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Joe Pantoliano

Joe Pantoliano

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Also Known As: Joseph Pantoliano, Joseph Peter Pantoliano Died:
Born: September 12, 1951 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, waiter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Having transcended a youth of urban poverty, crime and poor academic skills, actor Joe Pantoliano - sometimes known affectionately as Joey Pants due to his hard-to-pronounce Italian surname - transformed himself into a prominent and prolific character performer who went on to appear in some of Hollywood's biggest films. After knocking around the New York theater scene, Pantoliano broke into television after moving to Los Angeles. Though remaining busy, he took some time to truly establish himself. His moment arrived when he played Guido the Pimp in the Tom Cruise vehicle, "Risky Business" (1983), which helped him gain a degree of recognition. From there, he became known for playing low-level crooks and hustlers in movies and on television until he transitioned to the other side of the law with a memorable supporting turn as a deputy U.S. Marshal in "The Fugitive" (1993). Perhaps some of his more acclaimed roles came in the indie world, thanks to solid turns in inventive films like "Bound" (1996) and "Memento" (2000). He did, however, reached some level of mass appeal as a co-star in the blockbuster movie "The Matrix" (1999), while his performance as a hot-headed mob lieutenant on "The Sopranos" (HBO,...

Having transcended a youth of urban poverty, crime and poor academic skills, actor Joe Pantoliano - sometimes known affectionately as Joey Pants due to his hard-to-pronounce Italian surname - transformed himself into a prominent and prolific character performer who went on to appear in some of Hollywood's biggest films. After knocking around the New York theater scene, Pantoliano broke into television after moving to Los Angeles. Though remaining busy, he took some time to truly establish himself. His moment arrived when he played Guido the Pimp in the Tom Cruise vehicle, "Risky Business" (1983), which helped him gain a degree of recognition. From there, he became known for playing low-level crooks and hustlers in movies and on television until he transitioned to the other side of the law with a memorable supporting turn as a deputy U.S. Marshal in "The Fugitive" (1993). Perhaps some of his more acclaimed roles came in the indie world, thanks to solid turns in inventive films like "Bound" (1996) and "Memento" (2000). He did, however, reached some level of mass appeal as a co-star in the blockbuster movie "The Matrix" (1999), while his performance as a hot-headed mob lieutenant on "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007) earned him his first Emmy Award, making him a steady and often-sought-after character actor capable of elevating just about any project.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Identical, The (2013)
2.
 Job, The (2010)
3.
 Deadly Impact (2010)
6.
 Canvas (2006)
8.
 Deceit (2006)
9.
 Wedding Daze (2006)
10.
 Unknown (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1968:
Made professional stage debut on the New York stage at age 17
1972:
Portrayed Billy Bibbit in a stage production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
1976:
Moved to Los Angeles
1978:
Had a recurring role in the summer replacement series, "Free Country" (ABC); co-star Rob Reiner also co-scripted and co-produced
1978:
Re-teamed with Rob Reiner for the TV-movie, "More Than Friends"
1979:
Gained notice for his interpretation of Angelo Maggio - Frank Sinatra's role in the original - for the NBC miniseries, "From Here to Eternity"
1980:
Feature acting debut, "The Idolmaker"
1983:
Originated the lead role of Philip in "Orphans" at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles, CA
1983:
Breakthrough feature, played the supporting role of Guido 'The Killer Pimp' in the surprise hit, "Risky Business"
1985:
Played the villainous Francis Fratelli in "The Gooonies"; produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Richard Donner
1987:
Portrayed anti-Communist attorney Roy Cohn in the CBS miniseries, "Robert Kennedy and His Times"
1987:
Played John Malkovich's sidekick in the Steven Spielberg directed, "Empire of the Sun"
1987:
Played Ritchie Valens' manager in the biopic, "La Bamba"
1990:
Cast as a regular in the short-lived NBC sitcom, "The Fanelli Boys"
1993:
Portrayed Agent Cosmo Renfro in the thriller, "The Fugitive"
1994:
Played Captain Howard, opposite Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, in Michael Bay's "Bad Boys"
1995:
Played the recurring role of stoolie Vinnie Greco on ABC's "NYPD Blue"
1996:
Cast as a regular on the CBS crime drama, "EZ Streets"
1996:
Played Jennifer Tilly's gangster lover in "Bound"; directed by the Wachowski brothers
1998:
Reprised role of Cosmo Renfro in "U.S. Marshals"
1999:
Re-teamed with the Wachowski brothers to play renegade Cypher in "The Matrix"
2000:
Played a slightly mysterious figure shadowing a man who cannot form new memories in Christopher Nolan's stylish thriller, "Memento"
2000:
Joined the cast of HBO's "The Sopranos" as mob hothead Ralph Cifaretto
2001:
Appeared in two episodes of the WB's teen sci-fi series, "Roswell"
2002:
Featured in the Eddie Murphy misfire, "The Adventures of Pluto Nash"
2003:
Reprised role as Cypher in "The Matrix: Reloaded"
2003:
Reprised role as Captain Howard for the sequel, "Bad Boys 2"
2003:
Feature directorial debut, "Just Like Mona"
2003:
Starred in the short-lived CBS series, "The Handler"
2005:
Played a recurring role on the short-lived NBC drama, "Dr. Vegas"
2005:
Voiced Goose, a former mob hitman pelican, in the animated feature "Racing Stripes"
2009:
Co-starred in the independent dark comedy, "The Job"
2010:
Cast as Gabe Ugliano, Percy's mean stepfather, in the film adaptation of "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief"
2010:
Voiced the character of Peek the Chinese crested dog in "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore," the sequel to the 2001 family film "Cats & Dogs"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

