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Also Known As: Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio Died:
Born: June 30, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: actor, producer, director, bouncer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though he established his career in the 1980s and 1990s with numerous film roles, actor Vincent D'Onofrio became a household name thanks to his nine-season run as the intelligent, but imposing Detective Robert Goren on the long-running procedural drama, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC, 2001- ). Prior to the acclaim and stardom he received from his television role, D'Onofrio made a quick jump from unknown actor to breakout star as a mentally unstable and put-upon Marine cadet in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" (1987). It would be several years before the young actor was able to have another role of any significance, which came when he played a struggling Hollywood scribe who becomes a homicide victim by the hand of a studio executive in Robert Altman's excellent satire, "The Player" (1992). D'Onofrio settled into a string of leading and supporting turns in smaller movies before showing up as an alien insect in the Will Smith blockbuster "Men in Black" (1997). But it was his nine-year run on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" that truly propelled his career, a role that he played on one of the most-watched shows on the air at the time. Though in 2010 he left the series to once again focus on...

Though he established his career in the 1980s and 1990s with numerous film roles, actor Vincent D'Onofrio became a household name thanks to his nine-season run as the intelligent, but imposing Detective Robert Goren on the long-running procedural drama, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC, 2001- ). Prior to the acclaim and stardom he received from his television role, D'Onofrio made a quick jump from unknown actor to breakout star as a mentally unstable and put-upon Marine cadet in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" (1987). It would be several years before the young actor was able to have another role of any significance, which came when he played a struggling Hollywood scribe who becomes a homicide victim by the hand of a studio executive in Robert Altman's excellent satire, "The Player" (1992). D'Onofrio settled into a string of leading and supporting turns in smaller movies before showing up as an alien insect in the Will Smith blockbuster "Men in Black" (1997). But it was his nine-year run on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" that truly propelled his career, a role that he played on one of the most-watched shows on the air at the time. Though in 2010 he left the series to once again focus on features, D'Onofrio had firmly established himself as one of the finest character actors working in Hollywood.

Born on June 30, 1959 in Brooklyn, NY, D'Onofrio was raised by his father, Gene, an interior designer and later one of the founders of the River Run International Film Festival, and his mother, Phyllis, a waitress and restaurant manager. Though an east coaster by birth, D'Onofrio moved with his family to Hawaii and Colorado before settling in Miami, FL where he graduated from Hialeah-Miami High School in 1977. Though he attended college at the University of Colorado, D'Onofrio left school after 18 months to pursue his acting career. He landed in New York City and began training at the American Stanislavsky Theatre, where he performed in productions of "Of Mice and Men" and David Mamet's "Sexual Perversity in Chicago." Meanwhile, he made his Broadway debut in "Open Admissions" (1984), which he followed with his first feature film role in the sex comedy "The First Turn-On!" (1984). Also at the time, the struggling actor appeared in several student films while paying the bills working as a bouncer at various clubs around the city.

Just a couple of years later, D'Onofrio began making a name for himself with a small, but memorable role as a mechanic in the romantic comedy, "Adventures in Babysitting" (1987). He had his breakout role after gaining 70 pounds for his haunting portrayal as the dangerously unstable Private Pyle in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" (1987), which he followed with a more subdued performance as Lili Taylor's beau in the bittersweet "Mystic Pizza" (1988). Following a turn as a boatyard worker committed to his mentally disabled brother in "Signs of Life" (1989), he once again starred opposite Julia Roberts in "Dying Young" (1991). The 1990s brought D'Onofrio higher profile supporting roles, including playing assassination witness Bill Newman in Oliver Stone's take on the conspiracies surrounding the public execution of "JFK" (1991), a role he reprised for a JFK assassination sequence in Spike Lee's "Malcolm X" (1992). He was most memorable in Robert Altman's winsome Hollywood satire, "The Player" (1993), in which he played David Kahane, a spurned wannabe screenwriter who becomes the victim of an accidental homicide by the hand of a smarmy studio executive (Tim Robbins).

