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John Turturro

Turturro at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Born John Michael Turturro
February 28, 1957 (1957-02-28) (age 53)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, writer, director
Years active 1980–present
Spouse(s) Katherine Borowitz (1985-present)

John Michael Turturro (born February 28, 1957) is an American actor, writer, and director best known for his performances in Barton Fink (1991), Quiz Show (1994), The Big Lebowski (1998), and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). He has appeared in over sixty movies, and has worked frequently with the Coen brothers and Spike Lee. He is well known for his ability to change both his demeanor and physique.


Early life

Turturro was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Katherine, an amateur jazz singer who worked in a Navy yard during World War II, and Nicholas Turturro, a carpenter and construction worker who fought as a Navy serviceman in D-Day.[1][2] Turturro's mother was Sicilian and his father emigrated from Giovinazzo, Bari, Italy at the age of six.[3] Turturro was raised a Catholic[4] and moved to the Rosedale section of Queens, New York with his family when he was six. He majored in drama at the State University of New York at New Paltz, and completed his MFA at the Yale School of Drama. He first appeared on film working as an extra in Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed Raging Bull (1980).


Turturro created the title role of John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at the Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in 1983. He repeated it the following year off-Broadway and won an Obie Award. Spike Lee liked Turturro's performance in Five Corners so much that he chose to cast him in Do the Right Thing. This movie was the first of a long-standing collaboration between the famous director and John Turturro, which also includes Mo' Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Clockers (1995), Girl 6 (1996), He Got Game (1998), Summer of Sam (1999), She Hate Me (2004) and Miracle at St. Anna (2008).

A versatile actor comfortable with both comedy and drama, Turturro also had an extended collaboration with the Coen Brothers, appearing in their films Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998), and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). He has also appeared in several of Adam Sandler's movies, such as Mr. Deeds (2002) and You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008). He played a severely disturbed patient of Jack Nicholson's in the comedy Anger Management and played Johnny Depp's antagonist in Secret Window. Before becoming a household name, Turturro made a cameo in the Woody Allen film Hannah and Her Sisters.

He won an Emmy award for his portrayal of Adrian Monk's brother Ambrose Monk in the USA Network series Monk, and has reprised the role on numerous occasions. He has also been nominated and won many awards from film organizations such as Screen Actors Guild, Cannes Film Festival, Golden Globes, and others.

Turturro produced and directed, as well as acted in, the film Illuminata (1999), which also starred his wife Katherine Borowitz. He also wrote and directed the film Romance and Cigarettes (2005). In 2006 he appeared in Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd, and as the oddball Sector 7 agent Simmons in two films of the Transformers live-action series.

Personal life

Turturro's brothers are actor Nicholas Turturro and artist Ralph Turturro. [5] A second Ralph Turturro, a middle school art teacher [6] and actress Aida Turturro are his cousins. He has two children, Amedeo (born 1990) and Diego (born 2000). Turturro is Roman Catholic and his wife, actress Katherine Borowitz, is Jewish.[2]

Turturro participates as a member of the Jury for the NYICFF, a local New York City Film Festival dedicated to screening films for children between the ages of 3 and 18.[7]


Year Film Role Notes
1980 Raging Bull Man at table (uncredited)
1984 Exterminator 2 Guy #1
The Flamingo Kid Ted from Pinky's
1985 Desperately Seeking Susan Ray
To Live and Die in L.A. Carl Cody
1986 Hannah and Her Sisters Writer
The Color of Money Julian
Gung Ho Willie
Off Beat Neil Pepper
1987 Five Corners Heinz Sabantino Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
The Sicilian Pisciotta
1989 Do the Right Thing Pino
1990 Catchfire Pinella
State of Grace Nick
Mo' Better Blues Moe Flatbush
Miller's Crossing Bernie Bernbaum
1991 Men of Respect Mike Battaglia
Jungle Fever Paulie Carbone
Barton Fink Barton Fink Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor (Prix d'interprétation masculine)
David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actor
1992 Mac Niccolò Vitelli Director and screenwriter
Caméra d'Or
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Director
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature
Brain Donors Roland T. Flakfizer
1993 Being Human Lucinnius
Fearless Bill Pearlman
1994 Quiz Show Herb Stempel Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
The Search for One-eye Jimmy Disco Bean
1995 Search and Destroy Ron
Unstrung Heroes Sidney Lidz
Clockers Det. Larry Mazilla
1996 Girl 6 Murray
Box of Moon Light Al Fountain Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male
Grace of My Heart Joel Millner Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
1997 La Tregua Primo Levi
The Last Bet Leon
1998 Illuminata Tuccio Director
Nominated — Palme d'Or
Rounders Joey Knish
He Got Game Billy Sunday
O.K. Garage Jonny
The Big Lebowski Jesus Quintana
1999 Summer of Sam Demon (voice role)
Cradle Will Rock Aldo Silvano
2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? Pete Nominated — MTV Movie Award for On-Screen Team with George Clooney and Tim Blake Nelson
The Man Who Cried Dante Dominio
Company Man Crocker Johnson
2001 The Luzhin Defence Alexander Luzhin
Monkeybone Monkeybone (voice)
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Walker Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
2002 Collateral Damage Armstrong
Monday Night Mayhem Howard Cosell Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Mr. Deeds Emilio Lopez
2003 Fear X Harry Nominated — Bodil Award for Best Actor (Bedste mandlige hovedrolle)
Anger Management Chuck
Opopomoz (voice)
2004 She Hate Me Don Angelo Bonasera
Secret Window John Shooter Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2006 The Good Shepherd Ray Brocco
Quelques jours en septembre William Pound
Romance and Cigarettes Male Dancer and singer Director, screenwriter
Nominated — Golden Lion
2007 The Bronx is Burning Billy Martin Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Transformers Agent Seymour Simmons
Margot at the Wedding Jim Nominated — Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Slipstream Harvey Brickman
2008 What Just Happened Dick Bell
You Don't Mess With The Zohan Fatoush 'The Phantom' Hakbarah
Miracle at St. Anna Detective Antonio 'Tony' Ricci Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
2009 Nutcracker: The Untold Story The Rat King
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Camonetti
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Agent Seymour Simmons
Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy Himself Producer, screenwriter

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