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Joseph Anthony "Joe" Mantegna, Jr. is an American actor, producer, writer and director, best known for his roles in box-office hits such as Three Amigos and The Godfather Part III and in TV series like Joan of Arcadia and Criminal Minds (Evolution).


Joe Mantegna was born in Chicago and raised in its suburbs, the son of Mary Ann (née Novelli), a shipping clerk, and Joseph Anthony Mantegna Sr., who worked in insurance sales and died in 1969 of tuberculosis. Mantegna was raised Catholic and attended J. Sterling Morton High School East in Cicero, Illinois, a small town with lots of character. He graduated with a degree in acting from the Goodman School of Drama (the Theatre School at DePaul University) in 1969.

Joe and his band in the 60s

The Apocryphals in the 60s

While still a young man in Chicago, he played bass in a band called The Apocryphals. His band played with another local group, 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.


Meshach Taylor, Jose Martinez, Dennis Franz and yours truly, doing Wonderful Ice Cream suit circa 1973 (from his Twitter)

Mantegna made his acting debut in the 1969 stage production of Hair before joining Chicago's Organic Theatre Company. He quickly become a mainstay of the fertile Chicago theater scene of the '70s and '80s, and while working with them he was nominated for a 1974 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor in a Principal Role for his performance in The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and again for a 1977 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Volpone, along with taking two European tours with them.

Always the baseball fan, Joe conceived and co-wrote the Off-Broadway play Bleacher Bums, inspired by countless afternoons watching the Chicago Cubs play, that become an award-winning play; the Los Angeles production of Bums ran over five years. Once it was picked up for production, the play both earned him an Emmy Award and gave him the opportunity to direct an updated version in a successful run at Chicago's Organic Theater.

In 1978, he debuted on Broadway in Stephen Schwartz's musical of Studs Terkel's Working. But by 1983 he had returned to Chicago and then a most successful association was born when he began working with playwright David Mamet; Mantegna starred in the theatrical premiere of A Life in the Theater and The Disappearance of the Jews at the Goodman Theater, and in the Broadway production of Speed the Plow.

But the great achievement for Mantegna was his work in David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Glengarry Glen Ross, which earned him in 1984 a Tony Award and a Joseph Jefferson Award as Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for his acclaimed performance as cynical real-estate agent Richard Roma.

In addition, Joe directed a critically acclaimed stage production of Lakeboat in a successful Los Angeles theatrical run. In 2000, Joe completed production on his feature film directorial debut, Lakeboat, written for the screen by David Mamet from his original play. The film opened the L.A. Film Festival to critical acclaim that fall.

Mantegna turned producer in 1998 with the crime comedy Jerry and Tom. Since then he has served as executive producer for various movies and TV movies, such as Corduroy (1984), Hoods (1998), and Lakeboat (2000). His last venture production project was an original family feature called The King and Me.

He too headlined a series of original films based on Robert Parker's popular Spenser detective novels. The first, Small Vices, premiered in summer of 1999 with the second, Thin Air, following in fall 2000. His last entry was Walking Shadow.

The quiet yet dynamic screen presence of actor Joe Mantegna has made him one of the most powerful supporting actors in Hollywood. Even though he made his feature film debut in the 1977 Medusa Challenger and took small roles in a number of other films, his best works started with Compromising Positions and from there he starred in the critically acclaimed David Mamet films House of Games (now a cult classic) and Things Change, for which he and co-star Don Ameche both received the coveted Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival. In 1991, Joe starred in another Mamet story, the highly praised police thriller Homicide, with another role wrote specifically for him.

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 in Woody Allen's Alice and Celebrity, in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather III as treacherous mobster Joey Zasa, in Barry Levinson's Liberty Heights and Bugsy, in Steven Zaillian's Searching for Bobby Fischer and in Billy Crystal's Forget Paris.

In 2002, Joe starred in the Italian film Pontormo, playing the role of Jacopo Pontormo, an Italian Renaissance painter (b. 1494, d. 1557, Firenze) and filmed in his hometown the wonderful slice of life film, Uncle Nino. In 2005 he co-starred in Nine Lives, a film by Rodrigo Garcia, and in 2006 was involved in several independent film projects including Elvis and Annabelle, West of Brooklyn and Lonely Street.

