Stars From Gaeta

This article will list people who are stars, in one respect or another, that are either born in Gaeta, or have roots in Gaeta.  If you also have roots that connect to Gaeta, it is very possible that you are related to any of these “stars” as distant cousins and DNA matches.

Here are a list of people that hail from Gaeta that you might be related too…

Alex Rocco

Alex Rocco aka Alexander “Bobo” Petricone (February 29, 1936 – July 18, 2015), Actor, he is best known for his portrayal of Moe Greene in The Godfather and his Primetime Emmy Award for Supporting Actor in a Comedy for The Famous Teddy Z. He did a significant amount of voice-over work later in his career, and was known for his gravelly voice Rocco was born as Alessandro Federico Petricone Jr. in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1936, but raised in nearby Somerville, the son of an Italian immigrant, Mary (née DiBiase; 1909–1978) and Alessandro Sam Petricone (1896–1949), a native of GaetaItaly.

Lauren Gregorio is a Southern California filmmaker and a finalist in the Final Cut Film Festival with her animated TV film titled, “Il Bello di Nonna.” The filmmaker’s grandmother is from Gaeta, Italy. In the film, the “Tiella di Gaeta” tradition creates a life-long bond for the young boy with his grandmother and his culture. This animated film is just over 2 minutes long and I guarantee that it will have extra special significance to those with ancestors from Gaeta.

Congratulations to filmmaker Lauren Gregorio for this touching and powerful film!

Damien Chinappi is an actor and writer, known for Eternal Code (2019), Caped Crusader: Gotham Underground (2014) and KNIGHTMARE (2017).  Youtube: 

Athena Christine Palombi

Greek-Italian American Soprano and Latin Ballroom Dancer

Athena Christine Palombi is an emerging American artist with a Greek and Italian background. This upcoming season she is debuting Beppe L’AMICO FRITZ for Teatro Grattacielo in New York City with performances in August at the Phoenicia Opera Festival in August 2021 and in New York City in November 2021. She will also be featured in the filmed version of the opera for Teatro Grattacielo later in the season. She is debuting CARMEN title-role as a member of the Vincerò Academy directed by Abdiel Vázquez.

In 2021 she performed excerpts from the rarely performed Greek opera MARKOS BOTSARIS by Pavlos Karrer as Krisi in New York City at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, as part of the bicentennial celebration of Greek Independence. Past engagements include the New Era Voice Festival Masterclasses 2020 with The M Institute of the Arts and Solo Recitals in Collaboration with Voice Science Studios directed by San Francisco Opera and Art Smart Teaching Artist Sven Edward Olbash and accompanied by pianist Ron Valentino.

Athena is co-enrolled in the Comprehensive Musicianship Program at De Anza College, with a concentration in Opera Performance. She also has an extensive background in Greek Orthodox and Latin Liturgical Music. School performances include roles such as Rosina IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA 2019, Contessa, Susanna LE NOZZE DI FIGARO 2018\19, Mimì and Musetta LA BOHÈME 2018\19\20, Dalila SAMSON ET DALILA 2018\19.

Ms Palombi is proficient in Italian, Greek, Spanish, French and English.

Passionate about dance, Ms. Palombi studied Classical Ballet, and competed in International Latin Ballroom. She has won two Professional Amateur World Titles and was a Finalist in the 2017 Blackpool British Open Ballroom Championships.

She has a certificate in Music History and Literature from Foothill College, where she is a member of the Honors Institute. She also has an extensive background in Greek Orthodox and Latin Liturgical Music.

Ms. Palombi studied privately with James Valenti, Capucine Chiaudani, Sven Edward Olbash, Irina Meachem, Elsa Queron, and Rachel Willis Sorensen.

Her website is 

Thomas Louis Magliozzi (June 28, 1937 – November 3, 2014) and his brother Raymond Francis Magliozzi (born March 30, 1949) were the co-hosts of NPR‘s weekly radio show Car Talk, where they were known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers”. Their show was honored with a Peabody Award in 1992. Tom died on November 3, 2014, aged 77, in Belmont, Massachusetts

In January 1987, Susan Stamberg of Weekend Edition on NPR asked the two brothers to contribute weekly to her program. Nine months later, Car Talk premiered as an independent NPR program. In 1992, Tom and Ray won a Peabody Award for Car Talk for “distinguished achievement and meritorious public service”.[12][13] Tom and Ray continued to work in their repair garage while they produced Car Talk. On June 8, 2012, it was announced that Car Talk would stop producing new episodes in September 2012, though NPR would continue airing reruns of the show.[14]

Producer Doug Berman said that Tom and Ray “changed public broadcasting forever” because the brothers “showed that real people are far more interesting than canned radio announcers.”[15] “The guys are culturally right up there with Mark Twain and the Marx Brothers.”[16]

In 1989, the brothers started a newspaper column Click and Clack Talk Cars which, like the radio show, mixed serious advice with humor. King Features distributes the column. Ray continued to write the column, retitled Car Talk, after his brother’s death in 2014, knowing he would have wanted the advice and humor to continue.[18]

Tom and Ray both appeared in the Pixar films Cars (2006) and Cars 3 (2017). (Tom’s role in the third film was accomplished through archival recordings, as it was produced after his death, while Ray reprised his role despite his retirement in 2012.) They played the owners of Rust-eze who discovered Lightning McQueen and gave him his first big break. Tom appeared as a 1963 Dodge Dart convertible, a reference to a car that he owned for many years and often mentioned on Car Talk. Ray appeared as a 1964 Dodge A100 van. In both films, they admonished: “Don’t drive like my brother”, the catchphrase from the close of their radio show.[19]

