Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Adopted


Every day it seems we learn something new about our favorite celebrities. Like, for starters, we now know that many of our favorite pop stars hate some of their biggest songs. It’s criminal, really. We also tend to find out things like their star signs, net worth, and fascinating family connections.

And speaking of family, we also have come to find out that a number of big stars were actually adopted. Here are just a few celebrities for whom you may not have known that was the case.

1. Nicole Richie

Born Nicole Camille Escovedo, Nicole’s biological parents were Peter Michael Escovedo and Karen Moss. Escovedo was a musician who played and toured with Lionel Richie, and Moss was an assistant to drummer Sheila E.

Unable to care for their daughter financially, the pair entrusted Lionel and his then-wife Brenda with Nicole’s care. At just four years old, she went to live with them; five years later, they legally adopted her.

“My parents were friends with Lionel,” Nicole has said. “They trusted that they would be better able to provide for me.”

2. Frances McDormand

Two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand was originally born Cynthia Ann Smith in Gibson City, Illinois. Before she had even turned two years old, she was adopted by pastor Vernon McDormand and his wife Noreen. She was also renamed Frances Louise McDormand.

She’s said she believes that her biological mother was likely a parishioner of her adoptive father’s church. And she, herself, now also has an adopted child of her own.

3. Jamie Foxx

Academy award-winning actor and Beat Shazamhost Jamie Foxx was born Eric Marlon Bishop in Terrell, Texas. He was adopted as a baby by his maternal grandparents shortly after he was born.

Interestingly, his mother was also adopted.

4. Debbie Harry

Yep, legendary singer and Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry was also adopted. Born in Miami, Florida, she was originally named Angela Trimble. However, at just three months old, she was adopted by a New Jersey couple, Richard and Catherine Harry. They renamed her Deborah Ann Harry.

She did track down her birth mother in the late ‘80s, but the woman refused to have contact with her.

5. Sarah McLachlan

Born and adopted in 1968 in Nova Scotia, Canada, Sarah McLachlan learned of her adoption at the age of nine. However, it didn’t really seem to bother her.

“It was like, ‘Oh, okay, good to know, you’re still my mom and dad.’ Perhaps I was too young to understand it really, but it just never was a big issue to me,” she’s explained. “I never had this empty place in me thinking that I’ve missed out somewhere, or that I was abandoned.”