Mantegna did not become widely known until he played a recurring role on the TV show Soap. From there he got a starring role in the miniseries of Mario Puzo's best-selling novel The Last Don, which garnered him a 1997 Emmy Award nomination, and again starred in its sequel, The Last Don II. In the 1998 The Rat Pack he was nominated for both another Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for his performance as singer Dean Martin (ironically, David Rossi is a Rat Pack fan). His third Emmy Award nomination was for his role in the 2007 miniseries The Starter Wife.

His original feature films for cable include starring roles in State of Emergency, My Little Assassin, The Comrades of Summer, Persons Unknown and the Water Engine among others.

Joe cigar shot

From the book The Complete Guide to Cigars by Playboy

He starred as Justice Joseph Novelli in the TV series First Monday (2002) and as police chief Will Girardi in the popular and critically acclaimed series, Joan of Arcadia. The latter received several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations during its two seasons run from 2003-2005.

Since 2007 he has been cast as a main character of the hit drama series Criminal Minds, as FBI SSA David Rossi, a retired profiler who makes a comeback to the BAU because of some mysterious unfinished business.

As rich and varied as his career is, he seems to enjoy his 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 (probably the reason a one-time guest character is baiting records for its numerous reappearances). In his own words Nothing interferes with my doing The Simpsons!... If Fat Tony sneezes, I want to be there. Of course, he reprised his role in the feature film of the animated comedy.

And Mantegna spoofed himself when he hosted Saturday Night Live for the 1990-1991 season in which he calmly begins his monologue saying he did not wish to be typecast as gangster roles. At one point during his sketch he begins speaking in a low, controlled voice to a little boy, implying Mantegna's true personality is like his gangster roles.

Joe Mantegna Star

Photo and caption, "It's official now", from Joe Mantegna's Twitter.

In addition to being the featured reader for numerous books-on-tape, Mantegna has narrated the Oscar-nominated documentary films Crack U.S.A.: Country Under Siege and Death on the Job.

Mantegna received the Lifetime Achievement Award on April 26, 2004, at the Los Angeles Italian Film Festival and was honored with the 2,438th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 29th in the Category of Live Theater. His star will be right next to his favorite actor Errol Flynn and is located in front of Skooby’s at 6654 Hollywood Boulevard.



