Celebrities who were adopted

Finding out that you were adopted is a serious thing and potentially traumatic moment. However, some of the most famous people in the world managed to overcome the fact that they were adopted and reach stardom, which is quite inspiring.  Read on to discover some well-known faces with surprising birth histories.

Ray Liotta








Born in Newark, New Jersey, the edgy 55-year-old actor was adopted at 6 months old by Alfred and Mary Liotta and raised in New Jersey along with a younger adopted sister. After becoming a parent himself, he decided to hire a private detective to track down his birth mother. The two met and he learned he has four half-sisters, a half-brother and a full sister. “When I finally found out in my 40s, you realize that the best thing in the world was that I was adopted, only based on that my birth mother had circumstances that didn’t warrant her to keep a kid,” he said in a 2009 PBS interview.

Melissa Gilbert

Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Born To Be Wild 3-D" - Red Carpet







Best known for her portrayal of Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, Melissa Gilbert was adopted at birth by Ed Gilbert and Barbara Crane, both Hollywood actors. Ed Gilbert died when Melissa was 11, and Michael Landon, who played her father on television, became a surrogate father to her. Melissa’s siblings include adopted brother Jonathan Gilbert, who portrayed Willie Oleson on Little House, and her sister Sara (who is not adopted) played Darlene on Roseanne. Melissa continues to act, mostly in made-for-TV movies, and she served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001 to 2005.

Nicole Richie








Raised by Lionel Richie and his ex-wife Brenda since she was 2, Nicole was officially adopted when she was 9. “My parents were friends with Lionel,” Nicole told People magazine in 2003. “They trusted that they would be better able to provide for me.” In 2005, the reality star and fashion designer published the novel The Truth About Diamonds, based loosely on her life, about the drug-addicted adopted daughter of a Hollywood icon.

Jamie Foxx








Jamie Foxx was born Eric Bishop in 1967. His parents separated shortly thereafter, and his mother didn’t feel capable of raising him on her own, so he was adopted at seven months by his maternal grandmother. Years later, during his Academy Award acceptance speech for his role in the critically-acclaimed biopic Ray, Foxx thanked his grandmother for her hard work and unconditional love. He has also hosted holiday specials concerning adoption and often mentions the cause in interviews.

Frances McDormand








The award-winning actress was born in Chicago in 1957 and was the youngest of four children adopted by Canadian parents Vernon McDormand, a Disciples of Christ minister, and Noreen, a retired registered nurse and receptionist. Her father’s work led the McDormand family to move frequently around the U.S. during Frances’ early years, but they finally settled in a suburb of Pittsburgh. In 1994, McDormand and her husband, film director Joel Coen, adopted a son, Pedro, who was born in Paraguay.

Jack Nicholson








Born in New Jersey in 1937, Jack was adopted by his birth grandparents. But the weird part of the story is that Jack grew up not knowing who his real mother was.  Born to showgirl June Nicholson when she was still a teenager, Nicholson believed his mother was his sister until TIME magazine called him to verify information in an article.

Kristin Chenoweth

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals







Raised by adoptive parents Jerry and Junie in Oklahoma, Kristin Chenoweth had a happy childhood. “I’ve never heard from my birth mom, and for me, that’s a blessing. I don’t feel that burning desire to meet my biological parents,” she said. “I’ve had such a great upbringing, and if you met my parents, you would say, ‘Of course she’s their daughter!’ If I ever did meet my birth mom, I’d just say, ‘Thank you for making the decision to give me such a great life.’”

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