Joseph Peter Pantoliano is an American character actor who often plays shady characters, frequently criminals or corrupt individuals.
Pantoliano at the Hudson Union Society event in February 2009
|Born||Joseph Peter Pantoliano
Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S.
|Other names||Joey Pants|
Early roles include the pimp Guido in 1983’s Risky Business, a member of the Fratelli crime family in 1985’s The Goonies, and bail bondsman Eddie Mascone in 1988’s Midnight Run. He portrayed Norby in Baby's Day Out, Deputy U.S. Marshal Cosmo Renfro in both 1993’s The Fugitive and its sequel, 1998’s U.S. Marshals. Other roles include Cypher in The Matrix, Teddy in Memento, Captain Conrad Howard in the Bad Boys franchise, and Ralph Cifaretto during seasons 3–4 of The Sopranos. He also starred in two episodes of Tales from the Crypt.
Pantoliano was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, the son of Italian American parents Mary (née Centrella), a bookie and seamstress, and Dominic “Monk” Pantoliano, a hearse driver and factory foreman. Pantoliano's family moved to Cliffside Park, New Jersey, where he attended Cliffside Park High School.
He first grew to fame as “Guido the Killer Pimp” in Risky Business and continued to rise in 1985 when he appeared as the villainous Francis Fratelli in teen classic The Goonies. He gained fame among a new generation as Cypher in the 1999 landmark sci-fi film The Matrix and won a Primetime Emmy Award as Ralph Cifaretto in HBO’s The Sopranos. Pantoliano is also known for his role as Eddie Moscone, the foul-mouthed, double-crossing bail bondsman, in the Robert De Niro comedy Midnight Run, as Captain Howard in Bad Boys and its sequel Bad Boys 2, as double-crossed mafioso Caesar in Bound, as John “Teddy” Gammell in Memento, and as investigative journalist Ben Urich in Mark Steven Johnson’s 2003 Daredevil adaptation. He also played Deputy U.S. Marshal Cosmo Renfro in The Fugitive along with Tommy Lee Jones and reprised the role in the sequel U.S. Marshals.
In 2003 Pantoliano replaced Stanley Tucci in the Broadway play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. That same year he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for The Sopranos.
In 2012 Pantoliano starred as the eccentric pawn broker Oswald Oswald in the film adaptation of Wendy Mass’s popular children's book Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, written and directed by Tamar Halpern. In 2013, he was cast as Yogi Berra in the Broadway production of Bronx Bombers, but dropped out during rehearsals due to “creative differences.”
When not acting, Pantoliano writes. He is the author of two memoirs: Who’s Sorry Now: The True Story of a Stand-Up Guy and Asylum: Hollywood Tales From My Great Depression: Brain Dis-Ease, Recovery and Being My Mother’s Son. In the latter, he writes about his addictions to alcohol, food, sex, Vicodin, and Percocet before being diagnosed with clinical depression.
On October 9, 2007, Pantoliano announced on the National Alliance on Mental Illness blog that he has been suffering from clinical depression for the last decade, although he was only formally diagnosed recently. He claims that his recent film Canvas was what helped him come to terms with his depression.
Rather than hide his struggle from the public, he has chosen to speak out about it to remove some of the stigmas that are commonly associated with mental illness. He founded a nonprofit organization, No Kidding, Me Too!, to unite members of the entertainment industry in educating the public about mental illness. He is also dyslexic. The title comes from the response he has frequently heard after divulging how mental illness affected him and his family. He is also filming a documentary called No Kidding, Me Too!
After a Sopranos episode in which his character brutally beat a young stripper to death, during an interview he stated, “After the episode aired a lot more women started hitting on me. I thought it was very revealing.”
