Bracco in 2007
|Born||October 2, 1954|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
(m. 1979; div. 1982)
(m. 1994; div. 2002)
|Relatives||Elizabeth Bracco (sister)|
Lorraine Bracco (Italian: [ˈbrakko]; born October 2, 1954) is an American film and television actress. Known for her distinct husky voice and Brooklyn accent, she has been nominated for an Academy Award, four Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Born in New York City, she began her career modeling in France and began appearing in Italian-language films around the turn of the 1980s, including Lina Wertmüller's Camorra (1986), which featured Bracco's then-partner Harvey Keitel. Bracco's English-language debut came in The Pick-Up Artist (1987), which was followed by roles in Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), Sing (1989), and The Dream Team (1989). Her breakthrough role was that of Karen Hill, wife of mob associate Henry Hill, in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.
On television, Bracco is best known for portraying Jennifer Melfi, the psychiatrist of Tony Soprano, in the HBO series The Sopranos (1999-2007). She was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for her performance across the show's first three seasons. Beginning with the fourth season her role began to decline slightly, though by the end of the series, at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards, she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Bracco was born on October 2, 1954, in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City. She is the daughter of Eileen (née Molyneux, 1926–2010) and Salvatore Bracco, Sr. She has a sister, actress Elizabeth Bracco, and a brother, Salvatore, Jr. Her father was of Italian descent, while her mother was born in England, with French ancestry. Her parents met during World War II; Eileen came with Salvatore to the United States as a war bride. Bracco grew up in Hicksville, New York, on Long Island, from fourth grade. Bracco graduated from Hicksville High School in 1972.
While still modeling, Bracco was approached by Marc Camoletti, who offered her a major role in the film adaptation of one of his plays, Duos sur canapé (1979). Bracco did not imagine that she could be an actress, and initially refused. She eventually made the film, but found the experience "boring" and her performance "terrible". Nevertheless, she played supporting roles in two other French films "for the money".
After one of her friends suggested that she might enjoy acting if she took some training, she took seminars with John Strasberg. Although she loved the lessons, she was still unsure of her talents.
During the 1980s, she also worked as a disc jockey for Radio Luxembourg. Also, she appeared as Paul Guilfoyle's hostage in the first season Crime Story episode, "Hide and Go Thief". Her sister Elizabeth played a hostage in the series pilot.
Eventually, Italian director and novelist Lina Wertmüller gave Bracco a small part in the film Camorra. "She dressed me up like an Italian woman of no means. A street woman clad in disheveled clothes, hair unkempt and all that, and threw me on the set. She was so creative. I mean, Lina accentuated my eyes with dark make-up, the way Sophia Loren used to appear in those epic roles in the '60s. And talk about talent. She's so bright and perceptive. I mean, she's just fantastic. And yes, I learned a lot from her. She's a master of her profession, and I've been blessed not only with her, but also with so many masters," recounted Bracco to Daniel Simone during a 2007 interview. The experience inspired Bracco to pursue acting.
Her other films include Someone to Watch Over Me, Switch, Riding in Cars with Boys, The Basketball Diaries, Medicine Man, Radio Flyer, and Hackers. Bracco was one of many actresses who were considered for the role of Catwoman/Selina Kyle in Tim Burton's film Batman Returns but declined the role.
Bracco received her big career break when she was offered the role of mobster-wife Karen Hill in Goodfellas, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture. She won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Bracco is the owner of Bracco Wines, in association with Straight-Up Brands LLC. Her line of wines was featured on the Season 1 finale of Bravo's show Top Chef in 2006. She appeared as a guest judge for the show's two-episode finale and as a special judge on Top Chef: All Stars, in the episode titled "An Offer They Can't Refuse", which featured Italian cuisine. Bracco also appeared on a season 6 episode of Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, as a guest judge for the ravioli throwdown.
