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Michael Rispoli

Michael Rispoli

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: November 27, 1960 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Tappan, New York, USA Profession: actor, vintner

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Often cast as Italian-Americans, Michael Rispoli has proved a consummate character player, adding to the performances of the lead actors, while shining considerably in scene-stealing moments that showed his capability to carry a film. Fair-haired with a tendency towards roundness and an unmistakable New York ethnic look, Rispoli was frequently cast as the tough-next-door, or a wannabe wise guy. He played these roles well, giving his characters added depth and additional dimensions. Rispoli's film debut in a featured role as tragic Nicky Falconetti in Nancy Savoca's "Household Saints" (1993) proved him a notable talent. Rispoli gave a remarkable performance as a soldier returned from the war having a hard time reacquainting himself with civilian society. While a supporting rather than a starring role, Rispoli's character was one of the more indelible aspects of the film. He next gave a strong supporting performance in following year's emotional drama "Angie", starring Geena Davis. In 1995, Rispoli gave a brilliant breakthrough comedic performance in the successful romantic comedy "While You Were Sleeping", playing Sandra Bullock's tenacious lovestruck neighbor Joe Jr, a man with an eye for Bullock's...

Often cast as Italian-Americans, Michael Rispoli has proved a consummate character player, adding to the performances of the lead actors, while shining considerably in scene-stealing moments that showed his capability to carry a film. Fair-haired with a tendency towards roundness and an unmistakable New York ethnic look, Rispoli was frequently cast as the tough-next-door, or a wannabe wise guy. He played these roles well, giving his characters added depth and additional dimensions. Rispoli's film debut in a featured role as tragic Nicky Falconetti in Nancy Savoca's "Household Saints" (1993) proved him a notable talent. Rispoli gave a remarkable performance as a soldier returned from the war having a hard time reacquainting himself with civilian society. While a supporting rather than a starring role, Rispoli's character was one of the more indelible aspects of the film. He next gave a strong supporting performance in following year's emotional drama "Angie", starring Geena Davis.

In 1995, Rispoli gave a brilliant breakthrough comedic performance in the successful romantic comedy "While You Were Sleeping", playing Sandra Bullock's tenacious lovestruck neighbor Joe Jr, a man with an eye for Bullock's Lucy, and another hidden passion. As the obnoxious and overbearing Joe Jr, Rispoli stole every scene he was featured in, and managed to make the otherwise creepy character especially endearing. Also that year he was featured in a lower profile role in Gus Van Sant's black comedy "To Die For". The following year saw him turn in solid performances with supporting roles in "The Juror" and "Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco". In 1997 the actor starred in the Canadian independent film "His and Hers", a zany comedy starring Liev Schreiber and directed by Hal Salwen. That same year he was featured in the disaster film "Volcano". 1998 was a busy year for the actor, who turned in higher profile supporting roles in "Snake Eyes" and "Rounders", marking his most high-profile work in mainstream film since "While You Were Sleeping". He also has a smaller role as a detective who clashes with Stephen Baldwin's unorthodox Bo Dietl "One Tough Cop".

Rispoli would next tackle a featured role in Spike Lee's "Summer of Sam" (1999), with a frighteningly dead-on portrayal of a neighborhood tough looking to take down the serial killer terrorizing New York City in this Bronx 1977-set drama. This role would garner the often overlooked actor much-deserved acclaim and notice, identifying him as one to watch. He replaced actor Daniel Baldwin in the cast of the romantic comedy "It Had to Be You" (lensed 1998) and starred as a factory worker in the 1956-set independent drama "Two Family House" (2000).

In addition to his film work, Rispoli spent many years on stage, performing with the Steppenwolf Theater and co-founding the Willow Cabin Theater Company. WCTC staged a production of "Wilder, Wilder, Wilder--3 by Thornton" that moved to off-Broadway and later to Broadway, earning a Tony nomination. Rispoli has appeared in New York and regional theater, acting in productions of "Macbeth", "Tartuffe" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as well as working as an understudy in the revival "Balm in Giliad".

Rispoli also appeared extensively on television, working early in his career on the daytime dramas "One Life to Live" (ABC) and "Another World" (NBC). In 1995 he starred in the short-lived Fox series "The Great Defender", playing the street-smart Lou Frischetti, a nonconformist but highly effective attorney. The following year saw him on CBS with the even shorter lived "My Guys", a New York City-set sitcom starring Rispoli as a widowed father of two. An overly formulaic and crude sitcom, its cancellation would prove a boon to the miscast actor. In 1998, he guest starred in the popular NBC dramas "Law & Order" and "ER". "Scarred City", a police thriller feature starring Rispoli screened at Cannes and premiered on HBO later that year in lieu of theatrical release. In 1999 the versatile actor guest starred on HBO's acclaimed original series "The Sopranos" and also was featured in an episode of "Touched By an Angel" (CBS). In 1999. Rispoli landed the role of a veteran cop partnered with a rookie in the short-lived Fox police drama "Ryan Caulfield: Year One". In 2002, he co-starred in the television series "Bram and Alice."

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Rob the Mob (2014)
2.
 Pain & Gain (2013)
3.
4.
5.
 Rum Diary, The (2011)
6.
 Kick-Ass (2010)
8.
 Yonkers Joe (2008)
9.
 Black Irish (2007)
10.
 Made in Brooklyn (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1987:
Co-founded the Willow Cabin Theater Company in New York (date approximate)
1993:
Gave an impressive debut performance in Nancy Savoca's "Household Saints"
1994:
Appeared in the tearjerking drama "Angie"
1995:
Had a memorable turn in the romantic comedy "While You Were Sleeping"
1995:
Starred as an unorthodox but effective attorney on the Fox series "The Great Defender"
1995:
Appeared in Gus Van Sant's black comedy "To Die For"
1996:
Starred as a widowed father with two young sons on the short-lived CBS sitcom "My Guys"
1996:
Was featured in "The Juror" and "Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco"
1997:
Starred in the Canadian independent comedy "His and Hers"
1997:
Had a featured role in the disaster pic "Volcano"
1998:
Was featured in "Snake Eyes", "Rounders" and "One Tough Cop"
1998:
Guest starred on episodes of "Law & Order" and "ER" (both NBC)
1998:
Starred in "Scarred City", a direct-to-video police drama aired on HBO
1999:
Appeared on the acclaimed HBO series "The Sopranos"
1999:
Starred in Spike Lee's 1977 set drama "Summer of Sam" as a neighborhood thug leading a gang of toughs terrorizing anyone they suspect of being feared serial killer Son of Sam
1999:
Had regular role of Officer Susser on the short-lived Fox series "Ryan Caulfield: Year One"
2000:
Starred in the Sundance Audience Award winning "Two Family House," directed by Raymond De Felitta
2002:
Co-starred on the CBS television series "Bram and Alice"
2004:
Cast in the comedy "Mr. 3000" opposite Bernie Mac
2005:
Cast opposite Nicolas Cage in "The Weather Man"
2006:
Landed a featured role in the biographical drama "Invincible"
2007:
Appeared in a recurring role on NBC's short-lived "The Black Donnellys"
2009:
Acted opposite Denzel Washington and John Travolta in "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3"
2010:
Cast as Big Joe in "Kick-Ass"
2011:
Acted opposite Johnny Depp in "The Rum Diary," the big screen adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's novel
2011:
Co-starred with Mira Sorvino in the drama "Union Square," directed by Nancy Savoca
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

State University of New York, Plattsburgh: Plattsburgh , New York -
Circle in the Square Professional Theater School: New York , New York -

Notes

One of the founders of The Willow Cabin Theater Company

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Pam Rispoli.

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