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Joe Mantegna Poster

Biography

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

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 13 November 1947Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameJoseph Anthony Mantegna Jr.
Height 5' 11¼" (1.81 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Joe Mantegna is an American actor who has made over 200 film and TV appearances. He is also a producer, writer, and director, and is probably best known for his role as Joey Zasa in the Francis Ford Coppola epic The Godfather: Part III (1990), in which he stars alongside Al Pacino and Andy Garcia.

Joseph Anthony Mantegna, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Mary Anne (Novelli), a shipping clerk, and Joseph Anthony Mantegna, Sr., an insurance salesman. He is of Italian descent. Having obtained a degree in acting from the Goodman School of Drama and taken to the stage early on in life, it is no surprise that Joe has maintained a strong relationship with the playwright -turned- screenwriter-director David Mamet. They have collaborated on several projects. He also stars as SSA David Rossi on the long running TV drama Criminal Minds. (2005-)

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matt Lee-Williams

Spouse (1)

Arlene Vrhel (3 December 1975 - present) (2 children)

Trivia (34)

1969: Made his acting debut in a production of "Hair".
Formerly an actor with an Chicago's Organic Theatre Company.
1978: Debuted on Broadway in "Working". He also helped write the award-winning play "Bleacher Bums". The Los Angeles production of "Bleacher Bums" ran for over five years.
His daughter, Mia Mantegna, is autistic.
He was childhood friends with Walter Parazaider of the jazz rock band Chicago, which is also Mantegna's favorite band.
April 26, 2004: Received the lifetime achievement award at the Los Angeles Italian Film Festival.
Will Girardi, Mantegna's character on Joan of Arcadia (2003), was ranked #40 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [June 20, 2004 issue].
As of May 15, 2005, he has appeared on The Simpsons (1989) a record 16 times.
Has two daughters with Arlene Mantegna: Gia Mantegna and Mia Mantegna.
His character on The Simpsons (1989), Fat Tony, has been the subject of two inside jokes. One of Fat Tony's first appearances was in the episode where Bart becomes his errand boy. At the end of the episode, the events are turned into a television movie, in which, we are told, Joe Mantegna is playing Fat Tony. On a much later episode, after a Mafia stand-off is placated by the appearance of Maggie Simpson, everyone breaks down crying. Fat Tony remarks, "I haven't cried like this since I paid to see The Godfather: Part III (1990).".
1984: Won the Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for playing Richard ("Ricky") Roma in David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross". In 2005, Liev Schreiber won his own Tony Award for playing the role originated by Mantegna in a revival of the play. The third major actor to play the role of Ricky Roma (in the film version of the play, Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)) was Al Pacino.
Along with Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Hamill, he is one of only three actors to play both themselves and a fictional character on The Simpsons (1989). He played himself in the Season Three episode, The Simpsons: Bart the Murderer (1991), and portrayed Fat Tony in that and fourteen other episodes of the series.
His wife, Arlene Mantegna owns "Taste Chicago", a restaurant in Burbank, California.
His character on The Simpsons (1989) was originally intended to be a one-time guest appearance in the episode, The Simpsons: Bart the Murderer (1991), but it became a recurring role later on in the series' run. According to the Season Three DVD commentary track, Mantegna liked the character and wanted to voice him again.
Attended and graduated from Morton East High School in Cicero, Illinois in 1965.
Was Robert B. Parker's personal pick to play Spenser on Spenser: For Hire (1985) (before Robert Urich was cast in the role).
Has been assured by The Simpsons (1989)' casting director that he will be the only person to voice the character Fat Tony. However, the character had a different actor for his short appearance in "A Fish Called Selma".
Received an honorary degree in Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology on June 13, 2008. He was the commencement speaker.
Was considered for the role of Detective Joe Fontana on Law & Order (1990), which went to Dennis Farina.
He was nominated for a 1974 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor in a Principal Role for his performance in "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit", at the Organic Theater Company in Chicago, Illinois.
He was nominated for a 1977 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in "Volpone", at the Organic Theater Company with Victory Gardens in Chicago, Illinois.
He was awarded the 1984 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for "Glengarry Glen Ross", at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Good friends with Denis Leary.
Longtime personal friends with the late Roger Ebert, until his death on April 4, 2013.
His daughter, Gia Mantegna, was born in New York City during the filming of The Godfather: Part III (1990), five months into production.
Lives in Los Angeles California.
Italian-American.
Until the age of 16, Joe had thought his birthday was November 10th. He found out it was really November 13th when he needed his birth certificate to get his drivers' license. His mother told him that because the cutoff date for starting school was the 10th, and she wanted to get back to work, she told the school (and Joe) that his birthday was November 10th.
Owns the restaurant Taste Chicago in Burbank, California with his wife Arlene. The restaurant opened in 2003 and serves classic Chicago dishes such as deep dish pizza, Chicago hot dogs, pasta, and Italian beef sandwiches.
In Criminal Minds: Snake Eyes (2012), his character Rossi mentions that he is not a huge fan of mobster movies. Mantegna has actually played mobsters in The Godfather: Part III (1990) and The Last Don (1997), and perhaps most famously, voices mob boss Fat Tony on The Simpsons (1989).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theatre at 6654 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on April 29, 2011.
Close friends with late actor Meshach Taylor, until his death on June 28, 2014. The pair were friends for over 40 years.
His mother Mary Ann, is a centenarian.
Auctioned two of his rifles to fund the Israeli army in August 2015.

