Joe Mantegna

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Joe Mantegna
Joe Mantegna 2014.jpg
Mantegna at an Evening Parade reception at Marine Barracks Washington, Washington, D.C., May 23, 2014.
Born Joseph Anthony Mantegna, Jr.
(1947-11-13) November 13, 1947 (age 68)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S
Residence North Hollywood, Los Angeles
Nationality American
Education J. Sterling Morton High School East
Alma mater Goodman School of Drama
Occupation Actor, director, screenwriter, executive producer
Years active 1969–present
Home town Cicero, Illinois
Television The Simpsons,
Criminal Minds
Spouse(s) Arlene Vrhel (1975–present)
Children 2

Joseph Anthony "Joe" Mantegna, Jr. (/mænˈtnjɑː/,[1] Italian pronunciation: [manˈteɲɲa]; born November 13, 1947) is an American actor, producer, writer, director, and voice actor.

Mantegna began his career on the stage in 1969 with the musical Hair, later earning a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play the role of Richard Roma in the first American production of David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross, the first of many collaborations with Mamet.

Expanding to film and television, Mantegna is best known for his roles in box office hits including Three Amigos (1986), The Godfather Part III (1990), Forget Paris (1995) and Up Close & Personal (1996). As of the 2015-2016 TV season, he stars in the CBS television series Criminal Minds as FBI Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi. Since the 1991 episode "Bart the Murderer", Mantegna has had a recurring role on the animated series The Simpsons as mob boss Fat Tony, reprising the role in The Simpsons Movie (2007). Mantegna has starred in the series First Monday (2002) and Joan of Arcadia (2003–2005). He earned Emmy Award nominations for his roles in three different miniseries: The Last Don (1997), The Rat Pack (1999), and The Starter Wife (2007). He has also served as executive producer for various movies and television movies, including Corduroy (1984), Hoods (1998) and Lakeboat (2000) which he also directed.

Additionally, he played Robert B. Parker's fictional detective Spenser in three made-for-TV movies between 1999 and 2001, and has narrated several audiobook adaptations of the Spenser novels.

An avid firearm enthusiast, he is the host of MidwayUSA's "Gun Stories" on the cable television Outdoor Channel.[2] His daughter, Gia Mantegna, has also become a renowned film star.

Early life[edit]

Of Italian-Sicilian descent,[3] Mantegna was born in 1947 in Chicago, Illinois, to Mary Anne (Novelli), a shipping clerk from Acquaviva delle Fonti, Italy, and Joseph Anthony Mantegna, Sr., an insurance salesman[4] from Calascibetta, Sicily[5] who died in 1971 of tuberculosis.[6] Mantegna was raised Catholic[7] and attended J. Sterling Morton High School East in Cicero, Illinois. Mantegna even has his own "honorary sign" by Austin Boulevard and 25th Street in Cicero, Il[6] He studied acting at the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University from 1967 to 1969.[8] While still a young man in Chicago, he played bass in a band called The Apocryphals,[9] which later played with another local group, The Missing Links, who went on to form the band Chicago. Mantegna is still very close to the original members of Chicago, and keeps in touch with his old band mates as well.[9]


Mantegna made his acting debut in the 1969 stage production of Hair and debuted on Broadway in Working (1978). He co-wrote Bleacher Bums, an award-winning play which was first performed at Chicago's Organic Theater Company, and was a member of its original cast. In the movie Xanadu (1980), he had a small role which was cut, although since his name is in the film's credits, Mantegna gets residuals for the film.[10]

Mantegna won a Tony award for his portrayal of Richard Roma in David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross. He has had a long and successful association with Mamet, appearing in a number of his works.

Mantegna made his feature film debut in Medusa Challenger (1977). He played womanizing dentist Bruce Fleckstein in Compromising Positions (1985). He starred in an episode of The Twilight Zone in 1985 called Shelter Skelter. His other early film roles were supporting performances in The Money Pit (1986), Weeds (1987) and Suspect (1987).

He also starred in the critically acclaimed movies House of Games (1987) and Things Change (1988), both written by Mamet. He and Things Change co-star Don Ameche received the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival. In 1991, Mantegna starred in another Mamet story, the highly praised police thriller Homicide.

A highly versatile actor, Mantegna has played a wide range of roles, from the comic — as a fed up shock jock in Airheads and the hilariously inept kidnapper from Baby's Day Out — to the dramatic, in roles such as Joey Zasa, a treacherous mobster in The Godfather Part III (1990) and an Emmy-nominated performance as singer Dean Martin in HBO's film The Rat Pack (1998).

