John Michael Turturro (//; born February 28, 1957) is an Italian-American character actor, writer and filmmaker known for his roles in the films Do the Right Thing (1989), Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), Quiz Show (1994), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and four entries in the Transformers film series, most recently The Last Knight (2017). He has appeared in over sixty films and has worked frequently with the Coen brothers, Adam Sandler and Spike Lee.
Turturro in April 2005
John Michael Turturro
February 28, 1957
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Education||State University of New York, New Paltz (BA)|
Yale University (MFA)
Katherine Borowitz (m. 1985)
John Turturro was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Katherine Florence (Incerella) and Nicholas Turturro. His mother was born in the U.S., to Italian parents with roots in Sicily, and was an amateur jazz singer, who had worked in a naval yard during World War II. His father had immigrated to the United States from Giovinazzo, Italy, at age six and later worked as a carpenter and construction worker before joining the U.S. Navy during the war. Serving as a sailor, he was with the D-Day fleet supporting the landing operations of Allied troops in Normandy, France, in 1944.
Turturro was raised a Roman Catholic and moved to the Rosedale section of Queens, New York with his family, when he was six. He majored in Theatre Arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz, and completed his MFA at the Yale School of Drama.
Turturro's first film appearance was a non-speaking extra role in Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed Raging Bull (1980). He created the title role of John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at the Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in 1983. He repeated it the following year Off-Broadway and won an Obie Award. Turturro had a notable supporting role in William Friedkin's action film To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), as the henchman of the villainous counterfeiter played by Willem Dafoe.
Spike Lee liked Turturro's performance in Five Corners (1987) so much that he cast him in Do the Right Thing (1989). This movie was the first of a long-standing collaboration between the director and Turturro, which includes work together on a total of nine films—more than any other actor in the Lee oeuvre-- including Mo' Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Clockers (1995), Girl 6 (1996), He Got Game (1998), Summer of Sam (1999), She Hate Me (2004), and Miracle at St. Anna (2008).
Turturro has appeared in both comedy and drama films, and engaged in an extended collaboration with the Coen Brothers—he appeared in their films Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991, in the lead role), The Big Lebowski (1998), and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). Turtutto has also appeared in several of Adam Sandler's movies, such as Mr. Deeds (2002) and You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008). He played a severely disturbed patient of Jack Nicholson's character in the comedy Anger Management and played Johnny Depp's character's antagonist in Secret Window.
Turturro hosted Saturday Night Live in 1994, where he spoofed his then-recently made film, Quiz Show, being told he was ineligible to host unless he answered questions in a booth and if he failed, the honor of hosting would go to Joey Buttafuoco, who was actually backstage to witness Turturro's test. He won an Emmy award for his portrayal of Adrian Monk's brother Ambrose in the USA Network series Monk, and reprised the role on numerous occasions. He has also been nominated and won many awards from film organizations such as Screen Actors Guild, Cannes Film Festival, Golden Globes and others.
Turturro produced and directed, as well as acted in, the film Illuminata (1999), which also starred his wife, actress Katherine Borowitz. He wrote and directed the film Romance and Cigarettes (2005). In 2006 he appeared in Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd, and as the Sector 7 agent Simmons in four films of the Transformers live-action series. In 2010, he directed (and had cameo on-screen appearances in) Passione, which chronicles the rich musical heritage of Naples, Italy.
His stage directorial debut was in October 2011, with the Broadway play Relatively Speaking, in which he guided an ensemble of veteran actors in a production of three comedic one-act plays, written by Elaine May, Woody Allen and Ethan Coen. The cast included Julie Kavner, Marlo Thomas, Mark Linn-Baker and Steve Guttenberg.
Turturro's fifth directorial film Fading Gigolo premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in mid-September 2013. Turturro also acts in the film alongside Woody Allen, who played a novice pimp overseeing the sex work of Turturro's character. During a September 2013 interview, Turturro expressed his intention to draw parallels between sex work and acting, explaining that the latter is a "service business" in which actors are "acting out people's wishes or fantasies." In March 2014, Turturro received the Career Achievement tribute and award at the 31st Edition of the Miami International Film Festival at the Olympia Theater in Downtown Miami.
Turturro's brother is actor Nicholas Turturro. Artist Ralph Turturro, composer and film director Richard Termini, and actress Aida Turturro are his cousins. He has two sons: Amedeo (born 1990) and Diego (born 2000), with his wife, actress Katherine Borowitz.
John Turturro participates as a member of the Jury for the New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF), which is dedicated to screening films for children between the ages of 3 and 18. In January 2011, Turturro received his Italian passport, and holds dual Italian and U.S. citizenship.
