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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…

Entertainers

Bobby Rydell

Bobby Rydell was born Robert Louis Ridarelli on April 26, 1942, to an Italian family, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Jennie (Sapienza) and Adrio “Al” Ridarelli. Bobby’s abilities were fostered by his father, Adrio Ridarelli, who took time to introduce his son to some of the best music ever made. Father and son would frequent Philadelphia’s big band hot spots to take in the lively postwar sounds of legendary acts. The songs, performances, arrangements, and characters of the scene were nourishing to the soul, but not the passion. It… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Rachael Ray

Rachael Domenica Ray was born in Glens Falls, New York, the daughter of Elsa Providenza Scuderi and James Claude Ray. Her mother’s ancestry is Sicilian and her father’s is French, Scottish, and Welsh. When Ray was 8, her family moved to Lake George, New York. Her mother managed restaurants in New York’s Capital District, including the Lake George Howard Johnson’s restaurant, located near the former Gaslight Village amusement park, which attracted many of the entertainers. In 1995, Ray moved to New York City. She worked first at the Macy’s Marketplace… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Penny Marshall

Born Carole Penny Marshall on October 15, 1943, in New York City, Marshall grew up in the Bronx with parents Tony Marshall, a director and producer, and Marjorie Marshall, a dance teacher. Penny’s Italian-American father changed the family’s last name from Marsciarelli to Marshall before she was born. Penny had two siblings, an older brother Gary and sister Ronny, whom she would later follow into show business Website

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