Get to know Mira Sorvino’s four kids: Mattea, Johnny, Holden and Lucia
Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino is protective of her four kids, Mattea, Johnny, Holden and Lucia.
“I have become a very fierce mama bear, and I’d lay down my life in a heartbeat if it could save theirs,” she told PEOPLE in 2010, adding that her kids were “so loving and bright and cute and funny. I just treasure every second I have with them.”
Sorvino and her actor husband Christopher Backus, who married in 2004, originally raised their children in New York City before relocating to Los Angeles, where they live today. While juggling acting projects and busy family life was occasionally difficult for the couple in N.Y.C., Sorvino told the New York Daily News in 2010 that the kids enjoyed living in the big city.
“I’m not seeing any negativity so far. I’m actually seeing positive. They’re getting exposed to wonderful activities,” she said.
But the Backus children aren’t kids in N.Y.C. anymore, and navigating tween-hood and the teenage years has been a journey for Sorvino. As her kids grow up, Sorvino has done her best to instill “grit” and compassion in them, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As they grow, they become more complex human beings and they suffer more intense issues the way every person does, and you have to be there for that and learn to grow and adapt to deal with them coming of age," the star told PEOPLE in 2020. "[Parenting] goes from being constant delight, laughing and exhaustion to starting to realize your kids have so much to give back to you, and you have to sort of meet them halfway and see them as these emerging individuals who are going to have this whole incredible life."
Sorvino loves to talk about her kids and their family adventures and is even helping daughter Mattea follow in her star-studded footsteps.
Here's everything to know about Sorvino’s four children: Mattea, Johnny, Holden and Lucia.
Mattea Angel Backus, 18
Sorvino and Backus welcomed their first child, daughter Mattea Angel, on Nov. 3, 2004, in Los Angeles.
Sorvino’s eldest child loves clothes and has plenty of opinions about her mother’s style. "Mattea already is so much more fashionable than I ever was, and she's always correcting me on my style: 'Oh no, Mom, don't wear ... no,' " Sorvino told PEOPLE in 2020. "I'm still not such a fashionista, but my daughter is very conscious and she wants all of my good bags," she added.
Besides her interest in fashion, Mattea is a dedicated dancer and frequently shares photos from her performances on Instagram. In October 2023, Mattea even shared these talents with the world, joining her mom on stage during an episode of Dancing with the Stars. The pair, and Sorvino's partner Gleb Savchenko, remade Sorvino's iconic dance from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, adding elements of their mother-daughter connection.
In rehearsals leading up to the season 32 episode, Sorvino told Entertainment Tonight that dancing with her firstborn has always been her dream. "Gleb choreographed this incredible dance to 'Time After Time' about the love between parents and a daughter and, you know, her going away and coming back — but love always returns, and we always end up together in the end," Sorvino said.
Mattea graduated from high school in June 2022, and her mom wrote a sweet tribute to her eldest on Instagram alongside videos of Mattea in her cap and gown. “I can’t believe you’re off to college in the fall ... I still remember you as a tiny, perfect being in my arms when you were born that made my heart expand several sizes in an instant,” Sorvino wrote. “You have exceeded all my hopes and dreams for you and the world’s your oyster kid!! I love being your mom and your bestie and I can’t wait for the next adventures together.”
Mattea is currently a student at Tufts University and regularly posts about traveling and hanging out with her friends.
Johnny Christopher King Backus, 17
Sorvino welcomed their second child and first son, Johnny, on May 29, 2006. As a newborn, he was immediately beloved by his older sister.
"She pets his head and gives him kisses. She seems to love Johnny,” Sorvino told PEOPLE shortly after his birth. “They are really close in age, which we wanted, because we want them to be best friends ... They are just so beautiful and joyful that you want to cry with happiness all the time. They have unconditional love for you and you have it back for them."
Johnny keeps a low profile and rarely updates his social media, but has shared news of his burgeoning baseball career. In September 2023, Johnny committed to playing Division 1 baseball at the University of Michigan. And based on one of Mattea's throwback Instagram posts, she is very supportive of her younger brother, calling Johnny her “partner in crime.”
Holden Paul Terry Backus, 14
Sorvino and Backus announced they were expecting their third baby in February 2009. “We are overjoyed at the thought of welcoming a new addition to the family,” the couple said in a statement. “With each child, the love in our hearts has expanded beyond what we ever imagined was possible.”
Holden was born on June 22, 2009, in Los Angeles. Sorvino had a difficult pregnancy with Holden — after his birth, she told PEOPLE that she was hospitalized for several weeks. “My first two pregnancies were problem-free, and this time I had a condition called placenta previa, which meant I had to be in the hospital from 22 to 27 weeks as it could have threatened my life and the life of the baby,” the actress explained. “He is my miracle baby; with everything that threatened this pregnancy and both of our lives, he came out of it completely unscathed: perfectly healthy, beautiful and wonderful!”
Sorvino honored her miracle baby with middle names chosen to honor his grandfathers, including Mira’s father, Paul Sorvino.
Like his older brother, Holden also plays baseball. In May 2023, Sorvino shared some of her younger son's interests while celebrating his eighth-grade graduation.
"I could not be prouder of you Holden! English Award, outstanding grades and love from all your teachers-congratulations for your 8th grade graduation," the actress wrote on Instagram. "You are kind, brilliant, hilarious, fantastic baseball player, amazing son and crack us up with your dancing! Love you with all my heart!!
Lucia Backus, 11
Sorvino and Backus’ youngest child, daughter Lucia, was born on May 3, 2012. “We are thrilled beyond measure to have been blessed with our fourth precious, healthy child,” the couple shared in a statement after her birth.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lucia and her family stayed busy by reenacting classic Hollywood movies and recreating famous posters from films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. At the time, Lucia played the role of Judy Garland in a cute recreation of a shot from The Wizard of Oz.
The kids also tried their hands at recreating a more modern favorite: Friends. The whole family dressed up like the sitcom cast, with Lucia as Rachel, Mattea as Monica and Sorvino as Phoebe, memorably played by her Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion costar Lisa Kudrow. Backus played Ross, and the two boys dressed as Chandler and Joey.
The family wore their looks for a special dinner and even sent Kudrow a picture. "I sent her the finished product," Sorvino shared of the dress-up session. "She said it was good, but she's so polite. Who knows?"
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