Aida Turturro

Aida Turturro Headshot

Actress

Birth Date: September 25, 1962

Age: 61 years old

Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York

New York actress Aida Turturro paid her dues with dozens of small but memorable character parts for over a decade before landing the role of a lifetime on "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007) in 2000. In 2007, she was honored with an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tony Soprano's soul-searching, emotionally unpredictable sister for the show's heavily publicized final season. A cousin of actors and brothers John and Nicholas Turturro, the actress also earned her stripes on the big screen, appearing in his films "Mac" (1990), "Illuminata" (1998) and "Romance and Cigarettes" (2005), but it was as Janice Soprano that Turturro truly mesmerized - holding her own, toe-to-toe opposite the intense James Gandolfini.

Turturro was born in Brooklyn on Sept. 25, 1962, and raised on Manhattan's Lower East Side by her artist father and her stepmother. Her mother was chronically ill, so Turturro did not spend much time with her while growing up. She was one of the shyest kids in school, but a reluctant stage performance in drama class planted the acting seed in her head. Turturro worked up the nerve to audition for high school plays, discovering that the shy girl had a great gift for being onstage. She decided to train for an acting career at the State University of New York in New Paltz' drama department, where she earned a bachelor's degree in 1984.

Back in Manhattan, she continued to study with acting coaches while beginning to build a resume with roles in off-Broadway productions and TV and film auditions. Her career began to take off in 1989 when she landed a supporting role in the feature comedy, "True Love," which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. In 1990, she broke through into guest TV roles on local shows like "Law & Order" and also landed a part in "Mac" (1990) - a well-received film about 1950s working class Queens life directed by her cousin, actor-director John Turturro.

Her unique spark and warm, vibrant screen presence lent itself to a series of "best friend" roles in 1992's "Jersey Girl" and 1994's "Angie." Both her vivacity and versatility were displayed with roles in films as divergent as "Manhattan Murder Mystery" (1993) and "Money Train" (1995). Turturro also took center stage (with several others) as part of the ensemble of the acclaimed independent "Denise Calls Up" (1995), in which she played a failed party planner with a note-perfect turn. In her first recurring TV role, Aida was seen on "The Wright Verdict" (CBS, 1995). She got to play zany in "The Search for One-Eye Jimmy" (1996), in which she portrayed skewed seer Madame Esther, as well as taking the fortune teller route in Woody Allen's "Celebrity" (1998). Also in 1998, Turturro re-teamed with helmers Savoca and John Turturro respectively, memorably co-starring in "The 24 Hour Woman" and "Illuminata." She enjoyed several colorful supporting parts in 1999 with "Deep Blue Sea," "Play It to the Bone" and "Bringing Out the Dead," before moving up to a co-starring role in the independent comedy "24 Nights."
In 2000, the spirited actress joined the hit HBO drama "The Sopranos" during its second season, playing the sister of troubled Mafia capo Tony (James Gandolfini) and daughter of maniacal matriarch Livia (Nancy Marchand). Janice, an aging New Ager newly christened Pavarti after a Hindi goddess, was initially presented as a spiritually in-touch woman seeking to separate herself from the crime family, but quickly showed her true colors with opportunistic manipulation and explosive violence. Turturro and Gandolfini made a compelling onscreen team, battling with sibling rivalries and contrasting lifestyle issues, but ultimately coming together in times of crisis and uniting against an abusive mother. Their chemistry was not surprising, as the two actors had worked together in "Angie" and "Fallen" (1998), and played battling neighbors in the 1992 Broadway revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire." The final season of "The Sopranos" was bittersweet for Turturro, who received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2007.

Turturro's film and stage work continued unabated throughout her "Sopranos" years, with roles in indie films like "Home Sweet Hoboken" (2001) and cousin John Turturro's "Romance and Cigarettes" (2005). Off-Broadway, she appeared in "Cavalleria Rusticana" at New York's Westbeth Theater, as well as productions of "The Threepenny Opera," "Cabaret," and "Souls of Naples," which she went on to perform in Naples, Italy, following a New York run.