During the audition process for The Sopranos, David Chase wanted Bracco to read for the lead female role of Carmela Soprano. However, Bracco had read the script and was drawn to the part of psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi. Bracco felt strongly enough about her ability and desire to play this part that she arranged a meeting with Chase and talked him into letting her have a chance as Melfi. It netted her three consecutive nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the Emmy Awards in 1999, 2000, and 2001, and at the Golden Globe awards for Best TV Actress in a Drama in 2000, 2001, and 2002. She lost out at the Emmys in 1999 and 2001, and at the Golden Globes in 2000 to her co-star Edie Falco. She was nominated again at the 2007 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and thus was pitted against her The Sopranos co-star Aida Turturro for the award.
Beginning in 2016, Bracco had a recurring role as Toni on the Showtime comedy series Dice. From 2017 to 2018, she had a five-episode recurring role as Mayor Margaret Dutton in the CBS police drama series Blue Bloods.
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 (b. 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.
|1979||Duos sur canapé||Bubble|
|1980||What Did I Ever Do to the Good Lord to Deserve
a Wife Who Drinks in Cafes with Men?
(Mais qu'est-ce que j'ai fait au bon Dieu pour avoir une femme
qui boit dans les cafés avec les hommes ?)
|1981||Fais gaffe à la gaffe!||Margaux|
(Un complicato intrigo di donne, vicoli e delitti)
|1987||The Pick-Up Artist||Carla|
|Someone to Watch Over Me||Ellie Keegan|
|The Dream Team||Riley|
|Up to Date||Sheila|
|Sea of Love||Denice Gruber||Scenes deleted|
|1990||Goodfellas||Karen Friedman Hill||Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress|
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress (3rd place)
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
|1991||Talent for the Game||Bobbie|
|1992||Medicine Man||Rae Crane||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress|
|Traces of Red||Ellen Schofield||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress|
|1993||Even Cowgirls Get the Blues||Delores Del Ruby|
|1995||The Basketball Diaries||Mrs. Carroll|
|1997||Silent Cradle||Helen Greg|
|2001||Riding in Cars with Boys||Teresa Donofrio|
|Tangled||Det. Anne Andersle|
|2003||Death of a Dynasty||Enchante R&B Singer #2|
|2005||Crazy for Love||Sheila|
|2011||Son of Morning||Leda|
|2012||The Bensonhurst Spelling Bee||Unknown||Short film|
|2016||Monday Nights at Seven||Damian Robertson|
|TBA||The Birthday Cake||Post-production|
|1980||Commissaire Moulin||Jenny||Episode: "Le transfuge"|
|1986||Crime Story||Hostage||Episode: "Hide and Go Thief"|
|1993||Scam||Maggie Rohrer||Television movie|
|1994||Getting Gotti||Diane Giacalone||Television movie|
|1996||Reckoning||Kits Maitland||Television movie|
|1998||The Taking of Pelham One Two Three||Det. Ray||Television movie|
|1999–2007||The Sopranos||Jennifer Melfi||69 episodes|
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2000, 2008)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2000–02)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2000–02)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (2000, 2002–03)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2001–03, 2005, 2007)
|2001||Sex in Our Century||Narrator||Television movie|
|2003||Custody of the Heart||Claire Raphael||Television movie|
|2005||Law & Order: Trial by Jury||Karla Grizano||Episode: "Vigilante"|
|2007||Snowglobe||Rose Moreno||Television movie|
|2008||Long Island Confidential||Norah Larkin||Television movie|
|Lipstick Jungle||Janice Lasher||2 episodes|
|2010||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Halfway House Matron||Episode: "Disciple"|
|2010–2016||Rizzoli & Isles||Angela Rizzoli||101 episodes|
|2011||I Married a Mobster||Narrator||10 episodes|
|2011||Top Chef||Herself/Guest Judge||1 episode|
|2014||Mulaney||Vaughn||Episode: "Sweet Jane"|
|BoJack Horseman||Dr. Janet (voice)||2 episodes|
|2017–2018||Blue Bloods||Mayor Margaret Dutton||6 episodes|
|2018||Summer Camp Island||The Werewolf Queen (voice)||Episode: "Hedgehog Werewolf"|
|2019||The Dead Wives Club||Herself/Host||6 episodes|
|2019||Jerk||Tim's mother||Episode #1.3|
|2020||AJ and the Queen||Herself||Episode: "Baton Rouge"|
|2020||My Big Italian Adventure (HGTV)||Herself/Host||3 episodes: "Sambuca di Sicilia"|
Awards and nominations
- Bracco 2006, p. 38.
