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Also Known As: Steven Vincent Buscemi Died:
Born: December 13, 1957 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: actor, screenwriter, director, playwright, journalist, producer, comedian, performance artist, firefighter, furniture mover, ice cream truck driver, gas station attendant

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Diehard New Yorker Steve Buscemi was an independent film icon, both as a perennial favorite of respected filmmakers like the Coen Brothers, and as a writer and director in his own right. Throughout the decades of prolific work that followed his rise from the East Village arts boon of the 1980s, Buscemi stayed close to his roots in avant-garde film, but he also made a dent at the multiplex in character roles in big budget comedies and action films. Buscemi's predilection for off-kilter criminal minds, inept underachievers, and sad sack loners was only boosted by his non-traditional looks, lending his characters an air of realism. In addition to career-making roles in "Reservoir Dogs" (1992), "Fargo" (1996), "Con-Air" (1997) and "Ghost World" (2001), Buscemi gained prominence as a director following his feature debut, "Trees Lounge" (1997). From 2000-04, he was highly regarded for his work directing and acting on HBO's megahit series "The Sopranos" and, following his demise on the show, resumed his average of five film appearances a year. In 2010, he toplined the Martin Scorsese-produced HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," receiving critical kudos for his layered performance in the Prohibition-era series....

Diehard New Yorker Steve Buscemi was an independent film icon, both as a perennial favorite of respected filmmakers like the Coen Brothers, and as a writer and director in his own right. Throughout the decades of prolific work that followed his rise from the East Village arts boon of the 1980s, Buscemi stayed close to his roots in avant-garde film, but he also made a dent at the multiplex in character roles in big budget comedies and action films. Buscemi's predilection for off-kilter criminal minds, inept underachievers, and sad sack loners was only boosted by his non-traditional looks, lending his characters an air of realism. In addition to career-making roles in "Reservoir Dogs" (1992), "Fargo" (1996), "Con-Air" (1997) and "Ghost World" (2001), Buscemi gained prominence as a director following his feature debut, "Trees Lounge" (1997). From 2000-04, he was highly regarded for his work directing and acting on HBO's megahit series "The Sopranos" and, following his demise on the show, resumed his average of five film appearances a year. In 2010, he toplined the Martin Scorsese-produced HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," receiving critical kudos for his layered performance in the Prohibition-era series. With an ever-growing résumé of memorable parts and no lack of quality filmmakers knocking down his door, the quirky Buscemi became one of the most dependable character actors of his generation.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Interview (2007)
2.
  Trees Lounge (1996) Director
3.
  What Happened to Pete? (1993) Director
4.
  Animal Factory (2000) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Cobbler, The (2014)
2.
4.
 Grown Ups 2 (2013)
5.
6.
7.
8.
 Grown Ups (2010)
9.
 G-Force (2009)
10.
 Handsome Harry (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Long Island, NY from age eight
:
Began performing while in high school
:
On advice of his father, took acting lessons at the Lee Strasberg Institute
:
Also on advice of his father, took Civil Service exam for New York City Fire Department
1978:
Moved to East Village, becoming involved with downtown performance scene
1980:
Served as a firefighter for four years with FDNY
:
Performed as a stand-up comic with actor Rockets Redglare at now defunct Taxi Cabaret; met future wife Jo Anders
1981:
Introduced by fellow fireman-actor Dean Tulipane to a theater group at Westbeth, an artists' housing complex
1984:
Made screen debut in "The Way It Is, or Eurydice in the Avenues"
1985:
Left Fire Department to pursue acting full-time
1986:
Landed first featured role as Nick, an AIDS-stricken man in independent feature "Parting Glances"
1986:
Appeared in guest shots on "Miami Vice" (NBC) and "The Equalizer" (CBS)
1988:
Received first mainstream feature credit in "Vibes"
1989:
Made TV miniseries debut in hit CBS Western "Lonesome Dove"
1990:
Made his first collaboration with the Coen brothers in "Miller's Crossing"