The Magliozzi brothers also appeared in the sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996 TV series) in an episode called “Driving Mr. Goodman” which aired on May 3, 2002. Sabrina calls them on a magical car radio for car advice.[20] In the same year they appeared in the PBS Kids show Arthur episode called “Pick a Car, Any Car” which aired on November 25, 2002. Arthur calls them with a question about the family car, which would have been hauled away by the local mechanic without their help. The answer turns out to be a baby rattle lodged in the car’s tailpipe.[21] In 2008, the brothers starred in their own PBS animated series Click and Clack’s As the Wrench Turns, playing fictionalized versions of themselves.[22] They also hosted an episode of the PBS show NOVA entitled “The Car of the Future”.[23]

Their grandparents were  born in Gaeta.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera (born February 9, 1967) is an American journalist and a political candidate. A regular CNBC contributor, she was Chief International Correspondent for eight years, and co-host of Power Lunch and Worldwide Exchange. A longtime member of the Republican Party, Caruso-Cabrera moved from Midtown Manhattan to Sunnyside, Queens in late 2019. Less than a year later, she filed for New York’s 14th congressional district, which covers portions of The Bronx and Queens.

All four of her paternal great grandparents were born in Gaeta.

Originally from Gaeta, Italy, Giuseppe Dell’Anno now lives in Bristol with his wife and their three young (and noisy!) sons. His love for baking comes from his father, a professional chef who did all the cooking at home as Giuseppe was growing up, including making a cake every Sunday. Inspired by this Italian heritage, Giuseppe loves using Italian flavours in his bakes, while he also brings his engineer’s precision to the results. A self-confessed food snob, he is determined to feed his children homemade confectionary, rather than anything that’s been mass-produced. When he’s not baking, Giuseppe loves indulging his passion for design and architecture, and with his wife has renovated their family home. He also loves gardening. Follow him on Instagram

He is one of the Bakers on the TV show The Great British Bake Off for 2021 for the 12th season!

The Great British Bake Off is the ultimate baking battle where passionate amateur baking fans compete to be crowned the UK’s Best Amateur Baker. Over the course of 10 hour-long episodes, the series follows the trials and tribulations of the competitors, young and old, from every background and every corner of Britain, as they attempt to prove their baking prowess. Each week the bakers tackle a different baking skill, which become progressively more difficult as the competition unfolds.


Tom Rossi

Tommy Rossi, (December 22, 1927 – April 21, 1997) musician drummer for The Chuck Alaimo Quartet, an American rock music group from Rochester, New York who achieved some popularity in the 1950s. They were originally signed as one of the first artists on the new Ken Records label.When their recording of “Leap Frog” for Ken garnered industry notice, the recording was acquired by MGM Records, who subsequently signed the group and released further singes. “Leap Frog” was a saxohphone-led instrumental which charted on Billboard Hot 100 for a single week in April 1957, at position #92. This recording was listed as tenth most popular in Milwaukee in July of that year. Members of the group included Chuck Alaimo on sax, Bill Irvine on piano, Pat Magnolia on bass, and Tommy Rossi on drums. Billboard noted they “(made) enough noise for a group twice their size” and “moves with a good beat and sound”.

Tom’s parents were born in Gaeta


Benito Nardone

Benito Nardone Cetrulo (November 22, 1906 – March 25, 1964) President of the Uruguayan National Council of Government 1960 – 1961 was a Uruguayan journalist and political figure. Nardone was born at Montevideo, the son of an Italian immigrant. For many years he was a popular radio commentator at CX 4 Radio Rural. His political prominence came about after his long established reputation as a radio personality. In 1960 Nardone’s colleague Martín Echegoyen stepped down as President of the National Council of Government, so Nardone succeeded Echegoyen as president, remaining in charge until 1961.

His parents were born in Gaeta.

Frances Wayne

Frances Wayne (born Chiarina Francesca Bartocci or Clara Bertocci, August 26, 1924 – February 6, 1978) was an American jazz vocalist. She was best known for her recording of ”Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe. Wayne was born in Boston and graduated from Somerville High School. A 1942 review in Billboard magazine described her as “a striking brunette with a true contralto, perfect rhythm, and, most interesting, a brand-new style…of deep understanding and feeling for the spirit of what she sings. On radio, Wayne was the female vocalist on The Woody Herman Show. Wayne was awarded the 1946 Esquire Award as Best New Female Vocalist. I am thrilled to write that members of her family have in fact confirmed that she has roots in Gaeta. Her parents were born in Gaeta.




Nick Jerret

Nick Jerret, musician. Born Nicholas D. Bertocci  on July 29, 1921, Somerville MA; died January 30, 2009, Boston MA, USA. He was the brother of Frances Wayne. He played clarinet with such well-known stars as Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole.  Playing first on a borrowed saxophone, then moving to clarinet, Bertocci adopted a stage name and in a few years went from beginner to bandleader, playing jazz clubs in New York City and Boston. At 19, he had never played an instrument when he went home to explain that his calling was music; the minute he hit the clarinet, that was it. He also accompanied or sat in with musicians such as the trumpeters Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, the saxophonist Charlie Parker, and the singers Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington.  A review from Billboard magazine from 1942 says in part: “Jerret’s clarinet solos are of a sensational nature, involving a fresh style, excellent technique and a wonderful feel for jazz.” His parents were born in Gaeta.

