Pantoliano at the Hudson Union Society event in February 2009
Joseph Peter Pantoliano
September 12, 1951
Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S.
|Other names||Joey Pants|
|Awards||Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series|
2003 The Sopranos
After his early roles in the television series M*A*S*H and the 1983 comedy Risky Business, he gained recognition for his numerous supporting roles in high-profile films and television series; including Hill Street Blues, The Goonies, La Bamba, Empire of the Sun, The Fugitive, NYPD Blue, Memento, and Bad Boys and its sequels. He starred as Caesar in the Wachowskis' directorial debut Bound and played Cypher in their second film The Matrix (1999). His role as Ralph Cifaretto on the HBO crime drama The Sopranos won him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
Pantoliano is a published author and is active in the field of mental health, having documented his mother's and his own issues. He founded the nonprofit No Kidding, Me Too! dedicated to removing the stigma from mental illness.
Early life and education
Pantoliano was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, the son of Italian American parents Mary (née Centrella), a bookie and seamstress, and Dominic "Monk" Pantoliano, a hearse driver and factory foreman. Pantoliano's family moved to Cliffside Park, New Jersey, where he attended Cliffside Park High School.
He first grew to fame as "Guido the Killer Pimp" in Risky Business and continued to rise in 1985 when he appeared as the villainous Francis Fratelli in teen classic The Goonies. He gained fame among a new generation as Cypher in the 1999 landmark sci-fi film The Matrix and won a Primetime Emmy Award as Ralph Cifaretto in HBO's The Sopranos. Pantoliano is also known for his role as Eddie Moscone, the foul-mouthed, double-crossing bail bondsman, in the Robert De Niro comedy Midnight Run, as Captain Conrad Howard in Bad Boys and its sequels Bad Boys II and Bad Boys for Life, as double-crossed mafioso Caesar in Bound, as John "Teddy" Gammell in Memento, and as investigative journalist Ben Urich in Mark Steven Johnson's 2003 Daredevil adaptation. He also played Deputy U.S. Marshal Cosmo Renfro in The Fugitive along with Tommy Lee Jones and reprised the role in the sequel U.S. Marshals.
In 2003 Pantoliano replaced Stanley Tucci in the Broadway play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. That same year he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for The Sopranos.
In 2012 Pantoliano starred as the eccentric pawn broker Oswald Oswald in the film adaptation of Wendy Mass's popular children's book Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, written and directed by Tamar Halpern. In 2013, he was cast as Yogi Berra in the Broadway production of Bronx Bombers, but dropped out during rehearsals due to "creative differences."
When not acting, Pantoliano writes. He is the author of two memoirs: Who's Sorry Now: The True Story of a Stand-Up Guy, and Asylum: Hollywood Tales From My Great Depression: Brain Dis-Ease, Recovery and Being My Mother's Son. In the latter, he writes about his addictions to alcohol, food, sex, Vicodin, and Percocet, before being diagnosed with clinical depression.
On October 9, 2007, Pantoliano announced on the National Alliance on Mental Illness blog that he has been suffering from clinical depression for the last decade, although he was only formally diagnosed recently. He claims that his 2006 film Canvas helped him come to terms with his depression. Rather than hide his illness from the public, he has chosen to speak out about it to remove some of the stigmas commonly associated with mental illness. He founded a nonprofit organization, No Kidding, Me Too!, to unite members of the entertainment industry in educating the public about mental illness. The title comes from the response he has frequently heard after divulging how mental illness affected him and his family. He is also filming a documentary called No Kidding, Me Too! He is also dyslexic.
After a Sopranos episode in which his character brutally beat a young stripper to death, during an interview he stated, "After the episode aired a lot more women started hitting on me. I thought it was very revealing." During his tenure on the show, Pantoliano struggled to stay anonymous in New Jersey. To avoid being recognized by fans he wore a wig based on the hair style of Christopher Nolan, with whom he had worked in Memento.
On May 1, 2020, Pantoliano was struck by a vehicle while walking, and suffered a concussion and chest trauma.
