Chazz Palminteri

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Chazz Palminteri
Chazz Palminteri 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Palminteri in New York, April 2011
Calogero Lorenzo Palminteri[1]

(1952-05-15) May 15, 1952 (age 69)
OccupationActor, screenwriter, film producer, playwright
Years active1984–present
Gianna Ranaudo
(m. 1992)
WebsiteOfficial website

Calogero Lorenzo "Chazz" Palminteri (born May 15, 1952)[1] is an American actor, screenwriter, producer and playwright. He is best known for his Academy Award-nominated role in Bullets over Broadway, the 1993 film A Bronx Tale, based on his play of the same name, Special Agent Dave Kujan in The Usual Suspects, Primo Sidone in Analyze This and his recurring role as Shorty in Modern Family.

Early life[edit]

Palminteri was born on May 15, 1952, in the Bronx borough of New York City, the son of Rose, a homemaker, and Lorenzo Palminteri, a bus driver.[2] He was raised in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx.[3] Palminteri is of Sicilian origin; his grandparents, Calogero Palminteri and Rosa Bonfante, married in 1908, and immigrated to the United States in 1910 from Menfi in the province of Agrigento, Sicily. At the age of nine, Palminteri witnessed a murder of a mobster in front of his apartment building; the police questioned him, but he maintained that he did not see the incident.[4]

He struggled to become an actor, splitting his time between acting in off-Broadway plays and moonlighting as a bouncer, alongside Dolph Lundgren.



Palminteri starred on Broadway in A Bronx Tale, the autobiographical one-man show based on his childhood that he first performed at Theatre West in Los Angeles in 1989.[5] Palminteri states that he began writing the play after being fired from a club when, as a doorman, he refused entry to super agent Swifty Lazar.[6][7] The Broadway production, directed by Jerry Zaks and with music by John Gromada, began previews October 4, 2008, at the Walter Kerr Theatre and opened on October 25, running for 18 weeks. Palminteri plays 18 roles in A Bronx Tale, which depicts a rough childhood on the streets of the Bronx. The play ran for two months at Playhouse 91 in 1989.[8]

Palminteri starred opposite Kenny D'Aquila in D'Aquila's play, Unorganized Crime.[9][10] Palminteri always appreciated the shot that Robert De Niro gave him, so he in turn agreed to star in D'Aquila's mafia-themed drama.[11]

Palminteri performed in the Broadway musical version of A Bronx Tale in 2018.

Film career[edit]

Robert De Niro saw Palminteri's Broadway show of A Bronx Tale in 1990, and the two partnered together to adapt the play into a film. Palminteri created the screenplay and starred as Sonny, the gangster Calogero meets, while De Niro directed the film, making his directorial debut, also co-starring as Lorenzo, Calogero's father.[12] The film was a commercial and critical success.[13] In 1994, Chazz Palminteri played mob henchman Cheech in the black comedy film Bullets Over Broadway, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Palminteri also had performances in films such as The Usual Suspects, The Perez Family, Jade, and Diabolique, as well as comedic roles in films such as Oscar, Analyze This, and Down to Earth.

During its run, he appeared in many advertisements for Vanilla Coke, in which he portrayed a mob boss who would threaten celebrities if they did not praise the taste of the product in question, and then let them walk away with the Vanilla Coke to "reward their curiosity", touching on its slogan at the time. Palminteri has voiced characters in various animated films, the most notable being Smokey in Stuart Little and Woolworth in Hoodwinked.

He made his directorial debut with an episode of Oz, then the television film Women vs. Men and the 2004 feature film Noel.

Palminteri's recent acting efforts include A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Running Scared, and Arthur and the Minimoys.

In 2004, he received the "Indie Hero Award" from the Method Fest Independent Film Festival for his artistic achievements in film.


