Daniel Franzese

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Daniel Franzese
Daniel Franzese May 2015 (cropped).jpg
Franzese in May 2015
Born (1978-05-09) May 9, 1978 (age 38)
Bensonhurst, New York, United States
Occupation Actor, Activist
Years active 2001–present
Partner(s) Joseph Bradley Phillips

Daniel Franzese (born May 9, 1978) is an American actor, writer, director, comedian and activist best known for his roles in director Larry Clark’s Bully and as Damien in Tina Fey's 2004 feature film Mean Girls.[1][2][3][4] Franzese is the creator of several live comedy shows including the 2011 rock opera Jersey Shoresical: A Frickin' Rock Opera! [5][6] and his one man stand-up performance "I’ve Never Really Made the Kind of Money to Become a Mess" in 2013.[7][8]

After publicly revealing he’s gay in 2014,[9] Franzese became more active in the fight for civil and human rights in the LGBTQ community;[10] and through his portrayal of HIV Positive character Eddie in the HBO series Looking, he has become a well known AIDS activist in the United States.[11] In 2015 he became an ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.[12]

Early life[edit]

Franzese was born in Bensonhurst, New York, the son of Denise, a lunch lady, and Ralph "R. J." Franzese, a lounge singer.[13] Franzese attended Piper High School in Sunrise, Florida from 1992 to 1996. His mother was a lunch lady at the school.

Actor[edit]

Daniel Franzese has appeared in numerous feature films including Bully, Party Monster, Mean Girls, Bristol Boys and War of the Worlds.[14] He has also guest starred on several television series including The Comeback, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Burn Notice, Party Down and the web series, Foodies.

In 2015 he was cast as Eddie in the HBO series Looking;[15] and in 2016 he landed the role of Vern Testaverde in the ABC Family's Recovery Road.[16][17] In 2016 and early 2017, he portrayed Jackson Morrison in ABC’s legal drama Conviction.[18]

Comedian[edit]

Daniel has written, directed and performed several live comedy productions, including his one-man Off-Broadway show, I’ve Never Really Made the Kind of Money to Become a Mess which premiered in New York in 2013 at The Players Theater,[19][20] and his 2011 rock opera JERSEY SHORESICAL: A FRICKIN ROCK OPERA! which also premiered in New York at The Fringe Festival[21][22] before its run in Los Angeles at the Hayworth Theatre.[23] Franzese is also an emerging stand-up comedian, and has performed on stages across America at clubs like Stand Up Live in Phoenix and the Comedy Store in Hollywood.[24][25]

Daniel has been a guest panelist on the Logo TV comedy game show Gay For Play Starring RuPaul[26] and was the host of Gay Skit Happens, a comedy sketch show also Logo TV.[27]

Curator[edit]

On October 12, 2007, Franzese curated his first art show called Halloween, a multi-artist show which examined celebrity, vanity, money and the day we get to dress up and ask strangers for goodies.[28]

On April 25, 2008, at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery in Los Angeles, California, Franzese curated an art show called depARTed. The show featured art inspired by stars that died before their time. All art was inspired by famous personalities from Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, James Dean and Anna Nicole Smith to notable figures like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., to artists like Keith Haring and Isabella Blow. Artists included Ron English, Keyth Ryden (also known as KRK Ryden), and Jessicka.[29][30]

Franzese's show, Crusaders and Haters, at Royal/T gallery showcased an assortment of work from artists from all over the world, depicting superheroes and villains in pop culture. The show opened July 17, 2009.[31]

Activist[edit]

