‘My Big Italian Adventure' host Lorraine Bracco channels 'Sopranos' and her Sicilian roots in new HGTV show
Known for her distinct husky voice and Brooklyn accent, Lorraine Bracco is an Oscar-nominated actress for her role in ‘Goodfellas’. She is also known for her other TV hit, HBO’s ‘The Sopranos’ where she portrays the character of Jennifer Melfi, the psychiatrist.
Born on October 2, 1954, in New York City, Lorraine has another actress in her family, her sister Elizabeth Bracco, who stars alongside Lorraine in ‘The Sopranos’. Bracco grew up in Long Island and later moved to France in pursuit of a career in show business and began working as a fashion model. She later ventured into other streams like working as a radio jockey for Radio Luxembourg.
In the late 1970s, she made her feature film debut and appeared in a couple of other French feature films as well.
A few years later she shifted back to the US in pursuit of a career in Hollywood. Her biggest Hollywood film success came in ‘Goodfellas’, a performance for which she was nominated for several prestigious awards including the Academy Award. Though she initially worked in feature films, she later took up opportunities in television series as well and attained great success in the latter. Her most noted performances include the role of Dr. Jennifer Melfi in ‘The Sopranos’ and Angela Rizzoli in ‘Rizzoli & Isles’.
Apart from acting, she is also an environmentalist and has been part of organizations like Riverkeeper and the New York Council for the Humanities.
Bracco has been married and divorced twice. She married Frenchman Daniel Guerard in 1979; they divorced in 1982. They have one daughter, actress Margaux Guerard
She was in a 12-year relationship with actor Harvey Keitel, whom she met while living in Paris. They have one daughter, Stella Keitel born in 1985. Bracco and Keitel fought a lengthy custody battle over Stella, resulting in Bracco's depression, a loss of acting roles, and $2 million in legal fees.
Bracco's second marriage was to actor Edward James Olmos in 1994, later they divorced in 2002. Bracco is a practitioner of Shotokan Karate In 2015, she wrote a self-help book, ‘To the Fullest: The Clean Up Your Act Plan to Lose Weight’, ‘Rejuvenate’, and ‘Be the Best You Can Be’.
At 66, Lorraine Bracco has a net worth of $24 million and her latest venture is HGTV’s, ‘My Big Italian Adventure’. "I believe life is an adventure," said Lorraine about doing the show. "When I saw the article that you could buy a house in Sambuca for one euro ($1.18), I jumped on it. So, I came on the plane. I bought the house. I'm very excited to be here, meet and work with the locals, and live amongst them. I'm here to pay homage to my family that comes from Sicily." The veteran actress will take a break from Hollywood for her next gig on the island of Sicily, renovating a 200-year-old home she purchased for only one euro.