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Joe Mantegna

Mantegna in May 2008
Born Joseph Anthony Mantegna, Jr.
November 13, 1947 (1947-11-13) (age 62)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation film, stage and television actor
film director
executive producer
Years active 1969 - present
Spouse(s) Arlene Vrhel (1975-present)

Joseph Anthony “Joe” Mantegna, Jr. (born November 13, 1947) is an American Tony Award-winning actor, producer, writer and director. He is best known for his roles in box-office hits such as Three Amigos (1986), The Godfather Part III (1990), Forget Paris (1995), Up Close & Personal (1996), and The Simpsons Movie (2007).

Mantegna has gained Emmy Award nominations for his roles in three different miniseries, The Last Don (1997), The Rat Pack (1999) and The Starter Wife (2007). Mantegna served as executive producer for various movies and television movies, such as Corduroy (1984), Hoods (1998), and Lakeboat (2000), which he also directed.

On television, Mantegna starred in the short lived series First Monday (2002), Joan of Arcadia (2003–2005). Since the 1991 Simpsons episode "Bart the Murderer" Mantegna has had a recurring role on the animated comedy series The Simpsons as mob boss Fat Tony. In 2007 Mantegna replaced Mandy Patinkin as a main character of the hit drama series Criminal Minds.


Personal life

Mantegna, an Italian American,[1] was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Mary Ann (née Novelli), a shipping clerk, and Joseph Anthony Mantegna, Sr., who worked in insurance sales[2] and died in 1969 of tuberculosis.[3] Mantegna was raised Catholic[4] and attended J. Sterling Morton High School East in Cicero, Illinois, receiving much inspiration for acting from this small town with lots of character.[3] He graduated with a degree in acting from the Goodman School of Drama (the Theatre School at DePaul University) in 1969.[5] While still a young man in Chicago, he played bass in a band called The Apocryphals.[6] His band played with another local group The Missing Links which went on to form the band Chicago. Mantegna is still very close to the original members of Chicago and keeps in touch with his old band mates as well.[6]

Mantegna has been married to the former Arlene Vrhel since December 3, 1975. Mantegna is a parent of a child with autism[7] and he and Arlene have two daughters, Mia and Gia. Arlene Mantegna owns a Chicago-themed restaurant in Burbank, California named Taste Chicago.[8]


Mantegna made his acting debut in the 1969 stage production of Hair. He debuted on Broadway in Working (1978). He also helped write Bleacher Bums, an award-winning play, which was first performed at Chicago's Organic Theater Company, and was a member of its original cast.

Mantegna won a Tony award for his portrayal of Richard Roma in David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross. He has had a long and successful association with Mamet, appearing in a number of his works.

Mantegna made his feature film debut in Medusa Challenger (1977). He played womanizing dentist Bruce Fleckstein in Compromising Positions (1985). Other early movies include co-starring roles in The Money Pit (1986), Weeds (1987) and Suspect (1987).

He also starred in the critically acclaimed movies House of Games (1987) and Things Change (1988), both written by Mamet. He and Things Change co-star Don Ameche, both received the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival. In 1991 he starred in another Mamet story, the highly praised police thriller Homicide.

A highly versatile actor, 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 such as Joey Zasa, a treacherous mobster in The Godfather Part III, and an Emmy-nominated performance as singer Dean Martin in HBO's 1998 film The Rat Pack.

Mantegna has a recurring role in the animated series The Simpsons as the voice of mob boss Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico. He insists on voicing the character every time he appears, no matter how little dialogue he has. To quote: "If Fat Tony sneezes, I want to be there." In one instance, however, Phil Hartman voiced Fat Tony in the episode "A Fish Called Selma" (during the part where Troy McClure goes into the DMV and Fat Tony tries to explain to his goon, Louie, what he meant when he said that Troy McClure "sleeps with the fishes").

Mantegna spoofed himself when he hosted Saturday Night Live for the 1990-1991 season (musical guest: Vanilla Ice) in which he calmly begins his monologue saying he did not wish to be typecast as gangster roles. When he sees a disappointed little boy and his father leave as they mistakenly believe the host was Joe Montana due to the similar names, Mantegna then begins speaking in a low, controlled voice to the little boy it is best he stay in the audience to respect his performance, and warned that if he made a call, then Montana would not play in his next game, implying Mantegna's true personality is like his gangster roles.

Mantegna received the Lifetime Achievement Award on April 26, 2004, at the Los Angeles Italian Film Festival. On August 11, 2007, Mantegna signed on to replace departing star Mandy Patinkin on the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds.[9][10]

Mantegna was the keynote commencement speaker at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in June 2008.

In May 2009 he co-narrated the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall in Washington, D.C. for the 8th time with Gary Sinise.[11]



Television roles


  1. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2007-10-30). "Joe Mantegna Replaces Mandy Patinkin in "Criminal Minds" 8 p.m. Wed. CBS". The Annotico Report, Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  2. ^ "Joe Mantegna Biography (1947-)". Filmreference. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  3. ^ a b "Joe Mantegna". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Joe Mantegna". BuddyTV. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  6. ^ a b Liz (2007-05-25). "Catching Up with Joe Mantegna". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  7. ^, writing "James Denton ... applauded hosts of the organization's autism awareness public service announcements, including celebrity parents of children with autism, Ed Asner, Gary Cole, Joe Mantegna, and John Schneider."
  8. ^ "Authentic Chicago Style Italian food in California!". Taste Chicago. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  9. ^ Walton, Dawnie (2008-08-11). "Mantegna Joins 'Criminal Minds'". The CBS show finds its replacement for Mandy Patinkin, after negotiations with Harvey Keitel fall apart. Entertainment Weekly.,,20051296,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  10. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (2007-08-11). "Criminal Minds Trades Inigo Montoya for Joe Mantegna". TV Guide. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  11. ^

External links

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