Claudio Cuccoluto (1962-2021) lived his life in Gaeta. He started DJing at 13 years old, for a hobby, in his father’s appliances store. From here he started his brilliant career becoming an international-sized DJ, among house music leaders for over forty years. He was an ambassador of Gaeta where ever he went. He was also known for his participation in TV shows like Hi Darwin and Matrix. He is considered one of the greatest deejays on the Italian and international scene. Born in Gaeta on August 17, 1962, he started DJing at just 13 years old, at his father’s appliances store in Lungomare Caboto in his hometown. In 1978 he started working at local Radio Andromeda Radio, to become full-time deejay in the mid-80. s. The beginnings were at the Seven Up in Gianola (frazione of Formia) and at the Histeria of Rome. Then, was the first European dj to play at Sound Factory Bar in New York. He used to work frequently at the Goa in Rome. Active on Radio Deejay with the C.O.C.O. program, since 1990 was producing his own material: the last release in June 2008 (imusicselection 5 – Vynil Heart). In 2008 he had curated the music of I don’t fall for Pasquale Falcone.

Enrico Tonti

Enrico Tonti, whose name was Gallicized as Henri de Tonti, was born in the Italian coastal town of Gaeta near Naples, sometime between 1647 and 1650.  The son of an Italian exile to France, Tonti played a leading role in the earliest incursions by explorers, soldiers and settlers from New France into the regions of the Great Lakes, the Mississippi Valley, the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama and Texas. This allowed the French, and later other Europeans, to settle in new territories. At 18 Enrico Tonti enlisted in the French army, during the reign of Louis XIV, climbing to the rank of lieutenant. He is believed to have arrived in New France with his friend, the great French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, in 1678. With La Salle, Tonti is credited as discoverer of the mouth of the Mississippi River, reaching the Gulf of Mexico from the Great Lakes. The French canoe expedition began its journey south from Lake Ontario on Christmas Eve 1681, and arrived at the mouth of the river in the Gulf of Mexico on April 9, 1682. They were the first Europeans to sail down the entire length of the Mississippi River and, in doing so, proving that the Gulf of Mexico could be reached from Quebec by inland waterways. When La Salle was murdered in 1687, as his second in command, Tonti became the de facto leader of France’s exploratory drive in North America, making him the most powerful man in America. For nearly 20 years he proved an able leader. Enrico Tonti, an exceptional and tenacious explorer, endowed with an innate ability to communicate with strangers, had earned the nickname “iron hand,” given to him by the Natives. (He had lost his right hand in a grenade explosion, resulting in his wearing a prosthetic hook covered with a glove.)  It is VERY interesting to note that according to in an article entitled SWORDPLAY & SWASHBUCKLERS: MUSINGS ON AUTHENTIC & LITERARY ADVENTURE WITH SHIPS & SWORDS it mentions that Enrico Tonti may have been the inspiration for author J. M Barrie of  Peter and Wendy (aka Peter Pan) that was used to create the eponymous villain Captain Hook (most notable feature–his hook). Tonti had lost his left hand in action in Sicily in 1677 when a grenade exploded. An epic swashbuckling figure, his likeness could have been taken as a model for Captain Hook. Tonti’s written account of his fascinating adventures with La Salle was published in both French and English in the late nineteenth century and in fact, included a story that Tonti even had a run-in with alligators on the Mississippi near the villages known as the Akancas (Arkansas): “The first day we began to see and to kill alligators, which are numerous, and from 15 to 20 feet long.” (From Tonti’s 1693 Memoir.)

Vincent Robert Capodanno (February 13, 1929 – September 4, 1967) was a Roman Catholic priest  killed in action while serving as a United States Navy  chaplain  assigned to a Marine Corps infantry unit during the Vietnam War. He was a posthumous recipient of America’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for heroic actions above and beyond the call of duty. The Catholic Church has declared him a Servant of God, the first of the four stages toward possible sainthood. USS Capodanno (FF-1093) was named in honor of Lieutenant Capodanno. The Capodanno was commissioned November 17, 1973, and became the first ship in the US fleet to receive a Papal Blessing when it was blessed by Pope John Paul II on September 4, 1981, the anniversary of the chaplain’s death.  In October 1974, a bill was proposed to change the name of Seaside Boulevard to Father Capodanno Boulevard; a year later, the bill was passed by the Mayor of New York. For the United States Bicentennial weekend, the city of New York declared July 3, 1976, “Father Capodanno Day.”  Near the north end of the boulevard, alongside Fort Wadsworth‘s Father Capodanno Memorial Chapel, stands a 1977 statue of the chaplain praying for a fallen corpsman during their final battle.  His parents were born in Gaeta. 

