Joe Pesci


09 Feb 1943


Newark, New Jersey, USA


Joseph Frank Pesci


Compact Italian-American actor Joe Pesci was born February 9, 1943, in Newark, NJ, to Mary (Mesce), a part-time barber, and Angelo Pesci, a bartender and forklift driver. Pesci first broke into entertainment as a child actor and by the mid-50s was starring on the series "Star Time Kids". In the mid-'60s he released a record under the stage name of "Joe Ritchie" titled "Little Joe Sure Can Sing", and was also playing guitar with several bands, including Joey Dee and The Starliters. He even joined with friend Frank Vincent to start a vaudeville-style comedy act, but met with limited success (interestingly, Pesci and Vincent would later go on to co-star in several gangster films together, including Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995))

Pesci's first film role was as an uncredited dancer in Hey, Let's Twist! (1961) and then he had to wait another 15 years for a minor part in The Death Collector (1976). His work in the second film was seen by Robert De Niro, who convinced director Martin Scorsese to cast him as "Joey LaMotta" in the epic boxing film Raging Bull (1980), which really got him noticed in Hollywood. He played opposite Rodney Dangerfield in Easy Money (1983), was with buddy DeNiro again in Once Upon a Time in America (1984), nearly stole the show as con man Leo Getz in Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) and scored a Best Supporting Actor Oscar playing the psychotic Tommy DeVito in "Goodfellas".

His comedic talents shone again in the mega-popular Home Alone (1990), and he put in a terrific performance as co-conspirator David Ferrie in JFK (1991). Pesci was back again as Leo Getz for Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), and was still a bumbling crook in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), and had a minor role in the Robert De Niro-directed A Bronx Tale (1993). He was lured back by Scorsese to play another deranged gangster named Nicky (based on real-life hood Tony Spilotro [aka "The Ant"]) in the violent Casino (1995), and starred in the comedies 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997) and Gone Fishin' (1997), although both failed to fire at the box office.

He returned again as fast-talking con man Leo Getz in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998).

Actor ( 65 credits )

The Irishman (2018) Russell Bufalino
A Warrior's Tail (2015) Komar (voice)
Behind the Gate (2013) Himself (voice)
Rising Above the Blues: The Story of Jimmy Scott (2012)
America's Book of Secrets (2012)  Nicky Santoro / ... (uncredited) (1 episode, 2013)
Welcome to the Basement (2012)  Tommy Devito (archive footage) (1 episode, 2014)
Love Ranch (2010) Charlie Bontempo
Special Collector's Edition (2010)  Harry (1 episode, 2012)
5 Second Movies (2007)  Harry Lime / ... (archive footage) (2 episodes, 2008)
The Good Shepherd (2006) Joseph Palmi
The Erroneous Earth Kitchen (2006) Himself (archive footage)
Close Up (2006)  Himself (1 episode, 2011)
20 to 1 (2005)  Harry (1 episode, 2006)
Cinema mil (2005)  Jimmy Alto (1 episode, 2005)
All-Star Cup 2005 (2005)  Himself
I Love 1990's (2001)  Tommy DeVito (1 episode, 2001)
A Galaxy Far, Far Away (2001) Himself
The Directors (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 2000)
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) Leo Getz
The Howard Stern Radio Show (1998)  Himself (2 episodes, 1999)
Gone Fishin' (1997) Joe Waters
8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997) Tommy
The Rosie O'Donnell Show (1996)  Himself (2 episodes, 1997-1998)
The O'Reilly Factor (1996)  Vinny Gambini (segment "Watters' World") (1 episode, 2
Casino (1995) Nicky Santoro
With Honors (1994) Simon Wilder
Jimmy Hollywood (1994) Jimmy Alto
A Bronx Tale (1993) Carmine
Late Show with David Letterman (1993)  Himself (1 episode, 1997)
The John Larroquette Show (1993)  Himself (1 episode, 1994)
The Pink Panther (1993)  Dogfather / ... (unknown episodes)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) Harry Lime
The Public Eye (1992) Leon Bernstein
Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) Leo Getz
My Cousin Vinny (1992) Vinny Gambini
JFK (1991) David Ferrie
The Super (1991) Louie Kritski
Home Alone (1990) Harry Lime
Goodfellas (1990) Tommy DeVito
Betsy's Wedding (1990) Oscar Henner
Catchfire (1990) Leo Carelli (uncredited)
The Legendary Life of Ernest Hemingway (1989) John Dos Passos
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) Leo Getz
Tales from the Crypt (1989)  Jack / ... (1 episode, 1992)
Moonwalker (1988) Mr. Big
Live with Kelly and Michael (1988)  Himself (1 episode, 1990)
Man on Fire (1987) David
Biography (1987)  Vinny Gambini (1 episode, 1999)
American Masters (1985)  Himself (1 episode, 1990)
Half Nelson (1985)  Rocky Nelson (6 episodes, 1985)
Tutti dentro (1984) Corrado Parrisi
Once Upon a Time in America (1984) Frankie Manoldi
Cinema 3 (1984)  Himself (1 episode, 1992)
Showbiz Today (1984)  Vinny Gambini (1 episode, 1998)
Eureka (1983) Mayakofsky
Easy Money (1983) Nicky Cerone
Dear Mr. Wonderful (1982) Ruby Dennis
I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982) Roger
Raging Bull (1980) Joey
Short Eyes (1977) Other Inmate (uncredited)
The Death Collector (1976) Joe
Saturday Night Live (1975)  Himself / ... (2 episodes, 1992-1997)
The Lucy Show (1962)  Lead Musician / ... (uncredited) (2 episodes, 1966)
Hey, Let's Twist! (1961) Dancer at the Peppermint Club (uncredited)
Today (1952)  Himself (1 episode, 1989)