John Turturro

by ethnic on August 5, 2009

"You Don't Mess with the Zohan" New York City Premiere - Arrivals

Birth Name: John Michael Turturro

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: February 28, 1957

Ethnicity: Italian

John Turturro is an American actor, writer, director, and filmmaker.

His father, Nicola/Nicholas Turturro, was from Giovinazzo, Apulia, Italy. His mother, Katherine/Catherine “Kate” Florence (Incerella), was born in the U.S., to Italian parents, from Campania and Sicily. His brother is actor Nicholas Turturro and his cousin is actress Aida Turturro. John is married to actress Katherine Borowitz, with whom he has two children.

John’s maternal grandfather, an Italian immigrant, re-married to a black woman, John’s step-grandmother Deborah M. L. Eld, in 1937. John did not know this until his appearance on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2017).

John’s paternal grandfather was Raffaelle/Ralph Turturro (the son of Nicola Turturro and Teresa Rutigliano). Raffaelle was born in Giovinazzo. Nicola was the son of Michele Turturro and Anna Stufano. Teresa was the daughter of Raffaele Rutigliano and Maria Trapani.

John’s paternal grandmother was Angela/Angelina Michela Cortese (the daughter of Antonio Cortese and Vincenza Decicco). Angela was born in Giovinazzo. Antonio was the son of Giuseppe Cortese and Serafina Piscitelli. Vincenza was the daughter of Domenico Decicco and Angela D’Agostino.

John’s maternal grandfather was Giovanni/John Incerella/Inzerillo/Inzirillo/Inserillo (the son of Antonio Incerella and Margareta Lafala). Giovanni was born in Naples, Campania, Italy.

John’s maternal grandmother was named Rosa/Rosina/Rose Terrasi. Rosa was from Aragona, Province of Agrigento, Sicily. John is an honorary citizen of Aragona.


Genealogy of John Turturro (focusing on his father’s side) –

Marriage record of John’s maternal grandfather, Giovanni/John Incerella/Inzerillo/Inzirillo/Inserillo, to Deborah M. L. Eld –

photo by Prphotos

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant January 4, 2018 at 4:19 pm

there is a thin line between Jews and Italians

he looks like ANTHONY WEINER

ashash January 4, 2018 at 5:31 pm

He does not look like Anthony Weiner to me.

andrew November 3, 2017 at 10:58 am

How do you know Giovanni Inzerillo was born in Naples? John has often stated that he was from Palermo

follers November 3, 2017 at 11:04 am

…from the marriage record cited in sources.

andrew November 3, 2017 at 11:10 am

Thanks for the reply. He might have been born in Naples, but the surname “Inzerillo” is definitely from Palermo. I think John was right. This makes him half Apulian and at least 1/4 Sicilian (or likely half)

Adrian1Cram February 27, 2016 at 12:39 am


slowdive January 30, 2016 at 11:30 pm
ethnic January 31, 2016 at 4:58 am

I much like the current one as you can clearly see his face

slowdive January 31, 2016 at 2:37 pm

He’s too tanned in it.

phaedra January 17, 2016 at 10:30 pm

Definitely looks North African – Egyptian or Tunisian.

TheHelper December 10, 2017 at 11:30 am

@phaedra His skin is that dark because he tans. It’s not natural.

xoxo August 6, 2015 at 5:07 am

He looks Northern African.

Check7t August 23, 2015 at 4:44 am
vickie October 23, 2015 at 12:55 am

No he dosen’t i bet you are from there that’s why you say this lol

M July 27, 2015 at 6:42 pm

I told y’all them Italians have Black blood. They are in denial.

WTF November 7, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Idgaf what he is… He is creepy and ugly. His eyes scare the shit out of me!

thomas1987 June 4, 2015 at 4:15 am

He’s a very Atypical looking Italian, Doesn’t look full Italian.

