skip navigation
Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

The Money Pit DVD "The Money Pit" (1986) features a married couple who happen to be unassuming... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Tom Hanks: Comedy Favorites Collection... Before being recognized as one of the finest American actors of his generation,... more info $12.98was $12.98 Buy Now

The Rat Pack DVD They never let the rules get in theiway of having fun.They had "the world on a... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal... It's time to fly the terrifying skies when an exclusive rock concert aboard a... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Uncle Nino DVD A modern family gets a crash course in old-fashioned values in "Uncle Nino"... more info $19.99was $19.99 Buy Now

Lakeboat DVD Sometimes the biggest life lessons come from those you least expect! For his... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Joseph Anthony Mantegna Jr. Died:
Born: November 13, 1947 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, playwright, director, photographer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A versatile, seasoned player on both stage and screen, Joe Mantegna first garnered national prominence for his work with writer-director David Mamet, earning a Tony award for "Glengarry Glen Ross" in 1983 before appearing in Mamet films like "House of Games" (1987), "Homicide" (1991) and the slated 2008 release "Redbelt." The Italian Chicago native was often typecast in mafia and con man roles when he first transitioned to film and television, but as his career progressed, audiences were given the opportunity to appreciate his nuanced and realistic acting style. He shone on the screen in roles ranging from supportive father - "Searching for Bobby Fischer (1994), "Joan of Arcadia" (CBS, 2002-05) - to manipulative film producer - "The Starter Wife" (USA, 2007) - and even poked fun at the mafia genre with a long-running voice role as mob boss "Fat Tony" on "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989- ). In the fall of 2007, he joined the CBS prime time lineup by playing a retired FBI agent in the popular crime drama "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ).Joseph Anthony Mantegna was born on Nov. 13, 1947 and raised on Chicago's South Side. An avid baseball player, young Mantegna never considered acting until he caught word of...

A versatile, seasoned player on both stage and screen, Joe Mantegna first garnered national prominence for his work with writer-director David Mamet, earning a Tony award for "Glengarry Glen Ross" in 1983 before appearing in Mamet films like "House of Games" (1987), "Homicide" (1991) and the slated 2008 release "Redbelt." The Italian Chicago native was often typecast in mafia and con man roles when he first transitioned to film and television, but as his career progressed, audiences were given the opportunity to appreciate his nuanced and realistic acting style. He shone on the screen in roles ranging from supportive father - "Searching for Bobby Fischer (1994), "Joan of Arcadia" (CBS, 2002-05) - to manipulative film producer - "The Starter Wife" (USA, 2007) - and even poked fun at the mafia genre with a long-running voice role as mob boss "Fat Tony" on "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989- ). In the fall of 2007, he joined the CBS prime time lineup by playing a retired FBI agent in the popular crime drama "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ).

Joseph Anthony Mantegna was born on Nov. 13, 1947 and raised on Chicago's South Side. An avid baseball player, young Mantegna never considered acting until he caught word of auditions for a school production of "West Side Story," which happened to be his favorite movie. He and a fellow baseball player auditioned on a dare and even though he failed to land a part, Mantegna was captivated by the idea of being a performer. He enrolled in the school's drama department and finally made his way on stage, first in school plays and later as bass player in several rock bands.

After graduating from Morton East High School in 1965, Mantegna enrolled in the Goodman Theater School at DePaul University. In 1969, he got his first acting paychecks for playing Berger in a touring production of the musical "Hair." He also portrayed Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar" before joining the newly formed Organic Theatre Company - which went on to become one of the most innovative and influential companies of the 1970s Chicago theatre scene. With the Organic, Mantegna toured internationally and worked alongside actor Dennis Franz and playwright David Mamet, who would tap Mantegna's talent in decades to come. In 1976, Mantegna had an idea for a play based on the regulars that inhabit Wrigley Field on game days - thus, "Bleacher Bums" was born, first produced by the Organic Theater in 1976. The following year Mantegna landed a high-profile role at the Goodman Theater in "Working," a musical adaptation of the Studs Terkel book that was taken to Broadway in 1978.

In 1979, PBS picked up "Bleacher Bums" and Mantegna enjoyed the honor of appearing in his own work on public television. Over the next few years, he quickly attained "working actor" status following an appearance as The King's right hand man Joe Esposito in ABC's TV film "Elvis" (1979) starring Kurt Russell. For the next several years, he appeared steadily on sitcoms and enjoyed a recurring role as Juan One on the off-kilter comedy "Soap" (ABC, 1977-1981).

