Joe Pesci in February 2009
|Born||Joseph Frank Pesci
February 9, 1943
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
|Residence||Lavallette, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, singer, musician|
|Years active||1961–1998, 2010–present|
|Spouse(s)||Claudia Martha Haro (1988–1992; divorced)|
|Partner(s)||Angie Everhart (2007–2008)|
Joseph Frank "Joe" Pesci (//, PESH-ee; born February 9, 1943) is an American actor, comedian and musician, known for his collaborations with Robert De Niro. He is known for playing a variety of different roles, from violent mobsters to comedic leads to quirky sidekicks. Pesci has starred in a number of high-profile films, including Goodfellas, Casino, Raging Bull, Once Upon a Time in America, My Cousin Vinny, JFK, Home Alone, and the Lethal Weapon series. He took a six-year hiatus from acting between 1999 and 2005 before returning for a cameo in The Good Shepherd (2006).
In 1990, Pesci won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the psychopathic mobster Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas, ten years after receiving a nomination in the same category for Raging Bull.
Early life 
Pesci was born in Newark, New Jersey. His mother, Mary (née Mesce), worked part-time as a barber, and his father, Angelo Pesci, was a forklift driver for General Motors and bartender. He is of Italian descent. Pesci was raised in Belleville, New Jersey and attended Belleville High School. By the time Pesci was five years old, he was appearing in plays in New York. At age ten, he was a regular on a television variety show called Startime Kids which also featured Connie Francis. In the 1960s, he began working as a barber, following in his mother's footsteps.
The first film Pesci starred in was the 1975 low-budget crime film The Death Collector with Frank Vincent. After the film Pesci returned to run his restaurant in The Bronx. He then got a telephone call from Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro who were impressed with his performance in the film and asked him to co-star in a 1980 film with De Niro, Scorsese's Raging Bull. Pesci won the BAFTA Film Award for Newcomer to Leading Film Roles in 1981 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Subsequently, he performed with De Niro in the films Once Upon a Time in America and Scorsese's Goodfellas, the latter for which Pesci received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, in 1990), and Casino. He also had a small role in 1993's A Bronx Tale and 2006's The Good Shepherd, which De Niro both directed and starred in.
The pairing became famous enough to inspire a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live, "The Joe Pesci Show." (The real Pesci and De Niro made a surprise appearance in one episode.) Pesci hosted SNL on October 10, 1992. During the monologue, he restored a picture of Pope John Paul II, which had been torn by Sinéad O'Connor on the previous broadcast; he demonstrated this by tearing up a photo of O'Connor, which was met with huge applause.
In 1988, Pesci co-starred with pop singer Michael Jackson in the musical-fantasy film Moonwalker, appearing as the film's antagonist, Frankie "Mr. Big" LiDeo (an anagram for one of the film's producers and longtime Jackson manager Frank DiLeo). Pesci was featured in the film's fifth and final segment, a short movie called Smooth Criminal, based on Jackson's song of the same name.
Pesci later co-starred in the blockbuster Home Alone (1990), playing Harry Lyme, one of two bumbling burglars (along with good friend Daniel Stern) who attempt to burglarize the house of the young character played by Macaulay Culkin. Two years later, Pesci reprised his role in the sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Pesci also played David Ferrie in 1991's JFK and the title character in the 1992 comedy My Cousin Vinny. He appeared as Leo Getz in the Lethal Weapon sequels, released in 1989, 1992 and 1998 respectively. He was the original choice to play Myron Larabee, the stressed-out postman in Jingle All the Way opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the part was ultimately given to Sinbad, whose physical size was more comparable to Schwarzenegger's.
Other work and retirement from acting 
In the late 1970s, Joe teamed up with Frankie Vincent, performing in local clubs like the Arlington Lounge and other venues around Northern NJ as "Vincent and Pesci." The comedy duo's material was a play on Martin and Lewis and Abbott and Costello.
He is one of the producers of the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys. The musical is based on the lives of the musical group, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Pesci was present during the formation of the group as a young man and is portrayed as a character in the play.
In 1998, he released his second LP (his first album in 30 years) called Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You, which spawned the single "Wise Guy," a rap tune that played on the gangsta theme by referencing Mafia gangsterism. "Wise Guy" interpolated the 1980 Hip-Hop hit "Rapture" by Blondie and was co-written and produced by Poke & Tone—the Hip-Hop production team better known as Trackmasters, who first musically introduced the world to 50 Cent. Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just For You was an album that was both humorous and serious, exploring a variety of genres, though most of it was big band Jazz, and which paid homage to his character name from the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny, not only through its album title, but also by its lead track "Yo Cousin Vinny".
In 1999, Pesci announced his retirement from acting to pursue a musical career and to enjoy life away from the camera. He returned to acting when he did a cameo in De Niro's 2006 film The Good Shepherd. He is the star in the 2010 brothel drama Love Ranch, alongside Helen Mirren.
- FILM; Joe Pesci? That Guy Is Some Kind of Character. New York Times. 8 March 1992.
- Harrison, Nancy. Joe Pesci? That Guy Is Some Kind of Character, The New York Times, March 8, 1992.
- Academy Awards official site. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
- "Three join Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci in ‘Love Ranch’". Topnews.in. 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "There is an Angry Joe Pesci in all of us Snickers Ad".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Joe Pesci|