Fat Tony in The Simpsons

  • Criminal Minds: Evolution - 10 episodes (2022-2023) TV episodes - Agent David Rossi
  • The Simpsons - 42 episodes (1991-2023) - Fat Tony/Fit Tony/Gordus Antonius/Himself (voice)
  • Barry - 2 episodes (2022) - Joe Mantegna
  • As We See It - 8 episodes (2022) - Lou Hoffman
  • Criminal Minds - 274 episodes (2007-2020) TV episodes - Agent David Rossi
  • Rolling Thunder (2019) - Joe
  • Cool Cat's Crazy Dream (2019) - Dream World Joe
  • Circus of Chaos (2017) - Joe Mantegna
  • Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders - 2 episodes (2016-2017) TV episodes - Agent David Rossi
  • The Bronx Bull (2016) - Rick Rosselli
  • Kill Me, Deadly (2015) - Bugsy Siegel
  • AirBurst: The Soda of Doom (2014) - MM-Ci (voice)
  • 10 Cent Pistol - Punchy
  • Compulsion (2013) - Detective Reynolds
  • Pandora's Box (2012) - Anthony DiMucci
  • The Yule Tide Good Samaritan (2011) - Tim O'Neill
  • The War of 1812 (2011) - Narrator
  • Behind the Scenes of Sacks West (2011) - Unknown Character
  • Sacks West (2011) - Unknown Character
  • Cars 2: The Video Game (2011) - Grem (voice)
  • Cars 2 (2011) - Grem (voice)
  • Pop Shock (2010) - Billy
  • Hannah Mantegna (2010) - Hannah Mantegna
  • Valentine's Day (2010) - Angry Driver (uncredited)
  • The House That Jack Built (2009) - Jack Sr.
  • The Assistants (2009) - Gary Greene
  • Archie's Final Project (2009) - Indian Psychiatrist
  • Who's Wagging Who? (2008) - Rudy (voice)
  • The Starter Wife - 3 episodes (2008) - Lou Manahan
  • Lonely Street (2008) - Jerry Finkelman
  • Childless (2008) - Richard
  • Redbelt (2008) - Jerry Weiss
  • The Last Hit Man (2008) - Harry Tremayne
  • Justice League: The New Frontier (2008) - Crooner (voice)
  • Witless Protection (2008) - Doctor Rondog 'Doc' Savage
  • West of Brooklyn (2008) - Gaetano D'Amico
  • Hank and Mike (2008) - Mr. Pan
  • Stories USA (2007) - Mike (segment Club Soda)
  • The Simpsons Movie (2007) - Fat Tony (voice)
  • The Starter Wife - 6 episodes (2007) TV episodes - Lou Manahan
  • Cougar Club (2007) - Mr. Stack
  • Naked Fear (2007) - Tom Benike
  • Elvis and Anabelle (2007) - Charlie
  • Club Soda (2006) - Mike
  • Kim Possible - And the Mole-Rat Will Be CGI (2006) TV episode (voice) - Jimmy Blamhammer
  • Let Go (2006) - Jack Rossati
  • The Kid & I (2005) - Davis Roman
  • Edmond (2005) - Man in Bar
  • Joan of Arcadia - 45 episodes (2003-2005) TV episode - Will Girardi
  • Nine Lives (2005) - Richard
  • A Very Married Christmas (2004) - Frank Griffin
  • Pontormo (2004) - Pontormo (Jacopo Carrucci)
  • Stateside (2004) - Gil Deloach
  • First Flight (2004) - Robert Sloan
  • Uncle Nino (2003) - Robert Micelli
  • And Thou Shalt Honor (2002) - Host/Narrator
  • Mother Ghost (2002) - Jerry
  • Women vs. Men (2002) - Michael
  • First Monday - 13 episodes (2002) TV episodes - Justice Joseph Novelli
  • Off Key (2001) - Ricardo Palacios
  • Walking Shadow (2001) - Spenser
  • Laguna (2001) - Nicola Pianon
  • Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal (2001) - Frank Garner
  • The Trumpet of the Swan (2001) (voice) - Monty
  • Thin Air (2000) - Spenser
  • The Last Producer (2000) (unaccredited)
  • More Dogs Than Bones (2000) - Desalvo
  • Lakeboat (2000) (unaccredited) - Guy at Gate
  • Fall (2000) - Agent Jim Danaher
  • Liberty Heights (1999) - Nate Kurtzman
  • My Little Assassin (1999) - Fidel Castro
  • The Runner (1999) - Rocco
  • Spenser: Small Vices (1999) - Spenser
  • Boy Meets Girl (1998I) - Il Magnifico
  • Celebrity (1998) - Tony Gardella
  • The Rat Pack (1998) - Dean Martin
  • Hoods (1998) - Angelo 'Ange' Martinelli
  • The Last Don II (1998) TV mini-series - Pippi De Lena (unknown episodes)
  • The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (1998) - Gomez
  • Jerry and Tom (1998) - Tom
  • Error in Judgment (1998) - Eric
  • The Great Empire: Rome (1998) - Narrator
  • Airspeed (1998) - Raymond Stone
  • Body and Soul (1998) - Alex Dumas
  • Merry Christmas, George Bailey (1997) - Joseph/Nick
  • Face Down (1997) - Bob Signorelli
  • Rugrats - The Matress/Looking for Jack (1997) TV episode (voice)
  • A Call to Remember (1997) - David Tobias
  • The Last Don (1997) TV mini-series - Pippi De Lena
  • Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man - A Star Is Abhorred and Love! Anger! Kvetching! (1997) TV episodes (voice) - Rube Richter
  • For Hire (1997) - Alan Webber
  • Persons Unknown (1996) - Jim Holland
  • Thinner (1996) - Richie Ginelli
  • Albino Alligator (1996) - A.T.F. Agent G.D. Browning
  • Underworld (1996) - Frank Gavilan/Frank Cassady/Richard Essex
  • Up Close & Personal (1996) - Bucky Terranova
  • Eye for an Eye (1996) - Det. Sgt. Denillo
  • Favorite Deadly Sins (1995) - Frank Musso
  • Above Suspicion (1995) - Alan Rhinehart
  • Forget Paris (1995) - Andy
  • For Better or Worse (1995) - Stone
  • Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys (1995) - Joey Franelli
  • Airheads (1994) - Ian
  • Baby's Day Out (1994) - Eddie
  • State of Emergency (1994) - Dr. John Novelli
  • Frasier - I Hate Frasier Crane (1993) TV episode (voice) - Derek Mann
  • Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) - Fred Waitzkin
  • Family Prayers (1993) - Martin Jacobs
  • Body of Evidence (1993) - Robert Garrett
  • Saturday Night Live - Joe Mantegna/Vanilla Ice (1991) - Host and Danny DeVito/Bon Jovi (1993) TV episodes (unaccredited) - Bill Swerski
  • Fallen Angels - The Quiet Room (1993) TV episode - Carl Streeter
  • The Water Engine (1992) - Lawrence Oberman
  • The Comrades of Summer (1992) - Sparky Smith
  • Bugsy (1991) - George
  • Homicide (1991) - Bobby Gold
  • Queens Logic (1991) - Al
  • Alice (1990) - Joe
  • The Godfather: Part III (1990) - Joey Zasa
  • Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1989) - Bandini
  • Things Change (1988) - Jerry
  • Suspect (1987) - Charlie Stella
  • Weeds (1987) - Carmine
  • House of Games (1987) - Mike
  • The Twilight Zone - Shelter Skelter (1987) TV episode - Harry Dobbs
  • Critical Condition (1987) - Arthur Chambers
  • ¡Three Amigos! (1986) - Harry Flugleman
  • Off Beat (1986) - Pete Peterson
  • The Money Pit (1986) - Art Shirk
  • Compromising Positions (1985) - Bruce Fleckstein
  • Comedy Zone - Episode dated 31 August 1984 and Episode dated 7 September 1984 (1984) TV episodes - Various
  • The Outlaws (1984) - Yuri
  • Second Thoughts (1983) - Orderly
  • Simon & Simon - Emeralds Are Not a Girl's Best Friend (1982) TV episode - Henry
  • Archie Bunker's Place - Of Mice and Bunker (1982) TV episode - Joe Garver
  • The Greatest American Hero - Now You See It (1982) TV episode - Juan, Clerk at FAA
  • Open All Night - Night Moves (1981) - Change and Centerfold (1981) TV episodes - Arab
  • Bosom Buddies - On the Road to Monte Carlo (1981) TV episode - The Sheik
  • It's a Living - Of Mace and Men (1981) TV episode - Mugger
  • Soap - 8 episodes (1980-1981) TV episodes - Juan One
  • Xanadu (1980) (scenes deleted)
  • Bleacher Bums (1979)
  • Elvis (1979) - Joe Esposito
  • To Be Announced (1979)
  • A Steady Rain (1978)
  • Towing (1978) - Chris
  • Medusa Challenger (1976) - Joe


