The following is a list of notable Sicilian Americans. To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Sicilian American or must be accompanied by references showing they are Sicilian American and are notable.
Henry Armetta, (Palermo, Sicily, July 4, 1888 – San Diego, October 21, 1945) was a movie character actor who appeared in at least 150 films, starting in silents as early as 1915 to a movie released in 1946, after his death. In 1938, he played in Everybody Sing with Judy Garland, Allan Jones, and Fanny Brice. In 1941, he was hilarious as the father of an Italian family shopping for beds in "The Big Store" with the Marx Brothers and Tony Martin. He appeared in at least 24 films in 1934 alone, sometimes uncredited.
Armand Assante was born on October 4, 1949 in New York City to an Sicilian father and an Irish mother. Assante is an accomplished character actor, with his big break coming in 1974 in The Lords of Flatbush. His sometimes sinister look has made him a popular choice for movies and television.
Sonny Bono, born Salvatore Phillip Bono (February 16, 1935 – January 5, 1998) was an American record producer, singer, actor and politician whose career spanned over three decades.
Argentina Brunetti, (August 31, 1907 – December 20, 2005) was an actress and writer. She followed Mimi Aguglia, her famous mother's footsteps in the theater. She began her movie debut in the Frank Capra classic It's a Wonderful Life (1946), as Mrs. Martini. Throughout her varied career she has also written and performed in daily radio shows, became a member of the 'Hollywood Foreign Press Association', writing numerous articles on Hollywood personalities, authored books, written music and acted in over 57 television programs and 68 movies in which she mainly played multi-ethnic roles. She hosted a weekly weblog on the Internet, called Argentina Brunetti's Hollywood Stories, which her son plans to continue running, and has written a biographical novel called In Sicilian Company.
Frank Capra, (May 18, 1897 – September 3, 1991) was an American film director and a major creative force behind a number of highly popular films. Born Francesco Rosario Capra in Bisacquino, Sicily, Capra moved with his family to America in 1903, settling in Los Angeles.
Gary Chester (October 27, 1924 – August 17, 1987) (born Cesario Gurciullo in Saracusa, Italy) was one of the twentieth century's busiest studio drummers. Gary is counted as one of the great studio session drummers. His work appears on thousands of tracks, including hundreds of hit records from the 1950s, '60s and '70s. He claimed to have logged some 15,000 studio sessions over three decades.
Iron Eyes Cody, (April 3, 1904 – January 4, 1999) was an actor born in Kaplan, Louisiana. He was born Espera DeCorti, the son of Sicilian immigrants Francesca Salpietra and Antonio DeCorti. He was not born a Native American, but he claimed to be part Cherokee and part Cree. Cody and his wife Bertha Parker adopted children that were Native American. Cody began his acting career at the age of 12 and continued to work until the time of his death. In 1996, The Times-Picayune exposed his true heritage, but Cody denied it.
Angelo F. Coniglio is a first-generation descendant of immigrants from Serradifalco, Sicily. A retired civil engineer and educator, he is the author of The Lady of the Wheel, historical fiction set in the late 1800s in Racalmuto and describing the tribulations of foundlings and poor sulfur mine workers.
Alan Dale, (July 9, 1926 – April 20, 2002) was a singer of traditional popular and rock and roll music. He was born Aldo Sigismondi in the Brooklyn borough of New York. His father, Aristide Sigismondi, immigrated to the United States from Abruzzi, Italy in 1904 at the age of 21, and became a comedian in Italian-language theater, with a radio program of his own. His mother, Agata "Kate" Sigismondi, was born in Messina, Sicily, and was 15 years younger than Aristide.
Dennis Farina (February 29, 1944- July 22, 2013) Born in Chicago, was an actor in television and motion pictutes; & formerly a Chicago policeman.
Ben Gazzara (August 28, 1930 – February 3, 2012, born Biagio Anthony Gazzara in New York City), was an actor in television and motion pictures. Born to Sicilian immigrants, Antonio Gazzara and Angela Consumano, Gazzara grew up on New York's tough Lower East Side.
Ariana Grande born June 26, 1993, is an American actress and singer. She currently plays the role of Cat Valentine on Victorious. She is of Italian descent, half Sicilian, half Abruzzese. Her older brother is actor-producer Frankie Grande.
