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Entertainers

Perry Como

Pierino Ronald “Perry” Como was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. He was the seventh of ten children and the first American-born child of Pietro Como and Lucia Travaglini, who both immigrated to the US in 1910 from the Abruzzese town of Palena, Italy. He did not begin speaking English until he entered school, since the Comos spoke Italian at home. The family had a second-hand organ his father had bought for $3; as soon as little Pierino was able to toddle, he would head to… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Connie Francis

The 20th Century produced many popular singers. Of all the great “girl singers,” no one personified her generation, or was more idolized by millions across the world than Connie Francis, who was born Concetta Maria Franconero on December 12, 1937 in the Italian section of Newark, New Jersey, the daughter and first child of George and Ida Franconero, Italian-American parents.​​ From the age of three, George Franconero recognized his daughter’s outstanding talent and, at his persistence, she began taking accordion lessons. However, her musical ingenuity would not be served well… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Tony Bennett

Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born on August 3, 1926 at St. John’s Hospital in Long Island City, Queens, NY. He is the son of grocer John Benedetto and seamstress Anna Suraci, and was the first member of his family to be born in a hospital. His father John had emigrated from Podàrgoni, a rural eastern district of the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria. Anna had been born in the U.S. shortly after her parents also emigrated from the Calabria region in 1899. Raised in Astoria to an Italian-American family,… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Annette Funicello

Annette Joanne Funicello was born October 22, 1942, in Utica, New York, to Italian-Americans Virginia Jeanne Albano and Joseph Edward Funicello. Her family moved to Southern California when she was four years old. Funicello began her professional career as a child performer at the age of twelve. She rose to prominence as one of the most popular Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club. She later starred in films like The Shaggy Dog and the Beach Party series with Frankie Avalon. She opened the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Disorders in 1993.Website: Annette Funicello

EntertainersRecipes

Giada De Laurentiis

***Giada’s Easter Classics*** Giada Pamela De Laurentiis  is an Italian-American chef, writer, and television personality. She is the host of Food Network’s “Giada at Home”.  Giada Pamela De Benedetti was born on August 22, 1970, in Rome, Italy, the eldest child of actress Veronica De Laurentiis and her first husband, actor-producer Alex De Benedett. In 1977 at the age of 7, Giada’s parents left Italy and came to the United States. They lived briefly in Florida, and New York and then moved to Los Angeles. Giada is a Emmy award winning… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Vic Damone

One of the prototypical Italian-American crooners, Vic Damone parlayed a smooth, mellow baritone into big-time pop stardom during the ’40s and ’50s. Early in his career, his inflection and phrasing were clearly indebted to Frank Sinatra, who once famously called him “the best set of pipes in the business.” Overall, though, Damone’s style was softer than Sinatra’s and owed less to the elasticity of jazz, especially since he was a solo performer who never served an apprenticeship with a swing orchestra. Very much the heartthrob in his heyday, his repertoire… Continue Reading…

EntertainersPublic Figure

Liberace

Wladziu Valentino Liberace was born in West Allis, Wisconsin. On May 16, 1919. Liberace received his middle name, “Valentino” because his mom’s favorite actor was an Italian named Rudolph Valentino. Wonder if she knew Liberace was destined for greatness. Wladziu, was know as Lee to his friends, and Walter to his family. His Father, Salvatore Liberace was an immigrant from Formia, in the Lazio, region of central Italy. Frances Zuchowska was Polish. Liberace had an identical twin who was still born. Liberace was 1 of 4 children, a sister, Angelina,… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Frank Sinatra

Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra“Ol’ Blue Eyes”“The Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra was Born December 12, 1915, at 415 Monroe Street, Hoboken, New Jersey. The only child of Italian immigrants, Natalie Della Garaventa and Antonino Martino Sinatra. Frank was raised Roman Catholic. Frank got his first break in 1935, into show business when his mother persuaded a local singing group, The Three Flashes, to let him join. Then on December 31, 1942, Sinatra made a “legendary opening” at the Paramount Theater in New York, he then signed with Columbia on… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Dean Martin

Dean Martin, born Dino Paul Crocetti; June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995 Was an Italian American singer, movie star, TV Star, Comedian/Nightclub Performer. He  was born in Steubenville, Ohio, to Italian parents, Gaetano and Angela Crocetti. The sound of Dino’s voice echoes from the scratchy 45rpm record on my dads turntable, filling the room with nostalgia. ‘When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore. When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine, you’re in love.’ His hit song “That’s Amore”–or, as… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Lady Gaga

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta Born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986., better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an Italian American singer, songwriter, and actress. She initially performed in theater, appearing in high school plays, and studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Gaga rose to prominence with her debut album The Fame a critical and commercial success which produced global chart-topping singles such as “Just Dance” and “Poker Face”. Gaga is noted for her diverse contributions to the music industry via… Continue Reading…

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