One terrifying night in France in 1944, when the young Army medic crouched down in a foxhole as German artillery shells fell around him, he proved to be anything but ordinary. “God said ‘Peter, do your job.’ So my feet take me the hell out of my hole. I went from one hole here, gave them medicine, a shot, bandages,” Fantasia said. It’s not clear how many lives he saved that night. The next day, the Germans captured him and he spent the next six months as a prisoner of war. His family was surprised to learn that in addition to a Silver Star for valor, Fantasia was entitled to eight other medals that he’d never received. “What he did in his life before us, it’s…it’s…breathtaking,” said his daughter, Martha Mesiti. So last Monday, Technician Third Grade Peter Fantasia was finally given the honors he deserves, including the Bronze Star. But he still doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. “God took care of me. He made me do the job. That’s it,” he said.  His kids said, if you ask this father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather of what he’s proudest of, it’s one thing: Family. Pietro Paulo (Peter) Fantasia as a descendant of Gaeta.  He is the son of Francesco Salvatore Fantasia and Antoneta Albano, born in Elena (now Gaeta).  He is a hero of WWII, recipient of the Silver Star and Bronze Star for bravery in combat.  He was also a prisoner of war. The US national news produced a story about his heroism. He will be 105 in February 2021.

Daniel Mendick (born September 28, 1993) is an American professional baseball infielder for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 22nd round of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft. Mendick made his professional debut with the Arizona League White Sox, hitting .256 with five home runs and 27 RBIs in 49 games. He played 2016 with the Kannapolis Intimidators (with whom he was named a South Atlantic League All-Star honors. On September 3, 2019, the White Sox selected Mendick’s contract and promoted him to the major leagues. He made his major league debut that night versus the Cleveland Indians as a pinch runner.  Overall with the 2020 Chicago White Sox, Mendick batted .243 with three home runs and 6 RBIs in 33 games.
His great grandmother born in Gaeta. 

Marc Zolla

Z-Cocoon is a Montreal, Quebec based rock band lead by guitarist and singer Marc Zolla that plays a style of music they describe as “doom blues.” (a blend of rock ‘n roll, pop, blues and sludgy hard-rock). Marc’s paternal grandmother was born in Gaeta. 

Ricky King Russell

Ricky “King” Russell is one of the Blues’ most seasoned performers and brightest talents. Ricky plays with passion and style. His 4 CDs are radio favorites and the song, “Big Boy” has been featured on the House of Blues Radio Hour with Dan Aykroyd. Ricky is a guitarist / vocalist / songwriter fifty-year musician with a list of credits and accomplishments too long to list here. Described as “Volcanic” by the Boston Globe, Ricky always delivers from the heart. He has appeared with such notables as David “Honey Boy” Edwards, John Lee Hooker, Eddie Clearwater, Mighty Sam McClain, Ronnie Earl, Jerry Portnoy, Duke Robillard, Kim Wilson, Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton (Double Trouble), Susan Tedeschi, Toni Lynn Washington, Roomful of Blues, James Montgomery, Sugar Ray Norcia, Debbie Davies, Steve Miller and many others. He was a featured artist at the original House of Blues in Cambridge, MA and Harvard University has bestowed upon him an honorary “Doctorate of the Blues”.  Ricky’s great grandparents were born in Gaeta. 

Jason Leusch, 8, of Webster, N.Y. caught this 14.5-inch, state record rock bass fishing off the dock at his family’s cottage on Lake Ontario in Wayne County. He is now the proud owner of the new state freshwater fishing record for rock bass. Father and son then drove to the Bay Bridge Sport shop at the south end of Sodus Bay. It again weighed 2.0 pounds on the shop’s official scale. It measured 14.5 inches. The father of Leusch said he contacted the Department of Environmental Conservation and was told to freeze the fish. A few days later, the father drove to DEC’s Region 8 Office in Avon to verify the species of fish and weight. This is the second state freshwater fishing record broken this year. 

The connection to Gaeta is that his mother’s mothers parents (his great grandparents) are the connection to Gaeta.  His great grandfather was born in Gaeta, and the parents of his great grandmother were both born in Gaeta.) 

Fifteen Los Angeles Police Department officers who participated in two gunbattles at a home in Winnetka that left a SWAT officer dead will be honored at the White House in 2009.
The officers were nominated by the Los Angeles Police Protective League for the Top Cops Awards, given by the National Association of Police Organizations.
The officers who will be honored are James Veenstra, David Keortge, Floyd Curry, Tom Chinappi, Mike Barker, Mike Odle, Richard Alba, Mark Nee, Daniel Sanchez, Douglas Dingman, Charles Buttitta, German Hurtado, George Ryan, Anthony Samuelson and Steve Scallon.
They will meet with Obama before the ceremony, said Los Angeles Police Protective League spokesman Eric Rose.
“The officers nominated by the LAPPL are heroes in every sense of the word,” Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber said. “Their focus and courage under fire epitomizes what it means to be a police officer. Modern- day heroes are a rare commodity and these officers live up to the highest standards of the LAPD.”

Tom Chinappi’s grandfather was born in Gaeta.

Jeanine Mallory

Jeanine Mallory is an experienced Investigative Geneologist and an Ancestry DNA Search Angel who guides individuals in interpreting their Ancestry DNA matches to locate biological parent(s).  Over the years, Jeanine have solved over 160 cases helping people find their biological parents/grandparents utilizing dna results.  She is a descendant of the family names of Antetomaso, Traniello, Conte, Dell’ova, Valente that hail from Gaeta. 

She runs the  Facebook Group Jeanine Mallory, Genetic Genealogist 

Pope Gelasius II

Pope Gelasius II (c. 1060/1064 – 29 January 1119), born Giovanni Caetani or Giovanni da Gaeta (also called Coniulo), was Pope from 24 January 1118 to his death in 1119. A monk of Monte Cassino and chancellor of Pope Paschal II, Caetani was unanimously elected to succeed him. In doing so he also succeeded to the conflicts with Emperor Henry V over investiture. Gelasius spent a good part of his brief papacy in exile. He was the 161st Pope. 