After penning a “coming out” letter to his Mean Girls character Damien in 2014, in which the actor spoke of his admiration for the courage Damien displayed as an outwardly gay teenager and referring to him as an icon for gay youth, Franzese become an influential voice in the LGBTQ community.[32][33] When he became an official ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, organization’s like GLAAD invited Franzese to host their 2015 gala in San Francisco.[34] He also presented the GLAAD playbook on HIV and AIDS to MSNBC on behalf of the organization.[35] His reputation as an activist grew after he was awarded the role of Eddie in the HBO series Looking. The character of Eddie is a non-profit activist who is also HIV Positive, and during his time portraying Eddie, Daniel used his celebrity to promote messages of acceptance and understanding for people suffering from AIDS.[36][37] at special events, through media appearances and a speeches at college campuses, including The University of Wisconsin in April 2016.[38]

Daniel, who is also an ambassador for LAMBDA Legal,[39] is committed to decreasing the stigma associated to people with AIDS; and is working to change current HIV related laws.[40][41]

Personal life[edit]

In 2016 Daniel proposed to his boyfriend of two years, stylist Joseph Bradley Phillips, at a North Hollywood, California Starbucks. The proposal became a top news story for media outlets around the world including CNN, Entertainment Tonight, the New York Daily News, Cosmopolitan, People, Mirror, Daily Mail and Access Hollywood.[42][43][44][45][46]

Filmography[edit]

"Daniel Franzese in Lights" Photo by Tommy Agriodimas
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Bully Derek Dzvirko
2002 Hometown Legend Abel
2002 Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat Altar Boy
2003 Party Monster The Rat / Dallas MC
2003 Queens Supreme David Episode: "Pilot"
2004 Mean Girls Damian
2004 Stateside Danny Tripodi
2004 Soleado Bar Friend
2005 War of the Worlds National Guardsman
2005 The Comeback Mr. Hollywood Episode: "Valerie Relaxes in Palm Springs"
2005 Cruel World Claude Markham
2005 Bristol Boys Jake
2006 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Dean Harden Episode: "Fannysmackin'"
2006 Whirlygirl Big Clive
2006 The Iron Man Valeah
2008 Bar Starz Big Mikey
2008 Killer Pad Doug
2009 The Missing Person Agent Craig
2009 On the Inside Paul Warren
2009 Kill Theory Freddy
2010 Party Down Ziggy Chorofsky Episode: "Cole Landry's Draft Day Party"
2010 I Spit on Your Grave Stanley
2010 Burn Notice Dougie Episode: Noble Causes
2011 Foodies Danny Domenica
2012 Electric City Unknown character
2012 Foodfight! Twinkleton (voice)
2015 Looking Eddie
2015 Mind Puppets
2016 The Brits Are Coming Filming
2016 Recovery Road Vern Testaverde
2016 Looking: The Movie Eddie
2016 Conviction Jackson Morrison 4 episodes

References[edit]