Following "The Player," D'Onofrio had supporting roles in "Household Saints" (1993) and "Mr. Wonderful" (1993) before showing up as Orson Welles in Tim Burton's affectionate biopic, "Ed Wood" (1994), starring Johnny Depp and Martin Landau. Meanwhile, D'Onofrio occasionally tackled starring roles, like pulp writer and "Conan" creator Robert E. Howard in the romantic drama "The Whole Wide World" (1996) and habitual loser Philip in the crime thriller "The Winner" (1997). But his staple remained character work, providing a genuinely touching moment as Al Franken's brother in the otherwise dismal comedy "Stuart Saves His Family" (1995) and a chilling turn in the sci-fi thriller "Strange Days" (1995). Landing in a summer blockbuster, his evil intergalactic insect in purloined human skin offered a formidable foe to agents Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Barry Sonnenfeld's "Men in Black" (1997). D'Onofrio next co-starred alongside Matthew McConaughey, Skeet Ulrich and Ethan Hawke as real-life bank and train robbers in "The Newton Boys" (1998) for director Richard Linklater, and with Salma Hayek and Thomas Jane in the triangular romance "The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name)" (1998).

Following his turn as a former basketball champion in the remake of "That Championship Season" (Showtime, 1999), D'Onofrio played a time-traveling hero from the future who visits 1990s New York City in an attempt to woo and save a woman (Marisa Tomei) with whom he has fallen in love in "Happy Accidents" (2001), which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. He next tackled the challenging part of real-life "yippie" and government fugitive Abbie Hoffman in the biopic "Steal This Movie" (2000). While he did not exactly resemble Hoffman, D'Onofrio managed to capture the counterculture icon's spirit and delivered a finely wrought performance that went overlooked when the film stumbled at the box office. He enjoyed a more commercial fate as a serial killer whose mind is penetrated by a therapist in an experimental fashion in the visually imaginative but dramatically inert "The Cell" (2000), co-starring Jennifer Lopez.

While the actor remained busy with film projects, including "The Salton Sea" (2002) and "Impostor"(2002), he segued to television as the star of producer Dick Wolf's spin-off series, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC, 2001- ). D'Onofrio was cast as the imposing, but highly intuitive detective Robert Goren, whose diverse background helps him solve difficult cases. The actor spent a sold nine seasons on the show, which was briefly interrupted in 2004 when he collapsed on set, then later at home, and was diagnosed with suffering from exhaustion. In 2010, D'Onofrio ended his long stint on the show in order to concentrate once more on feature films. Though he appeared in some movies during his "Law & Order" tenure, like "The Break Up" (2006) and "Cadillac Records" (2008), he managed to increase his output once he was finished, starring in the crime thrillers "Brooklyn's Finest" (2009) and "Staten Island" (2009) before showing up in the "The Irishman" (2010), a biopic about real-life Irish mob boss-turned-FBI informant, Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

