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Armand Assante

Armand Assante

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 4, 1949 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, factory worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

With his ethnic name and exotic good looks, Armand Assante was often mistaken by casting agents early in his career for foreign talent. The native New Yorker paid his dues in regional theatre and as a regular on the soap opera "The Doctors" (NBC, 1963-1982), but work in films was longer in coming. Although Assante was courted by such 1970s auteurs as Francis Ford Coppola and Terence Malick, it was future action star Sylvester Stallone who gave him his first big breaks - as an extra in "The Lords of Flatbush" (1974) and as his co-star in "Paradise Alley" (1978). Typed as a slightly unreliable romantic leading man, Assante scored with moviegoers in "Private Benjamin" (1980) opposite Goldie Hawn and "Little Darlings" (1980) with Tatum O'Neal, but his first star outing, as Mike Hammer in the 1982 "I, the Jury" remake, was a box office dud. More successful on the small screen, Assante subspecialized in mobster roles in the trashy miniseries "Rage of Angels" (NBC, 1983), Jack Nicholson's "Hoffa" (1992) and the HBO biopic "Gotti" (1996), while proving a credible leading man in the indie "Belizaire, the Cajun" (1986) and "The Mambo Kings" (1991) with Antonio Banderas. Disinclined to trade on his looks for...

With his ethnic name and exotic good looks, Armand Assante was often mistaken by casting agents early in his career for foreign talent. The native New Yorker paid his dues in regional theatre and as a regular on the soap opera "The Doctors" (NBC, 1963-1982), but work in films was longer in coming. Although Assante was courted by such 1970s auteurs as Francis Ford Coppola and Terence Malick, it was future action star Sylvester Stallone who gave him his first big breaks - as an extra in "The Lords of Flatbush" (1974) and as his co-star in "Paradise Alley" (1978). Typed as a slightly unreliable romantic leading man, Assante scored with moviegoers in "Private Benjamin" (1980) opposite Goldie Hawn and "Little Darlings" (1980) with Tatum O'Neal, but his first star outing, as Mike Hammer in the 1982 "I, the Jury" remake, was a box office dud. More successful on the small screen, Assante subspecialized in mobster roles in the trashy miniseries "Rage of Angels" (NBC, 1983), Jack Nicholson's "Hoffa" (1992) and the HBO biopic "Gotti" (1996), while proving a credible leading man in the indie "Belizaire, the Cajun" (1986) and "The Mambo Kings" (1991) with Antonio Banderas. Disinclined to trade on his looks for A-list status, Assante quit Hollywood to live off the grid with his family in upstate New York. The actor spent the better part of his career bouncing between low budget films and made-for-TV fare, lending an inarguable intensity and a disarming level of intelligence to any job he chose to take on.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Dead Man Down (2013)
4.
 Chicago Overcoat (2011)
5.
 Bleeding, The (2011)
6.
 6th Family, The (2010)
7.
8.
 Smile (2009)
9.
 Breaking Point (2009)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Manhattan
1957:
Moved to Cornwall, NY
1969:
Made tage debut at Westport Playhouse
1971:
Debuted off-Broadway opposite Hal Holbrook in Steve Tesich's "Lake of the Woods"
1974:
Landed bit part as wedding guest in "The Lords of Flatbush"
1974:
Played Johnny McGee on NBC daytime soap "How to Survive a Marriage"
1975:
Played Dr. Michael Powers on NBC soap opera "The Doctors"
1976:
Appeared on Broadway in "The Comedians"
1977:
Portrayed Tybalt in Circle in the Square production of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"
1978:
First major film, "Paradise Alley"
1978:
TV miniseries debut, "Harold Robbins' "The Pirate" (CBS)
1980:
Had first film success in "Private Benjamin" opposite Goldie Hawn
:
Returned to Broadway as Emperor Napoleon I in Edward Sheehan's "Kingdoms"
1982:
Starred as plausibly macho and ruggedly sexy Mike Hammer in "I, the Jury"
1983:
Played a dashing concert violinist in "Unfaithfully Yours"
1985:
Portrayed Lesley Ann Warren's contractor husband in opulent six-hour, three-part miniseries "Evergreen" (NBC), based on Belva Plain's romantic bestseller
1986:
Outfitted with long hair, beard, and nifty period garb while playing title role of "Belizaire the Cajun," an independent film depicting persecution of Cajuns by Louisiana land owners in 1850s
1987:
Reprised Napoleon in ABC romantic miniseries "Napoleon and Josephine"
1989:
Received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for portrayal of Richard Mansfield in two-part CBS miniseries "Jack the Ripper"
1990:
Offered letter-perfect performance as Latin gangster Bobby Texador in Sidney Lumet's "Q & A"
1991:
Acted part of Bugsy Siegel in "The Marrying Man"
1992:
Played a Cuban skirt-chasing singer in "The Mambo Kings," adapted from Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Oscar Hijuelos <i>Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love</i>
1992:
Accompanied Columbus (Gerard Depardieu) in Ridley Scott's sinking ship "1492: Conquest of Paradise"
1993:
Showed unexpected flair for farce as cop-lawyer targeted for murder by his wife and her lover in film noir spoof "Fatal Instinct"
1995:
Replaced Christopher Reeve in role of imprisoned expatriate Alan Breck Stewart in Family Channel miniseries "Kidnapped," based on Robert Louis Stevenson novel
1995:
Reteamed with Stallone (from "Lords of Flatbush" and "Paradise Alley" days) for sci-fi actioner "Judge Dredd"
1996:
Delivered Emmy-winning performance as reputed Gambino crime boss John Gotti in HBO drama "Gotti"
1997:
Portrayed Odysseus in NBC's two-part adaptation of Homer's "The Odyssey"
1999:
Starred in drama feature "Looking for an Echo"
2001:
Co-starred in drama thriller "After The Storm"
2002:
Cast as Mr. Smooth on mystery television series "Push, Nevada" (ABC)
2005:
Starred in "Citizen Verdict" with Jerry Springer and Roy Scheider
2006:
Landed recurring guest role on "ER" (NBC)
2007:
Co-starred in "Funny Money," a film adaptation of 1994 play written by Ray Cooney
2007:
Played supporting role in Ridley Scott's crime drama "American Gangster"
2013:
Cast opposite Colin Farrell in neo-noir crime thriller "Dead Man Down"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

