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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New Jersey

See Dolores Catania's Charming Pre-RHONJ Throwback Photos

See inside Dolores Catania's family photo albums from before RHONJ — including baby Gabby and Frankie Catania.

By Sophie Vilensky
See Dolores Catania's Incredible Backyard with a New Pool and Outdoor Kitchen

Gorgeous then, gorgeous now. Dolores Catania has openly shared her life with fans since the beginning of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, beginning her Bravo journey as a guest in Season 1 before eventually joining the series as a main cast member in Season 7.

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Watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo and stream next day on Peacock.

But what was the entrepreneur's life like before the cameras began rolling?

Dolores Catania's Early Years

One of five children born to Lawrence and Valerie Spagnola, Dolores was raised in Paterson, New Jersey, where she originally met fellow RHONJ cast member Teresa Giudice and alum Kathy Wakile.

“I grew up in a very busy home and a very welcoming home. My mother raised us like, ‘There’s always room for one more.’ So, having cameras in my house is like having people in my house. It’s second nature for me,” Dolores told The Hoboken Girl in September 2022.

“For me, what makes it different [from the other Housewives] is I feel that we’re the most relatable and New Jersey is all about family, always, and that’s the most important thing to me because at the end of the day, we’re all on the same page with that," she added. "Even though we have our differences, what comes first to all of us is our family.”

In September 1994, Dolores married attorney Frank Catania. While Dolores and Frank eventually split, they stayed in New Jersey—where they live to this day—to raise their two children, Gabby Catania and Frankie Catania, as co-parents. 

"What I love about New Jersey is that it’s home," Dolores told Us Weekly in March 2023. "I could be anywhere in New Jersey and know someone that knows somebody."

Keep scrolling to take a peek inside Dolores's photo albums, baby Gabby and Frankie photos included.

Dolores Catania's Kids

Dolores Catania photographed with young children

Three years apart and cute as can be, Dolores's kids have always held her entire heart.

These days, the now-adult Catania children work as a veterinarian (Gabby) and asset manager (Frankie). 

Dolores Catania carrying a child while out at the beach.

Dolores Cantania's Career History

Dolores Catania and Frank Catania photograhed together

Before adding "Real Housewife" to her resume, Dolores rocked a number of jobs, including waitress, realtor, shampoo girl, and surgical assistant.

The Jersey native has had so many jobs, in fact, that Dolores forgot about some while going through her career history with, including that she owns a gym, for instance.

"Well, [I'm also a] business owner. See, I never think of myself [as a business owner]. I don't think about things. I just do them. Entrepreneur, philanthropist," she said. "I do whatever I have to do."

The daughter of a police chief, Dolores also worked in the prison system as a corrections officer, a career turn that ignited her passion for helping the less fortunate.

Dolores and Frank Catania's Relationship

Dolores Catania and Frank Catania photograhed together

From Frank living with Dolores' ex-boyfriend David Principe to family birthday parties and cast vacations, the former couple have navigated many (shall we say) interesting, situations over the years. Still, they've remained close.

"I don't believe in all this soulmate stuff, but he is definitely a part of me that will always be there, and I do love him to death," Dolores said of her ex-husband Frank on a March 2021 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. "I love him. I've spoken to him already four times today."

Dolores Catania's House Is Always Full

Dolores Catania with young children and a dog

Dolores is perfectly comfy with a bustling home, animals included. In a 2022 interview with, the philanthropist revealed that her house had become "crazy" following her children's graduations.

"It’s like a zoo," Dolores said of her dog-and-person-filled home. It’s the equivalent of a busy city shelter in my house."

"We’ve even added a couple of different types of animals," she added. "We have a chinchilla, a cat named Pickles."

But that doesn't mean she doesn't love her alone time, too.

After moving into a rental in 2021 amid a major home renovation, Dolores revealed just how much she enjoys a solo adventure during a Season 12 RHONJ episode.

"It's the first time [I'm] living by myself," she shared in an interview. "You know what? It's freedom for me." By fall 2022 and as seen in RHONJ Season 13, Dolores is now spending "a lot of time" with boyfriend Paul "Paulie" Connell at his home. 

Watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey on Bravo Tuesdays at 9/8c and the next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo app.

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