He was born between 1060 and 1064 at Gaeta into the Pisan branch of the Caetani family




Nicola and Giuseppe Chinappi

Nicola Chinappi (1937-2005) and Giuseppe Chinappi (1939- ) were two brothers that appeared in the National Film Board documentary entitled: Dimanche d’Amérique (Duration: 27 min 41 seconds) an NFB Documentary on Italian immigration to Quebec,

Synopsis: Documentary on Italian immigration to Quebec. For Italians with an immigrant background, collective success is worth more than individual success. And the family is at the center of the community. We live five crowded in a room, waiting for a better future. Buy a house, raise a family. Half of the 150,000 Italians in Montreal live in the same neighborhood. They storm the construction trades, become painters, masons, and transform their garden into a familiar landscape

They did not even know that they were being recorded.  50 years after they were recorded, the family discovered their inclusion in the NFB documentary, and that Guiseppe made it to the cover of the DVD.

They immigrated to Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1953. They were born in Gaeta. 

The Chinappi family members come in around 23:55 in the video below 

Nick Chinappi

Nicholas (Nick) Chinappi was honored by the municipality of St-Laurent, city of Montreal on March 6, 2012.  Nick received a Certificate of Commendation for saving the life of his friend who almost drowned. Nick’s paternal grandparents were born in Gaeta. 

Jovan “Jovo” Kapičić, born Jovan Kapa; 2 September 1919 – 9 December 2013) was a Yugoslav General and post-war politician.  He was awarded the Order of the People’s Hero on 10 July 1950.  Kapičić was born on 2 September 1919 in the Italian city of Gaeta where the Kingdom of Italy authorities had set up a large base for the Italian-supported exiled soldiers of the Royal Montenegrin Army following their unsuccessful 1919 Christmas Uprising against the Karađorđević dynasty. Jovo’s son Dragan is a retired basketball player and his grandson Stefan is an actor

Giannino Bulzone

Giannino Bulzone (9 May 1911 – 7 July 1987) was an Italian long-distance runner. He competed in the marathon at the 1936 Summer Olympics. The men’s marathon event at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games took place August 9. The 1936 Summer Olympics (GermanOlympische Sommerspiele 1936), officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad (GermanSpiele der XI. Olympiade), was an international multi-sport event held in 1936 in BerlinGermany.  Giannino Bulzone was born in Gaeta. He died in Rome.

Tommaso Maria Conca 

Tommaso Maria Conca (1734–1822), was an Italian painter and draftsman, active mostly in Rome. He was born in Gaeta, one of the youngest of some eleven siblings, to Giovanni Conca and Anna Laura Scarsella di Castro. His father was a painter and cousin to the more famous painter Sebastiano Conca; the two were Tommaso’s first teachers in Baroque painting.In 1770, Tommaso was made member of Accademia di San Luca, Rome’s guild of painters. From 1775 to 1782 he worked for Marcantonio Borghese, painting the ceilings of two rooms in the renovated Galleria Borghese, in collaboration with Giovanni Battista Marchetti.  Between 1782 and 1787 Conca painted Apollo and the Muses, a fresco decorating Sala delle Muse, a room in the papal Museo Pio-Clementino. At the end of his life, he completed another fresco in the Vatican’s Museo Chiaramonti, which celebrates the restitution of paintings that had been taken to Musée Napoléon. One of his pupils was Camillo Guerra.

Antonio Salemme

Antonio Salemme (November 2, 1892 − May 2, 1995) was an Italian-born American sculptor and painter best known for his sculpted portraits (including; John F. KennedyDwight D. EisenhowerAlbert EinsteinPaul RobesonEthel Waters) and classical nudes. Salemme was born on November 2, 1892, in Gaeta, Italy. In the nineteen thirties the artist worked as a director in the Works Progress Administration and throughout his career did many portrait commissions. In the 1980s he and his wife Martha set up the Antonio Salemme Foundation in Allentown, Pennsylvania, as an initial step towards the founding of a museum to permanently house the artist’s work. Salemme died on May 2, 1995, in Williams Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. at the age of 102. 

John Caboto

John Cabot (ItalianGiovanni Caboto (c. 1450 – c. 1500) was an Italian navigator and explorer. His 1497 voyage to the coast of North America under the commission of Henry VII of England is the earliest known European exploration of coastal North America since the Norse visits to Vinland in the eleventh century. To mark the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Cabot’s expedition, both the Canadian and British governments elected Cape BonavistaNewfoundland, as representing Cabot’s first landing site. However, alternative locations have also been proposed. Cabot is known today as Giovanni Caboto in Italian, as Zuan Chabotto in Venetian, and as John Cabot in English. 

Cabot was born in Italy, the son of Giulio Caboto and his wife; he had a brother Piero. Gaeta (in the Province of Latina) and Castiglione Chiavarese (in the Province of Genoa) have both been proposed as birthplaces. The main evidence for Gaeta are records of a Caboto family residing there until the mid-15th century, but ceasing to be traceable after 1443.

