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|Birth Place:||Cincinnati, Ohio, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor producer director|
Actor Todd Louiso was immersed in the entertainment industry from a young age, born to a dancer/choreographer father and singer/producer mother. A compact player usually sporting a shaved head, Louiso essayed a variety of characters and was most effective in evincing through physical as well as verbal performance the innate awkwardness of characters uncomfortable in their own skin. He attended Cincinnati's School for the Creative and Performing Arts from the fourth grade through high school, landing roles in the syndicated "Young People's Specials" educational programs "That Funny Fat Kid" (1986) and "Narc" (1988). Louiso subsequently earned a degree in film (after a brief stint as a theater major) from NYU, and worked as an intern in the film production unit of NBC's "Saturday Night Live". He made his feature acting debut in 1990 with a small role in the melodrama remake "Stella" and had a similarly minor part in 1991's "Billy Bathgate". Working on the latter, Louiso established a friendship with screenwriter Tom Stoppard that led to his adaptation of Stoppard's play "The Fifteen Minute Hamlet" into a boisterous 1995 short film which he directed, produced and starred in (as Ophelia). The film met with praise from critics and audiences alike upon screenings at the Sundance Film Festival, among others.
Prior to this success, he acted in a 1991 episode of the New York City-lensed TV series "Law & Order" and appeared the following year in the feature "Scent of a Woman". A regular role on the ABC sitcom "Phenom" (1993-94) landed the actor in Los Angeles, where he essayed the part of the title teen tennis star's older brother. The series was a forgettable venture, but Louiso stayed busy, with voice acting roles on Fox's "The Critic" and Nickelodeon's "AAAHH!!! Real Monsters" (both 1995). That same year he was featured in the hit feature "Apollo 13" and the USA Network's TV-movie thriller "Letter to My Killer". In 1996 he racked up more feature credits, appearing in "The Rock" and "Jerry Maguire", making a particularly strong impression as a jazz-loving nanny in the latter. He co-starred in 1997's abominable comedy "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag", playing the ill-at-ease medical student roommate of David Spade's snarky character, unwittingly caught up in an unfathomable mix up with a hit man.
A recurring role as the uptight and conscientious assistant to Dr Lisa Catera (Stacy Edwards) on "Chicago Hope" followed in 1998, and the popular CBS drama introduced the actor to a large audience. The following year he returned to the big screen with a role in the little seen drama "A Cool, Dry Place" before impressing moviegoers with his featured role opposite John Cusack, Jack Black and Lisa Bonet in the irreverent romantic comedy "High Fidelity" (2000). Stephen Frears' Chicago-set adaptation of British author Nick Hornby's novel featured Louiso as Dick, a shy and awkward record store clerk with a specialized knowledge of pop music and a gentle, almost shrinking demeanor. He gave an impressive co-starring performance in the hit film, and took the odd role to delightfully charming heights in a scene-stealing turn that marked him as a performer on the ascent.
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