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VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Hawaii, Colorado and the Hialeah section of Miami, FL
:
Acted in community theater
:
Moved to NYC in the late 1970s to pursue acting career
1984:
Made Broadway debut in "Open Admissions," playing an Italian kid with a speech impediment
1984:
Screen acting debut in "The First Turn-On!"
:
Joined the American Stanislavski Theater; appeared in "Of Mice and Men" and "Sexual Perversity in Chicago"
:
Appeared in several NYU student films and worked as a bouncer at rock and dance clubs
1987:
Landed minor role as Dawson, the owner of Dawson's Garage in the comedy "Adventures in Babysitting"
1987:
Landed breakthrough role as Gomer Pyle, a pathetic Marine recruit who kills a sadistic drill sergeant before committing suicide in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket"
1988:
Romanced Lili Taylor in "Mystic Pizza"; also first film with Julia Roberts
1991:
Had small role in Oliver Stone's "JFK"
1991:
Cast as a local handyman in "Dying Young," starring Julia Roberts
1992:
Played small but integral role in Robert Altman's "The Player"
1993:
Appeared alongside Lili Taylor in "Household Saints"
1994:
Starred in the touching gay-themed short "Nunzio's Second Cousin" as a tough-talking cop; film later shown as part of the omnibus "Boys Life 2" in 1997
1994:
Cast as Orson Welles in Tim Burton's affectionate biopic of "Ed Wood"
:
Formed producing partnership with Ken Christmas
1995:
Producing debut (also co-starred) "The Whole Wide World"; first collaboration with director Dan Ireland
1995:
Provided a genuinely touching moment as Al Franken's brother in the dismal "Stuart Saves His Family"
1996:
Collapsed during a stage performance of Sam Shepard's "Tooth of Crime" reportedly with the flu
1996:
Starred opposite Rebecca De Mornay in "The Winner" as a habitual loser who wins big in Las Vegas
1997:
Played the evil insect in purloined human skin in summer blockbuster "Men in Black"
1997:
Appeared on a memorable episode of NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street" as a man pinned under a subway car
1998:
Played one of the titular bank-robbing brothers in "The Newton Boys"
1998:
Re-teamed with director Dan Ireland as producer and star of "The Velocity of Gary"
1999:
Headlined the cast of the small screen remake of "That Championship Season"
2000:
Portrayed a man who travels back in time to rescue a woman he has fallen in love with in "Happy Accidents"
2000:
Played 1960s radical Abbie Hoffman in the biopic "Steal This Movie"
2000:
Co-starred as a serial killer opposite Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Lopez in crime thriller "The Cell"
2001:
Played a priest in "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys"; film originally announced for the 2001 Sundance Film Festival but pulled at last minute; premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival
2001:
Starred on NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" as Detective Robert Goren
2002:
Supported Lisa Kudrow in "Bark"; film shown at Sundance
2002:
Starred in the crime thriller "The Salton Sea" as a drug dealer named Pooh Bear
2005:
Cast in Mike Mills' independent feature "Thumbsucker" as a father whose son attempts to break free from his addiction to his thumb
2005:
Made screen writing and directorial debut with short film "Five Minutes, Mr. Welles"; also reprised Orson Welles
2006:
Appeared with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in "The Break-Up"
2010:
Cast in Antoine Fuqua's "Brooklyn's Finest"
2012:
Appeared in found-footage thriller "Sinister" opposite Ethan Hawke
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Colorado: Boulder , Colorado -
American Stanislavsky Theatre: New York , New York -
Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School: Hialeah , Florida - 1977

Notes

"It was always my plan to build a reputation as a character actor. I have this niche, and I'll be working forever. I don't look like a leading man. I look more like the guy who'll fix your car than steal your girl. I look like th guy who'd come in and take a stain off your couch. Or put a stain on." --Vincent D'Onofrio in Movieline, May 1997.

"I found out early that in most scripts, the supporting characters are all the more interesting than the leads, and when the big studios weren't allowing me to do the leads, I found a niche as a character actor, especially after 'Full Metal Jacket'. The work's always interesting, and it allows me and my wife to do whatever we like and never be recognized or bothered." --Vincent D'Onofrio in Daily News. February 5, 1998.

"When I was younger, I used to take parts home with me. I was this angry young man. I don't do that now because I don't have that anger." --D'Onofrio quoted in Chicago Sunt-Times, August 21, 2000.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Greta Scacchi. Actor. Met while filming "Fires Within" (1991); together from c. 1990 to 1993.
wife:
Carin Van Der Donk. Model. Born c. 1970; married in March 1997.

Family close complete family listing

sister:
Toni D'Onofrio. Older.
daughter:
Leila George D'Onofrio. Born in March 1992; mother Greta Scacchi.

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