Family Tree Tuesday – Alexandra Wentworth
Alexandra “Ali” Wentworth is an American comedienne, actress, and author who starred in the comedy Head Case on the Starz TV network. She has made many appearances on television, including being a cast member on In Living Color and appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 1995, she was in the famous “Soup Nazi” episode of Seinfield playing Jerry’s girlfriend Sheila (“Schmoopie”). In 1997, Wentworth appeared as the love interest in the television film The Love Bug. She co-hosted the sydicated talk show Living It Up! With Ali & Jack with Jack Ford in 2003 and frequently appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show as a correspondent and on the Fridays Live segments in Chicago as a semi-regular/regular panelist. In 2009, Wentworth became a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader for an Oprah segment.
Wentworth was born on January 12, 1965 in Washington, D.C. to Mabel Cabot (née Hobart), who was First Lady Nancy Reagan’s social secretary in the White House, and Eric Wentworth, a reporter for The Washington Post. Her maternal grandmother was early 20th century explorer Janet Elliott Wulsin, whose accomplishments place her in line with contemporary women explorers.
Janet Elliott Wulsin was born to a wealthy New York family, her father Howard Elliott was a railroad executive. Wulsin served as a Red Cross nurse in the French Third Republic during World War I. She married Frederick Wulsin, a Harvard University graduate from a prominent Ohio family in Paris. The Wulsins resolved to travel the world, inspired by the travels of Roy Chapman Andrews. From 1921 to 1925, the couple mounted expeditions to the far reaches of China, Tibet, and Outer Mongolia to study the people, flora, and fauna of the region. With a grant from the National Geographic Society, they were able to collect 1,400 botanical and zoological specimens and documented Buddhist rituals. They also took hundreds of photographs, and were even allowed to photograph the interior of several of the great Tibetan Buddhist lamaseries, one of few early Westerners allowed to do so. In 1926, National Geographic published one account of their expeditions, but Janet’s contributions went uncredited. The Wulsin’s returned to the United States in 1925, and later divorced. Janet remarried Richard Hobart, a banker and collector of Chinese art. Her role in her first husband’s expeditions went largely uncredited until after her death in 1963, when her daughter, Mabel Cabot, found her mother’s private letters and diaries and published Vanished Kingdoms, a biographical account of Janet’s explorations.
Wentworth is married to George Stephanopoulos, an ABC News journalist and former political adviser to the Clinton administration. Stephanopoulos rose to early prominence as a director for the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton, subsequently becoming White House Communications Director then Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy. He is now chief political correspondent for ABC News, co-anchor of ABC News’ Good Morning America, host of ABC’s Sunday morning This Week, and primary substitute for ABC network anchor Diane Sawyer on ABC World News. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an American nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. Wentworth and Stephanopoulos met on a blind date in September 2001, were engaged two months later, and married on November 20, 2001. They have two daughters – Elliott Anastasia and Harper Andrea.
George Stephanopoulos appeared in the Pawn Stars episode “Buy the Book”, where he bought a first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls for $675, after haggling with owner Rick Harrison. Did you know Ali Wentworth and Ernest Hemingway are related? They are 11th cousins!
Check out Ali Wentworth’s family tree and see how you maybe related!