Brown - Dark
Brown - Dark
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Claim to Fame
Barbara Bach daughter, Ringo starr step-daughter and Portia de Rossi's ex-fiancée.
Director, Writer, Actor/Actress
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Countess Francesca McKnight Donatella Romana Gregorini de Savingniano di Romagnia was born on August 7, 1968 in Rome, Italy to Augusto and Barbara Goldbach Gregorini. Francesca was born and raised until the age of 8 in Rome Italy. There she lived in a huge four-storey converted church, and attended the Scred Heart School runned by nuns.
In 1976, her parents divorced after 10 years of marriage. Barbara moved to the United States while Augusto remained in Italy, both of them managed to arranged custody of Francesca and her younger brother Gianni.
Francesca attended to public school in Los Angeles. She remembers: "It was awful. I was this all-Italian child and I hardly spoke English. I felt as if I`d landed on another planet. I`d left a gorgeous school and ended up in a public school in Los Angeles. I was getting into fistfights and being bullied. It was a nightmare. That`s when my shyness kicked in. I started to feel isolated and alone."
In 1980, Barbara met and fell in love with ex-Beatle Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey) on the set of the movie, "Caveman". "As a stepdad he was good for my brother and me because he was the exact opposite of our dad. My dad is a real pushover - anything you want goes. Rich is very different. It`s the Italian versus the Brit - and a northern Brit at that. Rich is quite staid. He introduced us to a whole other world, both good and bad."
In December that same year, while her mother and Richie were away on a holiday, Francesca called her mother and Richie to inform them that Richie`s former bandmate, John Lennon, was killed in New York City. Barbara and Richie went straight to New York to consol Yoko Ono and her son with John, Sean Lennon.
On April 27, 1981, Richie and Barbara were married. Francesca and Richie`s daughter from a previous marriage, Lee Starkey, served as bridesmaids.
The first ten years of Starr and Bach`s marriage - a decade of drugs and drink - left the troubled teenager feeling isolated and abandoned. Much of this time was spent in Britain on 80 acres of land near Ascot which, she says, gave her `a lifelong love of the English countryside`. Francesca continued on with school (to day/boarding school in Surrey, England).
"When I was living with them, it was their drugs heyday. I had other friends who were rocks stars and their houses were used for parties morning, noon and night. With Rich and Mum it was different. They were very much in love and they wanted nothing to do with anybody else. When Mum met Rich, I lost her in a way. But their troubles made me a better academic. I studied all the time. I was always hidden away in a room reading because Mum and Dad were out of it. I think Mum and Rich made an effort to be awake when we got home."
Francesca explains: "Seeing the drugs up close had the opposite effect on me: I rebelled against them at first. The house had a recording studio and that was my refuge."
Although she had boyfriends in the past, at the age of 19, Francesca realized that she was homosexual. Always her mum Barbra Bacn and step-dad Ringo Starr have supported her: "I wish Mum and Rich had been more shocked when I told them about my sexuality. I was like `This is who I am` and they were totally relaxed and said `Yeah, whatever`, and then life went on exactly as it had before.`
She attended Brown University, a prestigious college on Rhode Island, to study film and in 1990 she graduated of Theater Arts and Semiotics: "It was so strange leaving England and going to America. Again, it was music which held me together. I played in various bands, and I enjoyed it. I had a release for my frustrations."
Throughout her twenties, she battled her own drug demons: "At Brown, I had my fair share of drugs and alcohol. I experimented. But there was always something in my brain which containedit. When I came to LA, I carried on doing drugs. I lost a lot of my twenties to drugs in the same way Rich and Mum lost years."
Fancesca has contributed two songs to the soundtrack of the minor film "See Jane Run" (2001), in which she also had a small acting role.
She works as a musician with her first c.d. “Sequel” (2003, where she sings, plays the guitar and the bass).
From late 2001 to 2004 she dated Australian actress Portia de Rossi (born Amanda Lee Rogers).
In the 2007 she co-wrote and co-directed with friend Tatiana Von Fürstenberg the independent film"Tanner Hall".
She is writing the pilot episode of "Motel Novella" with Joe and Anthony Russo who also will develop the one-hour series for HBO.
Couple Profile Source
Theater Arts and Semiotics, Brown University (1990)
Full Name at Birth
Countess Francesca McKnight Donatella Romana Gregorini de Savingniano di Romagnia
Barbara Bach (actress and model)
Gianni (Younger brother, businessman)
Amelia Fleetwood, Tatiana Von Furstenberg
Ringo Starr (step father) (Ex-Beatle drummer, married to Barbara in 1981)
Zak Starkey (step brother) (Ringo Starr oldest son with first wife Maureen, drummer of The Who and Oasis), Jason Starkey (step brother) (Ringo Starr son, with first wife Maureen, drummer)
Lee Starkey (step sister) (Ringo Starr youngest child, a girl, make-up artist and fashion designer)
Countess Francesca McKnight Donatella Romana Gregorini di Savignano di Romagna, better known as Francesca Gregorini, (born August 7, 1968) is an Italian-American director and writer.
Filmmaker, film writer, singer, fashion designer
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