Who is Annabella Sciorra?
Annabella Gloria Philomena Sciorra is an American actor of Italian descent, known for her roles in the films ‘True Love’ and ‘Jungle Fever’ and the TV series ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent.’ Born in Connecticut and raised in New York, she attended drama classes at the ‘Herbert Berghof Studio’ and the ‘American Academy of Dramatic Arts.’ Starting her career with a small role in a TV miniseries, she made her full-fledged film debut with a leading role in ‘True Love’ and was nominated for the ‘Independent Spirit Award’ for the ‘Best Female Lead.’ During the long span of her career, she appeared in films such as ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle,’ ‘What Dreams May Come,’ and ‘Find Me Guilty’ and on TV shows such as ‘Queens Supreme,’ ‘Mental,’ ‘ER,’ and ‘The Good Wife.’ Sciorra was nominated for the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series’ for her performance in the ‘HBO’ series ‘The Sopranos.’ She has also performed on stage. She was married to actor Joe Petruzzi, but their marriage ended in a divorce.
Childhood & Early Life
Sciorra was born on March 29, 1960, in Wethersfield, Connecticut, to Italian–origin parents. Her father was a veterinarian, and her mother was a fashion stylist/housewife. When she was 11, her family moved to Brooklyn, New York. Her father was from Carunchio, Abruzzo, and had migrated to the US in 1951.
She studied at the ‘South Shore High School,’ Brooklyn, and graduated in 1978. She attended dance lessons in her childhood. Later, she joined the ‘Herbert Berghof Studio’ and the ‘American Academy of Dramatic Arts.’ She graduated in 1980.
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In 1981, before beginning her career in professional acting, Sciorra founded a repertory group named the ‘Brass Ring Theater Company.’ She was 21 at that time. She began her stint with screen acting in 1988, with the role of ‘Octavia’ (Sophia Loren’s daughter) in the TV miniseries ‘The Fortunate Pilgrim,’ based on Mario Puzo’s novel.
Her film debut was as ‘Donna’ in the wedding comedy ‘True Love’ (1989). Her performance was appreciated, and she received a nomination for the ‘Independent Spirit Award’ for the ‘Best Female Lead.’
In 1990, she worked in three diverse films: ‘Internal Affairs,’ a crime thriller starring Richard Gere; ‘Cadillac Man,’ a comedy starring Robin Williams; and ‘Reversal of Fortune,’ a suspense drama based on a true story. Her supporting roles in ‘The Hard Way’ and ‘Reversal of Fortune’ drew notice and helped her earn a role in ‘Jungle Fever.’
The 1991 romantic drama ‘Jungle Fever’ featured her as ‘Angie Tucci,’ opposite Wesley Snipes. Her performance in this Spike Lee movie earned her good reviews. In Curtis Hanson’s psychological thriller ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle’ (1992), Sciorra was seen in the lead role of ‘Claire Bartel.’ The film was a commercial success, and her work received appreciation.
Sciorra continued to work in a number of films. Some of her noteworthy projects were ‘Mr. Wonderful’ (1993), alongside Matt Dillon; ‘Cop Land’ (1997), opposite Sylvester Stallone; and ‘What Dreams May Come’ (1998), with Robin Williams. The last film featured a powerful performance by her, as a despairing widow named ‘Annie Collins-Nielsen.’
Some of her other films of this period were ‘The Night We Never Met’ (1993), ‘Romeo is Bleeding’ (1993), and ‘The Addiction’ (1994).
Her portrayal of a tough car saleswoman named ‘Gloria Trillo’ in the ‘HBO’ series ‘The Sopranos’ (2001–2004) fetched her a nomination for the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.’
She worked in multiple episodes of the courtroom series ‘Queens Supreme’ (2003) and the ‘Fox’ series ‘Mental (2009). The drama series ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ (2005–2006) featured Sciorra in the recurring role of ‘Detective Carolyn Barek.’ She also appeared on other TV shows, such as ‘Touched by an Angel,’ the medical drama ‘ER,’ ‘The L Word,’ the legal and political drama series ‘The Good Wife,’ and the forensic crime drama ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.’
The courtroom crime comedy ‘Find Me Guilty’ (2006) featured Sciorra with Vin Diesel. She earned accolades in this Sidney Lumet film, which was based on the true story of the longest mafia trial in American history. She also worked in films such as ‘The Maid’s Room’ (2013) and ‘Friends and Romans’ (2014).
In the second season of the web TV series ‘Luke Cage’ (2018), she essayed the role of ‘Rosalie Carbone,’ a fictional gangster from ‘Marvel Comics.’ She repeated the same role that year, when she appeared in the third season of the web TV series ‘Daredevil.’
Sciorra has also performed in stage plays such as ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ ‘Roar,’ ‘Those the River Keeps,’ and ‘Spain.’
Family & Personal Life
On December 31, 1989, Sciorra married actor Joe Petruzzi. However, the couple divorced in 1993. In 2004, she got into a relationship with actor Bobby Cannavale. They separated in 2007. She does not have any children.
In 2017, Sciorra accused producer Harvey Weinstein of raping her violently in the early 1990s and also of harassing her later on several occasions.