Frankie Laine, (born Frank Paul LoVecchio) on March 30, 1913; died February 6, 2007 was an influential American singer. Frankie's parents emigrated from Monreale, Sicily to Chicago's "Little Sicily". At 17 he sang before a crowd of 5,000 at The Merry Garden Ballroom to such enthusiastic applause that he ended up performing five encores on his first night. But success as a singer was another 17 years away. Frankie Laine's 70-plus year career spanned most of the 20th century and continued into the 21st. Laine was a key figure in the golden age of popular music, and remains, quite possibly the greatest singer of all time. On June 12, 1996, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Annual Songwriters’ Hall of Fame awards ceremony at the New York Sheraton.
Cyndi Lauper, (born June 22, 1953), Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper, better known as Cyndi Lauper, is a singer whose melodic voice and wild costumes have come to epitomize the 1980s, the decade in which she first came to fame. She was born in Queens, New York to Swiss German-American Fred Lauper and Sicilian Italian-American Catrine Dominique.
Natalie Merchant, (born October 26, 1963 in Jamestown, New York) is a versatile musician. Merchant co-founded and fronted the successful band 10,000 Maniacs in 1981, but left the band in 1993 for a solo career. Her father's original Italian name was Mercante but was Americanized into Merchant. Her mother's side is Irish.
Sal Mineo, born Salvatore Mineo, Jr. (January 10, 1939 – February 12, 1976) was an American actor and theater director, famous for his Academy Award-nominated performance opposite James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause. Mineo, born in The Bronx, New York City as the son of a Sicilian coffin maker, was enrolled by his mother in dancing and acting school at an early age.
Vincente Minnelli (Feb 28, 10 – July 25, 1986) born in Chicago, IL; Noted Film Director; also Father of Academy Award Winning Actress Liza Minnelli; he was of half-Sicilian heritage on his paternal side.
Al Pacino, born Alfredo James Pacino (born April 25, 1940 in The Bronx, New York) is an American film actor. Pacino is the son of Salvatore Pacino (who was born in Sicily) and Rose Gerardi (the daughter of a Sicilian born father and a New York-born mother of Sicilian descent). His parents divorced while Pacino was still a child. His grandparents originate from Corleone, Sicily.
Louis Prima was born into a musical family of Sicilian descent in New Orleans. He studied violin for several years as a child. His older brother Leon Prima was a well regarded local bandleader. Prima was proud of his heritage, and made a point of letting the audience know at every performance that he was Sicilian -American and from New Orleans. His singing and playing showed that he absorbed many of the same influences as his fellow Crescent City musician, Louis Armstrong, particularly in his hoarse voice and scat singing.
Mario Puzo, (October 15, 1920 – July 2, 1999) was an American author known for his fictional books about the Mafia. Puzo was born into a family of Sicilian immigrants living in the "Hell's Kitchen" neighborhood of New York City. Many of his books draw heavily on this Sicilian heritage.
Matthew Randazzo V, (March 13, 1984 in New Orleans) is an American true crime writer and historian known for his work on the American Mafia.
Leah Remini, (born June 15, 1970 in Brooklyn, New York) is an actress. She is best known for her role as Carrie Heffernan on the sitcom The King of Queens. Her father George Remini, owner of an asbestos company, originates from Sicily. Her mother Vicki Marshall, a high school principal, is Jewish.
Giovanni Ribisi, born Giovanni Antonino Ribisi (born December 17, 1974 in Los Angeles, California) is an actor. His father, Albert Anthony Ribisi, is a musician. Ribisi's paternal grandfather was the son of farmers from Sicily, as the typical surname may suggest.
Pete Rugolo, (born December 25, 1915) is a Sicilian-born composer and arranger. He was born in Patti, Sicily, but his parents emigrated to the United States in 1920 and settled in Santa Rosa, California. He started his musical career playing the baritone, like his father, but he quickly branched out into other instruments, notably the French horn and the piano. He is most famous for his writing for the Stan Kenton Orchestra, although he led a long and successful career as a composer and arranger based in Los Angeles for many years. He has written for the Four Freshmen (for whom he was musical director) and many others.
Martin Scorsese, (pronounced as Scor-SEH-see) (born November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York, USA) is a multi-Oscar nominated film director. Martin Scorsese came from a working class Sicilian -American family, hailing from the Sicilian town of Polizzi Generosa; his father Luciano Charles Scorsese (1913–1993) was a pants presser in New York's garment district. He struggled to earn enough money to attend university, but has shown enormous gratitude to his parents for helping him realize his dreams. His parents were the subject of Scorsese's documentary Italianamerican and made numerous cameo appearances in his films before their deaths. For years, his mother worked as the official caterer for all of Scorsese's films and his father helped in the wardrobe department.