|1974||Road Movie||Mugger||Credited as Joseph Pantoliano|
|For Pete's Sake||Undercover Cop who arrests Mark||credited|
|1980||The Idolmaker||Gino Pilato|
|1982||Monsignor||Pvt. Joe Musso|
|1983||The Final Terror||Eggar|
|Eddie and the Cruisers||Doc Robbins|
|1985||The Mean Season||Andy Porter|
|1987||Scenes from the Goldmine||Manny|
|La Bamba||Bob Keane|
|Amazon Women on the Moon||Sy Swerdlow||Segment: "Hairlooming"|
|Empire of the Sun||Frank Demarest|
|1988||The In Crowd||Perry Parker|
|1990||Ardouous Moon||Short film|
|Blue Heat||Wayne Gross|
|Backstreet Dreams||Paul Antangeli||Uncredited|
|1993||Three of Hearts||Mickey|
|The Fugitive||Deputy U.S. Marshal Cosmo Renfro|
|Calendar Girl||Harvey Darpinian|
|Me and the Kid||Roy|
|1994||Robot in the Family||The Father|
|Baby's Day Out||Norby|
|1995||Bad Boys||Captain Howard|
|Congo||Eddie Ventro||Uncredited|
|The Last Word||Doc|
|Steal Big Steal Little||Eddie Agopian, Ruben's Lawyer|
|The Immortals||Pete Tunnell|
|1996||Fly Away Home||Gordy|
|The Flight of the Dove||Attorney Brezner|
|1997||Top of the World||Vince Castor|
|Aliens Attack||Captain Nevins|
|1998||U.S. Marshals||Deputy U.S. Marshal Cosmo Renfro|
|Forces of Nature||Cab Driver||Uncredited|
|Black and White||Bill King|
|The Life Before This||Jake Maclean|
|Ready to Rumble||Titus Sinclair|
|Memento||"Teddy" James Edward Gammell|
|A Better Way to Die||Flash|
|2001||Cats & Dogs||Peek||Voice role|
|2002||A Call for Help||Charlie|
|The Adventures of Pluto Nash||Mogan|
|Bad Boys II||Captain Howard|
|Perfect Opposites||Louis Carbonelli|
|The Easter Egg Adventure||Terrible Timothy Takit||Voice role|
|2005||Racing Stripes||Goose||Voice role|
|The Check Up||The Inspector||Short film|
|The Amateurs||Some Idiot|
|2006||Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector||Mayor M.T. Gunn|
|Deadly Impact||David Kaplow|
|2010||The Legend of Secret Pass||Chucksta||Voice|
|Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief||Gabe Ugliano|
|Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore||Peek||Voice role|
|New York Street Games||self||Documentary|
|Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life||Oswald Oswald III|
|2014||The Identical||Avi Hirshberg|
|2016||The Perfect Match||Marty|
|TBD||Spring Break '83||Sergeant Coltrane||Filming completed in 2007; release postponed.|
|1977||McNamara's Band||Frankie Milano||TV movie|
|1978||Free Country||Louis Peschi||3 episodes|
|1979||From Here to Eternity||Pvt. Angelo Maggio||Miniseries|
|1980||Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story||Ray Neal||Movie|
|1981, 1984||Hart to Hart||Frank Tisdale / Nate Volkman||2 episodes|
|1981||M*A*S*H||Cpl. Gerald Mullen/Josh Levin||Episode: "Identity Crisis" (#10.2)|
|1982||Chicago Story||Cooney||Episode: "Who Needs the Truth?" (#1.12)|
|1983||Hardcastle and McCormick||Teddy Hollins||Episode: "The Crystal Duck" (#1.4)|
|Hill Street Blues||Sonny Orsini||2 episodes|
|Trapper John, M.D.||Michael Merrow||Episode: "Where There's a Will" (#5.15)|
|Simon & Simon||Carl||Episode: "Who Killed the Sixties?" (#4.7)|
|1985||Robert Kennedy & His Times||Roy Cohn||Miniseries|
|1986||Amazing Stories||Joe||Episode: "One for the Road" (#1.15)|
|L.A. Law||Rob Cavanaugh||Pilot|
|1987||Destination America||Lt. Mike Amico||Movie|
|1988||Rock 'n' Roll Mom||Ronnie||Movie|
|1989||Nightbreaker||Sgt. Jack Russell||Movie|
|The Hitchhiker||Brother Charles||Episode: "Miracle of Alice Ames" (#5.7)|
|Tales from the Crypt||Ulrich The Undying||Episode: "Dig That cat...He's real gone" (#1.3)|
|1990||El Diablo||Kid Durango||Movie|
|1990–91||The Fanelli Boys||Dominic Fanelli||19 episodes|
|1991||One Special Victory||Daniel||Movie|
|1992||Through the Eyes of a Killer||Jerry||Movie|
|Highlander: The Series||Doctor Wilder||Episode: "Deadly Medicine" (#1.8)|
|Beethoven||Sparky (voice)||12 episodes|
|1995||The Marshal||Cameris||Episode: "Unprotected Witness" (#1.12)|
