Paul Giamatti

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Paul Giamatti
Born Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti
(1967-06-06) June 6, 1967 (age 48)
New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Residence Brooklyn, New York, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Cohen (m. 1997)
Children 1
Parent(s) Angelo Giamatti (father)
Relatives Marcus Giamatti (brother)

Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (/iəˈmɑːti/; born June 6, 1967) is an American actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film Cinderella Man and is also known for his roles in the films Sideways, American Splendor, The Illusionist, Cold Souls, Barney's Version, Big Fat Liar, Love & Mercy, Straight Outta Compton, and Win Win, as well as the miniseries John Adams.

Early life[edit]

Giamatti was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the youngest of three children. His father, Angelo Giamatti, was a Yale University professor who later became president of the university and commissioner of Major League Baseball. His mother, Toni Marilyn Giamatti (née Smith), was a homemaker and English teacher who taught at Hopkins School and had also previously acted.[1][2] His paternal grandfather's family were Italian immigrants from Telese Terme; the family surname was originally spelt "Giammattei" (Italian pronunciation: [dʒammatˈtɛi]).[3] The rest of Giamatti's ancestry includes Dutch, English, French, Irish, and Scottish.[4] His paternal grandmother had deep roots in New England, dating back to the colonial era.[5] His brother, Marcus, is also an actor, and his sister, Elena, is a jewelry designer.

Giamatti was first educated at The Foote School and later graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall in 1985. He attended Yale, where he was elected to the Skull and Bones secret society.[6] He was active in the undergraduate theater scene, working alongside fellow actors and Yale students Ron Livingston and Edward Norton. He graduated in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English, and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama, where he studied with Earle R. Gister. He performed in numerous theatrical productions, including Broadway and a stint from 1989 to 1992 with Seattle's Annex Theater,[7] before appearing in some small television and film roles in the early 1990s.


In 1997, Giamatti landed in his first high-profile role as Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton in the film adaptation of Howard Stern's Private Parts. Stern praised Giamatti's performance often on his radio program, calling for him to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 1998, Giamatti appeared in a number of supporting roles in the big-budget films, The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan and The Negotiator. In 1999, he played Bob Zmuda and Tony Clifton in Miloš Forman's Andy Kaufman biopic, Man on the Moon. Giamatti later continued steadily during the early 2000s by appearing in major studio releases including Big Momma's House, Planet of the Apes and Big Fat Liar.

In 2003, Giamatti began to earn critical acclaim after his lead role in the film American Splendor. In 2004, Giamatti gained mainstream recognition and fame with the 2004 independent romantic comedy Sideways. His portrayal of a depressed writer vacationing in the Santa Barbara wine country garnered him a Golden Globe nomination and an Independent Spirit Award. Following the commercial success of Sideways, Giamatti appeared in Cinderella Man, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture. In 2006, Giamatti was the lead in M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water, a supernatural thriller, followed by the animated film The Ant Bully, and Neil Burger's drama The Illusionist co-starring Edward Norton.

Giamatti had his first major role in an action movie in the 2007 film Shoot 'Em Up, while also starring in The Nanny Diaries and Fred Claus. In 2008, Giamatti received his first Emmy Award[8] for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his title performance in the HBO miniseries John Adams, a role that also led to a Screen Actors Guild award. That same year, he starred in the independent film Pretty Bird, which is a fictionalized retelling about the drama behind the invention of a rocketbelt.[9]

Giamatti received his second Golden Globe win for his role in the 2010 film, Barney's Version. Giamatti starred as the lead in the comedy-drama film Win Win, which earned positive reviews from critics.[10] The same year he also had small roles Ironclad, The Hangover Part II and The Ides of March.

In 2012, Giamatti became the voiceover actor for Liberty Mutual insurance commercials.[11] He was also the narrator for the PBS Nature episode An Original DUCKumentary.[12] Giamatti produced and starred in John Dies at the End, which is based on the book of the same name. He also had roles in the film Rock of Ages and Cosmopolis.

