Maria Pitillo (born January 8, 1966) is an American retired actress. She has starred in films and on television, most notably as Audrey Timmonds in Godzilla (1998). She also had a recurring role on the TV series Providence.
|Born||January 8, 1966|
Elmira, New York, U.S.
David R. Fortney
Pitillo was born on January 8, 1966, in Elmira, New York, and grew up in Mahwah, New Jersey. Her parents divorced and her father moved Maria and her sisters, Lisa and Gina, to Mahwah, New Jersey. She attended Mahwah High School, where she was on the track team, before transferring to Northern Highlands Regional High School. She was prevented from attending her high school graduation ceremony after an altercation with her English teacher.
Pitillo was living in suburban New Jersey, and working as a department store clerk when a friend invited her to audition for a TV commercial. Her first job was an advertisement for Pepto Bismol. Subsequent commercial work included an ad for Bank of Boston, York Peppermint Pattie, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chic Jeans, among others. In the fall of 1987, Pitillo was cast as Nancy Don (Lewis) on the ABC soap opera, Ryan's Hope, which lasted until that series ended its run in 1989.
Upon moving to Hollywood, Pitillo's work consisted primarily of television drama (South of Sunset), small parts in theatrical motion pictures, and included starring roles in several Made-For-TV movies. She earned critical praise for her roles in the following: Middle Ages, Escape from Terror: The Teresa Stamper Story, as well as Between Love and Honor. Pitillo's career breakthrough came with the 1995 FOX sitcom Partners. Cast as Alicia Sondergard, the comedy met with critical success for herself, as well as for co-stars Jon Cryer, and Tate Donovan. Partners failed to gain traction with audiences, however, and was cancelled in the Spring of 1996.
After completing Dear God in the summer of 1996, Pitillo was contacted by NBC President Warren Littlefield, who had taken notice of her performance in Partners. Littlefield then signed her to a development deal with the network.
In early 1997, while trying to acquire a stake in DreamWorks Studios, NBC tried to leverage Pitillo, as well as director James Burrows, with a project titled Nearly Yours, which actress Parker Posey had dropped out of. DreamWorks and NBC could not come to an agreement, and the deal collapsed. The squabbling between NBC and DreamWorks left the network with a programming hole, and Pitillo without a television project for all of 1997. It wasn't until filming began on Something To Believe In (1997), and Godzilla (May 1997), that she returned to work. NBC continued to search for a suitable television project for Pitillo, and with input from Littlefield, developed the sitcom House Rules, which aired as a mid-season replacement in March 1998.
"At its release, the film was much criticized by Godzilla fans the world over. Kenpachiro Satsuma, the actor who portrayed Godzilla in the second series of films (1984–1995) walked out of a Tokyo screening and told reporters that, 'It's not Godzilla, it does not have the spirit."
Godzilla was nominated in several categories for Razzie awards, and Pitillo herself won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress in 1999. Pitillo is known to have commented once about her role in Godzilla:
"This movie isn't written for big performances from its actors," Pitillo says. "I don't expect a lot from it. It won't be like, `Oh, Maria Pitillo is a great actress.' But it's an opportunity for people to see me."
Godzilla 2 (1999)Edit
Pitillo, Matthew Broderick, and Jean Reno were each under contract for a total of three Godzilla films. The first installment, having earned $379 million during its theatrical run, ensured that a sequel would be considered. Tri Star Pictures, which owned rights to the franchise, called on Centropolis to begin pre-production work on a sequel, which was tentatively titled Godzilla 2. Ultimately, there was little enthusiasm to move forward, and the rights to the franchise were allowed to expire.
By 2000, Pitillo had starred in the indie film, Dirk & Betty, the comedy-drama, After Sex, and made guest appearances on several television shows. Her last film role was the made-for-TV movie The Christmas Secret, starring Richard Thomas and Beau Bridges. It originally aired on CBS, and later broadcast on the ABC Family network as part of their 25 Days of Christmas. She had a recurring role on Providence (2001-2002) as Tina Calcatera, a divorced mother, and love interest of Robbie, played by Seth Peterson, a role which lasted until the series ended in 2002.
