Lorraine Bracco’s multifaceted performances in all arenas have earned her a global fan base. She is perhaps best known for her role as psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi, who treated New Jersey Mafia heavyweight Tony Soprano on HBO’s hit series, The Sopranos. Her concise, understated portrayal earned her multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Additionally, Bracco is an Academy Award nominee for her performance as a mobster’s wife in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas and the author of a best-selling memoir, On the Couch. She also starred as Drew Barrymore’s mother in Riding in Cars with Boys, directed by Penny Marshall, and had a recurring role on NBC’s Lipstick Jungle. In addition to film and television, Bracco starred on Broadway as Mrs. Robinson in Terry Johnson’s adaptation of The Graduate.
Bracco was born in Brooklyn to an Italian-American father and an English mother. Though she was voted the ugliest girl in sixth grade, she nonetheless became a Paris fashion model represented by the Wilhelmina Agency. Bracco told the Los Angeles Times she was never glamorous but more the girl-next-door type.
Bracco worked as a disc jockey for Radio Luxembourg and began to act in film. She appeared in several French comedies and worked with Italian film director Lina Wertmuller. Returning to the U.S., she studied at The Stella Adler Studio and the Actors Studio in New York City.
Bracco made her American feature film debut in Ridley Scott’s 1987 thriller, Someone to Watch over Me. Other film credits include The Pick-Up Artist, Switch, Radio Flyer, Medicine Man, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Hackers and Basketball Diaries.
Bracco lives in New York. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the environmental organization Riverkeeper and is involved with Rockland Family Shelter.