Family & Companions
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, 2001-2011). 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, 2001-2011 ). 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).
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Screen acting debut in "The First Turn-On!"
Made Broadway debut in "Open Admissions," playing an Italian kid with a speech impediment
Landed minor role as Dawson, the owner of Dawson's Garage in the comedy "Adventures in Babysitting"
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"
Romanced Lili Taylor in "Mystic Pizza"; also first film with Julia Roberts
Cast as a local handyman in "Dying Young," starring Julia Roberts
Had small role in Oliver Stone's "JFK"
Played small but integral role in Robert Altman's "The Player"
Appeared alongside Lili Taylor in "Household Saints"
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
Cast as Orson Welles in Tim Burton's affectionate biopic of "Ed Wood"
Provided a genuinely touching moment as Al Franken's brother in the dismal "Stuart Saves His Family"
Producing debut (also co-starred) "The Whole Wide World"; first collaboration with director Dan Ireland
Starred opposite Rebecca De Mornay in "The Winner" as a habitual loser who wins big in Las Vegas
Appeared on a memorable episode of NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street" as a man pinned under a subway car
Played the evil insect in purloined human skin in summer blockbuster "Men in Black"
Re-teamed with director Dan Ireland as producer and star of "The Velocity of Gary"
Played one of the titular bank-robbing brothers in "The Newton Boys"
Headlined the cast of the small screen remake of "That Championship Season"
Played 1960s radical Abbie Hoffman in the biopic "Steal This Movie"
Portrayed a man who travels back in time to rescue a woman he has fallen in love with in "Happy Accidents"
Co-starred as a serial killer opposite Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Lopez in crime thriller "The Cell"
Starred on NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" as Detective Robert Goren
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
Supported Lisa Kudrow in "Bark"; film shown at Sundance
Starred in the crime thriller "The Salton Sea" as a drug dealer named Pooh Bear
Cast in Mike Mills' independent feature "Thumbsucker" as a father whose son attempts to break free from his addiction to his thumb
Made screen writing and directorial debut with short film "Five Minutes, Mr. Welles"; also reprised Orson Welles
Appeared with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in "The Break-Up"
Cast in Antoine Fuqua's "Brooklyn's Finest"
Appeared in found-footage thriller "Sinister" opposite Ethan Hawke
Landed a supporting role in "Escape Plan"
Appeared alongside Robert Duvall in "The Judge"
Played the Trump-esque villain Wilson Fisk on Netflix's "Daredevil" series
Landed a supporting role in the sports drama "Pelé: Birth of a Legend"
Was one of the stars in the action western remake "The Magnificent Seven"
Voiced Duke Luca Abele in the video game "Dishonored 2"
Played a holy man on fantasy horror series "Ghost Wars"
Co-starred with Michael Peña and Dax Shepard in crime comedy remake "CHIPS"
Played The Wizard on the fantasy series "Emerald City"
Played Burke in "Rings"
Co-starred with Bruce Willis and Elisabeth Shue in Eli Roth's crime drama "Death Wish"
Began playing Vincent 'Chin' Gigante on "The Godfather of Harlem"