Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1963. He is the son of actor and amateur musician Tony Tarantino and nurse Connie McHugh. He has a younger half-brother named Ron. Tarantino's father, from Queens, New York, is of Italian descent, while his mother has Irish and Cherokee ancestry. His stepfather was Curt Zastoupil, a musician. Tarantino was raised by his mother, as his parents separated before his birth. Tarantino has stated that his mother dated NBA star Wilt Chamberlain. When he was four years old, they moved to Torrance, California and later to the Harbor City neighborhood of Los Angeles, where he attended Fleming Junior High School. He attended Narbonne High School in Harbor City for his first year, but dropped out of school when he was 15 to attend an acting class full-time at the James Best Theater Company in Toluca Lake. In an interview with NPR in 2013, Tarantino talked about how his mother's boyfriends would take him to blaxploitation movies.