Cathy Moriarty

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Cathy Moriarty
Moriarty in 2017
Born (1960-11-29) November 29, 1960 (age 63)
Other namesCathy Moriarty-Gentile
CitizenshipUnited States
Years active1980–present
Carmine D'Anna
(m. 1981; div. 1992)
Joseph Gentile
(m. 1999)
PartnersRichie Palmer (1994-1997)

Cathy Moriarty (born November 29, 1960)[1] is an American actress whose career spans five decades. Born and raised in New York City, she made her acting debut opposite Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980), for which she received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, and the British Academy Film Award.

Throughout her career, she has worked with a number of prolific directors including Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis, James Mangold, and Richard Ayoade. She has starred in numerous leading and supporting roles in a variety of films ranging from independent film features to major film studio productions across many genres. Her film appearances include Neighbors (1981), White of the Eye (1987), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Soapdish (1991), Matinee (1993), Casper (1995), Cop Land (1997), But I’m a Cheerleader (1999), Analyze That (2002), The Bounty Hunter (2010), The Double (2013), and Patti Cake$ (2017). The films in which she has appeared have collectively grossed over $1 billion worldwide.

Moriarty has also starred in numerous television series including Tales from the Crypt (1992), Hey Arnold! (1997-1999), Law & Order (2001), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2005-2014), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2010), I'm Dying Up Here (2017), This Is Us (2018), The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (2018), City on a Hill (2019), and HouseBroken (2021).

Moriarty works as an activist for the Autistic community and is the national spokesperson for Autism United. She is also an advocate of both Autism Speaks and the Autism rights movement.[2]

Early life[edit]

Moriarty was born November 29, 1960, in The Bronx borough of New York City,[3] the daughter of Irish Catholic immigrants Catherine, a homemaker, and John Moriarty, a warehouse worker.[4] She was raised in Yonkers, New York, where she attended Lincoln High School.[3] When she was 18 years old, her friends urged her to enter a bathing-beauty contest at a local bar:

So, I go in there, and my knees are shaking, and I'm breaking out in goose bumps 'cause I'm embarrassed and cold. All these guys are whistling and stuff. Then all of a sudden the emcee announces I won first prize, and I say, "Hey, this is really funny". So this Italian guy comes up and asks if he can take my picture and I say, "Sure, go ahead", 'cause he's gonna take it anyway. And whad'd'ya know, this same guy calls me three weeks later, says his name is Joe Pesci and asks if I'd like to test for a part in this movie about a boxer named Jake LaMotta.[5]



Moriarty with co-star Joe Pesci on the set of Raging Bull

Moriarty made her film debut in Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980), as Vikki LaMotta, wife of boxer Jake LaMotta, played by Robert De Niro. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Later that year, Moriarty played John Belushi's destructive, sultry neighbor in Neighbors, a film adaptation of Thomas Berger's novel of the same name. In 1982, she was severely injured in an automobile accident and required back surgery.[6]

I can only say that nobody likes an overnight success in this town. I went for a lot of interviews, auditions and even cattle calls. I tried for parts and attended meetings, but it seemed I wasn't right for any of the roles I wanted. And the parts I was offered didn't appeal to me. So I paid my dues, studying acting and losing my Yonkers accent. And oh yes, I cried an awful lot.[7]

In 1985, Moriarty agreed to co-star with Jack Nicholson in The Two Jakes. However, after one day of shooting its production halted. Although the film was eventually released in 1990, Moriarty was no longer connected with the production.[7] Moriarty returned to acting in 1987. Her first role since Neighbors was in the British thriller film White of the Eye, in which Moriarty played the wife of David Keith's character. Two years later, she appeared in the CBS series Wiseguy.


Moriarty began the decade with major roles in the thriller film Burndown, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Kindergarten Cop and the soap opera parody Soapdish. She also appeared in the musical drama The Mambo Kings and the horror anthology HBO series Tales from the Crypt, where Moriarty's performance earned her a Best Actress in a Dramatic Series CableACE Award. Her last performance of the year was a hard-as-nails prostitute in the screwball comedy film, The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag. In 1993, Moriarty starred as John Goodman's wisecracking girlfriend and a film goddess in Joe Dante's period comedy Matinee, and had supporting roles in the comedies Another Stakeout (the sequel of 1987's Stakeout) and Me and the Kid. The following year, she guest-starred as half of the husband-wife con team in Universal's film Another Midnight Run. The actress' next role was the flirty barfly in Peter Medak's adventure film, Pontiac Moon (1994).