|1974||Road Movie||Mugger||Credited as Joseph Pantoliano|
|For Pete's Sake||Undercover Cop||Uncredited|
|1980||The Idolmaker||Gino Pilato|
|1982||Monsignor||Pvt. Joe Musso|
|1983||The Final Terror||Eggar|
|Eddie and the Cruisers||Doc Robbins|
|1985||The Mean Season||Andy Porter|
|The Goonies||Francis Fratelli|
|1987||Scenes from the Goldmine||Manny Ricci|
|La Bamba||Bob Keane|
|Amazon Women on the Moon||Sy Swerdlow||Segment: "Hairlooming"|
|Empire of the Sun||Frank Demarest|
|1988||The in Crowd||Perry Parker|
|Midnight Run||Eddie Moscone|
|1990||Ardouous Moon||Short film|
|Blue Heat||Wayne Gross|
|Backstreet Dreams||Paul Antangeli||Uncredited|
|1993||Three of Hearts||Mickey|
|The Fugitive||Deputy U.S. Marshal Cosmo Renfro|
|Calendar Girl||Harvey Darpinian|
|Me and the Kid||Roy|
|1994||Robot in the Family||The Father|
|Baby's Day Out||Norbert "Norby" LeBlaw|
|1995||Bad Boys||Captain Conrad Howard|
|The Last Word||Doc|
|Steal Big Steal Little||Eddie Agopian, Ruben's Lawyer|
|The Immortals||Pete Tunnell|
|1996||The Flight of the Dove||Attorney Brezner|
|1997||Top of the World||Vince Castor|
|Aliens Attack||Captain Nevins|
|1998||U.S. Marshals||Deputy U.S. Marshal Cosmo Renfro|
|1999||Forces of Nature||Cab Driver||Uncredited cameo|
|Black and White||Bill King|
|The Life Before This||Jake Maclean|
|2000||Ready to Rumble||Titus Sinclair|
|Memento||"Teddy" James Edward Gammell|
|A Better Way to Die||Flash|
|2001||Cats & Dogs||Peek (voice)|
|2002||A Call for Help||Charlie|
|The Adventures of Pluto Nash||Mogan|
|Bad Boys II||Captain Conrad Howard|
|Perfect Opposites||Louis Carbonelli|
|The Easter Egg Adventure||Terrible Timothy Takit (voice)|
|2005||Racing Stripes||Goose (voice)|
|The Check Up||The Inspector||Short film|
|The Amateurs||Some Idiot|
|2006||Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector||Mayor M.T. Gunn|
|2007||Spring Break '83||Sergeant Coltrane||Unreleased|
|Deadly Impact||David Kaplow|
|2010||The Legend of Secret Pass||Chucksta (voice)|
|Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief||Gabe Ugliano|
|Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore||Peek (voice)|
|New York Street Games||Himself||Documentary|
|Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life||Oswald Oswald III|
|2014||The Identical||Avi Hirshberg|
|2016||The Perfect Match||Marty|
|2017||Just Getting Started||Joe|
|Feast of the Seven Fishes||Uncle Frankie|
|The Brawler||Al Braverman|
|2019||From the Vine||Marco Gentile|
|2020||Bad Boys for Life||Captain Conrad Howard|
|1977||McNamara's Band||Frankie Milano||Television film|
|1978||Free Country||Louis Peschi||3 episodes|
|1979||From Here to Eternity||Pvt. Angelo Maggio||3 episodes|
|1980||Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story||Ray Neal||Television film|
|1981, 1984||Hart to Hart||Frank Tisdale / Nate Volkman||2 episodes|
|1981||M*A*S*H||Cpl. Gerald Mullen/Josh Levin||Episode: "Identity Crisis"|
|1982||Chicago Story||Cooney||Episode: "Who Needs the Truth?"|
|1983||Hardcastle and McCormick||Teddy Hollins||Episode: "The Crystal Duck"|
|1984||Mister Roberts||Insignia||Television film|
|Hill Street Blues||Sonny Orsini||2 episodes|
|Trapper John, M.D.||Michael Merrow||Episode: "Where There's a Will"|
|Simon & Simon||Carl||Episode: "Who Killed the Sixties?"|
|1985||Robert Kennedy & His Times||Roy Cohn||Episode #1.1|
|1986||Amazing Stories||Joe||Episode: "One for the Road"|
|L.A. Law||Rob Cavanaugh||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1987||Destination America||Lt. Mike Amico||Television film|
|1988||Rock 'n' Roll Mom||Ronnie||Television film|
|1989||Nightbreaker||Sgt. Jack Russell||Television film|
|The Hitchhiker||Brother Charles||Episode: "Miracle of Alice Ames"|
|Tales from the Crypt||Ulrich The Undying||Episode: "Dig That cat...He's real gone"|
|1990||El Diablo||Kid Durango||Television film|
|1990–91||The Fanelli Boys||Dominic Fanelli||19 episodes|
|1991||One Special Victory||Daniel||Television film|
|1992||Through the Eyes of a Killer||Jerry||Television film|
|Highlander: The Series||Doctor Wilder||Episode: "Deadly Medicine"|
|1994||Dangerous Heart||Barclay||Television film|
|Beethoven||Sparky (voice)||12 episodes|
|1995||The Marshal||Cameris||Episode: "Unprotected Witness"|
|NYPD Blue||Vinnie Greco||3 episodes|
|1996||Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Ice||Det. Meyer Meyer||Television film|
|Life with Louie||Jojo Stomopolous (voice)||Episode: "Caddy on a Hot Tin Roof"|
|Arliss||Vic Freed||Episode: "The Client's Best Interest"|
|1996–1997||EZ Streets||Jimmy Murtha||12 episodes|
|1998–2000||Godzilla: The Series||Animal Palotti (voice)||8 episodes|
|1998||Hercules||King Pan (voice)||Episode: "Hercules and the King for a Day"|
|The Lionhearts||Director (voice)||5 episodes|
|The Outer Limits||Stan Harbinger||Episode: "Alien Radio"|
|Olive, the Other Reindeer||Martini (voice)||Television special|
|The Sopranos||Ralph Cifaretto||21 episodes|
|2001||Roswell||Kal Langley||2 episodes|
|2002||The Nick Cannon Show||Himself||2 episodes|
