Family & Companions
Having earned the respect of his peers and acclaim from critics, actor Anthony LaPaglia finally reached a wide mainstream audience when he starred on the hit procedural drama, "Without a Trace" (CBS, 2002-09), playing a troubled missing persons FBI investigator for seven successful seasons. Prior to the show, LaPaglia moved up the ranks as a character actor - often playing mobsters or some other Italian stereotype - in movies like "29th Street" (1991), "So I Married an Axe Murder" (1993) and "The Client" (1994). He had one of his more acclaimed performances as a hit man with a romantic streak in the underrated thriller, "Killer" (1994), which earned acclaim from the few who saw it. Also a prolific stage actor, LaPaglia reached the pinnacle of that of his career when he won a Tony Award for his performance in a revival of Arthur Miller's "A View from a Bridge" (1998). Following supporting roles in "Summer of Sam" (1999) and "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999), as well as an Emmy-winning guest stint on "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-2004), LaPaglia landed his career-making role on "Without A Trace," which allowed the charismatic and versatile performer to finally earn his proper due.
Born on Jan. 31, 1959 in Adelaide, Australia, LaPaglia was the son of immigrant parents; his Italian father, Eddie, was a car dealer and auto mechanic, and his Dutch mother, Maria, was a secretary. He set his sights on an acting career in his late teens, when he enrolled in the South Australian Castings Agency following his attendance at Rostrevor College. Though he only complete 18 months of a 30-month course, LaPaglia gained enough experience doing local community theater to pack his bags and forge ahead with a career in America. He settled in New York City, where he found success in the off-Broadway production, "Bouncers," in which he demonstrated his versatility and talent for accents while rendering eight different characters. LaPaglia quickly moved on to a series of guest appearances on popular television shows like "Amazing Stories" (NBC, 1985-87), "Magnum, P.I." (CBS, 1980-88), "Hunter" (NBC, 1984-1991) and "Trapper John, M.D." (CBS, 1979-1986). Following his feature debut in the cop thriller "Cold Steel" (1987), he landed the title role in the small screen biopic, "Frank Nitti: The Enforcer" (ABC, 1988), which detailed the story of the infamous Chicago crime boss post-Al Capone (Vincent Guastaferro) after he was sent to Alcatraz.
LaPaglia next appeared in his first major film with a small role in James Ivory's "Slaves of New York" (1989), which followed the troubled lives and relationships of struggling New York City artists. He gained widespread attention for his scene-stealing performance in the mild comedy "Betsy's Wedding" (1990), playing the surprisingly courtly and charming nephew of a Mafia boss who romances the policewoman daughter (Ally Sheedy) of a Long Island construction contractor (Alan Alda). Though often typecast as an Italian bad guy, LaPaglia nonetheless remained steadily employed while he attempted to branch out. He delivered a dynamic performance as an all-too-lucky young man whose father (Danny Aiello) has conversely fallen on hard times, including owing debts to the mob, in "29th Street" (1991). Following supporting roles in "One Good Cop" (1991) and "He Said, She Said" (1991), LaPaglia played the cop friend of an unlucky-in-love San Francisco beat poet (Mike Myers) whose girlfriend (Nancy Travis) is suspected of being an axe-wielding psycho killer in "So I Married an Axe Murderer" (1993). After returning to off-Broadway stages for Steve Tesich's "On the Open Road" (1993), he had a supporting part as Barry 'The Blade', a flashy organized crime underling in the commercial courtroom suspense drama "The Client" (1994), starring Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon.
Following a turn as a disenchanted Santa Claus in the Steve Martin comedy "Mixed Nuts" (1994), LaPaglia earned raves for his performance opposite Mercedes Ruehl in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' "The Rose Tattoo" (1995) while delivering a critically-acclaimed performance as angst-ridden hit man in the independently made thriller, "Killer" (1994). Staying in the world where he was able to play a diversity of roles, he co-starred opposite perennial indie favorite Steve Buscemi for that actor's directorial debut, "Trees Lounge" (1996). LaPaglia increased his profile further with his first regular series role on the legal drama "Murder One" (ABC, 1995-97), joining the cast for the second and final season as Jimmy Wilder, a former district attorney-turned-defense counsel who willingly bends the law to his clients' needs. Back on the Great White Way, he earned further acclaim as Eddie Carbone in a revival of Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge" (1998), which earned the actor a coveted Tony Award. Taking a rare turn toward playing the bad guy in "Black and Blue" (1998), he played an abusive cop whose battered wife (Mary Stuart Masterson) tries to flee with her son, only to have him find them.
