- Joe Pesci
birthdate = birth date and age|1943|02|9
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
birthname = Joseph Frank Pesci
yearsactive = 1961 - present
height = 5'4"
academyawards = Best Supporting Actor
baftaawards = Best Newcomer
Joseph Frank "Joe" Pesci (born
February 9, 1943) is an Academy Award-winning American actor, comedian, singerand musician.
Italian American, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Mary, who worked part-time as a barber, and Angelo Pesci, a forkliftdriver for General Motorsand bartender. [ [http://www.filmreference.com/film/12/Joe-Pesci.html "Joe Pesci biography"] . Film Reference.com.] Harrison, Nancy. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE5DD1239F93BA35750C0A964958260 "FILM; Joe Pesci? That Guy Is Some Kind of Character"] . New York Times. 8 March 1992.] By the time Pesci was 5, he was appearing in plays in New York. A few years later, at 10, he was a regular on a television variety show called "Startime Kids," which also featured Connie Francis. He started out working as a barber in the 1960s, following in his mother's footsteps. He released an album entitled "Little Joe Sure Can Sing" under the pseudonym Joseph Richie, accompanied by a band that included good friend and future fellow actor Frank Vincent. He played guitar for Joey Dee and the Starliters, and was an extra in Dee's film "Hey, Let's Twist!", where he made his film debut.
Collaborations with Robert De Niro
His breakthrough as an actor came in 1980 when he co-starred alongside
Robert De Niro, who played the lead role of boxer Jake LaMottain Martin Scorsese's " Raging Bull", for which he won the BAFTA Award for Most Outstanding Newcomer to Leading Film Roles in 1981. [ [BAFTA official site] , last accessed March 8, 2008] Subsequently, he performed with De Niro in the films " Once Upon A Time In America" (in which he was cast at the behest of his friend De Niro), " Goodfellas" (for which he received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actorin 1990 [ [http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/ampas_awards/DisplayMain.jsp?curTime=1204978051384 Academy Awards official site] , last accessed March 8, 2008] ), and "Casino". The pairing became famous enough to inspire a recurring sketch on " Saturday Night Live", called "The Joe Pesci Show". (The real Pesci and De Niro would eventually make a surprise appearance in one episode). Pesci hosted " Saturday Night Live" on October 10 1992. During the monologue, he restored a picture of Pope John Paul II, which was torn by Sinéad O'Connoron the previous broadcast.
He co-starred in "
Home Alone" (1990), playing one of two bumbling burglars (along with good friend, Daniel Stern) who attempt to rob the house of the character played by Macaulay Culkin. He also had roles in "JFK" (as David Ferrie) and " My Cousin Vinny" (as the title character) released in 1991 and 1992 respectively. He appeared as Leo Getz in three " Lethal Weapon" films.
Retirement from acting and musical career
In 1998, he released an album called "
Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You" which spawned the single "Wise Guy". In 1999, Pesci announced his retirementfrom acting to pursue a musical career and to enjoy life away from the camera. He returned to acting when he did a cameo in De Niro's 2006 film "The Good Shepherd". He is slated to star in the 2009 drama "Love Ranch", alongside Dame Helen Mirren.
He is one of the producers of the hit Broadway Musical "
Jersey Boys". The musical is based on the lives of the musical group, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Pesci claims to have been present during the formation of the group as a young man and is portrayed as a character in the play.
He has been married three times, the first to Claudia Martha (Marty) Haro, [http://www.tv-now.com/stars/pesci.html "Joe Pesci Biography"] . TV-Now.] with whom he has a daughter, Tiffany.
*imdb name|id=0000582|name=Joe Pesci
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