Maura Ranallo is not just known as the sports announcer for Showtime Boxing, MMA and WWE, but he’s also now a very public face for manic depression with the new documentary Bipolar Rock N Roller.
The Showtime documentary came out just in time for Mental Health Awareness Month, and Ranallo candidly opened up his life, warts and all. “I wanted it to be biopolar,” he told Sporting News. “I wanted it to feature the roller coaster ride that is my life and that is why you see so much raw, unflinching footage of me at my absolute worst threaded with the epic highs of calling the biggest events in combat sports history.”
When Ranallo started rolling with the documentary, “We knew we had something and I was going to use it to try to raise awareness about mental health. When we finally realized this was something a lot more powerful, a lot bigger that both of us would have imagined, we went to Showtime who immediately jumped on board and wanting to produce this.”
It was several years after Ranallo’s career launched that he had a crash and wound up in the hospital for three months. While struggling with bipolar disorder for the last twenty-eight years, working has been therapeutic for Ranallo as well. Even after having his meltdown, “I didn’t want to surrender my dreams. That’s what kept me going. That’s what kept me alive.”
Today Ranallo accepts his bipolar condition and embraces himself. He even wondered if he would have been a successful broadcaster without his mental illness. Ranallo says, “I don’t think so…I get that there is no one quite like me, nor should there be anybody quite like anybody else in any field. I’ve always said don’t be the next anyone; be the first you.”
Ranallo also hopes this documentary will spark a conversation about mental health for many people who see it. “It impacts all of us in one way or another whether we want to believe that or not…People will say they’ve never seen anything like this in terms of the depiction of me putting my mental health condition on camera…I don’t want it to be invisible. That’s why I’m showing you my illness at its worst.”
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