Chazz Palminteri –

Chazz Palminteri in JOLENE.

About Chazz Palminteri (1952 – )

Chazz Palminteri was born on May 15, 1952, in the Bronx, the son of Rose, a homemaker, and Lorenzo Palminteri, a bus driver. He was raised in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx. Palminteri's surname is of Sicilian origin and his family is originally from Menfi in the province of Agrigento, Sicily. His grandparents, Calogero Palminteri and Rosa Bonfante, married in 1908 and moved to the United States in 1910.

He struggled to become a star, splitting his time between acting in off-Broadway plays and moonlighting as a bouncer, alongside Dolph Lundgren. His big break came in 1988 with the premiere of his autobiographical one-man show, A Bronx Tale, which he wrote after being fired from a club for refusing entry to super agent Swifty Lazar; Robert De Niro later developed and directed a film version (1993).

Palminteri has had acclaimed dramatic performances in films such as The Perez Family, Jade, and Diabolique, as well as comedic roles in films such as Oscar, Analyze This, and Down to Earth.

During A Bronx Tale's run, he did many advertisements for Vanilla Coke, in which he portrayed a mob boss who would threaten celebrities if they did not praise the taste of the product in question, and then let them walk away with the Vanilla Coke to "reward their curiosity", touching on its slogan at the time. Palminteri has voiced characters in various animated films, the most notable being Hoodwinked in 2006.

He made his directorial debut with Women vs. Men.

Palminteri's recent acting efforts include A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Running Scared, and Arthur and the Minimoys.

In 2004, he received the "Indie Hero Award" from the Method Fest Independent Film Festival for his artistic achievements in film.

On January 20, 2010, Palminteri guested on Modern Family and played the same character on the November 2, 2011, episode. He reprised the role twice more in the show's fifth season. In June 2010, Palminteri began guest-starring on the TNT crime drama Rizzoli & Isles as Frank Rizzoli, Sr.

Palminteri will portray deceased mobster Paul Castellano in the upcoming John Gotti biopic Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father.

In 2011, Palminteri opened a restaurant, Chazz: A Bronx Original, in Baltimore's Little Italy neighborhood, offering as their main foods coal-fired pizza and Italian cuisine. The restaurant closed in 2015. Also, Palminteri did the voice acting for the Call of Duty: Black Ops II character Sal De Luca, and his likeness was used for the character as well.

Palminteri lives in Bedford, New York. He describes himself as a very spiritual devout Roman Catholic. He has two children: Dante Lorenzo (born October 11, 1995) and Gabriella Rose (born December 25, 2001).

He's an avowed New York Yankees fan, and is often heard as caller "Chazz from Bedford" on WFAN-AM, a sports radio station. Palminteri has been known to have frequent disagreements about the Yankees with WFAN host Mike Francesa.

Chazz Palminteri's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1984Home Free AllTruck Hijacker
1985The Last DragonHood No. 2
1992Innocent BloodTony
1992There Goes the NeighborhoodLyle Corrente
1993A Bronx TaleSonny LoSpecchio
1994Bullets over BroadwayCheech
1995The Usual SuspectsDavid "Dave" Kujan
Special Agent, U.S. Customs
1995The Perez FamilyLt. John Pirelli
1995The Last WordRicky
1995JadeMatt Gavin
1996DiaboliqueGuy Baran
1996Dante and the Debutante
1996Mulholland FallsElleroy Coolidge
1998Scar CityLieutenant Laine Devon
1998A Night at the RoxburyBenny Zadir
1999Analyze ThisPrimo Sidone
1999Stuart LittleSmokey
2001Down to EarthKing
2001Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's AdventureBuster
2001One Eyed KingEddie Dugan
2002Poolhall JunkiesJoe
2003One Last RideTweat
2003Just Like Mona
2005Bullets Over HollywoodHimself
2005In the MixFrank
2006Running ScaredDetective Rydell
2006A Guide to Recognizing Your SaintsMonty
2006Arthur and the MinimoysTravel Agent
2006Little ManWalken
2007Body ArmourMaxwell
2007The DukesGeorge
2008Yonkers JoeYonkers Joe
2009Once More with FeelingFrank Gregorio
2009Hollywood & WineGeno Scarpaci
2011The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon AdventureMarvin Milkshake
2011Mighty FineJoe Fine
2012The Stone PonyAngelo Casella
2014Henry & MeBabe Ruth
2015LegendAngelo Bruno

Chazz Palminteri's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1986Hill Street BluesSonny Cappelito
1987Glory YearsDrummond
1987MatlockMP Sgt. Marcy
1989Peter GunnSoldier
1989WiseguyPeter Alatorre / Sal Rosselli
1999Excellent CadaversGiovanni Falcone
1999DilbertLeonardo da Vinci
2001Boss of BossesPaul Castellano
2004Dr. VegasDuke Walcott
2005KojakCaptain Frank McNeil
2010Rizzoli & IslesFrank Rizzoli Sr.
Modern FamilyShorty
Blue BloodsAngelo Gallo
2014Law & Order: Special Victims UnitPerry Cannavaro

Memorable Quotes by Chazz Palminteri

“I speak as much as I can about the working man in the Italian-American community. It's the working man who makes up the heart of the community. The Italian-Americans I play are mobsters who have a heart or a positive element.”

