Meet Edward and Natalie Ortega, the parents of Wednesday actress Jenna Ortega

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Published Mar 2, 2024 at 09:00 AM

Reading time: 3 minutes

Jenna Ortega is an actress best known for portraying Wednesday Addams in the Netflix original series Wednesday. But, beyond the Hollywood scene, Ortega comes from a very normal background. The 21-year-old was born in Palm Desert, California and grew up in a bustling household alongside her five siblings and her parents, Edward and Natalie Ortega.

The now Golden Globe-nominated actress is a global star, but let’s delve a little bit into Ortega’s background, with a particular focus on her family.

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A post shared by Jenna Ortega (@jennaortega)

Who are Jenna Ortega’s parents?

Edward Ortega, a businessman, and Natalie Ortega, an emergency nurse, are the proud parents of the Scream actress. The pair boast a diverse cultural background, Edward hails from Mexican American roots, while Natalie carries Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage.

The couple’s journey into parenthood commenced with the arrival of Isaac in 1998, followed by Mariah in 1999 and Mia in 2000. Jenna then made her entrance in 2002, adding her vibrant presence to the family, and the household was completed with the arrival of younger twin siblings, Aliyah and Markus, in 2004.

Choosing to make their home near Palm Springs in the California desert, the Ortega family was held together by the dedicated commitment of Ortega’s mom, Natalie, who embarked on the lengthy commute to Los Angeles for her daughter’s auditions. This sacrifice proved to be more than worth it, as Ortega began to carve her path in the entertainment industry, securing roles at a young age, with notable appearances on Jane the Virgin and Stuck in the Middle.

Despite the actress’ success, Ortega revealed during the press tour for Wednesday, that her parents have no interest in the film industry: “They have no interest whatsoever in this world or in the film industry. I could come home from work with cool people, prominent people, people I looked up to, and they weren’t interested. They were like, ‘hey, you didn’t do the dishes before you left, so you’re going to have to do them all week’.”


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A post shared by Natalie Lopez Ortega (@natalieortega1)

Does Jenna Ortega have siblings?

The actress, as previously mentioned, is part of a family of six siblings, and as the middle child Ortega has shared her thoughts on how it feels to be part of this family dynamics: “There are a lot of misconceptions about being the middle child; it’s actually pretty cool,” Ortega stated in a 2016 interview with Mama’s Mission blog. “Your younger and older brothers and sisters feel that they can confide in you. If someone is going to miss an event, it’s usually the middle child, which causes the parents to feel guilty and try to make it up in other ways. Middle children get away with more stuff in general,” the actress revealed.

Later, in 2019, Ortega stated in an interview with People: “I’m the fourth kid. We all have scattered schedules and are kind of all over the place, but when we do get to spend time with each other we try to do that. We love to talk smack with one another and be goofy … But we’re all very supportive of each other.”

During the Adidas campaign, ‘All that You Are’, that Ortega starred in in 2023, the actress also confessed that another bond she shares with her family is soccer. Ortega confessed how the sport played a significant role in the family’s activities: “I grew up playing soccer, as did my entire family. It was our favourite sport to watch and play together. I just love how the competitive spirit of the game makes you stay in the moment.”

Where does Jenna Ortega live?

Believe it or not, the star has been calling her La Quinta home sweet home since she was a two-year-old. And guess what? Despite her Hollywood stardom and chilling roles in horror films, Jenna has stuck to her roots, choosing to stay grounded in the familiar surroundings of La Quinta even into adulthood.

In the 2019 People interview, Ortega also revealed what it was like living so close to the iconic music festival Coachella: “Once you get to high school, it’s what all the ‘cool kids’ do.  Weekend 2 is the locals’ weekend. I’ve caught some incredible acts that I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. One year, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg lit up the stage. The music variety is insane, and every time we go, there’s something new to vibe to. Trust me, I’ll never get over the hype.”

Jenna Ortega on SNL

As Ortega stepped into the spotlight to host Saturday Night Live in March 2023, she didn’t forget to give her parents a heartfelt mention in her opening monologue: “In my younger days, before I could even watch SNL, I toured the SNL building with my parents,” she reminisced on the show. “They casually mentioned, ‘Imagine if you hosted someday?’ It felt like a far-off fantasy then, but here I am tonight, and my parents are right here in the audience,” the actress continued.

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