Personal Quotes (7)

[referring to his voice role as mob boss Fat Tony] Nothing interferes with my doing The Simpsons (1989)!
My father died just as I became an adult. It's a tough thing because you've kind of known this guy as a child and then, just at the point where you start to understand where he's coming from, he's gone. So now you look back and he almost becomes a mythical person to you.
[1991] I'm just grateful to get the work I do.
(2008, on The Godfather: Part III (1990)) That was quite a year, because I wound up doing that role, and I also worked for Woody Allen on Alice. I was shooting both films almost simultaneously. Literally, I would work on Alice, then fly to Italy to work on Godfather, come back to New York, work on Alice again. Then Godfather came back to the States and I worked on that again. So that was a real productive year, 1989-1990.
(2008, on playing Dean Martin in The Rat Pack (1998)) That might be in my top five characters I've played. I had such admiration for him and respect, and loved the era and that music. When I was offered that, it was similar to Godfather, in that my initial feeling was almost intimidation, like "Oh my God, can I really do this? He's such an icon. How do you do this and get anybody to buy it?". But HBO was great, I think they did it right. They spent enough money to do it right. Had a wonderful screenplay, and it was good people involved. Ray Liotta, Don Cheadle, Bill Petersen, everybody just down the line. Well-directed. The cinematographer was the same cinematographer who Christian Bale recently went fuckin' nuclear on. We didn't have that problem-he's a pretty good cinematographer, actually. He was great. In fact, if you look at The Rat Pack,the look of the film was a very big part of the film. It was beautifully shot. But anyway, I loved doing it, and I became dear friends with a few members of Dean Martin's family, his daughter Dina in particular, who actually has been wanting me to help her get a book she wrote of her life story into a film. So it was my introduction into that world, and it was great, we had great times on it. To this day, Ray and Cheadle and I are friends, especially Don, 'cause I see him more often. But it was just fantastic to play those guys, and the fact that Don won the Golden Globe and I was nominated with him-we both were nominated for Emmys as well-it was a satisfaction. For me, it was a payoff for all the work I did. Because I did do a lot of research, and I did work really hard to play Dean Martin, 'cause I didn't want to do him half-assed. I knew I couldn't exactly look like him, or sound like him, or sing like him, there's just no way. But I thought if I could just get the essence, if I could just for a couple hours have the people watching this film forget that it's an actor, you know what I mean, which can happen in any biographical film... At least I get enough comments about it that I feel, "Okay, I have nothing to be embarrassed about.".
(2008, on The Simpsons (1989)) I've been doing Fat Tony for 17 years now. I just did a little thing for it last week, for the DVD. I think that one might've come partly due to Godfather III, which had opened just prior to my getting that role. That's my guess, I never really asked them, 'cause I thought it was just gonna be a one-shot deal. I read the script, thought it was funny, I loved The Simpsons, I think they were in their third season at the time. What I'd seen of it, I thought, "This is real smart, this is clever. I like what they're doing, so I'd love doing this." So I went in and did it, but who knew that Fat Tony was gonna resonate in the hearts and minds of the Simpsonites out there? Apparently they'd gotten enough feedback as to how the character was liked that they wrote it in again and again, and I was kind of a recurring guy that they'd tap into at least a couple episodes a season. And I was more than happy to do it, because it's my longest-running character, and one that I think the quality of it has been maintained. I like it as much today as I did 17 years ago.
Without Memorial Day, there is no other holiday.

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