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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

Entertainers

Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli was born on March 12, 1946, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, She is the daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. As a teenager, Minnelli gave up on school and went to New York City to pursue a stage career. She landed a role in the off-Broadway revival of the musical Best Foot Forward in 1963, which brought her strong reviews. Around this time, Minnelli also appeared on her mother’s short-lived television series, The Judy Garland Show. Minnelli also performed with her mother during Garland’s stint… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Bobby Darin

Born “Walden Robert Cassotto” on May 14, 1936 Legendary Italian American entertainer Bobby Darin had a wide range of talent. Darin rose from poor beginnings in Harlem and the south Bronx. He also fought rheumatic fever as a child, which damaged his heart and plagued him throughout his life. As a result of these obstacles, he worked extremely hard to overcome them. Knowing his life would not be a long one, his ambition to succeed was fueled by an overwhelming desire to make it big in show business . Bobby… Continue Reading…

Entertainers

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the daughter of Adelaide “Addie” (Bianchi), an English teacher, and Gary A. Tomei, a trial lawyer. She has a younger brother, actor Adam Tomei, and was partly raised by her paternal grandparents. Tomei’s parents are both of Italian descent; her father’s ancestors came from Tuscany, Calabria, and Campania; while her mother’s ancestors are from Tuscany and Sicily. Marissa Tomei Website

Entertainers

Anne Bancroft

Anne Bancroft was born Anna Maria Louisa (or Luisa) Italiano in the Bronx, New York, September 17, 1931. The middle of three daughters of Mildred DiNapoli, a telephone operator, and Michael G. Italiano, a dress pattern maker. Bancroft’s parents were both children of Italian immigrants. In an interview, she stated that her family was originally from Muro Lucano, in the province of Potenza. She was Roman Catholic. Anna was an Italian American known professionally as Anne Bancroft, was an American actress, director, screenwriter and singer. Respected for her acting prowess… Continue Reading…

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