Aida Turturro was also active in several health awareness initiatives. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and having suffered with the illness throughout her life, she was very outspoken about the importance of treating and working towards cures for the debilitating disease. In 2001, she was also diagnosed with type two diabetes. After learning how to manage the disease herself, she embarked on speaking tours of hospitals and diabetes centers to promote a proactive approach to living a healthy lifestyle with the increasingly common illness.

Credits

Just One KissStream

Actor
Sofia
Movie
2022

New AmsterdamStream

Guest Star
Callie ""Crash Cash"" Cruz
Series
2018

Making a Killing

Actor
Connie
Movie
2018

The Night OfStream

Guest Star
Rehab Worker
Miniseries
2016
94%

Criminal Minds: Beyond BordersStream

Guest Star
Carmela Tafani
Series
2016
25%

Rob the Mob

Actor
Anna
Movie
2014

The BlacklistStream

Guest Star
Series
2013
91%

Brooklyn Nine-NineStream

Guest Star
Maura Figgis
Series
2013
95%

UnforgettableStream

Guest Star
Series
2011

Mozzarella Stories

Actor
Autilia
Movie
2011

Blue BloodsStream

Guest Star
Miss Dominga
Series
2010

TV's Greatest Surprises: A Paley Center for Media Special

Guest
Show
2010

A Little Help

Actor
Nancy Feldman
Movie
2010

Mercy

Guest Star
Show
2009

Nurse JackieStream

Guest Star
Laura Vargas
Series
2009
81%

MediumStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

Romance & Cigarettes

Actor
Rosebud
Movie
2005

2B Perfectly Honest

Actor
Emily/Gina
Movie
2004

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles

Actor
Jean Ferraro
Movie
2001

Sidewalks of New York

Actor
Shari
Movie
2001

Curb Your EnthusiasmStream

Guest Star
Gabby
Series
2000
92%

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Judge Felicia Catano
Series
1999
78%

The SopranosStream

Actor
Janice Soprano
Series
1999
92%

The Sopranos FREE

Actor
Janice Soprano
Show
1999

The Sopranos (With Audio Commentary)

Actor
Janice Soprano
Show
1999

24 Nights

Actor
Marie
Movie
1999

The 24-Hour Woman

Actor
Brenda
Movie
1999

Deep Blue SeaStream

Actor
Brenda Kerns
Movie
1999
60%

Bringing Out the DeadStream

Actor
Nurse Crupp
Movie
1999
73%

Play It to the Bone

Actor
Mad Greek Waitress
Movie
1999

Freak Weather

Actor
Glory
Movie
1999

Crossfire

Actor
Miss Pasquantonio
Movie
1998

Too Tired to Die

Actor
Fortune Teller 1 & 2
Movie
1998

Woo

Actor
Tookie
Movie
1998

O.K. Garage

Actor
Mary the Bartender
Movie
1998

Illuminata

Actor
Marta
Movie
1998

CelebrityStream

Actor
Olga
Movie
1998
42%

Dellaventura

Guest Star
Show
1997

The PracticeStream

Guest Star
Series
1997

Fool's Paradise

Actor
Susan
Movie
1997

Made Men

Actor
Angie
Movie
1997

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Guest Star
Show
1996

CosbyStream

Guest Star
Series
1996

Cuentos Eróticos

Actor
Kim (segment Dutch Master, The)
Movie
1996

The Search for One-Eye Jimmy

Actor
Madame Esther
Movie
1996

SleepersStream

Actor
Mrs. Salinas
Movie
1996
73%

Jaded

Actor
Helen Norwich
Movie
1996

New York News

Guest Star
Show
1995

The Wright Verdicts

Actor
Show
1995

Denise Calls Up

Actor
Linda
Movie
1995

ERStream

Guest Star
Sheryl Hawkins
Series
1994

Tales of Erotica

Actor
Kim
Movie
1994

Angie

Actor
Tina
Movie
1994

Men Lie

Actor
Movie
1994

JuniorStream

Actor
Louise
Movie
1994
39%

Manhattan Murder MysteryStream

Actor
Hotel Day Clerk
Movie
1993
94%

Un Romance en New York

Actor
Movie
1992

Jersey Girl

Actor
Angie
Movie
1992

Law & OrderStream

Guest Star
Series
1990

True Love

Actor
Grace
Movie
1989

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