  1. ^ "This 'Mean Girls' Reunion Is Not Like A Regular Reunion". trueactivist.com. 
  2. ^ "FILM REVIEW; Deadpan Decadence, With a Sneer of Disgust". nytimes.com. 
  3. ^ "Review: 'Bully'". variety.com. 
  4. ^ "'Mean Girls' star Daniel Franzese on coming out and joining season two of HBO's 'Looking'". ew.com. 
  5. ^ "Jersey Shoresical: A Frickin' Rock Opera Arrives in L.A., Co-Written by Danny Franzese (aka the Gay Friend in Mean Girls)". laweekly.com. 
  6. ^ "Jersey Shoresical' pokes fun at MTV reality series". today.com. 
  7. ^ "The Many Faces of Daniel Franzese". huffingtonpost.com. 
  8. ^ "The Many Faces of Daniel Franzese". huffingtonpost.com. 
  9. ^ "'Mean Girls' Actor Daniel Franzese Comes Out". abcnews.go.com. 
  10. ^ "Out100: Daniel Franzese". out.com/. 
  11. ^ "Daniel Franzese: How a Mean Girls Teen Became an HIV Activist". advocate.com. 
  12. ^ "How a Mean Girls Teen Became an HIV Activist". http://elizabethtayloraidsfoundation.org.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  13. ^ "Daniel Franzese Biography (1978–)". Filmreference.com. 1978-05-09. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  14. ^ "The Verdict is in – I Spit on Your Grave 2010 Review". 
  15. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (August 27, 2014). "Mean Girls' Daniel Franzese Lands Looking Role — Who Will He Court?". TVLine. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Recovery Road: Production Begins on New ABC Family TV Series". TVSeriesFinale.com. April 24, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 10, 2015). "ABC Family Series Recovery Road Tweaks Cast; Jessica Sula To Play Lead". Deadline.com. Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 29, 2016). "Conviction: Daniel Franzese Joins New ABC Legal Drama Series In Recasting". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Daniel Frances's I've Never Really Made the Kind of Money to Become a Mess to begin 12/19 Off-Broadway". broadwayworld.com. 
  20. ^ "Exclusive Interview with "Recovery Road" Star Daniel Franzese". talknerdywithus.com. 
  21. ^ "Introducing … The Jersey Shoresical!". perezhilton.com. 
  22. ^ "GLEE-SIDE HEIGHTS". intouchweekly.com. 
  23. ^ "'Jersey Shore' goes from MTV to theater stage". latimes.com. 
  24. ^ "Daniel Franzese". standuplive.com. 
  25. ^ "Daniel Franzese". thecomedystore.com. 
  26. ^ "About The Series". logotv.com. 
  27. ^ "Daniel Franzese: What To Expect On Logo's 'Gay Skit Happens'". accesshollywood.com/. 
  28. ^ "Daniel Franzese Presents a Halloween Themed Art Show in Hollywood". Lastheplace.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  29. ^ "The Working Actor Sits Down With: Daniel Franzese at The Working Actor". Theworkingactor.net. 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  30. ^ Sabancontact, Stephen (2008-04-26). "Photos from The DepARTed exhibition". Worldofwonder.net. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  31. ^ zippercut (2009-07-09). "Sneak Peek Crusaders and Haters art show". Zippercut.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  32. ^ "Daniel Franzese Comes Out as Gay in Touching Letter to His Mean Girls Character Damian". usmagazine.com. 
  33. ^ "'Mean Girls' Star Daniel Franzese Comes Out As Gay". huffingtonpost.com. 
  34. ^ "Daniel Franzese host of the #glaadgala SF, takes a stand against HIV and AIDS". edgemedianetwork.com. 
  35. ^ "Daniel Franzese on 'Looking,' TV's HIV+ Characters and More". edgemedianetwork.com. 
  36. ^ "'Mean Girls' star breaks barriers again as HIV-positive character". msnbc.com. 
  37. ^ "'Looking' Star Daniel Franzese Defends Danny Pintauro After His HIV Reveal". towleroad.com. 
  38. ^ "An Evening with Daniel Franzese". union.wisc.edu/. 
  39. ^ "Mean Girls' Daniel Franzese Engaged to Boyfriend Joseph Bradley Phillips — Relive Their Adorable Love Story". usmagazine.com. 
  40. ^ "'Mean Girls' star breaks barriers again as HIV-positive character". msnbc.com. 
  41. ^ "'Looking' Star Daniel Franzese Defends Danny Pintauro After His HIV Reveal". towleroad.com. 
  42. ^ "'Mean Girls' actor Daniel Franzese gives Starbucks proposal". washingtonblade.com. 
  43. ^ "Daniel Franzese Got Engaged at Starbucks, and His Proposal Stunt Is Cuter Than Latte Art". cosmopolitan.com. 
  44. ^ "Daniel Franzese Got Engaged at Starbucks, and His Proposal Stunt Is Cuter Than Latte Art". cosmopolitan.com. 
  45. ^ "Watch Mean Girls actor Daniel Franzeses propose to his boyfriend in Starbucks where they first met". mirror.co.uk. 
  46. ^ "Daniel Franzese Dishes On His Real-Life Starbucks Marriage Proposal". accesshollywood.com. 

External links[edit]