Mantegna has a recurring role in the animated series The Simpsons as the voice of mob boss Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico. He insists on voicing the character every time he appears, no matter how little dialogue he has. To quote: "If Fat Tony sneezes, I want to be there." However, in one instance, Phil Hartman voiced Fat Tony in the episode "A Fish Called Selma".

Mantegna spoofed himself when he hosted Saturday Night Live for the 1990–1991 season in which he calmly began his monologue by saying he did not wish to be typecast from his gangster roles. A disappointed little boy and his father leave, as they mistakenly believed the host would be Joe Montana (football player) due to the similar names. Mantegna then began speaking in a low, controlled voice to the little boy, telling him it was best to stay in the audience and respect his performance; he warned the boy that if he (Mantegna) made a call, then Montana would not play in his next game—an implication that Mantegna's true personality equaled his gangster roles.

In 2002, Mantegna starred as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Joseph Novelli, on the CBS midseason replacement drama First Monday.

Mantegna in May 2008

Mantegna received the Lifetime Achievement Award on April 26, 2004, at the Los Angeles Italian Film Festival. On August 11, 2007, Mantegna signed on to replace departing star Mandy Patinkin on the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds.[11][12] Since season 9, he has directed several episodes as well.

Since 2006, he has co-narrated the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall in Washington, D.C. with Gary Sinise.[13]

Mantegna was the keynote commencement speaker at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in June 2008.

On April 29, 2011, Mantegna received the 2,438th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[14]

On June 6, 2011, Mantegna's hometown of Cicero, Illinois celebrated his body of work with an honorary street sign—Joe Mantegna Boulevard—on the northeast corner of Austin Boulevard and 25th Street, the location of his high school.

On April 4, 2015, Mantegna received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Film and Television from The Riverside International Film Festival.

Personal life[edit]

Mantegna married Arlene Vrhel on December 3, 1975 and they have two daughters: Mia and Gia (née Gina). Arlene owns a Chicago-themed restaurant in Burbank, California named Taste Chicago.[15] Mia (born June 5, 1987) was later diagnosed to be autistic[16] and works as a make-up artist.[17][18][16][16] She has also appeared publicly with her father on KCAL-TV in support of Autism Awareness Month (April). Gina was born two and a half years later and changed her name to Gia at age eighteen.[16]

A native of the Chicago area, Mantegna is a Chicago Cubs fan and has led the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch multiple times.[19][20] This was referenced in the show Criminal Minds where his character David Rossi's office is decked with Cubs gear.

In August 2015, Mantegna conducted an auction of two rifles donated by IWI US (an American subsidiary of Israel Weapon Industries), at an event in Corona, California, in order to raise money for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces,[21][22] a group that provides educational and social services for Israeli soldiers.