Moriarty played Lois opposite Debra Winger and Billy Crystal in the romantic comedy Forget Paris (1995), followed by the vindictive Carrigan Crittenden in the live action film Casper. Shortly afterwards she starred with Andrew Dice Clay in the CBS series Bless This House. That year Moriarty also played opposite Angelina Jolie as Hedy Burress's mother in Foxfire, the film adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' novel. The next year, she played the mother of a successful boxer in Opposite Corners; the mother of two sons (one a police officer and the other a crack addict) in A Brother's Kiss; a former exotic dancer and Brad Hunt's aunt in Dream with the Fishes; Mary Stuart Masterson and Evan Rachel Wood's seriously-ill, alcoholic mother in Digging to China; Michael Rapaport's aunt in Cop Land and Alyssa Milano's mother in the Robert Downey Sr. film Hugo Pool.

Moriarty (left), prizefighter Jake LaMotta, and his wife Vikki LaMotta, whom Moriarty played in the film Raging Bull, 1980s

Moriarty voiced characters in the animated TV series Stories from My Childhood and the popular children’s series Recess. Other appearances included Hilary Duff's aunt, who is also a witch, in the film Casper Meets Wendy, Randy Quaid's wife in the film P.U.N.K.S., and Sharon Stone's best friend in the Sidney Lumet film Gloria (a 1999 remake of the 1980 film written and directed by John Cassavetes). Roles followed in Antonio Banderas’s Crazy in Alabama, a film adaptation of Mark Childress's 1993 novel of the same name; New Waterford Girl, a Canadian comedy-drama, and the satirical film But I'm a Cheerleader. Moriarty played an FBI agent in Red Team, an abusive adoptive mother in the family film Prince of Central Park and a woman who fears death in Next Stop, Eternity. Other roles included a widow suspected of killing her husband on Law & Order and a controlling mother on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She also starred as crime boss Patti LoPresti in the Mafia comedy film Analyze That, the sequel to 1999's Analyze This, and her third collaboration with De Niro.


Consciously, I like to take on movies that have a message of authenticity. I like to create a character close to life, where it's real.[8]

Following Analyze That, Moriarty took a break from acting to raise her children. In 2010, she returned to the big screen to play a bookie who sends two thugs to kill the main characters (Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler) in the romantic-action-comedy film The Bounty Hunter. On July 18, 2010, the Long Island International Film Expo honored the actress with its Long Island Creative Achievement Award.[9] Shortly afterwards, she guest-starred as Annalisa Gentili on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.


In 2013, she played Armand Assante's wife in Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn and a sarcastic waitress in the black comedy, The Double opposite Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska. She returned to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Lieutenant Toni Howard for two episodes: season 14's "Poisoned Motive" and season 15's "Amaro's One-Eighty".

Moriarty made an appearance as Michael Pitt's bitter, estranged mother in the crime drama Rob the Mob. The same year she appeared as the co-owner of a house who shares a dark secret in Deborah Twiss's psychological thriller A Cry from Within[10] and the title character in Ante Novakovic's short film, Tammy, about a mother-son relationship which evolves over the course of a Sunday visit. Moriarty's performance earned a nomination for Best Actress at the Jersey Shore Shorts Film Festival. Since then, Moriarty has regularly performed in both film and on television, with major roles in Patti Cake$, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, as well as the NBC series This Is Us, the Ryan Murphy series American Crime Story, the Showtime series I'm Dying Up Here, and City on a Hill.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In 1981, Moriarty married theatrical manager Carmine D'Anna and moved into a home in Malibu, California. On April 2, 1992, it was reported that Moriarty and D'Anna were divorcing and D'Anna sought $1 million under California's community property laws.[12]

Moriarty owns the Mulberry Street Pizzeria chain with co-owner Richie Palmer, to whom she was briefly engaged. The couple separated when Palmer began dating Raquel Welch in October 1997, but the two remained business partners.[13][14] Moriarty and Palmer continue to own Mulberry Street Pizzeria together, with four locations in Southern California and one in Las Vegas.[15]

On August 28, 1999, Moriarty and financier Joseph Gentile[16] married on Long Island. She gave birth to twins Catherine Patricia Gentile and Joseph John Gentile on September 11, 2000,[17] and on November 15, 2001, the couple's third child, Annabella “Bella” Rose Gentile, was born.[18]



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Raging Bull Vickie LaMotta See awards section
1981 Neighbors Ramona Zeck
1987 White of the Eye Joan White
1990 Kindergarten Cop Jillian
Burndown Patti Smart
1991 Soapdish Montana Moorehead / Nurse Nan
1992 The Mambo Kings Lanna Lake
The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag Reba Bush
1993 Matinee Ruth Corday / Carole
Another Stakeout Luella "Lu" Delano
Me and the Kid Rose
1994 Pontiac Moon Lorraine
1995 Forget Paris Lois
Casper Catherine "Carrigan" Crittenden
1996 Foxfire Martha Wirtz
1997 Opposite Corners Kathy Donatello
A Brother's Kiss Doreen
Dream with the Fishes Aunt Elise
Digging to China Mrs. Frankovitz
Cop Land Rose Donlan
Hugo Pool Minerva
1998 Casper Meets Wendy Gert Video
Welcome to Hollywood Herself Cameo; Mockumentary
1999 P.U.N.K.S. Mrs. Utley
Crazy in Alabama Earlene Bullis
But I'm a Cheerleader Mary Brown
Gloria Diane
New Waterford Girl Midge Benzoa
2000 Red Team Stephanie Dobson See awards section
Prince of Central Park Mrs. Ardis
2001 Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Ruby (voice) Video
2002 Analyze That Patti LoPresti
2010 The Bounty Hunter Irene
2013 Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn Sarah Baldano [19]
The Double Kiki [20]
Tammy Tammy Short film
2014 The Story of Milo & Annie Lynda [21]
A Cry from Within Alice [22]
Rob the Mob Constance Uva
2017 Patti Cake$ Nana [8]
2021 Last Call Mrs. C. [23]
Flinch Gloria Doyle
2023 Line of Fire Marie Short film