Gia Scala, born Josefina Grazia Scoglio in Liverpool, England, to a Sicilian father, Pietro Scoglio, and an Irish mother, Eileen O'Sullivan. Raised from infancy in Sicily, she moved to the United States at age sixteen where she graduated Bayside High School and later worked in New York City. She studied acting and in 1954 was signed to a contract by Universal Studios in Hollywood where her name was changed to Gia Scala. She received wide recognition for her performance of "Anna" in The Guns of Navarone (1961 film). Her life ended with an accidental drug overdose in 1972. Gia Scala is interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Vincent Schiavelli, (November 10, 1948 – December 26, 2005) is a noted character actor known for his work in film and on television. He was born into a Sicilian/Italian-American family in Brooklyn, New York. He studied acting through the Theater Program at New York University and began working on the stage in the 1960s. Having a respected Sicilian chef for a grandfather rubbed off on Vincent Schiavelli, as he is also the author of a number of cookbooks and food articles for magazines and newspapers. He received a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award in 2001 and has been nominated on a number of other occasions. He succumbed to lung cancer at age 57, passing away at his home in Polizzi Generosa, Italy, the town in Sicily where his grandfather emigrated from and which he wrote about in his 2002 book, Many Beautiful Things: Stories and Recipes from Polizzi Generosa (ISBN 0-7432-1528-1).
Frank Sinatra, born Francis Albert Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer who is considered one of the finest vocalists of all time, renowned for his impeccable phrasing and timing. Many critics place him alongside Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles as the most important popular music figures of the 20th century.  Sinatra launched a second career as a dramatic film actor, and became admired for a screen persona distinctly tougher than his smooth singing style. Sinatra also had a larger-than-life presence in the public eye, and as "The chairman of the board" became an American icon, known for his brash, sometimes swaggering attitude, as embodied by his signature song "My Way". He was born in Hoboken, New Jersey as the only child of a quiet Sicilian fireman father, Anthony Martin Sinatra (1894–1969). Anthony had emigrated to the United States in 1895. His mother, Natalie Della Gavarante (1896–1977), was a talented, tempestuous Ligurian, who worked as a part-time abortionist. She was known was "Dolly", and emigrated in 1897.
Tony Sirico, (born July 29, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York) is an actor who is most famous for his role as Paulie Walnuts on the HBO television series The Sopranos. Prior to becoming an actor, Sirico spent some time in jail for holding up a number of night clubs in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While in prison, he became interested in acting from watching a theater group that came to perform. When he got out of jail, Sirico played gangsters in a number of films.
Britney Spears, born Britney Jean Spears (December 2, 1981 in McComb, Mississippi) is an American recording artist and entertainer. Her grandmother Lilian Irene Portelli was a Sicilian immigrant.
Sylvester Stallone, born Sylvester Enzio Stallone (July 6, 1946 in New York City) is an American film actor, director, producer and screenwriter. He is often referred to by his nickname, "Sly". He achieved his greatest successes in a number of action films, notably the Rocky and Rambo series. He was born to Frank Stallone Sr. (a beautician who was an immigrant from Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily) and Jacqueline "Jackie" Labofish, an American astrologer of 1/4 Russian Jewish descent.
Johnny Thunders, born John Anthony Genzale, Jr. (July 15, 1952 – April 23, 1991), was a rock and roll guitarist and singer, first with the New York Dolls, the proto-punk glam rockers of the early 1970s. During the late 1970s, he was a familiar figure on the New York punk scene, both with The Heartbreakers and as a solo artist. His guitar work was highly influential in punk rock music.
John Turturro, (born February 28, 1957) is an American actor. He has appeared in over sixty movies, and is well known for his ability to effortlessly change both his demeanour and physique. Turturro was born in Brooklyn, New York to a Sicilian Catholic family. He completed his MFA at the Yale School of Drama. He worked as an extra in Raging Bull (1980).
Frank Vincent, (born Frank Vincent Gattuso on August 4, 1939) is an Italian-American actor. He was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, but was raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. His father was also called Frank. His mother was Mary (née Ricci). Frank has two brothers: Nick and Jimmy. Frank's father was one of six children, all born in the USA to Sicilian immigrants Niccolo Gattuso and Francesca di Peri. He was spotted by Martin Scorsese in a low-budget gangster movie called Death Collector. Scorsese was impressed and hired Vincent to star in Raging Bull. Joe Pesci co-starred with Vincent in The Death Collector and the two were reunited in several other movies; another familiar co-star of Vincent is Robert De Niro.