On January 20, 2010, Palminteri guested on Modern Family and played the same character on the November 2, 2011, episode.[14] Palminteri has reprised the role twice more in season 5. In June 2010, Palminteri began guest-starring on the TNT crime drama Rizzoli & Isles as Frank Rizzoli, Sr. He guest starred twice on the CBS drama Blue Bloods as Angelo Gallo, a mob lawyer and childhood friend of main character Frank Reagan.

Palminteri portrayed deceased mobster Paul Castellano in the 2001 TV film Boss of Bosses.

Other work[edit]

In 2011, Palminteri opened a restaurant, Chazz: A Bronx Original, in Baltimore's Little Italy neighborhood; their main foods are coal-fired pizza and Italian food. However, the restaurant closed in 2015.[15] Palminteri opened an Italian restaurant, Chazz Palminteri Ristorante Italiano, in New York City on Second Avenue. Also, Palminteri did the voice acting for the Call of Duty: Black Ops II character Sal De Luca in the zombies map Mob of the Dead, and his likeness was used for the character as well.

Personal life[edit]

Palminteri with his wife Gianna Ranaudo in New York City, 2010.

Palminteri lives in Westchester County, New York in the town of Bedford. He describes himself as a "very spiritual", devout Roman Catholic.[16] He married Gianna Ranaudo in 1992, and together they have two children. He is a self-avowed New York Yankees fan.



Year Title Role Notes/Awards
1984 Home Free All Truck Hijacker
1985 The Last Dragon Hood No. 2
1991 Oscar Connie
1992 Innocent Blood Tony Silva
There Goes the Neighborhood Lyle Corrente
1993 A Bronx Tale Sonny LoSpecchio Also writer
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor Also Bullets Over Broadway and The Usual Suspects
1994 Bullets over Broadway Cheech Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor Also A Bronx Tale and The Usual Suspects
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
1995 The Usual Suspects Dave Kujan, Special Agent, U.S. Customs Service National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor Also A Bronx Tale and Bullets Over Broadway
The Perez Family Lt. John Pirelli
The Last Word Ricky
Jade Matt Gavin
1996 Diabolique Guy Baran
Faithful Tony Also writer
Dante and the Debutante Also producer and writer
Mulholland Falls Elleroy Coolidge
1998 Scar City Lieutenant Laine Devon
Hurlyburly Phil
A Night at the Roxbury Benny Zadir Uncredited
1999 Analyze This Primo Sidone
Stuart Little Smokey Voice
2001 Down to Earth King
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure Buster Voice; Direct-to-video
One Eyed King Eddie Dugan
2002 Poolhall Junkies Joe
2003 One Last Ride Tweat
Just Like Mona
2004 Noel Arizona Also director
2005 Hoodwinked! Woolworth Voice; cameo
Animal Kassada
Bullets Over Hollywood[17] Himself Encore documentary
In the Mix Frank
2006 Running Scared Detective Rydell
Push Vince
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Monty Sundance Film Festival – Special Jury Prize for Best Ensemble Performance
Arthur and the Minimoys Travel Agent
Little Man Walken
2007 Body Armour Maxwell
The Dukes George Also co-producer
2008 Yonkers Joe Yonkers Joe Also executive producer
Jolene Sal
2009 Once More with Feeling Frank Gregorio
Hollywood & Wine Geno Scarpaci
2011 The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure Marvin Milkshake
Safe Eddie Also producer
2012 The Stone Pony Angelo Casella
Mighty Fine Joe Fine
2013 Once Upon a Time in Queens Ben Rose
Underdogs Stinky Voice
2014 Henry & Me Babe Ruth Voice
2015 Legend Angelo Bruno
2019 Vault Raymond Patriarca Sr.


