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Giancarlo Esposito

Giancarlo Esposito

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 26, 1958 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Denmark Profession: actor, playwright

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Working on stage and screen, Giancarlo Esposito emerged from the indie-film movement of the 1990s to become one of his generation's most respected actors. Raised in Europe by his theatrical, ethnically diverse parents, Esposito was brought to New York at the age of six and first performed on Broadway two years later. More lauded work in various stage productions soon made way for the young Obie Award-winning actor's growing list of film credits, most notably a series of collaborations with filmmaker Spike Lee that began with "School Daze" (1988) and "Do the Right Thing" (1989). Throughout the 1990s, Esposito was an in-demand performer with other independently-minded filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch in "Night on Earth" (1991) and actor-director Tim Robbins for a prominent role in "Bob Roberts" (1992). Looking to distance himself from the street thug roles he was most frequently offered, Esposito became just as well known for portrayals of law enforcement officers in such projects as "The Usual Suspects" (1995) and "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99). Later, he lent his prodigious talents to a pair of insightful biopics with "Ali" (2001), opposite star Will Smith and "Piñero" (2001), alongside...

Working on stage and screen, Giancarlo Esposito emerged from the indie-film movement of the 1990s to become one of his generation's most respected actors. Raised in Europe by his theatrical, ethnically diverse parents, Esposito was brought to New York at the age of six and first performed on Broadway two years later. More lauded work in various stage productions soon made way for the young Obie Award-winning actor's growing list of film credits, most notably a series of collaborations with filmmaker Spike Lee that began with "School Daze" (1988) and "Do the Right Thing" (1989). Throughout the 1990s, Esposito was an in-demand performer with other independently-minded filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch in "Night on Earth" (1991) and actor-director Tim Robbins for a prominent role in "Bob Roberts" (1992). Looking to distance himself from the street thug roles he was most frequently offered, Esposito became just as well known for portrayals of law enforcement officers in such projects as "The Usual Suspects" (1995) and "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99). Later, he lent his prodigious talents to a pair of insightful biopics with "Ali" (2001), opposite star Will Smith and "Piñero" (2001), alongside Benjamin Bratt. Nearly a decade later, the busy actor garnered some of the strongest notices of his career with his nuanced performance of Machiavellian drug kingpin Gus Fring on the acclaimed crime series "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 2008-2012). Equally adept at comedy or high drama, Esposito never failed to bring something unique to each and every role.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Gospel Hill (2008)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Jungle Book, The (2015)
2.
 Poker Night (2013)
3.
 Over, The/Under (2013)
4.
 Alex Cross (2012)
6.
7.
 Rabbit Hole (2010)
8.
9.
 Box, The (2008)
10.
 Racing Daylight (2008)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1966:
Made Broadway debut in "Maggie Flynn" at the age of eight
1973:
Landed featured role in the Broadway musical "Seesaw"; performed the musical number "Spanglish"
1979:
Made film debut in "Running"
1981:
TV-movie debut, "The Gentleman Bandit" (CBS)
1981:
Featured in the ensemble drama "Taps"
1981:
Acted in the short-lived Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical "Merrily We Roll Along"
1982:
Cast in regular role on the CBS daytime drama "Guiding Light"
1983:
Played a bit part in "Trading Places"; also featured in "Enormous Changes at the Last Minute"
1984:
Acted in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Cotton Club"
1984:
Portrayed Ernesto in the New York theater production of "Balm in Gilead," directed by John Malkovich
1985:
Landed cameo role in the comedy feature "Desperately Seeking Susan" and a memorable guest turn as Adonis Jackson on "Miami Vice" (NBC)
1986:
Appeared in the Stephen King drama "Maximum Overdrive"
1986:
Acted in the miniseries "Roanoak" (PBS), a chronicle of English explorers' first encounters with Native Americans in the New World
1987:
Co-starred in the Broadway musical "Don't Get God Started"
1988:
First collaboration with Spike Lee, "School Daze"
1989:
Played incendiary neighborhood activist Buggin Out in Spike Lee's acclaimed "Do the Right Thing"
1990:
Featured in Abel Ferrara's cult hit "King of New York"
1990:
Acted in Lee's "Mo' Better Blues"
1991:
Played YoYo in the New York-set segment of Jim Jarmusch's "Night on Earth"
1992:
Co-starred as Bugs Raplin, an investigative journalist with dirt on Senate hopeful "Bob Roberts" in Tim Robbins' comedic pseudo-documentary
1992:
Appeared in the biopic "Malcolm X"; fourth feature with Spike Lee
1993:
Co-starred in "Simple Justice," an installment of PBS "The American Experience" docudrama series examining the groundbreaking Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling
1993:
Starred as Sgt. Paul Gigante on the quirky sitcom "Bakersfield P.D." (Fox)
1994:
Starred as a drug dealer who takes a streetwise teen under his wing in Boaz Yakin's drama "Fresh"
1995:
Appeared in the short-lived Broadway play "Sacrilege"
1995:
Co-produced and starred in "The Keeper," playing a corrections officer on a journey of self-discovery
1995:
Acted in featured roles in "The Usual Suspects," "Reckless," and "Kla$h" as well as Wayne Wang's "Smoke" and its follow up "Blue in the Face"
1996:
Guest starred on episodes of "Chicago Hope," "Nash Bridges" (both CBS), "NYPD Blue" (ABC), and "Living Single" (Fox)
1997:
Featured alongside the odd buddy pairing Martin Lawrence and Tim Robbins in the adventure film "Nothing to Lose"
1998:
Played supporting role in Robert Benton's "Twilight," starring veterans Paul Newman, James Garner, and Gene Hackman
1998:
Co-starred as FBI Agent Mike Giardello on NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street"
1998:
Played a hit man hired to murder an old high school pal in Showtime's "Naked City: Justice With a Bullet"
2000:
Reprised role of Special Agent Mike Giardello in "Homicide: The Movie" (NBC)
2000:
Starred in the sci-fi adventure "Stardust"; aired on HBO in lieu of theatrical release
2000:
Returned to series TV as co-star of the Fox drama "The $treet"
2001:
Featured in "Piñero," a biopic of the Latino poet-playwright Miguel Piñero
2002:
Landed another television series role on Fox drama "Girls Club"
2005:
Cast opposite Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston in the psychological thriller "Derailed"
2006:
Played Maggie Gyllenhaal's parole officer in "Sherrybaby"
2009:
Joined the cast of AMC's "Breaking Bad" as main antagonist Gustavo 'Gus' Fring; character memorably killed off during fourth season
2010:
Cast in supporting role in drama feature "Rabbit Hole," directed by John Cameron Mitchell
2011:
Played dual role of Sidney Glass and Magic Mirror on ABC fantasy drama "Once Upon a Time"
2012:
Featured in crime thriller "Alex Cross," based on the novel <i>Cross</i> by James Patterson and starring Tyler Perry
2012:
Cast as a ruthless Militia officer on NBC's "The Revolution"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Professional Children's School: New York , New York -

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Fia Porter. Actor. Appeared with Esposito in "Malcolm X" (1992).
wife:
Joy McManigal. Producer. Married c. 1995.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Shayne Lyra McManigal Esposito. Born June 8, 1996 in Culver City, California.
daughter:
Kate Lyn McManigal Esposito. Born on May 10, 1998 in Bel Air, California.

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