|2003–2004||The Handler||Joe Renato||16 episodes|
|2003||Gary the Rat||Anthony 'the Heel' Stilletto (voice)||Episode: "Sleeps with the Fishes"|
|2004||Dr. Vegas||Tommy Danko||7 episodes|
|Waterfront||James "Jimmy" Centrella||Unreleased series|
|The Simpsons||Dante (voice)||Episode: "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer"|
|2011||How to Make it in America||Felix DiFlorio||2 episodes|
|2014||More Time with Family||Stan Rizzo||Pilot|
|2015||Deadbeat||Famous Actor||Episode: "The Emancipation Apparition"|
|2017||SpongeBob SquarePants||Stickyfins Whiting (voice)||Episode: "The Getaway"|
|2018||Lake Placid: Legacy||Henderson||Television film|
|2001||Majestic||Tim Pritchard||Episode 4|
|Grand Theft Auto III||Luigi Goterelli|
|2013||Call of Duty: Black Ops II||Al "The Weasel" Arlington||"Uprising" DLC|
Awards and nominations
|1997||Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Bound||Nominated|
|Television Critics Association||Individual Achievement in Drama||EZ Streets||Nominated|
|Viewers for Quality Television||Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series||Nominated|
|2002||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||The Sopranos||Nominated|
|2003||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Won|
|2004||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|
- Who's Sorry Now: The True Story of a Stand-Up Guy, Joe Pantoliano, David Evanier, Dutton Books (2002), ISBN 978-0525946779
- Asylum, Joe Pantoliano, Hachette Books (2013), ISBN 978-1602861992
- Lee Hirsch; Cynthia Lowen (25 September 2012). Bully: An Action Plan for Teachers, Parents, and Communities to Combat the Bullying Crisis. Hachette Books. pp. 157–. ISBN 978-1-60286-185-5.
- Ebert, Roger (October 11, 2007). "The serious side of Joey Pants". rogerebert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
Consider Joe Pantoliano. Famous for "The Sopranos," established as a character actor playing gangster and comic types, known by everyone, including himself, as "Joey Pants,"
- Malkin, Marc (October 5, 2018). "Joe Morton, Jessica Walter, Joe Pantoliano to Be Honored at Carney Awards". variety.com. Variety Media LLC. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
Joe Pantoliano...will be honored at this year’s Carney Awards. Named in honor of the late Art Carney, the Carney Awards were launched ... to celebrate Hollywood’s leading character actors.
- "A Tough Guy Battles Back- Joe Pantoliano". ibpf.org. International Bipolar Foundation. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
Inspired by his role in Canvas, Pantoliano created No Kidding, Me Too!, a nonprofit dedicated to removing the stigma associated with mental illness.
- Joe Pantoliano Biography, filmreference.com; accessed June 21, 2017.
- "SMOKE 09/02 - Joe Pantoliano in the Hot Seat". www.smokemag.com. Archived from the original on 2008-07-05.
- Who's Sorry Now: The True Story of a Stand-Up Guy Entertainment Weekly, October 4, 2002
- Smith, Ray. “‘Hoboken was a very wild community’ Actor Joe Pantoliano inspires; honored at the Boys and Girls Club” Archived 2017-09-11 at the Wayback Machine, The Hudson Reporter, December 12, 2010. Accessed September 10, 2017. "Pantoliano and his lifelong friend Rich Pepe have teamed up to create their own pasta sauce (or gravy, depending on your ethnicity) called Pepe and Pants Pasta Sauce, of which 100 percent of the net proceeds are donated to "No Kidding, Me Too!" The two men graduated from Cliffside Park High School together after their families moved from Hoboken.
- "Joe Pantoliano". Biography.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-10-03.
- O'Keeffe, Michael; Toulson, Ja'Pheth; Abbott, Campbell (August 3, 2013). "Joe Pantoliano to play Yogi Berra in Bronx Bombers: "Bronx Bombers examines how baseball's most storied franchise has always remained focused on maintaining a great team, even when dealing with some of the game's most iconic and tempestuous personalities," the producers say in a press release". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- Hetrick, Adam (September 17, 2013). "Joe Pantoliano Speaks Out Via Twitter and Facebook Following Bronx Bombers Departure". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Joe Pantoliano – He Puts the 'Fun' in Dysfunctional". ABILITY Magazine.
- Joe Pantoliano biography, yahoo.com; accessed June 21, 2017.
- “Friends Setting Up Friends,” Archived 2008-07-23 at the Wayback Machine 971freefm.com; accessed June 21, 2017.
- "No Kidding? Me Too! – Stomping the stigma of mental disease". nokiddingmetoo.org.
- Samuel Fly (25 July 2016). "The Sopranos Inside Story" – via YouTube.
- "'Sopranos' actor Joe Pantoliano wore a wig based on Christopher Nolan's hair to avoid fans". nme.com.
- Henderson, Cydney. "'Sopranos' star Joe Pantoliano suffers 'severe head injury' after being hit by car", USA Today. May 2, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
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