Many celebrities have been in the news lately for adopting children. Charlize Theron and Sandra Bullock are two of the most recent, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are probably the most prolific. But, did you know there are actually a lot of celebrities who themselves are adopted? The following are five celebrities who were adopted as children and went on to achieve great fame.
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., was given up for adoption at birth in San Francisco in 1955. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, and he grew up with his new family in Los Altos, California. After achieving financial success as an adult, Steve Jobs tracked down his birth mother, Joanne Simpson. He learned that Joanne had married his birth father, John Jandali, and that Jobs had a sister, Mona. Steve become very close with Mona who later delivered the eulogy at his funeral.
Frances McDormand, perhaps best known for her Oscar-winning role in “Fargo,” was born in Chicago in 1957. She become the fourth child adopted by the Canadian minister, Vernon McDormand, and his wife, Noreen. In 1994, Frances adopted a child born in Paraguay with her husband, Joel Coen.
Ray Liotta, famous for his tough Italian mobster roles, is surprisingly not of Italian descent. Ray was born in New Jersey, and was adopted by Alfred and Mary Liotta. His adoptive parents also adopted a daughter a few years later. When Ray and his wife, Michelle Grace, learned they were expecting a child, Liotta hired a private detective to find his birth mother. In the process, he discovered that he had five biological sisters and a brother. Liotta admitted, after meeting his birth mother, that being given up for adoption may have been the best thing that ever happened to him, because his mother realized she was not fit at to be a good mother to him at the time he was born.
Jamie Foxx, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in “Ray,” was born Earl Marlon Bishop. He was seven months old when his birth mother gave him to her parents to adopt. Interestingly, Foxx’s birth mother was herself adopted by Mark and Ester-Marie Talley, the grandparents who raised Jamie. Foxx credits his grandmother for encouraging him and inspiring him to pursue his acting talent.
John Lennon had a particularly bad start in life. He was born to a poor couple in Liverpool; his father was a sailor away at sea, and his mother was not well suited to motherhood. When he was seven years old, John was taken from his home by Social Services. He was adopted by his birth mother’s sister and her husband. Lennon’s uncle (and adoptive father) bought him his first musical instrument. His aunt (and adoptive mother) would often play Elvis Presley and Fats Domino records for him. A BBC poll in 2002 showed that Britons considered Lennon the eighth greatest Brit in history, and in 2008, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Lennon as the fifth greatest singer of all time.
Peter Wendt is a blogger who recently adopted a child. Although exciting, the process of adoption was daunting. Fortunately, Wendt acquired the services of Angela Stout, an adoption lawyer who helped ensure the process went smoothly.