JOE MANTEGNA Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Joseph Anthony Mantegna, Jr.                                                         
Born: 13 November 1947 Chicago, Illinois, United States                                   
Joseph Anthony Mantegna, Jr. (born November 13, 1947) is a Tony Award-winning             
American actor.                                                                           
Mantegna, an Italian American, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Mary             
Ann (née Novelli), a shipping clerk, and Joseph Anthony Mantegna, Sr., who               
worked in insurance sales. Mantegna attended Morton East High School in                   
Cicero, Illinois (home of Al Capone) and received much inspiration for acting             
from this small town with lots of character. He graduated with a degree in                 
acting from the Goodman School of Drama (the Theatre School at DePaul University)         
in 1969. While still a young man in Chicago, he played bass in a band called "The         
Apocryphals". His band played with another local group called "The Missing Links"         
which 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.           
Mantegna has been married to the former Arlene Vrhel since December 3, 1975.               
They have two daughters, Mia and Gina. Mantegna owns a Chicago-themed restaurant           
in Burbank, California named Taste Chicago.                                               
Mantegna made his acting debut in the 1969 stage production of Hair. He debuted           
on Broadway in Working (1978). He also helped write Bleacher Bums, an award-winning       
play, which was first performed at Chicago's Organic Theater Company. He won a             
Tony award for his portrayal of Richard Roma in David Mamet's play Glengarry               
Glen Ross.                                                                                 
Mantegna made his feature film debut in Medusa Challenger (1977). He played               
womanizing dentist Bruce Fleckstein in Compromising Positions (1985). Other               
early movies include co-starring roles 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), for which he and co-star, Don Ameche,               
both received the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival. In 1991 he                 
starred in 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 and an Emmy-nominated performance as singer Dean Martin in HBO's 1998             
film, "The Rat Pack."                                                                     
Mantegna also 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." In one instance, however, Phil                 
Hartman voiced Fat Tony in the episode "A Fish Called Selma" (during the part             
where Troy McClure goes into the DMV and Fat Tony tries to explain to his goon,           
Louie, what he meant when he said that Troy McClure "sleeps with the fishes").             
Mantegna spoofed himself when he hosted Saturday Night Live for the 1990-1991             
season (musical guest: Vanilla Ice) in which he calmly begins his monologue               
saying he did not wish to be typecast as gangster roles. When he sees a                   
disappointed little boy and his father leave as they mistakenly believe the host           
was Joe Montana due to the similar names, Mantegna then begins speaking in a low,         
controlled voice to the little boy it is best he stay in the audience to respect           
his performance, and warned that if he made a call, then Montana would not play           
in his next game, implying Mantegna's true personality is like his gangster               
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.                       
Mantegna was referenced in The Waterboy. A fan played by Clint Howard says that           
one of the players plays like Joe Montana. Upon being reminded that Montana, as           
a quarterback, did not play defense, the fan quickly replies by claiming, "I               
said Joe Mantegna!"