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Medusa Challenger Joe Main Role
1978 Towing Chris Main Cast
A Steady Rain Main Cast
1979 To Be Announced Main Cast
Elvis Joe Esposito
Bleacher Bums Decker Main Role
1980 Xanadu The Muses Scenes deleted
1983 Second Thoughts Orderly
1984 The Outlaws Yuri Main Cast
1985 Compromising Positions Bruce Fleckstein Main Cast
Big Shots in America Jovan Joey Shagula Main Role
1986 The Money Pit Art Shirk Main Cast
Off Beat Pete Peterson Main Cast
Three Amigos Harry Flugleman Recurring role
1987 Critical Condition Arthur Chambers Main Cast
House of Games Mike Main Cast
Weeds Carmine Main Cast
Suspect Charlie Stella Main Cast
1988 Things Change Jerry Main Role
1989 Wait Until Spring, Bandini Bandini Main Role
1990 The Godfather Part III Joey Zasa Main Cast
Alice Joe Main Cast
1991 Queens Logic Al Main Cast
Homicide Bobby Gold Main Role
Bugsy George Recurring role
1992 The Comrades of Summer Sparky Smith Main Role
The Water Engine Lawrence Oberman Main Cast
1993 Body of Evidence Robert Garrett Main Cast
Family Prayers Martin Jacobs Main Role
Searching for Bobby Fischer Fred Waitzkin Main Cast
1994 Baby's Day Out Eddie Main Role
Airheads Ian Main Cast
State of Emergency Dr. John Novelli Main Role
1995 Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys Joey Franelli Main Role
For Better or Worse Stone Recurring role
Forget Paris Andy Main Cast
Above Suspicion Alan Rhinehart Recurring role
Favorite Deadly Sins Frank Musso Main Cast
1996 Eye for an Eye Det. Sgt. Denillo Main Cast
Up Close & Personal Bucky Terranova Main Cast
Underworld Frank Gavilan / Frank Cassady / Richard Essex Main Cast
Albino Alligator A.T.F. Agent G.D. Browning Supporting Cast
Thinner Richie Ginelli
Persons Unknown Jim Holland Main Role
1997 A Call to Remember Davis Tobias Main Cast
Face Down Bob Signorelli Main Role
Merry Christmas, George Bailey Joseph/Nick Main Cast
1998 Jerry and Tom Tom Main Role
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit Gomez Main Role
For Hire Alan Webber Main Cast
Hoods Angelo Martinelli Main Cast
Celebrity Tony Gardella Main Cast
Boy Meets Girl Il Magnifico Main Cast
The Great Empire: Rome Narrator Main Cast
The Rat Pack Dean Martin Main Cast
1999 Airspeed Raymond Stone Main Cast
Error in Judgment Eric Main Cast
The Runner Rocco Main Cast
Liberty Heights Nate Kurtzman Main Cast
Spenser: Small Vices Spenser Main Role
My Little Assassin Fidel Castro Main Cast
2000 Lakeboat Guy at Gate (uncredited)
Body and Soul Alex Dumas Main Cast
More Dogs Than Bones Desalvo Main Role
The Last Producer
Thin Air Spenser Main Role
2001 Fall: The Price of Silence Agent Jim Danaher Main Cast
The Trumpet of the Swan Monty (voice) Main Cast
Laguna Nicola Pianon Main Role
Off Key Ricardo Palacios Main Role
Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal Frank Garner
Walking Shadow Spenser Main Role
2002 Mother Ghost Jerry Recurring Role
Women vs. Men Michael Main Cast
And Thou Shalt Honor Host/Narrator Main Role
2003 Uncle Nino Robert Micelli Main Role
2004 First Flight Robert Sloan (Voice)
Stateside Gil Deloach Main Cast
Pontormo: A Heretical Love Pontormo Main Role
A Very Married Christmas Frank Griffin Main Cast
2005 Nine Lives Richard Main Cast
Edmond Man in Bar Main Cast
The Kid & I Davis Roman Main Cast
2007 Elvis and Anabelle Charlie Main Cast
Naked Fear Sheriff Tom Benike Main Cast
Cougar Club Mr. Stack Main Cast
Stories USA Mike (segment "Club Soda") Main Cast
The Simpsons Movie Fat Tony (voice) Recurring Cameo Role
2008 Hank and Mike Mr. Pan Main Cast
West of Brooklyn Gaetano D'Amico Main Cast
Witless Protection Dr. Rondog 'Doc' Savage Main Cast
Redbelt Jerry Weiss Main Cast
Childless Richard
Who's Wagging Who? Rudy (voice) Main Cast
Justice League: The New Frontier Crooner (voice)
The Last Hit Man Harry Tremayne Main Role
2009 Lonely Street Jerry Finkelman Main Cast
Archie's Final Project Indian Psychiatrist Recurring Role
The Assistants Gary Greene Main Cast
The House That Jack Built Jack Jr. Main Role
2010 Pop Shock Billy
Valentine's Day Angry Driver Recurring Role
Hannah Mantegna Hannah Mantegna Main Role
2011 Cars 2 Grem (voice)
Sacks West Recurring Role
Yule Tide Good Samaritan, TheThe Yule Tide Good Samaritan Tim O'Neill
2013 Compulsion Detective Reynolds Main Cast
2014 AirBurst: The Soda of Doom MM-Ci (Voice) Main Cast
Year Title Role Notes
1980–1981 Soap Juan One 7 episodes
1981 It's a Living Louis Allen Season 2 Episode 3
Bosom Buddies The Shiek Season 2 Episode 4
Open All Night Change
Season 1 Episode 1
Season 1 Episode 3
1982 The Greatest American Hero Juan Season 2 Episode 3
Archie Bunker's Place Joe Garver Season 3 Episode 20
Simon & Simon Henry Season 2 Episode 1
1984 Comedy Zone Various 2 episodes
1987 The Twilight Zone Harry Dobbs Season 2 Episode: "Shelter Skelter"
1991 Saturday Night Live Host Season 16, Episode 10
1991–present The Simpsons Fat Tony (voice) 25 episodes
1993 Fallen Angels Carl Streeter Season 1 Episode 3
Frasier Derek Mann (voice) Season 1 Episode 4
1997 Duckman Rube Richter (voice) Season 4 Episode 11
Season 4 Episode 13
Rugrats Diner 2/Jack Montello (voice) Season 4 Episode 13
1997–1998 The Last Don Pippi De Lena Miniseries
2001 The Sopranos Mercedes ad voiceover Season 3 Episode 8
2002 First Monday Justice Joseph Novelli Main Role (13 episodes)
2003–2005 Joan of Arcadia Will Girardi Main Cast (45 episodes)
2006 Let Go Jack Rossati Unaired pilot for a series starring Bonnie Hunt
Kim Possible Jimmy Blamhammer (voice) Season 3 Episode 11
2007–2008 The Starter Wife Lou Manahan Recurring Role (8 episodes)
2007–present Criminal Minds David Rossi Main Role (207 episodes)
2015 The Making of the Mob: New York Himself
2016 Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders David Rossi Special Guest (1 episode)
Year Title Role Notes
1978 Working Emilio Hernandez / Dave McCormick
1984–1985 Glengarry Glen Ross Richard Roma
1988 Speed-the-Plow Bobby Gould
Year(s) Title Notes
2000 Lakeboat Drama
2011 QuickBites Episodes: "Faceless", "Sack Lunch"
2014–present Criminal Minds Episodes: "The Road Home", "Anonymous", "Til Death Do Us Part", "The Sandman", "Mirror Image"