Scipione Pulzone

Scipione Pulzone (1544 – February 1, 1598), also known as Il Gaetano, was a Neapolitan painter of the late Italian Renaissance. His work differs in several respects from the Mannerist style predominant at the time. He was active mainly in Rome, but also worked in Naples and Florence. It is thought that he studied under Jacopino del Conte in Rome.  Best known for his portraits, Pulzone painted Pope Gregory XIII, Cardinal de’ Medici and Francesco I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of TuscanyEleanor de’ Medici, and Marie de’ Medici. He also painted an Assumption with the Apostles for San Silvestro al Quirinale; a Pietà for the Gesù; and a Crucifixion for Santa Maria in Vallicella.  Born in Gaeta around 1550 and initially trained in the workshop of Jacopino del Conte, Pulzone was one of the most original pictorial interpreters of the age of the Counter Reformation and one of the most esteemed artists active in Rome in the second half of the 16th century. Many of his works, and especially the religious paintings, betray the marked influence of Girolamo Siciolante da Sermoneta. He excelled above all in portraiture, displaying particularly high artistic quality in the rendering of details. He worked at the Neapolitan and Florentine courts as well as in Rome, where he also painted the portraits of the popes of his day, namely Pius V and Gregory XIII. His major religious works included the Our Lady of the Assumption in the church of San Silvestro al Quirinale and the Christ on the Cross with Saints in Santa Maria in Vallicella in Rome.

Henry Mancini – Music Composer

Henry Nicola Mancini (born Enrico Nicola Mancini; April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994) was an American composer, conductor, arranger, pianist and flautist. Often cited as one of the greatest composers in the history of film. He won four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and twenty Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

Henry Mancini was born Enrico Nicola Mancini in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland and raised in West Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Both his parents were Italian immigrants. Originally from Scanno, Abruzzo, his father Quintiliano “Quinto” Mancini was an amateur musician who first came to the U.S. as a teenager around 1910. His mother Anna (née Pece) came to the U.S. from Forli del Sannio as an infant.

His works include the theme and soundtrack for the Peter Gunn television series as well as the music for The Pink Panther film series (“The Pink Panther Theme”) and “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’sThe Music from Peter Gunn won the inaugural Grammy Award for Album of the Year. 

In 1952, Mancini joined the Universal-International‘s music department. During the next six years, he contributed music to over 100 movies, most notably Creature from the Black LagoonThe Creature Walks Among UsIt Came from Outer SpaceTarantulaThis Island EarthThe Glenn Miller Story (for which he received his first Academy Award nomination), The Benny Goodman Story and Orson Welles‘ Touch of Evil. During this time, he also wrote some popular songs. His first hit was a single by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians titled I Won’t Let You Out of My Heart.

Mancini left Universal-International to work as an independent composer/arranger in 1958. Soon afterward, he scored the television series Peter Gunn[9] for writer/producer Blake Edwards. This was the genesis of a relationship in which Edwards and Mancini collaborated on 30 films over 35 years. Along with Alex NorthElmer BernsteinLeith Stevens and Johnny Mandel, Henry Mancini was a pioneer of the inclusion of jazz elements in the late romantic orchestral film and TV scoring prevalent at the time. Mancini’s scores for Blake Edwards included Breakfast at Tiffany’s (with the standard “Moon River“)[9] and Days of Wine and Roses (with the title song, “Days of Wine and Roses“), as well as Experiment in TerrorThe Pink Panther (and all of its sequels), The Great RaceThe Party10 (including “It’s Easy to Say”) and Victor Victoria. Another director with whom Mancini had a longstanding partnership was Stanley Donen (CharadeArabesqueTwo for the Road). Mancini also composed for Howard Hawks (Man’s Favorite Sport?Hatari! – which included the “Baby Elephant Walk“), Martin Ritt (The Molly Maguires), Vittorio de Sica (Sunflower), Norman Jewison (Gaily, Gaily), Paul Newman (Sometimes a Great NotionThe Glass Menagerie)Stanley Kramer (Oklahoma Crude), George Roy Hill (The Great Waldo Pepper), Arthur Hiller (Silver Streak),[19] Ted Kotcheff (Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?), and others. Mancini’s score for the Alfred Hitchcock film Frenzy (1972) in Bachian organ andante, for organ and an orchestra of strings was rejected and replaced by Ron Goodwin‘s work.

Mancini scored many TV movies, including The MoneychangersThe Thorn Birds and The Shadow Box. He wrote many television themes, including Mr. Lucky (starring John Vivyan and Ross Martin),[20] NBC Mystery Movie,[21] Tic Tac Dough (1990 version),[22] Once Is Not Enough, and What’s Happening!! In the 1984–85 television season, four series featured original Mancini themes: NewhartHotelRemington Steele, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Mancini also composed the “Viewer Mail” theme for Late Night with David Letterman.[21] Mancini composed the theme for NBC Nightly News used beginning in 1975, and a different theme by him, titled Salute to the President was used by NBC News for its election coverage (including primaries and conventions) from 1976 to 1992. Salute to the President was published only in a school-band arrangement, although Mancini performed it frequently with symphony orchestras on his concert tours.

