The man of the three "Fs"
Jay Leno was born in 1950 in New Rochelle, New York. His mother was Scottish, his father Angelo was an insurance salesman born in New York from an Italian family with Flumeri, Campania, ancestry. Jay was raised in Massachusetts, where he graduated in speech therapy but the call of the stage was too strong to resist. Still in college, he started a comedy club. And, just four years after graduation, he made his first appearance on “The Tonight Show”. A star was born.
In his garage in Burbank, California, by now one of the most famous around the world, he has about 286 vehicles (somewhat 169 cars and 117 motorbikes). Among them he also owns a McLaren F1 supercar and sometimes he lends his jewels to Hollywood productions, as it happened in 1997 for the shooting of “Batman & Robin”.
Besides entertainment and motors, Jay has a true big, Italian heart. He and his wife donate to women’s self determination causes, support education, help the muscular dystrophy and the autism research, and back the veterans in need. Any flaws? Of course he has. But, as he always says, “You can’t stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh”.
What is it like being an Italian American? A stereotype? Or rather a mix of cultures and traditions? Mike Fiorito, a Newyorker from an Italian family, explores the vivacious universe of the Italian Americans in his books, finding out that there’s much more out there than just a bunch of Guidos.
New York City being struck by Corona virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo asked for help, and he was heard. While doctors, nurses and care providers were quickly running out protections to be safe at work, an Italian American guy in love with fashion made his move. Christian Siriano, a young stylist of the NYC scene, answered the call: “If Governor Cuomo says we need masks, my team will help make some. I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help”, he tweeted.
He’s probably one of the most popular persons of this new decade. Doctor Anthony Fauci is not only at the head of the US task force set up to fight COVID-19, he’s one of the top – if not the top – immunologist in the world. So, maybe it’s time to discover a bit more about him.
“Discovering my roots has been essential to understand who I am”. John Turturro was born on Febraury 28th 1957 but this is not the news here. John, son to a man from Puglia and a woman from Sicily, has always been so keen on his Italian heritage that he has let it influence not only his lifestyle but also his work.
Sometimes Hollywood stars shine for real in the sky. Téa Leoni is one of them: a Belgian researcher working at La Silla Observatory Centre in Chile named an asteroid after her.
An authentic Brooklynite, Marisa Tomei started loving acting at a very early age, following her theatre-addicted parents back and forth the Broadway shows. In 1984, at 20, she debuted in “The Flamingo Kid”, a movie in which she had just one line.