Emanuele Viscuso, (born December 24, 1952 in Palermo), is the creator of the Sicilian Film Festival, a showcase of Sicilian directors and movies founded in Miami in 2006. He also founded FIMO (International Organ Music Festival) in Castelbuono, Sicily in 2008. Viscuso lives in Miami, in Milan and in Castelbuono, Sicily. Besides his work as president of this festival, Viscuso is a musician, a sculptor, a writer and a designer. His most famous piece is the 45-foot-large sculpture "Wave-bridge on the imaginary" at the Milan Malpensa international airport. His design is mostly expressed with his world famous trompe l'oeil wall paper collection. Emanuele Viscuso has taken part to the Esperia* STS-120/10A Mission, launched on October 23, 2007 from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre, in Florida as delegate in Florida of Accademia Italiana della Cucina, a Cultural Institution of the Italian Republic. The City of Miami Beach, where he resides since November 2000, recognized his cultural involvement in the community with the "Key to the City" on October 17, 2007.
Tony Vitale, born "Anthony Neal Vitale" born May 24, 1964 in The Bronx, New York, is an American film writer, director, producer. His films, Kiss Me Guido, Very Mean Men and One Last Ride have included many characters of Sicilian descent. Vitale is the son of Anthony Ralph Vitale and Mildred (Carmela) Italiano, daughter of immigrants from Agrigento, Sicily.
Guy Williams, (January 14, 1924 – May 7, 1989), born Armando Joseph Catalano in New York City, the son of Sicilian immigrants. He was an American actor who played swashbuckling action heroes in the 1950s and 1960s. An accomplished fencer, his most famous role was Zorro in two Walt Disney movies and television series of that name (1957–1959) and also in Lost in Space, as the father of the Robinson family. Nearly a half-century later, Zorro is still being aired all over South America, from Argentina to Venezuela, in some places twice daily. Zorro continues to be the most popular U.S. series ever to have appeared on South American television.
Frank Zappa, born Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was a composer, guitarist, singer and satirist. In his 33-year musical career, Zappa proved to be one of the most prolific musicians ever, releasing over 60 albums during his life. His father, Francis Zappa was born in Alcamo, Sicily. His mother Rose Marie Colimore was of half Italian, 1/4 Sicilian and 1/4 French descent.
Lady Gaga, (born March 28, 1986) is an American singer-songwriter. Her father Joseph was born on Sicily.
Jon Bon Jovi, born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, ... his father was born in Sciacca, near Agrigento in Sicily.
Liza Minnelli (born March 12, 1946) is an American actress and singer. She is the daughter of actress and singer Judy Garland and Garland's second husband, film director Vincente Minnelli who was the son of a Sicilian immigrant.
Tony Danza (born April 21, 1951) is an American actor best known for starring on the television series Taxi and Who's the Boss? Danza was born Anthony Salvatore Iadanza in Brooklyn, New York, to parents Anne Cammisa (1925–1993) and Matty Iadanza (1920–1983). Anne was born in Campobello di Mazara (Trapani) Sicily and immigrated to the United States with five brothers and sisters in 1929. Danza is a full blooded Sicilian American.
Charles Atlas (1892–1972), born Angelo Siciliano in Italy, he moved to Brooklyn, New York at a young age. Initially a small, weak child, Siciliano worked hard to tone his muscles, using a variety of weights. Contemplating the strength of a tiger in a zoo, he conceived the idea of working muscle against muscle, rather than working out with weights. Using this system, later dubbed dynamic tension, he acquired a physique that earned him the nickname "Charles Atlas", after the mythical Atlas, the Titan who held up the heavens. He later filed for and received trademark status for the name. He soon took the role of strongman in the Coney IslandCircusSideshow. His company, Charles Atlas, Ltd. (1929-and continuing today) markets a fitness program for the "97-pound weakling", a registered trademark.
James Maritato (born March 12, 1972) is an American professional wrestler better known by the ring names Little Guido and Nunzio. He is best known for his work in World Wrestling Entertainment and Extreme Championship Wrestling. Maritato was born in his native Sicily.
Joe DiMaggio, born Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio, Jr. (November 25, 1914 – March 8, 1999), nicknamed "Joltin' Joe" and "The Yankee Clipper", was a Sicilian-American center fielder in Major League Baseball who played his entire career (1936–1951) for the New York Yankees. The eighth of nine children, DiMaggio was born in a two-room house in Martinez, California to Sicilian immigrants; delivered by a midwife. His mother, Rosalia, named him "Giuseppe" for his father; "Paolo" was in honor of Saint Paul, Giuseppe's favorite saint. The family moved to San Francisco when Joe was one year old.