In 2013, Giamatti returned to his alma mater, Yale University, to perform the title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet, for which he won rave reviews in a sold-out, modern dress stage production of the play at the Yale Repertory Theatre, in New Haven.[13] He also had supporting roles in several movies, including the animated film Turbo, The Congress, Parkland, Saving Mr. Banks, and the critically acclaimed 12 Years a Slave.[14][15] And, Giamatti played the role of New Yorker Harold Levinson, the brother of Cora, the Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), in the 2013 Christmas special of the period drama, ITV Studios/Carnival Films television series, Downton Abbey.[16]

In 2014, Giamatti played villain The Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.[17] In 2015, he played a scientist in the disaster film San Andreas. Also in 2014, Giamatti portrayed psychologist Eugene Landy in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy.

He portrayed manager Jerry Heller in the biographical drama Straight Outta Compton, released in August 2015.

Personal life[edit]

Giamatti resides in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York,[18] and has been married to Elizabeth Cohen since 1997. They have a son, Samuel Paul, known as Sam (born 2001), who is raised in his mother's religion of Judaism. Giamatti describes himself as an atheist.[19]



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Past Midnight Larry Canipe
1992 Singles Kissing Man
1995 Mighty Aphrodite Extras Guild Researcher
1995 Sabrina Scott
1996 Breathing Room George
1996 Before and After Member of the Jury Uncredited
1997 Arresting Gena Detective Wilson
1997 Donnie Brasco FBI Technician
1997 Private Parts Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton
1997 My Best Friend's Wedding Richard the Bellman
1997 Deconstructing Harry Professor Abbot
1997 Further Gesture, AA Further Gesture Hotel Clerk
1998 Truman Show, TheThe Truman Show Control Room Director
1998 Dr. Dolittle Blaine
1998 The Negotiator Rudy Timmons
1998 Saving Private Ryan Sgt. Hill
1998 Safe Men Veal Chop
1999 Cradle Will Rock Carlo
1999 Man on the Moon Bob Zmuda/Tony Clifton
2000 Big Momma's House John Maxwell Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy
2001 Duets Todd Woods
2001 Storytelling Toby Oxman Segment: "Non-Fiction"
2001 Planet of the Apes Limbo
2002 Big Fat Liar Marty Wolf
2002 Thunderpants Johnson J. Johnson
2003 American Splendor Harvey Pekar
2003 Paycheck Shorty
2003 Confidence Gordo
2004 Sideways Miles Raymond
2005 Robots Tim the Gate Guard Voice
2005 The Fan and the Flower Narrator Short film
2005 Cinderella Man Joe Gould
2006 Asterix and the Vikings Asterix Voice
English dub
2006 Hawk Is Dying, TheThe Hawk Is Dying George Gattling
2006 Illusionist, TheThe Illusionist Chief Inspector Uhl
2006 Lady in the Water Cleveland Heep
2006 Ant Bully, TheThe Ant Bully Stan Beals Voice
2007 Nanny Diaries, TheThe Nanny Diaries Mr. X
2007 Shoot 'Em Up Karl Hertz
2007 Too Loud a Solitude Hanta Voice
2007 Fred Claus Nicholas "Nick" Claus
2008 Pretty Bird Rick Also producer
2009 Duplicity Richard "Dick" Garsik
2009 Cold Souls Paul
2009 Haunted World of El Superbeasto, TheThe Haunted World of El Superbeasto Dr. Satan/Steve Wachowski Voice
2009 Last Station, TheThe Last Station Vladimir Chertkov
2010 Barney's Version Barney Panofsky
2011 Win Win Mike Flaherty
2011 Ironclad King John
2011 Hangover Part II, TheThe Hangover Part II Kingsley
2011 Ides of March, TheThe Ides of March Tom Duffy Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble
2012 Rock of Ages Paul Gill
2012 Cosmopolis Benno Levin
2012 John Dies at the End Arnie Blondestone Also producer
2013 Turbo Chet Voice
Nominated—Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
2013 Congress, TheThe Congress Dr. Baker
2013 Romeo & Juliet Friar Laurence
2013 Parkland Abraham Zapruder
2013 12 Years a Slave Theophilus Freeman
2013 All Is Bright Dennis Also producer
2013 Saving Mr. Banks Ralph
2014 Ernest & Celestine Rat Judge Voice
English dub
2014 River of Fundament Ptah-Nem-Hotep
2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Aleksei Sytsevich/Rhino
2014 Madame Bovary Monsieur Homais
2014 Love & Mercy Dr. Eugene Landy Pending — Indiana Film Journalists Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
2015 Giant Sloth Gordon Boonewell Voice
Short film
2015 The Little Prince The Teacher Voice
2015 San Andreas Lawrence
2015 Straight Outta Compton Jerry Heller
2016 Ratchet & Clank Chairman Drek Voice
2016 Morgan