  • The King and Me (2010) (producer)
  • Walking Shadow (2001) (co-executive producer)
  • Lakeboat (2000) (producer)
  • Hoods (1998) (executive producer)
  • Jerry and Tom (1998) (executive producer)
  • A Pocket for Corduroy (1986) (associate producer)
  • Corduroy (1984) (executive producer) (producer)


  • Bleacher Bums (2001) (play)
  • Bleacher Bums (1979) (play)



  • The Rat Pack (1998) (performer: Hey There)

External Links[]


  • Mantegna has Bell's Palsy.
  • His daughter Gia was born in New York City during the filming of The Godfather: Part III, five months into production. She has also appeared on the show.
  • His wife owns Taste Chicago, a restaurant in Burbank, California, that advertises itself as the place to go to enjoy 'authentic Chicago style food'
  • He is one of only three actors to play both themselves and a fictional character (Fat Tony) in The Simpsons.
  • He has been involved in the National Memorial Day Concert since 2002; initially as a performer and since 2005 he was asked to take over the hosting duties. He now shares that honor with fellow Chicago actor and friend Gary Sinise.
  • He received an Honorary Doctorate in Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2008. He was the keynote commencement speaker.
  • Mantegna is a noted skeet shooter and a big supporter of the Second Amendment. He is known to have shown distaste at actors who use guns in movies and then speak out against them.
  • He is also a graduate of the Gunsight Academy, a shooting academy founded by the late Colonel Jeff Cooper.