Compact Italian-American actor born February 9, 1943, in Newark, NJ, who 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).
|Claudia Haro||(7 September 1988 - 1992) (divorced) 1 child|
His characters often have very short tempers and are prone to explosively violent outbursts
New Jersey accent
High-pitched voice with a rapid-fire way of talking
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.
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).
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.".
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.
His performance as "Tommy DeVito" in Goodfellas (1990) is ranked #96 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
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.
The Good Shepherd (2006) was the first movie he made in 8 years.
Ended his 9-month engagement to Angie Everhart. The couple had been together for 8 years. [Late April 2008]
Was considered for the role of Owen in Throw Momma from the Train (1987).
Has one daughter, Tiffany.
Lives in Lavallette, New Jersey.
In July 2011 he sued the producers of Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father (2014), 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 more minor character.
Is a producer of the musical Jersey Boys, about the formation of the band The Four Seasons. He is also portrayed as a character in it.
Played by Michael Longoria in the original cast of Jersey Boys.
He was nominated for a 2013 New Jersey Hall of Fame for Arts and Entertainment.
[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.
|Jimmy Hollywood (1994)||$3,500,000|
|Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)||$3,000,000|
|You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.|
|With our Resume service you can add photos and build a complete resume to help you achieve the best possible presentation on the IMDb.|
Click here to add your resume and/or your photos to IMDb.