John Turturro

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

Turturro in 2008, photo by Prphotos

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. He is known for his roles in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Clockers, the Transformers franchise, and Secret Window, among many other films.

His father, Nicola/Nicholas Turturro, was from Giovinazzo, Apulia, Italy. His mother, Katherine/Catherine Florence “Kate” (Incerella), was born in the U.S., to Italian parents, from Campania and Sicily. His father was with the D-Day fleet supporting the landing operations of Allied troops in Normandy in 1944.

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. Elder, 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 Raffaele/Raffaelle/Ralph Turturro (the son of Nicola Turturro and Teresa Rutigliano). Raffaele 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 Incerello/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 Incerello/Incerella/Inzerillo/Inzirillo/Inserillo, to Deborah M. L. Elder –


Curious about ethnicity

55 Responses

  1. Ardor says:

    Another North African admixed “Italian” who is lying about his true background

  2. jonasbttencourt says:

    He is one of those classic NYC italian white-but-not-really guys lol…

    • italiano90 says:

      Because Anglo Saxon Americans and African Americans are obsessed with calling Italians poc. Some Italians have been brainwashed to not refer to themselves as “white” even though they are.

      • andrew says:

        Italian-Americans (though many have actually married with “Anglo Saxon Americans”) have mostly white-collar jobs and higher income than the average American citizen.

      • Oaken05 says:

        This is insane. We never do that; their are not formally or even informally defined as such by any appreciable number of Americans. Sorry.

        • Oaken05 says:

          I really do wish many of you with hang-ups about American culture would just spare us. First of all, you rarely know what you’re talking; but more than that, very country has their own way of defining culture, ethnicity and race. Many of those ways seems peculiar or silly to us; I don’t go around here maligning every other culture’s ideas on race and ethnicity, though.

          • ashash says:

            It’s not uniform. I am American and don’t have the same ideas about race, ethnicity, and nationality as the person next to me. I agree, though. Other countries also have ways that seem pecuilar or silly when it comes to race, too.

    • jonasbttencourt says:

      Anyway, the guy is obviusly hella mixed with non-euro blood, mainly, i assume, berber/maghreb, he can even have some sub-saa african ancestry, not impossible, southern Italy is one of the most ethnically diverse places in Europe, and for centuries…

      • jonasbttencourt says:

        *+ his brother is even DARKER than him, so it’s not like John is one of those “out of curve” points that some white families have, his folks share those features

  3. Lorenzo Spitaleri says:

    Tbh his only black feature is his hair and maybe his eye colour. His hair is clearly the result of mixing the italian-hellenic curly hair and the black afro hair. Outside of that there isn’t much to point out, he used to tan a lot but when you look at him today he’s pretty fair-skinned.

  4. ashash says:

    He does not look like Anthony Weiner to me.

  5. andrew says:

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

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