A Nixon in the Wings

05/20/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

A new star is born in a political dynasty: Jennie Eisenhower, 22, the great-granddaughter of President Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower and the granddaughter of President Richard M. Nixon. The young Eisenhower, a pretty brunette who looks a good deal like her mother (Nixon daughter Julie Eisenhower, who is married to Ike's grandson, David Eisenhower) made her New York acting debut Tuesday night in the musical comedy "Suburb." Comparing politics to acting, Eisenhower told the New York Post (which noted that she didn't mind being taped for her interview, an obvious jab at her granddad, who committed to audio tape much of his White House business), "In both, you need to be comfortable in front of an audience; you get coaching and you rehearse your performances." Eisenhower grew up in the upscale Philadelphia suburb of Berwyn, Pa. Her father teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, and her mom lectures and is currently finishing a children's book. As for her grandfather, whom Jennie called "Ba," the actress said that Richard Nixon "was really open and incredibly kind to people." He also witnessed her high school performance in "Into the Woods" in 1994, only 12 days before his dea th. It marked his last public appearance.

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