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|Also Known As:||John Manfrellotti||Died:|
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Jon Manfrellotti's wry sense of humor and impeccable timing greatly contributed to his successful comedic career. He first made his mark as a stand-up comedian in Florida and then New York City, before shifting gears into television and film acting. Manfrellotti had a recurring role on the Emmy Award-winning sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond" (CBS, 1996-2005), which starred Ray Romano as a sports writer who struggles to keep the peace within his wacky family. He played Romano's best friend who is always getting on the nerves of his bossy wife. Manfrellotti reunited with Romano on the comedy-drama "Men of a Certain Age" (TNT, 2009-2011), where he played a bookie who tells endless jokes to deflect his insecurities. On the latter series, he easily won over critics and audiences for his honest portrayal of a man who looks rough and tough on the outside, but who is secretly longing for real companionship. Manfrellotti stole practically every scene that he was in, showcasing his expertise in balancing complex emotions without losing his comedic edge.
Jon Manfrellotti always wanted to be an actor, but he began his career as a comic, performing in various comedy clubs in Florida before moving to Manhattan. After appearing in a Dutch feature film, Manfrellotti began guest starring on popular shows such as the monster hit sitcom "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998), dubbed the "show about nothing." Manfrellotti also appeared on the crime drama "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), where he played a police detective. While Manfrellotti focused on his budding acting career, he also dabbled in stand-up comedy, often as the opening act for comedian Ray Romano. Coincidentally, Manfrellotti's big break was being cast on the hit sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," based on the real-life experiences of Romano. Manfrellotti played Romano's best friend Gianni who worked as a contractor and was an ex-futon repairman. His character's immaturity and odd ways often irked Ray's wife, Debra Barone (Patricia Heaton).
After "Everybody Loves Raymond" wrapped, Manfrellotti kept up his television appearances. He guest starred on "The King of Queens" (CBS, 1998-2007), which followed the hilarious antics of Doug Heffernan (Kevin James), his feisty wife Carrie (Leah Remini), and Carrie's pesky father Arthur (Jerry Stiller). He also appeared in several films including the romantic comedy "Just My Luck" (2006) starring Lindsay Lohan as a privileged young woman living in Manhattan who suddenly loses her all her fortune after kissing an unlucky stranger. In 2009, Manfrellotti began appearing on the TNT comedy-drama "Men of a Certain Age," about former college buddies who remain friends and deal with issues affecting middle-aged men. The role reunited him with former co-star Romano, who played Joe Tranelli, a neurotic and divorced father of two who also has a gambling problem. Manfrellotti often stole the scene as Manfro, Tranelli's bookie who has a tough exterior but who is really lonely on the inside. The critically acclaimed series also starred Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher, and despite critical acclaim and Emmy nominations, the show was cancelled in summer 2011.
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