Family & Companions
Italian-American actor Nicholas Turturro broke into the business in the late-1980s, riding the coattails of his older brother, actor John Turturro, but he ultimately built a lasting career on his own merits. Starting out as an extra on the set of Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" (1989), Turturro eventually became part of the director's informal repertory company of actors. Despite being largely overshadowed by his older brother for most of his career, the younger Turturro gradually managed to carve out a career of his own, most notably in television. A two-time Emmy nominee for his portrayal of good-guy cop Detective James Martinez on "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005), Turturro stuck with the venerated cop show for seven seasons before leaving in 2000 to pursue other projects, like the crime comedy "The Shipment" (2001) and the serial killer docudrama "The Hillside Strangler" (2004). Other work included a supporting role in the Oliver Stone directed "World Trade Center" (2006), frequent cameos in Adam Sandler projects like "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" (2007) and a recurring character on the police-drama series "Blue Bloods" (CBS, 2010- ). Turturro's combination of average Joe appeal and volatile intensity kept him on screens as one of the more dependable character actors in the industry.
Born in Queens, NY on Jan. 29, 1962, Nicholas Turturro, Jr. was the youngest of three children born to carpenter Nicholas Turturro, Sr. and his wife, Katherine. Following in his brother John's footsteps, Turturro majored in theater at Adelphi University but dropped out after two years to marry the mother of his child. While working as a hotel doorman in the late 1980s, Turturro was introduced by his brother John to Spike Lee, while the soon-to-be-famous director was shooting "Do the Right Thing." Taking a liking to the young actor, Lee wrote the younger Turturro a part alongside his brother John in his next project, "Mo' Better Blues" (1990). Lee would subsequently hire both the Turturro brothers for his next two follow-up projects, the controversial "Jungle Fever" (1991) and the well-received biopic "Malcolm X" (1992).
The actor's greatest success, however, would come on television. In 1993, Turturro won the role of the good-natured Detective James Martinez on "NYPD Blue." Though originally written for a Latino actor, the Italian-American Turturro made the character his own; immersing himself deeply in the "Nuyorican" (slang for New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent) culture and adopting mannerisms appropriate for the character. Paired alongside Gordon Clapp's bumbling Detective Greg Medavoy, Turturro and Clapp brought the usually somber "NYPD Blue" a welcome lightness and spark of humor. A tough cop with a true heart of gold, Turturro's quiet and dependable performance earned the actor two Emmy nods - first in 1994; then again in 1997 - for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 2000, however, Turturro decided that the Martinez character had run its course. Written out of the show with an off-screen promotion, Turturro left "NYPD Blue" after its seventh season; while, leaving the door open for a possible return.
Post-"Blue," Turturro remained quite busy with steady, if unremarkable work as a guest star on such shows as "The Twilight Zone" (UPN, 2002-03), "Tremors: the Series" (Sci-Fi Channel, 2003-04) and "Third Watch" (NBC, 1999-2005). In 2006, Turturro revealed his ruthlessly competitive side when he appeared as a contestant on "Celebrity Fit Club" (VH1, 2005-10). Later that year, Turturro returned to the big screen with a feature role in director Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" (2006). Turturro popped up the following year with a turn in the fireman-posing-as-gay-couple comedy "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007). After a small appearance in the Ice Cube-Tracy Morgan comedy "First Sunday" (2008), the actor played the trainer of controversial boxing legend Sonny Liston (Ving Rhames) in the sports biopic "Phantom Punch" (2008). For a more personal project, Turturro co-wrote and starred in the immigration comedy-drama "The Deported" (2009) alongside his young son, Nicholas Turturro III. There was another supporting role in the heist movie "Takers" (2010), in addition to portraying Sgt. Anthony Renzulli, the partner of rookie cop Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) in the police-drama series "Blue Bloods" (CBS, 2010- ). Turturro turned in a pair of quick cameos for his pal in the Sandler produced comedies "Zookeeper" (2011) and "Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star" (2011), then joined the cast of the slasher flick "Nurse 3D" (2012), starring Paz de la Huerta as a dedicated by deadly caregiver.
Cast (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Provided voice-over work for Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing"
Made feature acting debut in Lee's "Mo' Better Blues"
Made his TV-movie debut in "Dead and Alive - The Race for Gus Farace"
Appeared as Detective James Martinez on the ABC police drama series "NYPD Blue"
Played first feature lead in "Federal Hill"
Co-produced and starred in the independent feature "The Search for One-Eyed Jimmy"
Acted in the TNT movie "Monday Night Mayhem," starring brother John Turturro as Howard Cosell
Joined the cast of NBC's "Third Watch" for four episodes playing Alie Nardo, the son of a mob boss
Cast in the remake of "The Longest Yard" with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock
Played an officer in Oliver Stone's historical drama "World Trade Center"
Co-starred with Adam Sandler and Kevin James in the comedy "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry"
Guest-starred on NBC daytime series "Days of Our Lives"
Landed a supporting role in the ensemble action drama "Takers"
Acted opposite Nick Swardson in the comedy feature "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star"
Made an appearance in "Here Comes the Boom"
Landed a supporting role in "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2"