Year Title Role Notes/Awards
1986 Hill Street Blues Sonny Cappelito Episode: "Bald Ambition"
1987 Glory Years Drummond TV movie
Matlock MP Sgt. Marcy Episodes: "The Court-Martial: Part 1",
"The Court-Martial: Part 2"
1989 Dallas Frank Episode: "He-e-ere's Papa!"
Peter Gunn Soldier TV movie
Valerie Leslie Episode: "Viva Las Vegas"
1st & Ten: The Championship Al Episode: "Duty Call"
Wiseguy Peter Alatorre / Sal Rosselli Episodes: "Sins of the Father",
"Heir to the Throne",
"How Will They Remember Me?"
1990 Sydney Tony Episode: "Love Ya, Babe"
1999 Excellent Cadavers Giovanni Falcone TV movie
Dilbert Leonardo da Vinci Voice
Episode: "Art"
2001 Boss of Bosses Paul Castellano TV movie
An All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson Host
2004 Dr. Vegas Duke Walcott Episode: "Lust for Life"
2005 Kojak Captain Frank McNeil 5 episodes
2010–2014 Rizzoli & Isles Frank Rizzoli Sr. 6 episodes
2010–2019 Modern Family Shorty 6 episodes
2012–2013 Blue Bloods Angelo Gallo Episodes: "Secrets and Lies",[18]
"Justice Served"[19]
2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Perry Cannavaro Episode: "Jersey Breakdown"
2015 The Making of the Mob: New York Himself
Kevin Can Wait Vincent Episode: "Plus One Is the Loneliest Number"
2017 Voltron: Legendary Defender Burrowing Alien Episode: "The Voltron Show!"
2019 Godfather of Harlem Joe Bonanno Supporting role
2021 Law & Order: Organized Crime Manfredi Sinatra Episode: ″What Happens in Puglia″

Video games[edit]

Year Game Role Notes
2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Salvatore "Sal" DeLuca Featured on 2013's "Uprising" downloadable content. [20]

Theatre work[edit]


  • 2007 – A Bronx Tale – performer
  • 2013 – Human – performer and writer
  • 2016 – A Bronx Tale – writer and performer



  1. ^ a b Chazz Palminteri bio. Retrieved on November 19, 2013.
  2. ^ Duggan, Dennis (December 24, 1989). "A Playwright (And an Actor) Grows in the Bronx". Newsday.
  3. ^ Allis, Sam (March 22, 2009). "All that Chazz". Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  4. ^ "Chazz Palminteri and the real-life inspiration for 'A Bronx Tale' are forever intertwined". March 31, 2019.
  5. ^ The Villager, Vol. 77, No. 23; November 7–13, 2007
  6. ^ "Broadway Names with Julie James," On Broadway, SiriusXM, 11 Oct 2012.
  7. ^ Winn, Steven. "Palminteri revisits 'A Bronx Tale'" San Francisco Chronicle, September 23, 2008.
  8. ^ "Cheri, Based on Colette's Classic Novella, Begins Performances Off-Broadway". November 19, 2013.
  9. ^ "Kenny D'Aquila".
  10. ^ "'Unorganized Crime' a quirky mob-family melodrama". Los Angeles Times. May 16, 2014.
  11. ^ "Chazz Palminteri Talks New Play 'Unorganized Crime,' Getting His Start from Robert DeNiro (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. May 8, 2014.
  12. ^ Vlastelica, Ryan (March 2, 2016). "Chazz Palminteri on A Bronx Tale, Keyser Söze, and Stallone's career advice". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  13. ^ Kachka, Boris (October 14, 2007). "How 'A Bronx Tale' Got Told – New York Magazine". Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  14. ^ Natalie Abrams (October 26, 2009). "Elizabeth Banks and Chazz Palminteri to Guest-Star on Modern Family".
  15. ^ "Chazz: A Bronx Original Closes". Baltimore magazine. January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  16. ^ Rypka, Marsala (December 2009) "With Chazz Palminteri". Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2014..
  17. ^ "Bullets Over Hollywood (2005)". Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  18. ^ "Blue Bloods: Season 3, Episode 9 Secrets and Lies". Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "Blue Bloods: Season 4, Episode 8; Justice Served". Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  20. ^ "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - Mob of the Dead: Chazz Palminteri".

External links[edit]