Songs with music by Mancini were staples of the easy listening genre from the 1960s to the 1980s. Mancini’s style symbolized the bright, confident, hospitable voice of bourgeois, inspired by the idealistic Kennedy-era of the 1960s.[23] Some of the artists who have recorded Mancini songs include Andy WilliamsPaul AnkaPat BooneAnita BryantJack JonesFrank SinatraPerry ComoConnie FrancisEydie GormeSteve LawrenceTrini LopezGeorge MaharisJohnny MathisJerry ValeRay ConniffQuincy JonesThe Lennon SistersThe LettermenHerb AlpertEddie CanoFrank ChacksfieldWarren CovingtonSarah VaughanShelly ManneJames MoodyPercy FaithFerrante & TeicherHorst JankowskiAndre KostelanetzPeter NeroLiberaceMantovaniTony BennettJulie LondonWayne NewtonArthur Fiedler, Secret Agent and the Boston Pops OrchestraPeggy Lee, and Matt Monro. The Anita Kerr Quartet won a Grammy award (1965) for their album We Dig Mancini, a cover of his songs. Lawrence Welk held Mancini in very high regard, and frequently featured Mancini’s music on The Lawrence Welk Show (Mancini made at least two guest appearances on the show). Mancini briefly hosted his own musical variety TV show in a similar format to Welk’s, The Mancini Generation, which aired in syndication during the 1972–73 season.[24]

Mancini recorded over 90 albums, in styles ranging from big band to light classical to pop. Eight of these albums were certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. He had a 20-year contract with RCA Victor, resulting in 60 commercial record albums that made him a household name among artists of easy-listening music. Mancini’s earliest recordings in the 1950s and early 1960s were of the jazz idiom; with the success of Peter GunnMr. Lucky, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mancini shifted to recording primarily his own music in record albums and film soundtracks. (Relatively little of his music was written for recordings compared to the amount that was written for film and television.) Beginning with his 1969 hit arrangement of Nino Rota’s A Time for Us (as his only Billboard Hot 100 top 10 entry, the No. 1 hit “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet“) and its accompanying album A Warm Shade of Ivory, Mancini began to function more as a piano soloist and easy-listening artist recording music primarily written by other people. In this period, for two of his best-selling albums he was joined by trumpet virtuoso and The Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinsen.

Among Mancini’s orchestral scores are (LifeforceThe Great Mouse DetectiveSunflowerTom and Jerry: The MovieMolly MaguiresThe Hawaiians), and darker themes (Experiment in TerrorThe White DawnWait Until DarkThe Night Visitor).

Mancini was also a concert performer, conducting over fifty engagements per year, resulting in over 600 symphony performances during his lifetime. He conducted nearly all of the leading symphony orchestras of the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. One of his favorites was the Minnesota Orchestra, where he debuted the Thorn Birds Suite in June 1983. He appeared in 1966, 1980 and 1984 in command performances for the British Royal Family. He also toured several times with Johnny Mathis and also with Andy Williams, who had both sung many of Mancini’s songs; Mathis and Mancini collaborated on the 1986 album The Hollywood Musicals. In 1987 he conducted an impromptu charity concert in London in aid of Children In Need. The concert included Tchaikovsky‘s 1812 Overture with firework accompaniment over the River Thames.

The Mancini family of Abruzzo are related to the Mancini families that lived in Gaeta. So if you have any Mancini ancestors, you are very most likely distantly related to Henry Mancini.   

We are looking for someone that has researched the family tree of Henry Mancini that can provide records to show the direct relation between the Mancini of Gaeta and the Mancini of Abruzzo. 





Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies

Maria Pia of the Two Sicilies[1] (2 August 1849 – 29 September 1882)  Profession: aristocrat. Place of Birth: Gaeta, Lazio, Italy. She was a Princess of the Two Sicilies and titular Duchess consort of Parma as the wife of Robert I, Duke of Parma. Maria Pia was the daughter of King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and his wife, Maria Theresa of Austria. Maria Pia was forced into exile along with the rest of her family after the unification of Italy in 1861.    Maria Pia and Robert had twelve children of whom six were mentally disabled. Ok, she is not really a “star” per se, but she was born in Gaeta.


Cyndi Lauper

Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper Thornton (born June 22, 1953)[2] is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and activist.[3] Her career has spanned over 40 years.[4] Her album She’s So Unusual (1983) was the first debut album by a female artist to achieve four top-five hits on the Billboard Hot 100—”Girls Just Want to Have Fun“, “Time After Time“, “She Bop“, and “All Through the Night“—and earned Lauper the Best New Artist award at the 27th Annual Grammy Awards in 1985. Her success continued with the soundtrack for the motion picture The Goonies and her second record True Colors (1986). This album included the number one single “True Colors” and “Change of Heart“, which peaked at number three. In 1989, she had a hit with “I Drove All Night“.

Since 1983, Lauper has released eleven studio albums and participated in many other projects. In 2010, Memphis Blues became Billboard‘s most successful blues album of the year, remaining at number one on the Billboard Blues Albums chart for 13 consecutive weeks. In 2013, she won the Tony Award for best original score for composing the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, making her the first woman to win the category by herself.[5] The musical was awarded five other Tonys including Tony Award for Best New Musical. In 2014, Lauper was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for the cast recording. In 2016, the West End production won Best New Musical at the Olivier Awards.[6]

Lauper has sold over 50 million records worldwide.[7] 

She has won awards at the GrammysEmmysTonys, the New York’s Outer Critics Circle, MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), Billboard Awards, and American Music Awards (AMAs).[8] An inductee into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Lauper is one of the few singers to win three of the four major American entertainment awards (EGOT).[9] She won the inaugural Best Female Video prize at the 1984 VMAs for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun“. This music video is recognized by MTVVH1 and Rolling Stone as one of the greatest music videos of the era.[10][11][12][13] She is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s Women Who Rock exhibit.[14] Her debut album is included in Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,[15] while “Time After Time” is included in VH1‘s list of the 100 Best Songs of the Past 25 years.[16] VH1 has ranked Lauper No. 58 of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.[17]

Her father, Fred, was of German and Swiss descent. Her mother, Catrine (née Gallo), is of Italian descent (from Sicily). Cyndi’s mother was an Italian with the last name of Gallo. The last name of Gallo is a popular last name in Gaeta, and it is likely the Gallo family of Gaeta are related to the Gallo family of Cyndi. If anyone reading this has in fact been able to trace the family tree of Cyndi Lauper, please contact us.