But it was Mantegna's stage work that still met with the most acclaim. In 1983, he returned to the Goodman where he originated the role of Ricky Roma in David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross." The play debuted on Broadway the following year and Mantegna's unforgettable performance as the supremely slick real estate broker was honored with a Tony Award. Film offers began rolling in, and though "The Money Pit" (1986) and "Three Amigos" (1986) may not have been worthy of the award-winning stage actor, a starring role in Mamet's 1987 feature "House of Games" showed film audiences the steady, captivating presence he had been bringing to the stage for nearly two decades.

The role brought in more dramatic film work for Mantegna, but all too often he was cast as heavies or gangsters - such as in "Things Change" (1988) and "The Godfather: Part III" (1990). Woody Allen cast him as a down-to-earth jazz musician in "Alice" (1990) before Mamet gave him a chance to shine again in "Homicide" (1991), which sealed his reputation as a pre-eminent interpreter of Mamet's work.

While David Mamet provided three-dimensional characters for Mantegna, Hollywood seemingly did not know how best to utilize the versatile actor's vast talents, and throughout the 1990s he appeared in artless fair like "Airheads" (1994) and "Forget Paris" (1995), before landing meatier - albeit Mafioso - work in the CBS miniseries "Mario Puzo's The Last Don" (1997), for which he earned an Emmy nomination. He had also begun to have some fun with his reputation when he took on the recurring voice role of mob boss Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico on "The Simpsons." Television began to emerge as the medium willing to offer Mantegna a wider range of characters, so in 1998, he earned Emmy and Golden Globe nods for his portrayal of Dean Martin in the HBO biopic, "The Rat Pack." Mantegna assumed the role of Boston-based private investigator "Spenser" in a series of mysteries by Robert Parker including "Small Vices" (A&E, 1999), "Thin Air" (2000) and "Walking Shadow" (2001). That same year Mantegna's directorial debut "Lakeboat," written by buddy Mamet, premiered at the L.A. Film Festival, and in 2002 he was delighted when his 1976 play "Bleacher Bums" was again turned into a TV movie by Showtime.

After living out of suitcases for two decades, Mantegna decided to seriously explore the option of a stable TV role that would keep him close to home with his wife and two daughters. Accordingly, he finally accepted CBS president Les Moonves' longstanding offer to join the network. His first starring role in a weekly series was the short-lived Supreme Court drama, "First Monday" (2002), where he played the decisive (and bearded) Justice Joseph Novelli. The following year, he took on the role of Will Girardi, Chief of Police and father of a realistically appealing family on the surprise hit "Joan of Arcadia" (CBS, 2003-05). The critical favorite was unceremoniously cancelled after only two seasons, but Mantegna had already made enough of an impact to land on the TV Guide list of "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" in the #40 spot.