In The Loop (1998)
- Pilot produced, total of seven scripts written.
- Co-Starred Joely Fisher, and Lisa Edelstein
- Pilot directed by James Burrows, third collaboration with Burrows, second with Edelstein.
- Jon Cryer, a Partners Co-star, participated in this project.
- This was her second collaboration with Cryer, and fourth with Burrows.
- Pitillo's role was recast, and this series became The Trouble With Normal (2000) 
Follow The Leeds (2003)
- Competed with three other pilots for slot in Lifetime Televisions Fall 2003 line up.
- Co-starred Sharon Lawrence and Marsha Mason.
The Angriest Man in Suburbia (2006)
- Co-starring Mitch Rouse and debuted Kiernan Shipka
- Unclear if this work aired, however, it was posted to YouTube, until Sony had it removed.
It's About This Guy (Date Unknown)
- Starred as Maddie Chase
It is most often noted that Pitillo got into acting after a chance encounter with a friend, while some publicity material suggests that participating in Summer stock theater provided Pitillo the impetus to act professionally.
|1988||Bright Lights, Big City||Pony Tail Girl|
|1988||Spike of Bensonhurst||Angel|
|1994||I'll Do Anything||Flight Attendant|
|1994||Natural Born Killers||Deborah|
|1994||Frank and Jesse||Zee|
|1995||Bye Bye Love||Kim|
|1996||Dear God||Gloria McKinney|
|1998||Something to Believe In||Maggie|
|1998||Godzilla||Audrey Timmonds||Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress|
|2000||Dirk & Betty||Betty|
|1987||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Vickie||Episode: "What If I'm Gay?"|
|1989||Ryan's Hope||Nancy Don Lewis||recurring role (5 episodes)|
|1989||Miami Vice||Anna||Episode: "The Cell Within"|
|1990||The Lost Capone||Annie||Television Movie|
|1991||Law & Order||Angel Greer||Episode: "Aria"|
|1992||Middle Ages||Robin||Episode: "Night Moves"|
|1993||Mad About You||Mimi||Episode: "The Man Who Said Hello"|
|1993||South of Sunset||Gina Weston||series regular (7 episodes)|
|1995||Escape from Terror: The Teresa Stamper Story||Teresa Walden Stamper||Television Movie|
|1995||Between Love and Honor||Maria Caprefoli||Television Movie|
|1995–1996||Partners||Alicia Sundergard||series regular (22 episodes)|
|1996||Out of Order||unknown role||Television Short; episode: "Refracted"|
|1998||House Rules||Casey Farrell||series regular (7 episodes)|
|1998||In the Loop||unknown role||unknown episode|
|1999||Ally McBeal||Paula Hunt||Episode: "Civil War"|
|1999||Early Edition||Rebecca Waters||Episode: "Weather Girl"|
|2000||Will & Grace||Paula||Episode: "Love Plus One"|
|2000||The Christmas Secret||Debbie McNeil||Television Movie|
|2001–2002||Providence||Tina Calcatera||recurring role (31 episodes)|
|2003||Friends||Laura the adoption agent||Episode: "The One with the Home Study"|
|2008||Big Shots||Valerie Cerritas||Episode: "Sex Be Not Proud"|
- Ivry, Bob (May 23, 1998). "Upstaged By A Lizard -- Mahwah's Maria Pitillo Finds Glory In Godzilla's Giant Shadow". The Record. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- Pergament, Alan (October 30, 1995). "OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS, AND MARIA PITILLO ANSWERS". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
You could say that she went from Pepto-Bismol to Partners (9 p.m. Monday, Channel 29). The perky, adorable star, who is the best thing about the engaging new Fox comedy, essentially got into acting 10 years ago by accident.
