Each of the celebrities on this list was orphaned, fostered, or adopted at a young age. For some it was a “one-stop” happy ending at a young age; for others a painful and arduous process. Many people are fascinated to find out that a celebrity is adopted. Each of these ten people went on to succeed in their respective fields. Most are known worldwide. You may be surprised at some and already know about the others. So let’s take a look at the stories of ten celebrities who were adopted.
10. Ray Liotta
Ray Liotta is an American actor, best known for his roles in “Goodfellas” in 1990 and in “Field of Dreams” in 1989. Born December 18, 1954 Ray was soon after put up for adoption. At six months old he was adopted from a Newark, NJ orphanage by Alfred and Mary Liotta. Ray Liotta grew up in New Jersey. He always wondered about his biological parents. Liotta: “It has affected me since I was a little kid.” In 1997 when he was expecting his own daughter he hired a private detective and successfully tracked down his birth mother. After the meeting with her, Liotta said he was “disappointed” by his biological mother’s story but “really grateful” that he had been adopted.
9. Nicole Elizabeth “Snooki” Polizzi
Nicole Elizabeth “Snooki” Polizzi is an American reality television personality.
Polizzi was born in Santiago, Chile on November 23, 1987. She was adopted when she was six months old and was raised by Italian American parents. “Snooki” has shared in interviews that she loves her parents and has no desire or interest in finding her biological parents.
8. Kristen Chenoweth
Kristin Dawn Chenoweth is an American singer and actress, with credits in musical theatre, film and television. She was born on July 24, 1968 in the small town of Broken Arrow, OK. Soon after birth she was adopted by Jerry and Junie Chenoweth. Chenoweth is very open about her adoption and has been known to support various adoption causes and organizations. Although she has contact information for her birth parents, Chenoweth has little interest in meeting them.
7. Faith Hill
Faith Hill is a top country music superstar. Hill was born September 21, 1967 in Ridgeland, Mississippi. She was adopted as an infant, and named Audrey Faith Perry. Her adoptive parents, Edna and Ted Perry, raised their two biological sons along with Hill in a devout Christian environment. In 1990 Faith Hill began a search for her biological mother, whom she eventually met in 1993 and with whom she corresponded until her mother’s death.
6. Jamie Foxx
Actor and comedian Jamie Foxx was born on December 13, 1967 in Terrell, Texas. He is the son of Louise Annette Talley Dixon and Darrell Bishop. Shortly after his birth, Foxx was adopted and raised by his mother’s adoptive parents, Esther Marie (Nelson), and Mark Talley. He has had little contact with his birth parents, who were not part of his upbringing.
5. Nicole Richie
Nicole Richie is an American fashion designer, author, actress and television personality. She was born September 21, 1981. Her biological father is Peter Michael Escovedo, a musician who played for a brief time with Lionel Richie, and her biological mother Karen was the executive assistant for Nicole’s aunt, musician Sheila E. At the age of three, Richie’s parents agreed to let her move in with Lionel Richie and Brenda Harvey because they could not afford to provide for her financially. Lionel Richie became her guardian and Nicole went to live with Richie and his wife, who began to raise her as their daughter. She was legally adopted by the Richie’s when she was nine. Lionel and Brenda Richie went through a rather bitter public split due to his cheating. According to Nicole, during this time, they both indulged her every whim. Richie, “Their way of making me happy was to say yes to everything I wanted, but I don’t think a little girl should have that much freedom.” Nicole claims the amount of freedom she had while growing up accounted for her wild behavior as a teen. She has surely turned her life around since having children of her own.
4. Michael Bay
Michael Bay is an American film director and producer who is known for directing high-budget action films. He was born February 17, 1965 in Los Angeles, CA. He was adopted very young by Jimmy and Harriet Bay. It was rumored that his biological father was the director John Frankenheimer, but Frankenheimer denies this and Bay does not discuss it. Frankenheimer does admit to having had an affair with Bay’s birth mother, whom Bay traced and met with when he was 20 years old.
3. Steve Jobs
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco, California on February 24, 1955 to Joanne Simpson and Abdulfattah John Jandali, an unwed couple who put Jobs up for adoption as an infant. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. Later in life, when he was asked about his “adoptive parents”, Jobs replied emphatically that Paul and Clara Jobs “are my parents.” He stated in his authorized biography that they “were my parents 1,000%”.
2. John Lennon
John Lennon was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to fame as a founding member of the musical group, the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He was born October 9, 1940 to Julia Stanley and Alfred Lennon. His father was a seaman who virtually disappeared. His mother was unable to care for him and she soon began to drink and party at local pubs. John’s maternal aunt, Mimi, helped Julia in many ways, by helping her care for John. In time, Julia was in no condition to care for John, and Mimi began to look after him all of the time. By the time John was 5, his mother begrudgingly allowed him to be raised by his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George. She had frequent interactions with Lennon, but never raised him full-time for a host of speculated reasons, including family pressure that she was unfit because of her lifestyle.
1. Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s. She was born June 1, 1926 to a single mother (Gladys Pearl Baker) with a less than stable mental state. Thus, this iconic actress spent most of her childhood in foster homes, because her mother was unable to care for her. After spending her formative years in an orphanage, she returned to live with her mother at age seven, but it did not work out. Marilyn’s mother had mental health problems, and she was declared legally insane during this period. Marilyn was sent back to the orphanage after her mother was admitted to a mental institution.
When Marilyn turned eleven, she went to live with a friend of the family, Grace McKee, who later adopted her. However, Grace and her husband suffered from financial problems, and in time they could no longer be there for Marilyn. In her mid-teens, they offered her a difficult, choice: early marriage, or a return to the orphanage. At age 15, Marilyn chose marriage to merchant marine James Dougherty, whom she remained married to for four years.