Over the next several years, La Paglia appeared in several prominent features like "Summer of Sam" (1999) and "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999), while delivering a sterling performance as a cheating, alcoholic detective trying to uncover the mysterious disappearance and death of a woman in the twisting whodunit "Latana" (2001). Back on the small screen, he had an all-too-brief but memorable recurring stint on the popular sitcom "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-2004), playing the boorish brother of Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves), a role that earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2002. That same year, he appeared as a crooked cop dealing with a group of meth addicts in "The Salton Sea," while starring alongside Keifer Sutherland in the action movie "Dead Heat." He next starred opposite Sigourney Weaver in "The Guys" (2002), a film inspired by the heroism of New York City firefighters during the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, while being underused in the rather forgettable romantic comedy "I'm With Lucy" (2002).
After years of solid performances and the respect of his professional peers, LaPaglia finally achieved mainstream recognition when he took on the lead role of troubled FBI Missing Persons investigator Jack Malone in the popular television crime drama, "Without a Trace" (CBS, 2002-09). Though good at his job, Malone often suffered from personal travails - namely in the form of a bitter divorce proceeding with his wife, who used everything she could to gain custody of his two daughters (Laura Marano and Vanessa Marano). A highly-rated show that ran for seven long and lucrative seasons, "Without a Trace" earned LaPaglia a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series Drama in 2004. While on the show, LaPaglia maintained his film career, playing a once promising writer hiding in the shadows of his famous author father in the low-budget indie, "Happy Hour" (2003). He next gave a strong performance as a New Jersey widower trying to get on with life along with his two teenage sons (Aaron Stanford and Mark Webber) in the well-reviewed ensemble drama, "Winter Solstice" (2005). After voicing Boss Skua in the Australian-made animated feature "Happy Feet" (2006), LaPaglia was "The Architect" (2006) who falls under fire by tenants of a housing complex he designed while struggling to keep his family together. He next voiced the Great Gray Owl Twilight in the animated "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" (2010), followed by a reprise of his earlier animated role in "Happy Feet 2" (2011). LaPaglia next appeared in the indie romantic comedy "Overnight" (2012) and writer/director P.J. Hogan's comedy-drama "Mental" (2012). A key role in the biopic "Underground: The Julian Assange Story" (2012) was followed by a lead opposite Joan Allen in the Stephen King thriller "A Good Marriage."
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Moved to America; settled in NYC
Made early TV appearance as the 2nd Mechanic on "The Mission" episode of NBC's "Amazing Stories"
Made TV-movie debut playing the title role of "Frank Nitti: The Enforcer" (ABC)
Made feature film debut in "Slaves of New York"
Garnered a CableACE Award nomination for his work in the HBO movie "Criminal Justice"
Stood out as a moonstruck mobster wooing Ally Sheedy in Alan Alda's comedy "Betsy's Wedding"
Appeared in the "Spoiled" episode of HBO's "Tales From the Crypt"
Gave a dynamite performance as Danny Aiello's son in "29th Street"
Co-starred in Steve Tesich's of-Broadway play "On the Open Road"
Portrayed mob killer Barry 'The Blade' in Joel Schumacher's "The Client"
Acted with significant other Gia Carides in "Paperback Romance"
Copped praise for his angst-ridden hit man in the neo-noir indie "Bulletproof Heart"
Played opposite Mercedes Ruehl in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' "The Rose Tattoo"
Made TV series debut as regular in "Murder One" (ABC)
Again co-starred with Carides in the Australian-made "Brilliant Lies"
Portrayed Jim Valvano in the CBS movie "Never Give Up: The Jimmy V Story"
Starred with Courteney Cox and Aidan Quinn in "Commandments"
Played leading role of Eddie Carbone in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge"
Starred in the CBS pilot "Repair Shop"
Portrayed Fidel Castro in the comedy feature "Company Man"
Played the recurring role of Simon Moon, Daphne's crass brother, on NBC's "Frasier"; received an Emmy nomination for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Co-starred with David Wenham in "The Bank"; released in Australia
Won plaudits for his starring turn in the Australian thriller "Lantana"
Appeared in the critically accliamed film "The Salton Sea"
Played senior agent Jack Malone on the CBS drama series "Without A Trace"; earned SAG (2004, 2005) and Emmy (2004) nominations for Best Actor
Appeared in "Analyze That" with Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal
Played the lead in "The Guys" as a New York city fire captain who must pay tribute to the men he lost in September 11th
Reprised role of Simon Moon, Daphne's crass brother, on an episode of "Fraiser"; received an Emmy nomination for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Played a widower raising two teenage sons in "Winter Solstice"
Starred as an idealistic architect and patriarch of an affluent, suburban Chicago family in "The Architect"
Cast in the Australian-produced computer-animated film "Happy Feet"
Produced and starred in the Australian feature "Balibo"
Starred as the tenor in the Broadway revival of "Lend Me a Tenor"
Reprised voiceover role of The Alpha Skua in the animated sequel "Happy Feet Two"
Made appearance in the comedy "Overnight"
Starred in the drama "A Month of Sundays."