“I think the lessons I learned growing up in the streets in the Bronx were never tip your hand too soon. Always keep your cards close to the vest.”

“On the Waterfront is still the greatest movie ever made.”

[re his Bronx childhood] “The big guys used to beat up the little guys, and the little guys used to beat up the real little guys. If you were a little guy, you'd become a big guy and then beat up the little guys underneath you. Kids now, all they do is sit down and play Facebook. I was on the stoop, and I saw a man kill another man right in front of me. People go, 'You must have been traumatized!' I really wasn't. I just saw this guy kill a guy, and my father dragged me upstairs, we talked about it, I didn't rat on the guy, and that was it.”

“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent and the choices you make will shape your life forever.”

“I love people who just started making movies - first-timers, second-timers. They take chances.”

Things You May Not Know About Chazz Palminteri

He was initially offered $250,000, then a seven-figure amount, for the film rights to his play "A Bronx Tale," but he refused to sell out, insisting that he write the screenplay and play the lead, which he did.

Although "A Bronx Tale" was his first play, he had written skits for a comedy troupe for about four or five years prior to that.

He began as a long-haired lead singer for a band called "Razzamachazz."

He was considered for the role of Dean Martin in The Rat Pack (1998).

He got the role in The Usual Suspects after it was turned down by Al Pacino.

He has voiced two animated characters who were junkyard animals that hated house animals. In Stuart Little he voiced Smokey, a junkyard cat who hated house cats. In Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure he voiced Buster -- a junkyard dog who hated house dogs.

Chazz Palminteri in Running Scared (2006).
Palminteri in Yonkers Joe (2008).
Onstage with Elizabeth Rodriguez and Kenny Daquila in Unorganized Crime (2014).
_0005_chazz-palminteri-the-usual-suspects-pic1-with-dan-hedaya _0004_chazz-palminteri-the-usual-suspects-pic2-with-kevin-spacey-and-dan-hedaya _0003_chazz-palminteri-the-usual-suspects-pic3
In one of his most famous roles -- as Agent Dave Kujan, grilling Kevin Spacey
in Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects (1995)... top picture with Dan Hedaya.
With Anjelica Huston in The Perez Family (1995).
Palminteri in The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure (2011).
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Palminteri in The Dukes (2007)... top picture with Robert Davi... second
picture with Davi, Elya Baskin and Bruce Weitz... third picture with Davi.
With Sylvester Stallone and Peter Riegert in Oscar (1991).
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In Once More With Feeling (2009).
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In Mulholland Falls (1996)... second picture with Nick Nolte and Lee Tamahori...
third picture with Nolte, John Malkovich, Treat Williams, and Michael Madsen...
bottom picture with Madsen, Nolte, and Chris Penn.
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Palminteri in Mighty Fine (2011)... top picture with Richard Kohnke... second picture with Andie MacDowell... fourth picture with Andie MacDowell and Rainey Qualley... fifth picture with Andie MacDowell... bottom picture with MacDowell, Qualley, and Jodelle Ferland.
In Legend (2015).
Palminteri with Jessica Chastain in Jolene (2008).
With David Caruso and Linda Fiorentino in Jade (1995).
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Palminteri in In the Mix (2005)... top picture with Usher... second and third
pictures with Emmanuelle Chriqui... bottom picture with Robert Davi and Matt Gerald.
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In Hurlyburly (1998)... Top picture with Garry Shandling... bottom picture with Sean Penn.
Palminteri in Hollywood & Wine (2009).
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Palminteri in Faithful (1996)... top picture with Cher...
bottom picture with Cher and Ryan O'Neal.
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In Diabolique (1996)... bottom picture with Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani.
Palminteri licensed his likeness for use as a video
game character in Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012).
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As a thug with unexpected artistic gifts in Bullets Over Broadway (1994)...
top picture with John Cusack... bottom picture with Jennifer Tilly.
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In Body Armour (2007)... top picture with Til Schweiger... third picture
with Schweiger and Lluis Homar... bottom picture with Schweiger.
Palminteri in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006).
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Palminteri in the mob summit scene of Analyze This (1999).
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Chazz Palminteri in the role that made him famous, as mobster Sonny
Lospecchio in A Bronx Tale (1993)... top picture with Robert De Niro
and Francis Capra... second and third pictures with Lillo Brancato Jr.