Ponikve near Ogulin with mostly Serbian people living in it (at least before the recent war).
    His waife’ slast name was Devic.

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