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Joe Pesci Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (7) | Trivia (34) | Personal Quotes (1) | Salary (2)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 9 February 1943Newark, New Jersey, USA
Birth NameJoseph Frank Pesci
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Compact Italian-American actor Joe Pesci was born February 9, 1943, in Newark, NJ, to Mary (Mesce), a part-time barber, and Angelo Pesci, a bartender and forklift driver. Pesci first broke into entertainment as a child actor and by the mid-50s was starring on the series "Star Time Kids". In the mid-'60s he released a record under the stage name of "Joe Ritchie" titled "Little Joe Sure Can Sing", and was also playing guitar with several bands, including Joey Dee and The Starliters. He even joined with friend Frank Vincent to start a vaudeville-style comedy act, but met with limited success (interestingly, Pesci and Vincent would later go on to co-star in several gangster films together, including Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995))

Pesci's first film role was as an uncredited dancer in Hey, Let's Twist! (1961) and then he had to wait another 15 years for a minor part in The Death Collector (1976). His work in the second film was seen by Robert De Niro, who convinced director Martin Scorsese to cast him as "Joey LaMotta" in the epic boxing film Raging Bull (1980), which really got him noticed in Hollywood. He played opposite Rodney Dangerfield in Easy Money (1983), was with buddy DeNiro again in Once Upon a Time in America (1984), nearly stole the show as con man Leo Getz in Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) and scored a Best Supporting Actor Oscar playing the psychotic Tommy DeVito in "Goodfellas".

His comedic talents shone again in the mega-popular Home Alone (1990), and he put in a terrific performance as co-conspirator David Ferrie in JFK (1991). Pesci was back again as Leo Getz for Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), and was still a bumbling crook in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), and had a minor role in the Robert De Niro-directed A Bronx Tale (1993). He was lured back by Scorsese to play another deranged gangster named Nicky (based on real-life hood Tony Spilotro [aka "The Ant"]) in the violent Casino (1995), and starred in the comedies 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997) and Gone Fishin' (1997), although both failed to fire at the box office.

He returned again as fast-talking con man Leo Getz in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: firehouse44@hotmail.com

Spouse (2)

Claudia Haro (7 September 1988 - 1992) (divorced) (1 child)
? (1964 - ?) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (7)

Often plays a criminal (ex. Goodfellas (1990), and Home Alone (1990) and Casino (1995)).
Frequently works with longtime friend Robert De Niro and film director Martin Scorsese.
Frequently plays characters who are short-tempered and obscene (Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995)).
His characters often have very short tempers and are prone to explosively violent outbursts
Short stature
New Jersey accent
High-pitched voice with a rapid-fire way of talking

Trivia (34)

Reprised his character from My Cousin Vinny (1992) for his 1998 album "Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You". The single "Yo Cousin Vinny" was a hit in some European countries.
He recorded an album in the 60s under the name Joe Ritchie. Titled "Little Joe Sure Can Sing", it flopped.
Started out with Joey Dee and The Starliters, working his way around as a waiter and singing and playing guitar in local nightclubs.
Director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro tracked down Pesci after seeing him in The Death Collector (1976) because they felt he was perfect for the role of Joey La Motta in Raging Bull (1980). Before they persuaded him to take the role, Pesci had been on the verge of giving up his faltering acting career.
Eyes are different colors.
Born at 11:45am-EWT
The word pesci in Italian means "fish" (plural).
Close friend of George Carlin, and mentioned by Carlin in his bit "There is No God.".
After winning the Oscar for his role as Tom DeVito in the movie Goodfellas (1990) his entire acceptance speech was "This is an honor and privilege, thank you." When asked why he didn't say more he said "I really didn't think I was going to win".
Italian-American
Did Judo in his teens
Is an avid golfer
Very good friends with fellow actor and frequent co-star, Robert De Niro.
Sang as Joe Doggs with jazz organ player Joey DeFrancesco. They recorded an album on Concord Records in 2003 titled, "Joey DeFrancesco featuring Joe Doggs, Falling in Love Again."
He has a house in Lavalette, New Jersey. In the 1980s, he established a reputation as a community Little League baseball coach.
Was the original choice to play "Fergie" in Judge Dredd (1995) but turned it down. The part was given to Rob Schneider, instead.
Pesci's performance as "Tommy DeVito" in Goodfellas (1990) is ranked #96 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Childhood friends with Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Massi. Introduced them to Bob Gaudio. Valli, DeVito, Massi, and Gaudio became the rock group The Four Seasons.
Robert De Niro accidentally broke his rib in a sparring scene in Raging Bull (1980). This shot appears in the film: De Niro hits Pesci in the side, Pesci groans, and there is a quick cut to another angle.
According to Maxim magazine, he wrote and directed the "You think I'm funny?" scene from Goodfellas (1990) at director Martin Scorsese's request.
The Good Shepherd (2006) , in 2006, was the first movie he had made in 8 years.
(Late April 2008) Ended his 9-month engagement to Angie Everhart. The couple had been together for 8 years.
Was considered for the role of Owen in Throw Momma from the Train (1987).
Has one daughter, Tiffany.
In July 2011 he sued the producers of Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father, claiming they'd promised him a major role in the film for which he had packed on extra pounds, and then changed their minds, offering him a minor character.
Is a producer of the multi-Tony-winning stage musical 'Jersey Boys", about the formation of the famous "Four Seasons" group, and his real-life role in the formation of the group was portrayed in the original Broadway production of the show by Michael Longoria.
He was nominated for a 2013 New Jersey Hall of Fame for Arts and Entertainment.
Was in a relationship with Leighanne Littrell, wife of Backstreet Boys singer Brian Littrell, from 1995-1997.
Joe was 21-years-old when he married his first wife in 1964.
Had a daughter (born around 1967) from his first marriage.
Is known to have a very foul mouth, both on and off screen. On the set of Home Alone, Chris Columbus placed a Swear Jar for the adult actors to place change in whenever they used bad language. Supposedly, Pesci filled it up in a single day.
Despite being known for playing short-tempered and violent characters, his co-stars have always spoken fondly of him and described him as soft-spoken and humble.
His acceptance speech at the Academy Awards is the second shortest in history at just six words and three seconds. The shortest is Alfred Hitchcock who simply said ''Thanks'' when receiving his Lifetime achievement award.
His portrayal of Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas (1990) has been the subject of several parodies. The character "Pesto" in the Animaniacs sketch "Goodfeathers," has DeVito's short temper and tendency to misinterpret a compliment. On "The Joe Pesci Show" on Saturday Night Live, Pesci (played by Jim Brewer) is shown to have that same tendency, only to have the real Pesci show up, deny that he is like that in real life, only to lose his temper and beat up Jim Brewer a la Tommy DeVito. And in the film Jersey Boys (2014), his character (played by Joseph Russo), even quotes Pesci's famous "funny how?" line from the film. That is even more fitting in this film, as it charts his relationship with the real Tommy DeVito.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on his good friend and My Cousin Vinny (1992) co-star, the late Fred Gwynne] It takes somebody who's very serious to pull off a character like Herman Munster [from Gwynne's series The Munsters (1964)]. It's not simple to play the goof. Fred was not Herman. He was an intelligent, quiet gentleman.

Salary (2)

Jimmy Hollywood (1994) $3,500,000
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) $3,000,000

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