Captain Lou Albano

Louis Vincent Albano[7] (July 29, 1933 – October 14, 2009) was an Italian-American professional wrestler, manager and actor, who performed under the ring/stage name “Captain” Lou Albano. He was active as a professional wrestler from 1953 until 1969 before becoming a manager until 1995. 

A unique showman, with an elongated beard, rubber band facial piercings, and loud outfits, Albano was the forefather of the 1980s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection. Collaborating with Cyndi Lauper, Albano helped usher in wrestling’s crossover success with a mainstream audience. Capitalizing on his success, he later ventured into Hollywood with various television, film, and music projects. He became well known to a younger generation of fans as the actor and voice of Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!

Lou was born in Rome Lazio, and it is likely that the Albano family of Gaeta is connected with the Albano family of Atena Lucana, Salerno, Campania, Italy. If anyone has done research on the Albano line of his family, please contact us to help us find the connection. 


Madonna Louise Ciccone (born August 16, 1958) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She is considered one of the most influential figures in popular culture and has often been referred to as the “Queen of Pop“.[3] Madonna is noted for her continual reinvention and versatility in music production, songwriting, and visual presentation. She has pushed the boundaries of artistic expression in mainstream music, while maintaining control over every aspect of her career.[4] Her works, which incorporate social, political, sexual, and religious themes, have generated both controversy and critical acclaim.

Madonna moved to New York City in 1978 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing as a drummer, guitarist, and vocalist in the rock bands Breakfast Club and Emmy, she rose to solo stardom with her debut studio album, Madonna (1983). She followed it with a series of successful albums, including all-time bestsellers Like a Virgin (1984), True Blue (1986) and The Immaculate Collection (1990) as well as Grammy Award winners Ray of Light (1998) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005). Madonna has amassed many number-one singles throughout her career, including “Like a Virgin“, “La Isla Bonita“, “Like a Prayer“, “Vogue“, “Take a Bow“, “Frozen“, “Music“, “Hung Up“, and “4 Minutes“.

Silvio Anthony “Tony” Ciccone was her father. Her father’s parents were Italian emigrants from Pacentro while her mother was of French-Canadian descent.[8] Tony Ciccone worked as an engineer designer for Chrysler and General Motors. Since Madonna had the same name as her mother, family members called her “Little Nonnie”  The Ciccone family name is popular in Gaeta. If someone has researched her family tree and can confirm the connection of the Ciccone family in Gaeta, please contact us.  



Władziu Valentino Liberace (May 16, 1919 – February 4, 1987) was an American pianist, singer and actor. A child prodigy born in Wisconsin to parents of Italian and Polish origin, Liberace enjoyed a career spanning four decades of concerts, recordings, television, motion pictures, and endorsements. At the height of his fame, from the 1950s to the 1970s, Liberace was the highest-paid entertainer in the world, with established concert residencies in Las Vegas, and an international touring schedule. Liberace embraced a lifestyle of flamboyant excess both on and off stage, acquiring the nickname “Mr. Showmanship”.  Władziu Valentino Liberace (known as “Lee” to his friends and “Walter” to family) was born in West Allis, Wisconsin, on May 16, 1919. His father, Salvatore (“Sam”) Liberace (December 9, 1885 – April 1, 1977), was an immigrant from Formia in the Lazio region of central Italy.  Although not directly from Gaeta, the city of Formia is very close to Gaeta and as far as genealogy goes, family trees of one village do blend into family trees of the other village.  

Olga C. Nardone

Olga Nida Carmena Nardone (June 8, 1921 – September 24, 2010) was an actress and one of the last surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, in which she played a member of the Lullaby League. She was known as “Little Olga” and “Princess Olga” and was one of the smallest of the Wizard of Oz Munchkins, standing at just 3 foot 4 inches (101.6 cm) tall. The fact that she had done ballet solos in vaudeville helped get her the part.    She was born on June 8, 1921 in Newton, Massachusetts to Louise M. and Leonardo B. Nardone. She died on September 24, 2010 in Nonantum, Massachusetts of natural causes, at the age of 89 years.  It is a RUMOR that her roots go back to Gaeta.  (If someone can please confirm this, contact this website at )

One thought on “Stars From Gaeta

  1. Thank you for what you are doing regarding Gaeta genealogy. Yesterday by chance i discovered an unopened letter sent by father to me in 1970 when I was traveling in Europe as a young man ( I am now 77 ) suggesting i go to Gaeta as it was his father’s home before emigrating to Canada via the USA around 1900. His name was Luigi Ciccarelli. He and his cousin Frank returned briefly to Italy to marry two sisters from Caserta. My grandmother’s maiden name was Maria La Rocco. If you have any information about my family it would be greatly appreciated. Again, thank you!

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