  1. ^ "inogolo - Pronunciation of Mantegna". Retrieved 2012-06-16. man-TAYN-yah 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Ryan, Maureen (October 30, 2007). "Joe Mantegna Replaces Mandy Patinkin in "Criminal Minds" 8 p.m. Wed. CBS". The Annotico Report, Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 19, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Joe Mantegna Biography (1947–)". Filmreference. Retrieved September 19, 2008. 
  5. ^ " Interview with Award-Winning Actor, Joe Mantegna" (PDF). CiaoDC. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Joe Mantegna". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved September 19, 2008. 
  7. ^ Sanello, Frank (October 6, 1991). "Casting change With thanks to David Mamet, actor Joe Mantegna is his own man". Chicago Tribune. 
  8. ^ "Joe Mantegna". BuddyTV. Retrieved September 19, 2008. 
  9. ^ a b Liz (May 25, 2007). "Catching Up with Joe Mantegna". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 19, 2008. 
  10. ^ Rabin, Nathan (2009-04-21). "Joe Mantegna". A.V. Club. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Walton, Dawnie (August 11, 2008). "Mantegna Joins 'Criminal Minds' | The CBS series finds its replacement for Mandy Patinkin, after negotiations with Harvey Keitel fall apart". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 19, 2008. 
  12. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (August 11, 2007). "Criminal Minds Trades Inigo Montoya for Joe Mantegna". TV Guide. Retrieved September 19, 2008. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Chicago Actor Joe Mantegna Honored with a Star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame". 2011. 
  15. ^ "Authentic Chicago Style Italian food in California!". Taste Chicago. Retrieved September 19, 2008. 
  16. ^ a b c d "Joe Mantegna — When Life Flips the Script". ABILITY Magazine. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "A Father's Love: Actor Joe Mantegna on his Daughter's Autism". Brain World Magazine. April 6, 2012. 
  18. ^, writing "James Denton ... applauded hosts of the organization's autism awareness public service announcements, including celebrity parents of children with autism, Ed Asner, Gary Cole, Joe Mantegna, and John Schneider."
  19. ^ "Joe Mantegna explains the unusual origins of his 'Criminal Minds' character". Chicago Tribune. October 30, 2007. 
  20. ^ "Cubs to tweak guest-singer rules". ESPN. February 28, 2013. 
  21. ^ "IWI Sponsors 'Bullets & Bagels' with Schmear of TAVOR® and Side of Actor Joe Mantegna" [press release] (August 2015). IWI US, Inc., "Media"; PDF file. Also posted by Laura Burgess on Ammoland: Shooting Sports News, August 19, 2015: [1]. "IWI will be donating two TAVOR® rifles to be auctioned off by actor Joe Mantegna ... with the proceeds going to the Friends of the IDF". Retrieved 2016-08-12.
  22. ^

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