Maya Forbes

2015 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Infinitely Polar Bear" Afterparty - Arrivals

Forbes in 2015, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Maya C. Forbes

Place of Birth: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Date of Birth: July 23, 1968

*father – Scottish, French, English
*mother – African-American

Maya Forbes is an American screenwriter, television producer, and director. She is the daughter of Peggy Woodford and Donald Cameron Forbes. Her sister, China Forbes, is a singer and songwriter, who is known for being the lead singer for band Pink Martini. Maya is married to actor and filmmaker Wallace Wolodarsky.

Maya’s father was white and Maya’s mother is black. Maya’s father had Scottish, French, and English ancestry. All of Maya’s maternal grandparents and great-grandparents were black.

A picture of Maya’s mother can be seen here.

Maya is a fifth cousin, once removed, of politician John Kerry. Maya’s paternal five times great-grandparents, The Rev. John Forbes and Dorothy Murray, were also John’s maternal four times great-grandparents. Maya is also related to singer Ed Droste, of the band Grizzly Bear.

Maya’s paternal grandfather was Gordon Donald G. Forbes (the son of Gerrit Forbes and Marthe De La Fruglaye). Gordon was born in Hendon, Middlesex, England. Gerrit was American, from Milton, Massachusetts, and was the son of John Malcolm Forbes and Sarah Coffin Jones. Martha was French.

Maya’s paternal grandmother was Faith Fisher (the daughter of Richard Thornton Fisher and Georgina Paine). Faith was born in Massachusetts. Richard was the son of Edward Thornton Fisher and Ellen Bowditch Thayer. Georgina was the daughter of Charles Jackson Paine and Julia Bryant. Maya’s great-great-grandfather Charles was a railroad executive, soldier, and yachtsman. He was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Through Charles, Maya is a great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Robert Treat Paine, who signed the United States Declaration of Independence.

Maya’s maternal grandfather was Hackley Elbridge Woodford (the son of Thomas Elbridge Woodford and Bessie/Bassie Agnes Hackley). Maya’s grandfather Hackley was born in Michigan. Thomas was the son of Thomas Woodford and Mary A. Bennett. Bessie was the daughter of Jerome Irenious Hackley and Molly Burnett.

Maya’s maternal grandmother was Mary Imogene Steele (the daughter of Percy Howard Steele and Mary Imogene Lavenia Waring). Maya’s grandmother Mary was born in Maryland. Percy was likely the son of James Campbell Steele and Mary Johnson. Maya’s great-grandmother Mary was the daughter of James Henry Nelson Waring and Caroline/Carrie Alexine Brown.

Sources: Profile of Maya’s family –

Obituary of Maya’s paternal grandmother, Faith (Fisher) Forbes –

Maya’s maternal grandfather, Hackley Elbridge Woodford, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Maya’s maternal grandmother, Mary Imogene Steele, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

11 Responses

  1. andrewcoe says:

    It would appear that she is the 4th great granddaughter of Robert Treat Paine, one of the Declaration of Independence signers.

  2. Mixing really is a delicate process, I swear.

  3. Connerfromvine says:

    Looks Ashkenazi Jewish.

    • Bitchinita says:

      I thought so too. likely a one dropper as in the U.S one drop of black blood makes you black.

    • Smellybert says:

      She looks like a generic middle aged unattractive white lady.
      I don’t see any distinct ethnic look at all, not Ashkenazim or other.

      Totally disagree, and my Jewdar is one of the best in the business.
      Your Jewdar sucks donkey dong, you’re probably some ——- dwelling —- that lives in a state with 0.1% Jewish population.

  4. Devotion says:

    Looks full European to me.

    A surprising one…

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