Beverly D’Angelo

Actress Beverly D’Angelo is probably best known for playing Ellen Griswold, the wife to Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold, in the National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise. But D’Angelo is known for much more than just the Vacation franchise and at 71 years old, she appears to be making a resurgence of sorts in front of the camera.


Coal Miner's Daughter

Beverly D’Angelo was born on November 15, 1951, in Columbus, Ohio. She spent her formative years there, going to high school at Upper Arlington High School. Prior to finding her niche with acting, D’Angelo was actually an illustrator with the Hanna-Barbera Studios which had such animated hits The Flintstones, Tom and Jerry, The Yogi Bear Show, and The Jetsons. She was also a singer before finding acting to her liking.

Beverly D’Angelo began her acting career in 1976 when she starred in three episodes of the miniseries Captains and the Kings. From there, she jumped right into feature films such as The Sentinel, Annie Hall, and First Love. With Annie Hall, she got her first taste of comedy and in 1978, it paid off because she then landed a role in Clint Eastwood’s Every Which Way But Loose.

After that, Beverly D’Angelo was able to show off her singing talents by first grabbing a role in the musical Hair, and next by playing country singing legend Patsy Cline in the feature film, Coal Miner’s Daughter.

Beverly D’Angelo
Beverly D’Angelo in Hair

For her role as Cline, D’Angelo was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. She followed that up with roles in the films Honky Tonk Freeway, Paternity (opposite Burt Reynolds), and Highpoint, before the role that would change her career.


Beverly D’Angelo

National Lampoon’s Vacation premiered almost 40 years ago in 1983 and it was a film that Beverly D’Angelo didn’t feel she was right for. As she told PEOPLE, “I was so sure that I wasn’t the right person.” She had been in musicals and dramas, with only a hint of comedy, which led her to not know the direction of her career. “I really didn’t know what my direction was going to be,” she admitted.

One thing that was troubling to Beverly D’Angelo was that she was barely over 30 and, in the film, she was going to be a mother to a teenager, Anthony Michael Hall. She claims, “I even suggested somebody else to my agent and he went, ‘No, no, no. Really, take a look at the script,'”

D’Angelo was married at the time and her then-husband, Lorenzo Salviati, was all on board for her to take the part. “He read it and he said, ‘But Beverly look at this. This is very funny.” As D’Angelo remembers it, his favorite character in the script was Randy Quaid’s Cousin Eddie.

Amazingly enough, it was her meeting with Chevy Chase, who even then had a terrible on-set reputation, that truly put her at ease. She said they had “great chemistry” and “it was like meeting my brother.” So, she said yes.

The film, which also had bit parts for actors like John Candy, Eugene Levy, and a very young Jane Krakowski, was both a critical and financial success. The film was such a hit and her pairing with Chase was so well-liked, it spawned three more sequels – National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), Vegas Vacation (1997 and not a National Lampoon film), and the Ed Helms-led 2015 Vacation reboot.

Ellen Griswold
Beverly D’Angelo in Christmas Vacation

While none of the follow-ups (except perhaps for Christmas Vacation) could touch the humor and fun of the first Vacation film, the remaining Vacation films were certainly a nice notch on Beverly D’Angelo’s belt.


Before Beverly D’Angelo ventured on her first “Vacation,” she found herself married to Italian Lorenzo Salviati, who was the only son (and heir) of Don Forese Salviati, 5th Duke Salviati, Marchese di Montieri and Boccheggiano, Nobile Romano Coscritto. But what the two had was not your normal marriage. In fact, it was what D’Angelo called an “open marriage.”

The two had met at an LA party in the early 1980s and shortly after decided to elope. Even from the start, though, they both had an understanding. They could go off and have their own fun. But as D’Angelo described it, “…if there were any crises or anything, we’d come back together.” The “crisis” that brought them back together was also one that led them down the road to divorce.

It was pretty much an offer that Beverly D’Angelo couldn’t refuse, and his name was Al Pacino aka Michael Corleone from The Godfather. “I always thought the guys that I was with thought it was great that I was married because they knew ‘no responsibility here!’ But when I met Al Pacino and told him about my little deal, he said, ‘Well, that’s crazy,'” she revealed.

But D’Angelo was smitten with Pacino, so she had to call Salviati. When she did, she explained, “I said, ‘I’m in love.’ He goes, [D’Angelo affects an Italian accent] ‘Oh, Beverly, who is it this time?’ And I said, ‘Well, it’s an actor.’ He went, ‘An actor? No, no, not an actor.’ And I said, ‘I really love him and we’re talking about having kids and he thinks it’s crazy that I’m married and now I’m thinking it is too.'”

According to Beverly D’Angelo, her husband continued to protest that she was in love with an actor. “He went, ‘Oh, that’s ridiculous. Who thinks this is crazy, this perfect relationship? Who is this actor?’ I said, ‘Well, it’s Al Pacino.’ He goes, ‘Al Pacino, he’s fantastic. I love him. We divorce!'”

And they did. It was amicable and easy. “We just signed these papers,” D’Angelo said. “That’s when my mother-in-law started to love me, I think. It took her 15 years to understand that I wasn’t in [the marriage] for a title of wealth or for privilege.”


Beverly D’Angelo was in a relationship with Al Pacino for six years, from 1997 through 2003. During that time, they decided they wanted to have kids. So, they chose in vitro fertilization, and on January 25, 2001, D’Angelo and Pacino had twins, Anton James and Olivia. D’Angelo was 49 at the time of their birth.


Beverly D’Angelo is quite active on social media. She keeps her fans up to date on her activities by posting on Instagram. She isn’t shy about showing off her children, or whatever film project she is working on, and she also isn’t shy about the recent reunion she had with Chevy Chase and National Lampoon’s Vacation’s other star, Christie Brinkley.

The three (D’Angelo, Chase, and Brinkley) recently reunited at the Steel City Comic Con in Pittsburgh, where they delighted fans discussing their Vacation exploits.


At 71 years young, Beverly D’Angelo has never really stepped away from acting. In fact, throughout her 46-year career, there has seldom been a time when D’Angelo hasn’t been working. Case in point, these past few years as the COVID pandemic pretty much shut down Hollywood, D’Angelo continued to find work.

During this time, she has been seen on the TV series Insatiable, The Pack Podcast, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the feature The Good House, and most recently, the bloody Christmas flick, Violent Night.

In Violent Night, Beverly D’Angelo appears as Gertrude Lightstone, the foul-mouthed matriarch of an uber-rich family whose Christmas Eve is ruined when a group of mercenaries attacks her estate with one goal in mind – to steal the $300 million Gertrude has locked in her vault.

D’Angelo plays Gertrude well over the top, cursing at anything and everything, showing little to no compassion for her family, and making them vie and fight for her love while Santa tries to save the day.

But Violent Night is not the only project Beverly D’Angelo is involved with. Next up she will be seen in Capps Crossing: Wrong Side of Dead, Drugstore June, The Trainer, and finally, True Lies, a TV series based on the 1994 James Cameron film of the same name that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.

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