|1980||Raging Bull||Man at table||Uncredited|
|1984||Exterminator 2||Guy #1|
|1984||The Flamingo Kid||Ted from Pinky's|
|1985||Desperately Seeking Susan||Ray|
|1985||To Live and Die in L.A.||Carl Cody|
|1986||Hannah and Her Sisters||Writer|
|1986||The Color of Money||Julian|
|1986||Off Beat||Neil Pepper|
|1987||Five Corners||Heinz Zabantino||Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male|
|1989||Do the Right Thing||Pino|
|1990||State of Grace||Nick|
|1990||Mo' Better Blues||Moe Flatbush|
|1990||Miller's Crossing||Bernie Bernbaum||Nominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor (3rd place)|
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor (3rd place)
|1991||Men of Respect||Mike Battaglia|
|1991||Jungle Fever||Paulie Carbone|
|1991||Barton Fink||Barton Fink|
|1992||Mac||Niccolò Vitelli||Also director and writer|
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Director
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature
|1992||Brain Donors||Roland T. Flakfizer|
|1994||Quiz Show||Herb Stempel|
|1994||The Search for One-eye Jimmy||Disco Bean|
|1995||Search and Destroy||Ron|
|1995||Unstrung Heroes||Sidney Lidz|
|1995||Clockers||Det. Larry Mazilla|
|1996||Box of Moonlight||Al Fountain||Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male|
|1996||Grace of My Heart||Joel Milner|
|1997||The Last Bet||Leon|
|1997||The Truce||Primo Levi|
|1998||Illuminata||Tuccio||Also director, writer and producer|
|1998||He Got Game||Billy Sunday|
|1998||The Big Lebowski||Jesus Quintana|
|1998||Animals with the Tollkeeper||Tuxedo Man|
|1999||Summer of Sam||Harvey the Dog||Voice|
|1999||Cradle Will Rock||Aldo Silvana|
|2000||O Brother, Where Art Thou?||Pete||Nominated—MTV Movie Award for On-Screen Team (with George Clooney and Tim Blake Nelson)|
|2000||The Man Who Cried||Dante Dominio|
|2000||Company Man||Crocker Johnson|
|2000||Two Thousand and None||Benjamin Kasparian|
|2000||The Luzhin Defence||Alexander Luzhin|
|2001||Thirteen Conversations About One Thing||Walker||Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast|
|2002||Mr. Deeds||Emilio Lopez|
|2004||Secret Passage||Paolo Zane|
|2004||Secret Window||John Shooter||Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|2004||She Hate Me||Don Angelo Bonasera|
|2004||2BPerfectlyHonest ||Sal / Roberto|
|2005||Romance and Cigarettes||Male dancer and singer||Also director, writer and producer|
|2005||The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation||Son||Voice; short film|
|2006||The Good Shepherd||Ray Brocco|
|2006||A Few Days in September||William Pound|
|2007||Transformers||Agent Seymour Simmons|
|2007||Margot at the Wedding||Jim||Nominated—Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast|
|2007||Joulutarina||Iisakki||Voice; english dub|
|2008||What Just Happened||Dick Bell|
|2008||You Don't Mess With The Zohan||Fatoush 'The Phantom' Hakbarah|
|2008||Miracle at St. Anna||Detective Antonio 'Tony' Ricci||Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble|
|2009||The Taking of Pelham 123||Camonetti|
|2009||Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen||Seymour Simmons|
|2009||Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy||Himself||Documentary|
Also writer and executive producer
Also director and co-write
|2010||The Nutcracker in 3D||The Rat King|
|2011||Cars 2||Francesco Bernoulli||Voice|
|2011||Transformers: Dark of the Moon||Seymour Simmons|
|2013||Fading Gigolo||Fioravante||Also director and writer|
|2013||Gods Behaving Badly||Hades|
|2014||God's Pocket||Arthur 'Bird' Capezio|
|2014||Exodus: Gods and Kings||Seti I|
|2014||Rio, I Love You||Homem||Segment "Quando não há Mais Amor"|
Also director and writer
|2015||Mia Madre||Barry Huggins|
|2015||Partly Cloudy with Sunny Spells||Lombelli|
|2015||The Ridiculous 6||Abner Doubleday|
|2016||Hands of Stone||Frankie Carbo|
|2017||Hair||John Turturro||Short film; also writer and director|
|2017||Transformers: The Last Knight||Seymour Simmons|
|2019||The True Adventures of Wolfboy||Mr. Silk||Post-production|
|2019||Going Places||Jesus Quintana||Post-production|
Also writer and director
- Cars 2: The Video Game, 2011, as Francesco Bernoulli
- World War Z, 2007, as Serosha Garcia Alvarez
- NBA on TNT, as Claude X
- on YouTube
- "TURTURRO BURNS THROUGH THREE VERSIONS OF REALITY IN 'LIFE (X) 3'". Saint Paul Pioneer Press. 2003-06-01. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
- "John Turturro Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. 1957-02-28. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
- Stated on Finding Your Roots, October 31, 2017
- Pfefferman, Naomi (1998-04-19). "Far Beyond Tears". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
- Shoard, Catherine (September 12, 2013). "John Turturro on nuns, Woody Allen and middle-aged sex". The Guardian. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
- Akers, W.M. (September 19, 2011). "The Long and the Short of It". The New York Observer -Fall Arts Preview.
- John Turturro on IMDb
- "Ralph Turturro". Bergen Museum of Art and Science. 2014. Retrieved 2018-02-23.
- "NYICFF Jury". Gkids.com. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
- "John Turturro and His New Italian Passport". YouTube. 2011-01-27. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- Scheib, Ronnie (May 25, 2004). "Review: '2B Perfectly Honest'". Variety. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- "'Big Lebowski' Spinoff 'Going Places' Already Shooting, with John Turturro Directing and Starring as The Jesus". indiewire.com. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.