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Wiseguy Denise Episode: "Reunion"
1992 Tales from the Crypt Alison Peters Episode: "Séance"
See awards section
1994 Another Midnight Run Helen Bishop TV film
1995 Bless This House Alice Clayton Main role
1995 Bump in the Night Destructette (voice)
1997–1999 Hey Arnold! Tish Wittenberg (voice) 3 episodes
1998 Recess Dr. Fitzenberg (voice) Episode: "Kids in the Mist"
2000 The Hunger Maris Episode: "Bottle of Smoke"
2001 Law & Order Lorraine Corbin Episode: "For Love or Money"
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Denise Eldridge Episode: "Intoxicated"
2010 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Annalisa Gentillo 2 episodes
2013–2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Lieutenant Toni Howard 2 episodes
2017 I'm Dying Up Here Angie Apuzzo Episode: "Pilot"
2018 This Is Us The Super Episode: "Clooney"
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Vivian Oliva 2 episodes
2019 City on a Hill Dottie Ryan 4 episodes
2020 Into the Arms of Danger Mamma TV film
2021 HouseBroken Nancy (voice)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Award Category Result
1981 Raging Bull Academy Award Best Supporting Actress Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actress Nominated
New Star of the Year - Actress Nominated
1982 BAFTA Film Award Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles[24] Nominated
1992 Soapdish American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated
1993 Tales from the Crypt CableACE Award Best Actress in a Dramatic Series Won
2001 Red Team DVD Exclusive Awards Best Actress Nominated
2010 Honoree Long Island Creative Achievement Award Long Island International Film Expo Won


  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Friday, Nov. 29, 2019". United Press International. November 29, 2019. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2020. …actor Cathy Moriarty in 1960 (age 59)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b "Moriarty, Cathy 1960–". Archived from the original on August 18, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.{{cite encyclopedia}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Hamill, Denis (June 15, 1997). "A Slice Of Showbiz Acting Is Pizza Queen Cathy Moriarty's Favorite Topping". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on August 18, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Mariani, John (March 29, 1981). "The Raging Success of Cathy Moriarty". Rome News Tribune. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  6. ^ Italie, Hillel (June 19, 1991). "'Soapdish' Star Moriarty Dead Ringer for Dunaway". Kentucky New Era.
  7. ^ a b "Cathy Moriarty's Lessons In Stardom". Ellensburg Daily Record. August 17, 1988.
  8. ^ a b Anderson, Tre'vell (August 18, 2017). "With 'Patti Cakes,' Cathy Moriarty is still aiming for authenticity". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  9. ^ Collora, Christopher (July 20, 2010). "Awards Ceremony Wraps Up LI International Film Expo". Bellemore Patch. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  10. ^ "A Cry from Within". Dread Central. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  11. ^ "Jersey Shore Shorts Festival 2014 Nominations!". Jersey Shore Shorts Film Festival. Archived from the original on April 20, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  12. ^ "Divorce or no; there's no stopping celebrity babies". The Spokesman-Review. April 2, 1992. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  13. ^ Smiedt, David. "Cathy Moriarty: The Bronx Knockout". The Rake. No. 53.
  14. ^ Lacher, Irene (November 23, 1998). "Raquel Welch and Her Doughboy". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 2, 2023. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
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  16. ^ Cobb Craig, David (August 9, 1999). "Engaged". People. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  17. ^ Cobb, David (September 25, 2000). "Births". People. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  18. ^ Abel, Olivia (December 17, 2001). "Births". People. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  19. ^ T. H. R. Staff (May 2, 2013). "Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  20. ^ "The Double review – A brilliantly realised nightmare universe". the Guardian. April 3, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  21. ^ The Story Of Milo & Annie, retrieved October 31, 2021
  22. ^ "Cry from Within, A (2015)". Dread Central. March 13, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  23. ^ Konrad, Jeremy (February 22, 2021). "Trailer Debuts For Last Call Starring Jeremy Piven, Out March 19th". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  24. ^ "BAFTA Awards Search | BAFTA Awards".

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