Mariah Carey, Natalie Portman, Edie Falco…just a few names heard on the radio or headlining the latest movie or television series But did you know that besides being celebrities and moms, they also have something else in common? Believe it or not, they all have a connection to LONG ISLAND!
With their beginnings in Nassau and Suffolk, these celebrity moms are making it big on television, in film, in the music industry, on 5th Avenue, and even in the White House! Long Island Mamas is honored to share this list of 10 famous moms born or raised on Long Island.
PAT BENATAR – This 80’s rocker best known for songs such as Love Is A Battlefield and We Belong was born in Brooklyn, but grew up in Lindenhurst, graduating from Lindenhurst High School with the Class of 1971. Keeping her Long Island roots close to her heart, Benatar returned home in 2002 where she received the “Key to the City,” and it was declared “Pat Benatar Day” in Babylon. This rocker mom has two daughters, Haley age 27, and Hana age 18. At the age of 59, she can still be found on stage. Later this summer, Benatar will perform at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater with fellow 80s greats Journey & Loverboy.
LORRAINE BRACCO and EDDIE FALCO– These two leading ladies are best known for their roles in the New Jersey based mob drama The Sopranos, and both have roots here on Long Island. Falco (right in cover above) was raised in West Islip and is a 1981 graduate of Northport High School. She has two adopted children, a son named Anderson, and a daughter named Macy. Born in Brooklyn, Bracco (left in cover above) grew up in Westbury and graduated with the class of 1972 from Hicksville High School. She has two adult daughters Stella (age 27) and Margaux (age 33).
MELISSA JOAN HART – Best known for her roles in Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey, actress Melissa Joan Hart was born in Smithtown and raised in Sayville. This mom of two, soon to be three (two sons Mason age 6 and Braydon age 4) says her favorite role is one of mom. Keeping Long Island close, Melissa’s fan mail club is still based in Holbrook.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN – On most weekday mornings, broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien can be seen on CNN’s Starting Point between 7-9 am; but as a mother of four to Sofia (age 11), Cecilia (age 10) and twins Charlie and Jackson (age 7), odds are she starts her day much earlier. O’Brien grew up on the North Shore in St. James and graduated from Smithtown High School East in 1984. In addition to her CNN job, O’Brien also shines as the author of The Next Big Story: My Journey Through the Land of Possibilities [Celebra Books] which provides an intimate look at her most compelling journalistic moments and how they shaped her views on America’s future.
DONNA KARAN – Growing up in Woodmere with her stepfather, a tailor, and her mother, a model, Donna Karan was destined to work in fashion. A graduate of Hewlett High School class of 1966, Karan has one adult daughter Gabby (age 38). At 64, this “fashionista” still has the pulse of 5th Avenue, influencing what people wear not only in Long Island, but also internationally.
NATALIE PORTMAN – Academy Award winning actress Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel, but grew up in Syosset and graduated from Syosset High School in 1999. The A-list actress is known for her film roles in the Star Wars series, V for Vendetta, The Other Boleyn Girl, Black Swan and many more. A relatively new mom, Portman’s son Aleph just celebrated his first birthday on June 7th.
ROSIE O’DONNELL – Comedian, actress and television personality Rosie O’Donnell was born and raised in Commack. Known for her work in the film A League of Their Own and as a co-host on TV’s The View, she was popular at Sawmill Junior High School and Commack High School. O’Donnell was voted homecoming and prom queen, senior class president and class clown. O’Donnell has four children, Parker (age 17), Chelsea Belle (age 15), Blake (age 13), and Vivienne (age 10).
MARIAH CAREY – Multi-Grammy award winning singer Mariah Carey hails from Huntington where she attended Oldfield Middle School and Harborfield High School. Known for her impressive vocal range, Carey is married to radio/television personality Nick Cannon. She is a new mom to twins, son Morrocan and daughter Monroe (a.k.a Roc and Roe), born just over a year ago on April 30, 2011.
JACQUELINE BOUVIER KENNEDY ONASSIS — Former First Lady Jackie Bouvier Kennedy was born at Southampton Hospital on July 28, 1929. She spent most of her summers in East Hampton at the family summer home they called Lasata. She married the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and served as First Lady from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. The First Lady was mother to Caroline (age 55), JFK Jr. (perished in a 1999 plane accident), and Patrick (died at just two days old). She was often quoted saying that raising her children was the most important job she had. Later in life she married Greek business tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
By Kim Como