1990:
Played the henchman of Laurence Fishburne named Test Tube in Abel Ferrara¿s "King of New York"
1991:
Portrayed Chet the bellhop at the Hotel Earle in the Coens' "Barton Fink"
1992:
Cast in breakthrough supporting role as Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino's debut feature "Reservoir Dogs"
1992:
Landed first starring role in Alexandre Rockwell's "In the Soup"
1993:
Made his film-making debut (produced, directed and wrote) with the 14-minute short "What Happened to Pete?"
1994:
Staged a reading of his screenplay "Trees Lounge" in New York City
1994:
Portrayed Nick Reve, a struggling indie filmmaker, in Tom DiCillo's 17-minute short "Scene Six, Take One"
1994:
Played John Travolta and Uma Thurman's surly Buddy Holly waiter at Jackrabbit Slim's in Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction"
1994:
First feature collaboration with Adam Sandler, "Airheads"
1995:
Co-starred with Christopher Walken in Gary Fleder's "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead"
1995:
Reprised role of Nick Reve in DiCillo's feature-length "Living in Oblivion"
1995:
Appeared in his first film with actor Danny Trejo, Robert Rodriguez's "Desperado"
1995:
Produced and acted in the 26-minute experimental short "Black Kites" helmed by wife Jo Andres
1996:
Made feature debut as writer-director with "Trees Lounge"; also starred
1996:
Fourth film with the Coens, "Fargo"; cast as bumbling kidnapper-for-hire
:
Joined Tarantino's A Band Apart's roster of commercial directors
1997:
Re-teamed with Trejo in "Con Air"; first association with producer Jerry Bruckheimer
1997:
Re-teamed with DiCillo again playing Nick in "The Real Blonde"
1997:
Directed TV commercials for Nike
1998:
Co-starred in Stanley Tucci's period comedy "The Impostors" portraying a suicidal crooner; sang "The Nearness of You" in the film
1998:
Fifth collaboration with Ethan and Joel Coen, "The Big Lebowski"
1998:
Helmed an episode of the NBC police drama "Homicide: Life on the Street"
1998:
Joined the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced ensemble "Armageddon"
1999:
Directed an episode of the HBO prison-drama "Oz" entitled "U.S. Male"; also directed "Cuts Like a Knife" in 2001
1999:
Played a homeless man in Sandler comedy vehicle "Big Daddy"
2000:
Made feature debut as a producer, "Animal Factory" (also directed and acted); Trejo acted and served as an executive producer
2000:
Directed the "Pine Barrens" episode of the popular HBO series "The Sopranos"
2001:
Cast in a supporting role as Seymour in the critically hailed "Ghost World"
2002:
Reunited with Robert Rodriguez to film "Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams"
2002:
Helmed second episode of the HBO series "The Sopranos," titled "Everybody Hurts"
2003:
Appeared in a segment of the independent feature "Coffee and Cigarettes" directed by Jim Jarmusch
2003:
Portrayed Norther Winslow in Tim Burton's fantasy drama "Big Fish"
2004:
Cast as Tony Soprano's (James Gandolfini) cousin Tony Blundetto on the fifth season of "The Sopranos" (HBO)
2005:
Cast in John Turturro's big-screen musical "Romance & Cigarettes" (released theatrically in 2007)
2006:
Directed Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler in "Lonesome Jim"
2006:
Voiced Templeton the rat in live-action/computer-animated feature film "Charlotte's Web," based on the book by E.B. White
2007:
Helmed a remake of murdered Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh's film "Interview"; co-starred as a journalist interviewing a celebrity (Sienna Miller); also utilized much of Van Gogh's crew, including his director of photography
2007:
Appeared in a guest role as a private eye on NBC's "30 Rock"
2010:
Played Michael Cera's greedy and temperamental father in the film adaptation of C.D. Payne's "Youth in Revolt"
2010:
Appeared in the ensemble comedy "Grown Ups," about five friends who reunite for a Fourth of July holiday weekend; starred Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Kevin James
2010:
Cast in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" as Enoch 'Nucky' Thompson, who is based on New Jersey political boss and racketeer Enoch L. Johnson
2012:
Cast in crime drama "Rampart" opposite Woody Harrelson
2012:
Voiced a werewolf in animated feature "Hotel Transylvania"; also starred Sandler
2013:
Played titular magician's (Steve Carell) former partner in "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute: New York , New York -
Nassau Community College: East Garden City , New York -
Valley Stream Central High School: Valley Stream , New York - 1975