In 2005, Mantegna returned to the big screen in the ensemble film "Nine Lives" which was favored at Sundance and landed on Ebert and Roeper's Top Ten list for the year. Mantegna continued to surprise with his acting bag of tricks and shone again in USA's miniseries "The Starter Wife," earning an Emmy nomination for his role as a conniving movie producer. After reprising "Fat Tony" in the summer smash "The Simpsons Movie" (2007), Mantegna signed on to join the fifth season of the crime drama "Criminal Minds," playing a retired FBI agent and filling a void created by the unexpected departure of the show's star Mandy Patinkin earlier in the year. Never one to sit idle, Mantegna reunited with Mamet to co-star in the martial arts drama, "Redbelt" (2008).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Lakeboat (2000) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Bronx Bull, The (2014)
2.
 Ten Cent Pistol (2013)
3.
 Compulsion (2013)
4.
 Cars 2 (2011)
6.
 Assistants, The (2010)
7.
8.
 West of Brooklyn (2009)
9.
 Lonely Street (2009)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Acted in several high school plays
:
Sang in a rock band, Apocryphals, while in high school
1969:
First professional stage job cast as Berger in a touring production of "Hair"
1971:
Returned to Chicago
1973:
Joined Organic Theatre Company (remained six years) acting in such productions as "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit"
1976:
Worked as teacher at Columbia College, Chicago
:
Acted in David Mamet's "A Life in the Theater"
1977:
Staged and co-scripted (with Organic Theater associates) "Bleacher Bums"
1978:
Broadway debut in the musical "Working"
1978:
Moved to Los Angeles with wife; actor Dennis Franz traveled with them
:
Started a business taking head shots of actors
1979:
Primetime TV debut in the ABC biopic "Elvis"
1984:
Breakthrough stage role as Ricky Roma in Mamet's Pulitzer-winning "Glengarry Glen Ross"; won Tony Award
1985:
First major feature acting role, "Compromising Positions" portraying a womanizing dentist who is murdered
1987:
Played first leading role in a film, "House of Games"; written and directed by David Mamet
1988:
Starred opposite Don Ameche in Mamet's "Things Change"
1988:
Returned to Broadway in Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow"; co-starring with Madonna and Ron Silver
1990:
Starred opposite Mia Farrow in Woody Allen's "Alice"
1990:
Cast as a small-time hood named Joey Zasa in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather, Part III"
1991:
Provided the voice of the recurring character Fat Tony in episodes of the Fox animated series "The Simpsons"
1991:
Portrayed Hollywood veteran George Raft in Barry Levinson's "Bugsy"
1992:
Had the leading role of a genius inventor in the TV adaptation of Mamet's "The Water Engine" (TNT)
1993:
Co-starred with Madonna in the film "Body of Evidence"
1993:
Offered a fine change-of-pace turn as the father of a chess prodigy in "Searching for Bobby Fischer"
1994:
Received strong notices as an emergency room physician in the "HBO Showcase" production "State of Emergency"
1994:
Directed Mamet's play "Lifeboat" at the Tiffany Theater in West Hollywood
1996:
Played an agent in "Up Close and Personal"
1997:
Portrayed yet another mafiosa in the CBS miniseries "Mario Puzo's The Last Don"; received an Emmy nomination
1997:
Starred opposite Blythe Danner as Holocaust survivors in "A Call to Remember" (Starz!)
1998:
Recreated stage role of Gomez who covets the titular "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit"; screened at the Sundance Film Festival before becoming a direct-to-video release
1998:
Reprised role in the sequel "Mario Puzo's The Last Don II" (CBS)
1998:
Cast as Dean Martin in the HBO biopic "The Rat Pack"
1999:
Executive produced and starred in "Hoods" (Starz!)
1999:
Appeared as Robert Parker's private investigator Spenser in the A&E telefilm "Small Vices"
1999:
Had supporting role in Barry Levinson's semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale "Liberty Heights"
2000:
Again played Spenser in "Thin Air" (A&E)
2000:
Feature directorial debut, "Lakeboat"
2001:
Reprised role as Parker's PI Spenser in the A&E original "Walking Shadows"
2002:
Co-starred as a US Supreme Court Justice in the CBS series "First Monday"
2004:
Cast as the father of Jonathan Tucker's character in the drama "Stateside"
2005:
Co-starred with Anne Archer in "Uncle Nino" a film about a dysfunctional family brought closer by a visiting relative
2005:
Cast in the ensemble "Nine Lives"; Rodrigo GarcĂ­a directs a series of vignettes, offering glimpses into the lives of nine women
2007:
Portrayed studio head 'Lou Manahan' in USA Network's "The Starter Wife"; earned an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
2007:
Reprised the character of Fat Tony in "The Simpsons Movie"
2007:
Joined the cast of CBS' drama "Criminal Minds," replacing Mandy Patinkin
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Morton East High School: Cicero , Illinois -
Morton Junior College: Cicero , Illinois - 1965 - 1967
The Goodman School of Drama: Chicago , Illinois - 1970

Notes

"Bleacher Bums" has played in the same Los Angeles theater for over 10 years.

Mantegna toured Europe twice with The Organic Theater Company.

"My attitude was always, 'Why isn't it happening sooner?' Not 'Will it ever happen?' You have to have that kind of ego or cockiness. This business is not for the faint of heart. I never felt intimidated and I never felt I didn't belong, even when I was struggling.

"I think everybody should be an actor for one day. You can use your character to vent the frustrations you're feeling in your own life. I can be a cop, a robber, the butcher, the baker, the Indian chief, whatever. There's a certain kind of escapism from yourself in playing somebody else." --Joe Mantegna offering his philosophy on his career, quoted in DAILY NEWS, March 3, 1996

"I never lose sight of the fact that I'm in a line of work that is, essentially, other people's fantasies." --Mantegna quoted in DAILY NEWS, May 6, 1997

"I've always thought of myself as a character man. That's what I did in the theater for 15 years before films." --Joe Mantegna quoted in MOVIELINE, July 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Arlene Mantegna. Actor. Born c. 1949; met in high school; renewed acquaintance and began dating in 1969 when both were cast in a production of the musical "Hair"; married on December 3, 1975; owns Fabulous Fortune Brownies company in the San Fernando Valley.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Joseph Anthony Mantegna Sr. Insurance salesman. Died in June 1969 of tuberculosis.
mother:
Mary Ann Mantegna. Shipping clerk.
brother:
Ronald Mantegna. Marketing executive. Born c. 1940.
daughter:
Mia Marie Mantegna. Born prematurely on June 5, 1987 after doctors identified an infection in the umbilical cord; weighed only 1 pound, 15 ounces and was reportedly one of the smallest babies born in California that year; at age 2 1/2 was diagnosed as autistic.
daughter:
Gina Mantegna. Born c. 1991.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Bleacher Bums" Samuel French
"Leonardo"

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute