|Born||November 13, 1947 |
Chicago, Illnois, U.S.
|First||The Godfather Part III|
|Last||The Last Don|
|Portrayed||Joey Zasa |
Joseph De Lena
Joe Mantegna is an Italian-American actor, producer, writer and director, best known for his roles in box-office hits such as Three Amigos and The Godfather Part III and in TV series like Joan of Arcadia and Criminal Minds.
While still a young man in Chicago, he played bass in a band called The Apocryphals. His band played with another local group, which went on to form the band Chicago.
Mantegna made his acting debut in the 1969 stage production of Hair before joining Chicago's Organic Theatre Company. He quickly become a mainstay of the fertile Chicago theater scene of the '70s and '80s, and while working with them 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 and again for a 1977 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Volpone, along with taking two European tours with them.
Always the baseball fan, Joe conceived and co-wrote the Off-Broadway play Bleacher Bums, inspired by countless afternoons watching the Chicago Cubs play, that become an award-winning play; the Los Angeles production of Bums ran over five years. Once it was picked up for production, the play both earned him an Emmy Award and gave him the opportunity to direct an updated version in a successful run at Chicago's Organic Theater.
In 1978, he debuted on Broadway in Stephen Schwartz's musical of Studs Terkel's Working. But by 1983 he had returned to Chicago and then a most successful association was born when he began working with playwright David Mamet; Mantegna starred in the theatrical premiere of A Life in the Theater and The Disappearance of the Jews at the Goodman Theater, and in the Broadway production of Speed the Plow.
But the great achievement for Mantegna was his work in David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Glengarry Glen Ross, which earned him in 1984 a Tony Award and a Joseph Jefferson Award as Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for his acclaimed performance as cynical real-estate agent Richard Roma.
In addition, Joe directed a critically acclaimed stage production of Lakeboat in a successful Los Angeles theatrical run. In 2000, Joe completed production on his feature film directorial debut, Lakeboat, written for the screen by David Mamet from his original play. The film opened the L.A. Film Festival to critical acclaim that fall.
Mantegna turned producer in 1998 with the crime comedy Jerry and Tom. Since then he has served as executive producer for various movies and TV movies, such as Corduroy (1984), Hoods (1998), and Lakeboat (2000). His last venture production project was an original family feature called The King and Me.
He too headlined a series of original films based on Robert Parker's popular Spenser detective novels. The first, Small Vices, premiered in summer of 1999 with the second, Thin Air, following in fall 2000. His last entry was Walking Shadow.
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 in Woody Allen's Alice and Celebrity, in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part III as treacherous mobster Joey Zasa, in Barry Levinson's Liberty Heights and Bugsy, in Steven Zaillian's Searching for Bobby Fischer and in Billy Crystal's Forget Paris. He did not become widely known until he played a recurring role on the TV show Soap. From there he got a starring role in the miniseries of Mario Puzo's best-selling novel The Last Don, which garnered him a 1997 Emmy Award nomination, and again starred in its sequel, The Last Don II. In the 1998 The Rat Pack he was nominated for both another Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for his performance as singer Dean Martin. His third Emmy Award nomination was for his role in the 2007 miniseries The Starter Wife.
His original feature films for cable include starring roles in State of Emergency, My Little Assassin, The Comrades of Summer, Persons Unknown and the Water Engine among others.
He starred as Justice Joseph Novelli in the TV series First Monday (2002) and as police chief Will Girardi in the popular and critically acclaimed series, Joan of Arcadia. The latter received several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations during its two seasons run from 2003-2005.
Since 2007 he has been cast as a main character of the hit drama series Criminal Minds, as FBI SSA David Rossi, a retired profiler who makes a comeback to the BAU because of some mysterious unfinished business. As rich and varied as his career is, he seems to enjoy his recurring role in the animated series The Simpsons as the voice of mob boss Anthony Fat Tony D'Amico.
Mantegna received the Lifetime Achievement Award on April 26, 2004, at the Los Angeles Italian Film Festival.