Notes

Following the terrorist attacks on New York City on September 11, 2001, Buscemi called on his training as a firefighter and worked as a volunteer searching for survivors in the rubble of what was the World Trade Center.

In April 2001 while filming "Domestic Disturbance", Buscemi, screenwriter Scott Rosenberg, and co-star Vince Vaughn were involved in a bar fight in Wilmington, North Carolina. Buscemi was stabbed but was reportedly not seriously injured.

"'For Jackie [a transvestite taxi dancer in Alexandre Rockwell's "Someone to Love"], I just tapped into this side of myself that is very childlike,' says the affable actor. 'When you're a kid, you don't censor yourself. I notice that in my five-year-old son. Kids don't differentiate between the sexes. Frank Maya--the singer, comic, and actor who died recently of AIDS--used to say in his standup act, 'All children are gay.'" --Buscemi quoted in "Drag Time for Steve" by Howard Feinstein, OUT, June 1996.

[Interviewer:] What did you think about The New Yorker calling you "one of the great movie rats," saying that you bite into your lines like you're stripping meat from the bone?

[Buscemi:] When you come right down to it, I guess I sometimes get frustrated about having played too many seedy, ratty guys. But: I'm working. So in a way I don't care what they say. --From "Goatees ahoy, it's Indieboy!" by Henry Alford, GQ (1995)

About the real Trees Lounge: "A couple of years ago it was sold, and when they took the neon sign down, I bought it and stored it behind my parents' garage. For the film we found a bar in Queens, got the Trees Lounge sign and put it out front." --Buscemi quoted in People, October 21, 1996

On working with his son in "Trees Lounge": "That was nerve-wracking. He was only about four and I was afraid he might give me a hard time because I was just his father and not the director. So I got a backup kid to come in just in case. Well, my son turned out to be a total pro and the other boy was just left standing around. I felt sorry for him.

"There was a video camcorder on the set, so at lunchtime I handed it to my wife and said, 'We're going to give the other kid a boost here.' I pretended we were doing the scene again with my wife video-taping it. I yelled 'Action' and we did the whole thing. Then, I felt better because as an actor I know what it's like to get cut out of a scene." --Buscemi to Jeanne Wolf in Daily News, September 29, 1996

Regarding his role in "Armageddon": "It's something that I would not have been offered a few years ago. But then I did 'Con Air', and [producer] Jerry [Bruckheimer]--with both films--he put together a really interesting cast, actors I really wanted to work with, so that's part of the appeal. And the money is also an appeal. It helps me do a lot of the other work I want to do.

"This kind of film becomes more of a job. But that's the reality of the business. It is a business. But I also feel that for these types of films a lot of money is spent and people believe in me, that I add something to these films. That's not to be taken lightly. It's not like I can show up and do my work and not care. I have to invest something of myself in it. I figure as long as I do the other stuff, I'm fine with doing commercial films that feed me." --Buscemi quoted in Empire, September 1998

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jo Andres. Performance artist, choreographer, editor, filmmaker. Born c. 1954; Buscemi has appeared in his wife's performance pieces; edited Buscemi's short film "What Happened to Pete?" (1993).

Family close complete family listing

father:
John Buscemi. Retired New York City Sanitation Department worker. Italian-American Korean War veteran.
brother:
Michael Buscemi. Actor. Played Buscemi's onscreen brother in "Trees Lounge" (1996).
son:
Lucian Buscemi. Born in 1991; acted in mother Jo Andres' "Black Kite" (1995) and in "Trees Lounge".

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