Lea DeLaria is an American comedian, actress, and jazz musician. The famously controversial DeLaria was the first openly gay comic to break the latenight talkshow barrier with her 1993 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show. She is best known for her portrayal of inmate Big Boo on Netflixs Orange is the New Black prison drama.
DeLaria was born in Belleville, Illinois, the daughter of Jerry Jean , a homemaker, and Robert George DeLaria, a jazz pianist and social worker. Her paternal grandparents were Italian. She attended kindergarten through 8th grade at St Marys Elementary School in Belleville, and has referenced her Catholic upbringing in her performances.