Sonny Bono

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Salvatore Phillip "Sonny" Bono (February 16, 1935 – January 5, 1998) was an American record producer, singer, actor, and politician whose career spanned over three decades.


Personal life

Born in Detroit to Italian immigrants Jean and Santo,[1] Sonny was the youngest of three siblings; he had two older sisters, Fran and Betty. Bono attended Inglewood High School in Inglewood, California, but did not graduate.[2][which?]

Bono married his first wife, Donna Rankin, on November 3, 1954 and they had a daughter, Christine ("Christy"), born on June 24, 1958, before divorcing in 1962. Following that, Bono married Cher, a singer and entertainer in 1964; Bono and Cher had a daughter, Chastity (now legally named Chaz after gender transition), on March 4, 1969. Six years later, in 1975, the couple divorced. Bono then married Susie Coelho, but divorced her in 1984. He married again in 1986 to the much younger Mary Whitaker. They had two children, Chesare Elan Bono (a son, born April 25, 1988) and Chianna Marie Bono (a daughter, born February 2, 1991). He became a Scientologist, partly because of the influence of Mimi Rogers, but stated that he was a Roman Catholic on all official documents, campaign materials, web sites, etc. Mary Bono also took Scientology courses.[3]

Bono was a champion of the Salton Sea in southeastern California, where a park was named in his honor. The 2005 documentary film Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea[4] (narrated by John Waters) features Bono and documented the lives of the inhabitants of Bombay Beach, Niland, and Salton City, as well as the ecological issues associated with the Sea.

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