- "UPI Almanac for Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019". United Press International. October 2, 2019. Archived from the original on October 2, 2019. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
… actor Lorraine Bracco in 1954 (age 65)
- Carr, Jay (October 15, 1987). "Lorraine Bracco Savors Her Big Break As A Hollywood Strong Woman". Chicago Tribune.
- Witchel, Alex (September 27, 1990). "A Mafia Wife Makes Lorraine Bracco a Princess". The New York Times.
- "Eileen Bracco Obituary". The Record. New Jersey. November 28, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
- "Obituaries: Bracco, Salvatore Sr". The Journal News. New Jersey. March 19, 2013. Archived from the original on March 19, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- Werts, Diane (April 3, 1999). "Just Like Family: HBO's Surprise Hit 'The Sopranos'". Newsday. New York City / Long Island. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
- Bernstein, James; Mann, Laura (January 25, 2007). "Rich Cribs". Newsday. New York City / Long Island. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
- Daniel Simone (December 14, 2007). "Who's Here: Lorraine Bracco – Actor". Dan's Papers. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008.
- Bracco 2006, p. 70.
- Bracco 2006, pp. 70–71.
- Bracco, On the Couch
- Witchel, Alex (September 27, 1990). "A Mafia Wife Makes Lorraine Bracco a Princess". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- Fox, David J. (February 14, 1991). "Oscar Dances With 'Wolves' : Costner Film Leads Pack With 12 Nominations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- Fox, David J. (December 28, 1990). "'Godfather' Wins 7 Golden Globe Nominations : Awards: Foreign press recognizes 'Dances With Wolves' and 'L.A. Law' but ignores 'Civil War' and 'Simpsons.'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- Caro, Mark (March 8, 1991). "`GOODFELLAS` REAPS BEST FILM AWARD FROM CHICAGO CRITICS". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- Mathews, Jack (December 17, 1990). "'GoodFellas' Tops L.A. Critics Poll : Best Picture, Director Awards Go to Gangster Tale, Costner a Runner-Up; Irons, Huston Also Honored". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "Straight Up Brands, Inc. (STRU) Acquires Wine and Spirits Venture". CNNMoney.com. Market Wire. August 24, 2006. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- Top Chef: The Cookbook: Original Interviews and Recipes from Bravo's Hit Show. Chronicle Books. October 21, 2011. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8118-7522-6.
- "An Offer They Can't Refuse". Top Chef. Season 8. February 2, 2011. Bravo. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- "Ravioli". Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. Season 6. March 25, 2009. Food.
- Bracco 2006, p. 28.
- "FEMALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES". Backstage. February 12, 2002. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- Steinberg, Jacques (July 20, 2007). "'Sopranos' Tops Drama Contenders for the Emmys". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- "Adrien Brody and Lorraine Bracco to Guest Star on New Showtime(R) Comedy Series "Dice"". October 13, 2015.
- "Lorraine Bracco".
- Geraldine Fabrikant, Bankruptcy? Tougher Than Counseling a Soprano, January 1, 2006
- John Lombardi (January 12, 1998). "Scenes From a Bad Movie Marriage". New York Magazine.
- Bracco 2006, p. 129.
- "Lorraine Bracco Explains How To Stop Your 60s From Being 'The Beginning Of The End'". April 7, 2015.
- Bracco, Lorraine (2006). On the Couch. Putnam Adult. ISBN 0-399-15356-X.
- Bracco, Lorraine; Davis, Lisa V. (2015). To the Fullest: The Clean Up Your Act Plan to Lose Weight, Rejuvenate, and Be the Best You Can Be. Rodale Books. ISBN 0399199608.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lorraine Bracco.|