Johnny Dundee, (b. November 22, 1893, d. April 22, 1965) was a featherweight and junior lightweightboxer who fought from 1910 until 1932. Dundee was born Giuseppe Carrora in Sciacca, Sicily, but was raised in the United States. Although today he is almost completely forgotten, Dundee was highly regarded by many old time boxing experts. The Ring founder and editor, Nat Fleischer, rated Dundee in the top five of his list of greatest featherweights of all time.
Robert James "Gino" Marella (June 4, 1937 – October 6, 1999), better known by his ring name of Gorilla Monsoon, was an American professional wrestler, play-by-play announcer, and booker. Marella is also a member of the Ithica College Athletic Hall of Fame and placed second in the 1959 NCAA National Wrestling championship tournament.
Mike Piazza, born Michael Joseph Piazza (September 4, 1968 in Norristown, Pennsylvania) is a U.S. Major League Baseball player. He is generally recognized as the top-hitting catcher of all time. He is a ten time All-Star. On May 5, 2004, Piazza surpassed Carlton Fisk for most home runs by a catcher with the 352nd of his career. Mike grew up for the first few years of his life in a small house in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The house was barely big enough to have Mike's entire family inside. His family consisted of his two parents, Vince and Veronica Piazza, and his brothers Vince Jr., Danny, Tony and Tommy.
Louis Prima (December 7, 1910 – August 24, 1978). Prima was born into a musical family of Sicilian descent in New Orleans. Prima was proud of his heritage, and made a point of letting the audience know at every performance that he was Italian-American and from New Orleans.
Joseph L. Alioto, February 12, 1916 – January 29, 1998. Mayor of San Francisco 1968–1976.
Vincent R. Impellitteri, (February 4, 1900 – January 29, 1987) was appointed Acting Mayor of New York City upon the resignation of then Mayor William O'Dwyer, on September 1, 1950. He served from 1950 to 1953. Impellitteri moved with his family to the United States from Sicily as an infant in 1901. Trivia: Impellitteri believed his name to be too difficult to spell by most people. When running for mayor he tried to persuade a judge to allow voters to simply write "Impy" on their ballots. The judge refused the request.
Frank Lentini, born Francesco A. Lentini (1889–1966) was born in Syracuse, Sicily into a large family. He was born with three longer legs, two sets of genitals and one rudimentary foot on his third leg. His primary legs also grew into different lengths. At the age of nine, Lentini moved to the United States and entered the sideshow business.
Lucky Luciano, considered to be the father of the American Mafia.
Judith Regan (August 17, 1953 -), a book publisher and talk show host. She launched the careers of novelists Wally Lamb, Jess Walter, Gregory Maguire, Walter Kirn, and Doug Coupland. She has published Howard Stern, Michael Moore, General Tommy Franks, and legendary journalists, artists, historians, designers and hundreds more. She hosts a show on SiriusXm and hosted a television show for 9 years on the Fox News Channel. She is Sicilian and Irish.
Anthony T. Rossi (1900–1993), was born as Antonio Talamo Rossi in Messina, Sicily. He had the equivalent of a high school education. He emigrated to the United States when he was 21 years old and educated himself to the point that he became an expert mathematician and mechanical engineer. He founded Tropicana Products, a producer of orange juice founded in 1947 in Bradenton, Florida in the United States which grew from 50 employees to over 8,000 in 2004, expanding into multiple product lines and became one of the world's largest producers and marketers of citrus juice.
Antonin Scalia, (born March 11, 1936) (sometimes known by the nickname "Nino") has been a U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice since 1986. He is widely considered the leading originalist voice on the Court and one of the most outspoken defenders of textualism. Antonin Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey to his mother, Catherine, and his father, S. Eugene. His mother was born in the United States; his father, a professor of romance languages, emigrated from Sicily at age 15. When Scalia was five years old, his family moved to Queens, New York City, during which time his father worked at Brooklyn College.
^"Let me just say how awesome it is to see Patti Lupone – THE Patti LuPone – live. I was reminded of the story I once heard about how, when Madonna wanted to rehearse on a stage where Patti Lupone was rehearsing, Patti taped a note on the door saying, "Only one Sicilian Diva allowed on the stage at a time." That's why I love her, true story or not. She brings those balls to her Sweeney character."