HB Studio: New York , New York -

Notes

Some sources list 1951 as the year of his birth.

Pantoliano is co-owner of the Grand Havana Room, a cigar lounge in Beverly Hills.

"At seventeen, I had a third-grade reading level. I was headed for a life as a dope dealer or a crook. Then I discovered acting. Whaddaya know? I could PLAY drug dealers and crooks." --Joe Pantoliano quoted in "Rushes: Thuggin' for the Camera" by Cindy Pearlman, Premiere, August 1994.

"But Pantoliano attacked his dream with all the scrappy tenacity at his command--which, as it turns out, was quite a bit. Years later he told some college acting students how to do it: 'First thing you do is quit college, get your money back, go to New York, find someone from Actors Equity that's got an expired card,' he said. 'Put your picture on it, get a resume, find out what theaters went out of business, and say you did two seasons there. They can't check up on you. These are the things you have to do to get in the door.'"

"Pantoliano PUSHED. 'I'm a breech-birth type of actor,' he says. 'Some people, things come easy to them, it falls right in their laps, but with me I gotta move and shake and scheme and think and plan and work my butt off to get the jobs.'" --From "Cameos: Joe Pantoliano" by John H. Richardson, Premiere, December 1989.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Morga Kester. Had been married in 1979 and divorced in 1985.
wife:
Nancy Sheppard. Model. Married on February 18, 1994; mother of his two daughters.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Dominic Pantoliano. Hearse driver. Separated from Pantoliano's mother c. 1963; divorced.
mother:
Mary Isabella. Bookie. Separated from Pantoliano's father c. 1963; divorced.
step-father:
Florio Isabella. Had ties to the underworld; spent 15 years in jail on drug trafficking charges before marrying Pantoliano's mother.
sister:
Mary Ann Pantoliano. Younger.
step-daughter:
Melody. Born c. 1985 mother, Nancy Sheppard.
son:
Marco Pantoliano. Sportscaster. Born c. 1981; mother, first wife.
daughter:
Daniella Pantoliano. Born on March 8, 1992; mother, Nancy Sheppard.
daughter:
Isabella Grace Pantoliano. Born on August 27, 1998; mother, Nancy Sheppard.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Who's Sorry Now: The True Story of a Stand-Up Guy"

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