American Academy of Dramatic Arts: New York , New York -

Notes

Mr. Assante's birth year has variously been given as 1944, 1945 and 1949. Since the majority of printed sources list 1949, that is what this database will use until more definitive data are discovered.

Assante nearly died in 1987 when he collapsed in a hypoglycemic shock while shooting "Jack the Ripper".

He is lending his voice to "El Dorado: City of Gold", an animated feature about the conquest of Mexico, with songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, scheduled for release in 1999.

"I don't advocate nor do I condone what's been done [by Gotti]. But at the end of the day, I think you have to read between the lines in this particular case. The media created a monster. The media kept throwing that [Dapper Don] image in the face of the government. John Gotti didn't get up and say, 'I want to go out and get photographed today.' The media were there, they were lying in wait and they created this image. You can't do that to the American government, so they went after him with a particular vengeance ... There are a lot of New Yorkers who are supporters of Gotti, believe it or not. [I found out] how many people admire him, how many people really believe it's tragic that he is where he is. So many people spoke of his incredible generosity. The guy's a natural born leader. He has tremendous charisma."---Armand Assante to Time Out New York, August 14-21, 1996.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Karen McArn. Actor. Born c. 1959; divorced.
companion:
Vanessa Constantino. No longer together.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Anya Assante. Born in May 1983.
daughter:
Alesandra Assante. Born on May 26, 1988.

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