DAngelo November 7, 2014 at 4:40 am

atypical Italian, look more Tunisian than Italian

blah October 23, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Really? Look at his hair. I’m African American and my hair texture is finer than his, PLEASE! This dude look like my creole Grandfather who actually looked more convincingly white than he do, he definitely has African ancestry.

andrew October 24, 2014 at 4:37 am

Curly hair= “African” ancestry, here we go again. I bet Andie MacDowell is part African too.

follers October 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm

I always thought John Turturro would play a perfect Joseph Goebbels (he really looks like him).

blah October 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm

No DOUBT he has African ancestry he looks lightskin. I put money on him having African ancestry and being a Negro. And his hair has barely any visible curl pattern…mine is actually is curly, his is an Afro. He looks Creole matter of fact.

Check7t October 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm

“he looks lightskin”

I’m sure Mr. Turturro would have no problem passing an ethnic Igbo Nigerian.


Very convincingly at that too.

blah October 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

What are the pictures for? I’m African American, I’m not from Africa and even I would have a difficult time blending with Africans. As I said he looks Creole which is what most of my family look like they either could pass for white or Native American, but they’re still black. He looks black to me and you can’t change my opinion, he looks like a lightskin black man.

Check7t October 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm

@ blah, there’s nothing Negroid about him.

His physiognomy looks fully Caucasoid — what do you see that is Negroid about him? Please point it out. Lips? Nose? Prognathism? His hair texture isn’t even Negroid.


His nose is huge, could even colloquially be called a ‘hook nose’. He could never pass as black in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Igbo’s are a lightskinned West African group.

If you said he looks MENA, then I’d agree.

Lightskin black? Not even in the African-American sense as that would be someone like Tupac or Joe Budden, he doesn’t look black in the slightest, this looks black to you?×682

Perhaps you get your eyes vetted, if you’re not trolling…

blah October 25, 2014 at 12:14 am

You’re the troll. I’m dead ass serious he even played in Spike Lee movie Do The Right Thing and Spike Lee said the same thing. It’s my OPINION and it’s a known fact about Sicilians having African ancestry bottom line, his hair is nappy and he could pass for Black to me. I’m sorry you don’t feel the same way but that’s why it’s called an opinion.

Check7t October 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Sicilians don’t have any “African ancestry”.

Genome studies by Dienkes approved by Discover on the European genome.


>Sub-Saharan African = 1.1%

Lol @ “African ancestry”.

He played in Spike Lee’s movie as an Italian. Did you even watch the movie?

Once again, side view of his facial features:

What is Negroid about him? Nothing at all, his nose is hook-nosed Armenoid, very big. Nothing Negroid about him.

Being candid, never could he ever pass as any Sub-Saharan African ethnicity nor does he look like a ‘lightskinned African-American’, nor would anybody ever earnestly agree with you, if you said Arab, might not necessarily argue with that, but whatever…

vickie October 23, 2015 at 12:57 am

I know it really annoys me too i have curly hair i’m british irish but because i have curly hair and brown eyes i must have African ancestry lol :p

Angelalibohova October 11, 2014 at 1:22 pm

i am moroccan and live here in fez trust me he looks like a man you could see in morocco

Check7t October 20, 2014 at 5:22 pm

I agree, he has a Semitic vibe and can pass in the MENA, however his brother looks way more Arab than him, even stereotypically.

J.J. October 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm

correction; his ethnicity should say Italian (Incl Sicilian), the way it’s written is as if Sicily is not part of Italy or that his ancestry is completely Sicilian

levangelista36 August 16, 2012 at 1:24 am

You should do his brother, Nicholas Turturro.

levangelista36 August 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm

He’s very versatile actor.

levangelista36 August 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm

The name Turturro is Sicilian. So one of his Italian parents are probably Sicilian. Most of the Italian immigrants to America came from Sicily, Calabria, Campania, and Abruzzo. So most of them were from the South. :]

levangelista36 August 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm

You should update his picture. It’s not working.

levangelista36 August 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm

He has played everything from a Italian, Jew, Egyptian, Arab, Anglo-Saxon, and even a hillbilly/redneck twice. I think it would be cool to look like him in Hollywood because he can pretty much be anything, including the ethnicity that he is of.

His brother, Nicholas, is considerably darker than him, though, and it is not afforded the same opportunities.

Previous post:

Next post: