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Max Casella

Max Casella

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Also Known As: Max Deitch Died:
Born: June 6, 1967 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Washington, Washington D.C., USA Profession: actor, box office clerk, janitor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As an actor who worked successfully on screen since the earliest days of his adulthood, actor Max Casella was equally well known for the roles he took on early in his career, like that of Vinnie on "Doogie Howser, M.D." (ABC, 1989-1993) and Racetrack Higgins in the big screen musical "Newsies" (1992), as he is for the roles he played later in life, like Leo D'Alessio on the period series "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO, 2010-2014). Born in Washington D.C. and raised in the Boston area, Casella was encouraged to participate in school plays and local professional theater by his drama teacher. He was inspired to travel to New York after graduating to pursue acting full time, and soon landed his first TV role on an episode of "The Equalizer" (CBS, 1985-1989). Soon, the "Doogie Howser" role followed, making Casella a very familiar face to audiences all over America. In 1997. he branched into Broadway, originating the role of Timon in the musical "The Lion King." Still more roles would follow, including turns in "Boardwalk Empire" and in the acclaimed Coen brothers film "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013) and the Woody Allen film "Blue Jasmine" (2013). In 2016, Casella joined the cast of the short-lived HBO series...

As an actor who worked successfully on screen since the earliest days of his adulthood, actor Max Casella was equally well known for the roles he took on early in his career, like that of Vinnie on "Doogie Howser, M.D." (ABC, 1989-1993) and Racetrack Higgins in the big screen musical "Newsies" (1992), as he is for the roles he played later in life, like Leo D'Alessio on the period series "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO, 2010-2014). Born in Washington D.C. and raised in the Boston area, Casella was encouraged to participate in school plays and local professional theater by his drama teacher. He was inspired to travel to New York after graduating to pursue acting full time, and soon landed his first TV role on an episode of "The Equalizer" (CBS, 1985-1989). Soon, the "Doogie Howser" role followed, making Casella a very familiar face to audiences all over America. In 1997. he branched into Broadway, originating the role of Timon in the musical "The Lion King." Still more roles would follow, including turns in "Boardwalk Empire" and in the acclaimed Coen brothers film "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013) and the Woody Allen film "Blue Jasmine" (2013). In 2016, Casella joined the cast of the short-lived HBO series "Vinyl" (HBO, 2016) and co-starred in Ben Affleck's Prohibition-set crime drama "Live By Night" (2016), based on the novel by Dennis Lehane.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Night Comes On (2018)
3.
 Wonder Wheel (2017)
4.
 Jackie (2016)
5.
 Live by Night (2016)
6.
 Applesauce (2015)
8.
 Heat (2015)
9.
 Christmas Eve (2015)
10.
 Fading Gigolo (2014)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Played small roles on such TV series as "Kate and Allie" and "The Equalizer"
1996:
Co-starred in the screen comedy "Sgt. Bilko"
1999:
Had featured role in "Analyze This"
1999:
Co-starred as Steve Zahn's buddy in the comedy "Freak Talks About Sex"
2000:
Cast as Marcellus in the Broadway revival of "The Music Man"
2013:
Appeared in the Coen Brothers movie "Inside Llewyn Davis"
2016:
Appeared as Jack Valenti in "Jackie"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

American Academy of Dramatic Arts: New York , New York -
Cambridge Rindge and Latin School: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 1985

Notes

Echoing sentiments reminiscent of those of his character on "Doogie Howser", Casella noted, "Vinnie is not as angry as I was when I was his age. There was anger about looking so young and not being able to do the girl thing when other guys were doing it." --Quoted in People, November 4, 1991.

On his role in "The Lion King": "You wouldn't believe the physicality of this role--it's a workout. I think mine is the hardest puppet to manipulate. It's full-body, and it's strapped to me, so I have to move everything--my arms, my legs, my head--to bring it to life. I didn't think I could do it at first. There's so much to think about; your articulation and your expressions. It's like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time." --Casella to InTheater, November 21, 1997.

"New York is everything. It's not clean and it's not orderly. It's like a hotbed of all these different ethnic backgrounds, it's like a lifeforce. That's why I love it here." --Casella to Show Music, Summer 2000.

Family close complete family listing

father:
David Deitch. Newspaper columnist. Once worked for <i>The Boston Globe</i>; separated from Casella's mother c. 1977; divorced c. 1980.
mother:
Doris Casella. Social worker. Originally from New York City; separated from Casella's father c. 1977; divorced c. 1980; Casella took his mother's surname after his parents' divorce.
brother:
Lorenzo Deitch. Photographer. Born c. 1963; was already living on his own at the time of parents' divorce.

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