- Horowitz, Lisa D. (September 3, 1992). "Review: 'Middle Ages'". Variety.
Also impressive are Maria Pitillo as ambitious secretary Robin, who's quick to hook up with manipulative Brian...
- "Review: 'From the Files of 'Unsolved Mysteries' Escape from Terror — The Teresa Stamper Story'". Variety. January 22, 1995.
Telepic's main trouble, though, is the familiarity of the territory, and being a true story doesn’t add any gas. Pitillo and Storke, though, are totally believable...
- Scott, Tony (February 13, 1995). "Review: 'CBS Tuesday Movie Between Love and Honor". Variety.
Collura, limned splendidly by Grant Show, falls for Maria Caprefoli, Gambino’s protected goddaughter who was raised by the don and is always under surveillance. Since he’s OK with Gambino, Collura has the greenlight to pursue the radiant Maria, played exquisitely by Maria Pitillo, and it’s their romance that's the telepic's draw.
- 'BETWEEN LOVE,' HONOR AND FAMILY TIES Eric Mink. NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. February 14, 1995. | The real star of the film is Maria Pitillo, a bright-eyed, fresh-faced, tangle-haired actress whose disarming naturalness makes the goddaughter character, Maria Caprefoli, totally credible
- Owen, Rob (April 6, 1998). "THE CAST OF `PARTNERS' STILL STARRING ON TV.(LIFE & LEISURE)". Albany Times Union.
So you don't remember 'Partners'. You never watched this delightful, funny show that was too good for the network it aired on. Fine. But looking at the current prime-time lineup it's clear network executives and casting directors took notice.
- Garron, Barry (September 22, 1995). "America Gets What It Wants On Television". News & Record. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
- "NBC PILOTS PULLED: D'Works yanks shows over ownership". Variety. March 30, 1997.
One of the three DreamWorks pilots, a comedy titled "Nearly Yours," was said to be offered to NBC by Dream-Works with indie film star Parker Posey attached. However, the Posey deal apparently fell through, and NBC offered some of its talent, including prolific producer and director James Burrows, who has a deal with the network..
- "Problems Developing for Nets, Programmers". Variety. April 7, 1997.
NBC offered some of its talent, including prolific producer and director James Burrows, who has a deal with the network, and actress Maria Pitillo ("Partners").
- Braxton, Greg (March 7, 1998). "Three's Company, Twelve's A Crowd". The Los Angeles Times.
Four new midseason shows share a concept: They're about triangles.
- The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 556. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
- Child, Ben (March 30, 2010). "Godzilla to rampage again". The Guardian. London. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- Aiken, Keith (January 10, 2007). "Godzilla 2 Rumors Unfounded". Sci Fi Japan. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
- ABC sets cast for pilot ‘In the Loop’ Ensemble crew joins Fisher in thirtysomething sitcom Jenny Hontz. Variety, June 23, 1998
- ABC sets appointment for Cryer’s couch trip pilot Cynthia Littleton Editor-in-chief: TV. Variety, August 17, 1999
- Inside Move: Goodman show gets ‘Normal’ Josef Adalian. Variety, August 18, 2000
- Lifetime unveils originals John Dempsey. Variety, April 3, 2003 ""Follow the Leeds" features Sharon Lawrence and Maria Pitillo as suburban sisters who set up a private-investigation business with their mother, played by Marsha Mason. Maddy Horne and Sheldon Pinchuk are exec producers, with Peter Werner as director-producer."
- Busted pilots awash on Web Josef Adalian. Variety, August 3, 2006. ""The Angriest Man in Suburbia," from Sony and producer Gavin Polone, also popped up on YouTube not long ago. But only 150 or so people got a chance to see the full pilot before it was yanked; the first few minutes remain available for viewing."
- "Maria Pitillo". Film Reference. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- Town Of Ross Meeting Minutes
- Cessna, Walter (June 1998). "Monster Magnet". Bikini Magazine.
- Maria Pitillo, Turner Classic Movies