Year Title Role Notes
1990 She'll Take Romance Heckler #2 Television film
1994 NYPD Blue Man in Sleeping Bag Episode: "You Bet Your Life"
1995 New York News Dr. Wargner Episode: "Past Imperfect"
1996 Show, TheThe Show Jeffrey Roffman Episode: "Pilot"
1998 Homicide: Life on the Street Harry Tjarks Episode: "Pit Bull Sessions"
1998 Tourist Trap Jeremiah Piper Television film
1998 Winchell Herman Kurfeld Television film
1999 American Experience Narrator Episode: "New York: Part V - Cosmopolis"
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 Ted Hedley Television film
2001 King of the Hill Mr. McKay Voice
Episode: "It's Not Easy Being Green"
2003 Pentagon Papers, TheThe Pentagon Papers Anthony Russo Television film
2005 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Paul Giamatti/Ludacris featuring Sum-41"
2006 Amazing Screw-On Head, TheThe Amazing Screw-On Head Screw-On Head Voice
2008 John Adams John Adams 7 episodes
2010 30 Rock Ritchie Episode: "When It Rains, It Pours"
2011 Prohibition Himself Documentary
2011 Too Big to Fail Ben Bernanke Television film
2013 Downton Abbey Harold Levinson Episode: "The London Season"
2014 The Roosevelts: An Intimate History Theodore Roosevelt Voice
2014 Hoke Hoke Mosely Pilot; also executive producer
2014–2015 Inside Amy Schumer God / Juror #10 2 episodes
2016 Billions Chuck Rhoades

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Ripper Doctor Bud Cable Voice

Audio books[edit]

Year Title
2006 A Scanner Darkly


  1. ^ Pringle, Gill (November 27, 2007). "Paul Giamatti: Mr Potato face". The Independent (UK). Retrieved November 27, 2007. 
  2. ^ "–Ai. Bartlett Giamatti Marries Ton! Smith". The New York Times. June 19, 1960. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ LaGumina, Salvatore J.; et al. (2000). The Italian American Experience: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland. pp. 263–264. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Reston, James (1997). Collision at Home Plate: The Lives of Pete Rose and Bart Giamatti. Nebraska: U of Nebraska Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0-8032-8964-2. 
  6. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (November 12, 2009). "G2: 'I'm clearly not Brad Pitt': Paul Giamatti tends to play moody defeatists and rageful misanthropes. Which is just the way he likes it.". The Guardian. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  7. ^ Wiecking, Steve. Seattle Met magazine. "Worried Man". July 2009 edition.
  8. ^ "Paul Giamatti Emmy Award Winner". Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  9. ^ craveonline (2007-09-07). "Paul Giamatti's Good Times". Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  10. ^ "Win Win". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Liberty Mutual Press Release". Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  12. ^ "Watch An Original DUCKumentary Online | Full Episode | Nature". PBS. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  13. ^ "Marshall Fine: Onstage: Paul Giamatti in Hamlet". 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  14. ^ Kit, Borys (February 23, 2012). "Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson Join DreamWorks Animation's 'Turbo' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  15. ^ "ScreenRant". Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  16. ^ [1] Archived January 4, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Kit, Borys (January 28, 2013). "Paul Giamatti in Talks to Play The Rhino in 'Spider-Man 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ Hale, Mike. "Film", The New York Times. July 29, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2007.
  19. ^ Film, Total (2014-04-29). "I never saw Russell lose it on set...". Retrieved 2014-08-03. 

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