|NYPD Blue||Vinnie Greco||3 episodes|
|1996||Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Ice||Det. Meyer Meyer||Movie|
|Life with Louie||Jojo Stomopolous||Voice|
|Arliss||Vic Freed||Episode: "The Client's Best Interest" (#1.9)|
|1996–97||EZ Streets||Jimmy Murtha||Recurring role|
|1998||Godzilla: The Series||Animal Palotti (voice)||Episode: "New Family" (Part 1)|
|Hercules||King Pan||Episode: "Hercules and the King for a Day"|
|The Lionhearts||Director (voice)||5 episodes|
|The Outer Limits||Stan Harbinger||Episode: "Alien Radio" (#5.1)|
|Olive, the Other Reindeer||Martini||Voice role|
|2001–04||The Sopranos||Ralph Cifaretto||Main role, 21 episodes|
|2001||Roswell||Kal Langley||2 episodes|
|2003–04||The Handler||Joe Renato||Recurring role|
|2003||Gary the Rat||Anthony 'the Heel' Stilletto (voice)||Episode: "Sleeps with the Fishes" (#1.6)|
|2004–06||Dr. Vegas||Tommy Danko||Recurring role|
|Waterfront||James "Jimmy" Centrella||Lead role|
|The Simpsons||Dante (voice)||Episode: "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer" (#18.1)|
|2011||How to Make it in America||Felix DiFlorio||2 episodes|
|2015–17||Sense8||Michael Gorski||Recurring role|
|2017||SpongeBob SquarePants||Stickyfins Whiting (voice)||Episode: "The Getaway"|
|2001||Majestic||Tim Pritchard||Episode 4|
|Grand Theft Auto III||Luigi Goterelli||From mission Luigi's Girl until mission Salvatore's Called a Meeting|
|2013||Call of Duty: Black Ops II||Al "The Weasel" Arlington||"Uprising" DLC, on the zombies map "Mob of the Dead"|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|1997||Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Bound||Nominated|
|Television Critics Association||Individual Achievement in Drama||EZ Streets||Nominated|
|Viewers for Quality Television||Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series||Nominated|
|2002||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||The Sopranos||Nominated|
|2003||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Won|
|2004||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|
- Joe Pantoliano Biography, filmreference.com; accessed June 21, 2017.
- "SMOKE 09/02 - Joe Pantoliano in the Hot Seat". www.smokemag.com. Archived from the original on 2008-07-05.
- Who's Sorry Now: The True Story of a Stand-Up Guy Entertainment Weekly, October 4, 2002
- Smith, Ray. “‘Hoboken was a very wild community’ Actor Joe Pantoliano inspires; honored at the Boys and Girls Club”, The Hudson Reporter, December 12, 2010. Accessed September 10, 2017. "Pantoliano and his lifelong friend Rich Pepe have teamed up to create their own pasta sauce (or gravy, depending on your ethnicity) called Pepe and Pants Pasta Sauce, of which 100 percent of the net proceeds are donated to “No Kidding, Me Too!” The two men graduated from Cliffside Park High School together after their families moved from Hoboken.
- "Joe Pantoliano". Biography.com.
- O'Keeffe, Michael; Toulson, Ja'Pheth; Abbott, Campbell (August 3, 2013). "Joe Pantoliano to play Yogi Berra in Bronx Bombers: "Bronx Bombers examines how baseball's most storied franchise has always remained focused on maintaining a great team, even when dealing with some of the game's most iconic and tempestuous personalities," the producers say in a press release". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- Hetrick, Adam (September 17, 2013). "Joe Pantoliano Speaks Out Via Twitter and Facebook Following Bronx Bombers Departure". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Joe Pantoliano — He Puts the 'Fun' in Dysfunctional". ABILITY Magazine.
- Joe Pantoliano biography, yahoo.com; accessed June 21, 2017.
- “Friends Setting Up Friends,” Archived 2008-07-23 at the Wayback Machine. 971freefm.com; accessed June 21, 2017.
- "No Kidding? Me Too! – Stomping the stigma of mental disease". nokiddingmetoo.org.
- Samuel Fly (25 July 2016). "The Sopranos Inside Story" – via YouTube.