Family Tree Tuesday – Jordana Brewster
Jordana Brewster is a Brazilian-American actress. She began her acting career in 1995 with a one-episode role in the soap opera All My Children. She then appeared in As the World Turns in the recurring role as Nikki Munson for which she was nominated for Outstanding Teen Performer at the 1997 Soap Opera Digest Award. Brewster’s first feature film was in Robert Rodriguez’s 1998 The Faculty playing the role of Delilah Profitt, one of the main characters. She was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for the portrayal of Sarah Weinstock in the NBC television miniseries, The 60′s. Her breakthrough role came in the 2001 action film The Fast and the Furious. She currently stars as Elena Ramos in the television series Dallas.
Jordana Brewster was born on April 26, 1980 in Panama City, Panama to Maria João, a former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model from Brazil, and Alden Brewster, an American investment banker. She learned to speak Portuguese fluently when she lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but left Brazil at the age of 10 settling in Manhattan, New York. Her paternal grandfather is Kingman Brewster, Jr. (1919-1988) who was an educator, president of Yale University (1963-1977), and an American diplomat. During Kingman Brewster, Jr.’s junior year at Yale University, he turned down an offer of membership in Skull and Bones becoming a legend in Yale undergraduate lore. He immediately volunteered for service in the U.S. Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. During World War II he was a Navy aviator and flew on submarine-hunting patrols over the Atlantic, serving in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1946. After the war he entered Harvard Law School, receiving his law degree magna cum laude in 1948. He was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on April 7, 1977 to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James while serving as Yale’s president. He was confirmed by the United States Senate and he served from 1977-1981.
Janet Huntington Brewster (1910-1998) was Kingman Brewster, Jr.’s first cousin. She was an American philanthropist, writer, radio broadcaster and relief worker during World War II in London. She was the wife of broadcaster Edward R. Murrow. During the war years Janet served on the British-American Liaison Board, which helped to ease friction between American GIs and British civilians. She traveled throughout England lecturing for the American Embassy and for the Ministry of Information on American life to schools, civil defense units and other groups. In 1946, she was awarded the King’s Medal for Freedom in recognition of her services to international understanding. In 1953, Janet and Ed Murrow reported together on the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and in 1957, she substituted for her husband, who was in Burma, on Person to Person. Viewers and press reviews lauded her performance, and the program was soon considered one of the best in the series.