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Fame & Fortune
Lorraine Bracco
'Sopranos' Lorraine Bracco
A bitter child custody battle threw her into bankruptcy
Celebrity interview

Fame & Fortune: 'Sopranos' Lorraine Bracco

Bankrate: You sure do deserve it. Can you talk about the lean times of your bankruptcy?

Lorraine Bracco: It was a very embarrassing situation. I was getting foreclosure notices and everyone wanted their money. And I couldn't find any work at the time. I had mortgage, taxes, food and everything else to pay at the end of the month, including lawyers. I was never one of those top-paid actresses, but I was working steadily for a while. 

Bankrate: You went through a difficult time but you still have your sense of humor. What did you learn going through all this?

Lorraine Bracco: That I won't spend a lot of money on lawyers and legal fees ever again. I now have a great bulls**t detector in me, which comes out of necessity. 

Bankrate: You have recovered financially, though, from your personal bankruptcy.

Lorraine Bracco: Yes. And I worked hard, too. Right now I have a place in the Hamptons and if I could live anywhere in the world, it would be right where I am today. I shop for fresh fruit and vegetables there. I have my dog, a little Jack Russell, Chandler, and I'm very happy. My daughter named him after Chandler Bing on "Friends." And I'm a good companion right now. I've aged, I've mellowed and I think my core is very strong. I have forged a life that is warm and comfortable, loving and caring of others.

Bankrate: And you have your own wine company, Bracco Wines, as well as a successful acting career?

Lorraine Bracco: I'm not just another actress selling perfume or hair products. I lived in France for 10 years and I always had great food and great wine while living there (while a model in Paris). I feel that when you go into the wine stores, it can be very intimidating. I felt that I've been drinking wine for a while and it's not a snobby thing for me, so I thought that going to Italy and picking out wines would make it very easy for women to know that if they bought a bottle of Bracco wine that it would be a good glass of wine -- red or white -- and they wouldn't have to stress over it. And it's fun. It's something I enjoyed very much when I was younger living in France -- tasting new wines, new foods, traveling -- and I find that it's kind of come full circle for me. 

Bankrate: So what would you put your white wine with?

Lorraine Bracco: Shrimp, any kind of fish, any kind of light dinner. Caesar salad would be good with it. And with red? Meats, cheeses, lamb. 

Bankrate: What are you thankful for?

Lorraine Bracco: All the good and bad experiences I've been through. I'm thankful for my health.

Bankrate: "The Sopranos" ends today. You know the ending already but where would you have liked Dr. Melfi to go out in this last season?

Lorraine Bracco: Just hoping that Tony Soprano understands her dedication to her work and to him ... that she believed he could be a better person. 

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Posted: June 10, 2007
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