Madio was born as one of seven children in his family. At the age of 15, he had his first audition in Steven Spielberg's 1991 film Hook. He landed the role of "Don't Ask", one of the Lost Boys. Among the cast of Hook was Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman, who had been cast as the villainous Captain Hook. Hoffman took notice of Madio and had him cast as his character's son in the 1992 comedy Hero.
He later appeared alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1995 film The Basketball Diaries as a teenage drug addict. In 1997 Madio landed a regular role on the teen sitcom USA High where he played funny-man Bobby Lazzerini during the show's first season.
He has played lead roles in television series including miniseries Band of Brothers, in which he portrayed Frank Perconte. Madio contacted Perconte to develop ideas on how to play the real-life sergeant as well as to understand Perconte's background and history. In 2003 Madio was cast in a main role of Mike Powell on the short-lived CBS courtroom drama Queens Supreme.
|1991||Hook||Don't Ask||One of the Lost Boys|
|1992||The Godson||Billy Cardillo||Short film|
|1994||Every Good Boy||Max||Short film|
|1995||The Basketball Diaries||Pedro|
|1999||The Gifted||Eddie Fontaine|
|2000||If Tomorrow Comes||Cory|
|2004||Shark Tale||Great White #2 / Hammerhead||Voice|
|2005||Searching for Bobby D||Young Mike|
|Single White Female 2: The Psycho||Sam||Direct-to-video|
|2007||Slice||Anthony Leone||Short film|
|Smith and Mike on a Tuesday||Bruno||Short film|
|The Box||Rob Ortiz|
|2008||Love Lies Bleeding||Bernie|
|West of Brooklyn||Jimmy Boy|
|2012||Astronaut: The Last Push||Nathan Miller|
|2013||No God, No Master||Nicola Sacco|
|2019||Bottom of the 9th||Joey Cosenza|
|1991||Doogie Howser, M.D.||Jimmy Pellegrino||Episode: "It's A Wonderful Laugh"|
|1992||Lifestories: Families in Crisis||Anthony||Episode: "Blood Brothers: The Joey DiPaolo Story"|
|The Commish||Rip||Episode: "Judgement Day"|
|1993||Law & Order||Andy||Episode: "Born Bad"|
|1997–99||USA High||Bobby 'Lazz' Lazzarini||Main role, 75 episodes|
|2001||Band of Brothers||T/4. Frank Perconte||Main role, 9 episodes|
|2002||JAG||PO Jack Horton||Episode: "Capital Crime"|
|Arli$$||Max||Episode: "End Game"|
|2003||Queens Supreme||Mike Powell||Main role, 13 episodes|
|2006||Related||Billy Sullivan||Episode: "London Calling"|
|2007||Viva Laughlin||Carlo 'Fingers' Sutigato||Episode: "What a Whale Wants"|
|2008||Las Vegas||Ronnie Torres||Episode: "2 On 2"|
|The Cleaner||Jimmy Alvarez||Episode: "Let It Ride"|
|2009||CSI: Miami||Scott Aguilar||Episode: "And They're Offered"|
|Glenn Martin, DDS||Jimmy Donuts||Voice role; episode: "We've Created a Mobster"|
|2010||Cold Case||Cody 'Squirrel' Blanchard||Episode: "Flashover"|
|Bones||Eddie Ceraficki||Episode: "The Bones on the Blue Line"|
|2011||The Exes||Robbie Gordon||Episode: "A Little Romance"|
|2013||Castle||Eddie Maslon||Episode: "The Fast and the Furriest"|
|2016||Blue Bloods||Dom||Episode: "Blast from the Past"|
|TBA||The Offer||Gino||Upcoming miniseries|
|2005||Call of Duty 2||Pvt. Donnie McCloskey|
|2005||Call of Duty 2: Big Red One||Various|
|2009||Red Faction: Guerrilla||Various|
- "Bronx actor stays true to his roots; set to star in upcoming movie about legendary boxer Willie Pep". New York Daily News. August 22, 2012.
- "James Madio › Actor / VO / Filmmaker". jamesmadio.com.
- Kenneth Turan (April 21, 1995). "MOVIE REVIEW : A Drug Fantasy in 'Basketball Diaries'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
The rest of the gang includes the arrogant Mickey (Mark Wahlberg, a.k.a. Marky Mark), the serious Neutron (Patrick McGaw) and the undersized hanger-on Pedro (James Madio).
- Janet Maslin (April 21, 1995). "FILM REVIEW; Looking for Poetry In All the Wrong Places". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
- "'Band of Brothers' co-star James Madio". CNN. September 7, 2001. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Phil Gallo (January 6, 2003). "Review: 'Queens Supreme'". Variety. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
- Jim O'Grady (October 20, 2002). "NEW YORK OBSERVED; Truth. Justice. Long Island City?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
Mike is played by the actor James Madio, best known for playing a soldier in the movie "Band of Brothers."
- John J. O'Connor (December 8, 1992). "Review/Television; Keeping Child With AIDS From Becoming a Pariah". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
James Madio and Vincent A. LaRusso are also impressive as Joey's friends.