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About Beverly D'Angelo

Best known for her portrayal of the bewildered mother in three National Lampoon Vacation films with Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo has balanced her schedule as an actress with performances showcasing her talents as a vocalist, including performances at the Lucky Seven Club in Hollywood and at Johnny Depp's Viper Room. She explained during a late-'90s interview, "I never had a burning desire to act. I wanted to sing." A native of Columbus, OH, D'Angelo spent her teens in Florence, Italy, where she studied art at the American School. Returning to the United States, she accepted an animator position with Hanna-Barbera in Los Angeles. The fast pace, however, left her yearning for smaller pastures. Relocating to Canada, D'Angelo sharpened her singing skills with performances at folk music coffeehouses and bars. Settling temporarily in Toronto, she began to acquire a solid reputation as a session vocalist. She recalled, "I was one of those doo wop, doo wop girls and I also sang in topless bars."

Invited to join Ronnie Hawkins' band, the Hawks, D'Angelo saw her dreams dissolve when Hawkins was busted for drugs and the group was disbanded. Turning to acting, D'Angelo toured with a repertory company production of Rockabye Hamlet. She was so impressive that two producers who saw the show fired the rest of the cast and brought the show to Broadway. Although the show closed almost immediately after its premier, D'Angelo had taken the first steps toward her successful career. Shortly after the show closed, she was invited to appear in Woody Allen's film Annie Hall.

D'Angelo's first major role came in 1979 when she successfully auditioned for a role in the Milos Foreman-directed movie version of Hair. This was followed by appearances in Every Which Way But Loose and Coal Miner's Daughter, in which she portrayed country singer Patsy Cline. At the apex of her career, D'Angelo suddenly left acting, married, and moved to Italy. She remained in the European country until 1984. Returning to the United States, she appeared in a TV movie remake of A Streetcar Named Desire. She returned to the theatrical stage in 1994 when she appeared in Sam Shepard's play Simpatico. Once married to Duke Lorenzo Salviati, D'Angelo was also romantically linked to actor Al Pacino. ~ Craig Harris

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