Chazz Palminteri Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
Childhood and Early Life
American actor Chazz Palminteri was born Calogero Lorenzo Palminteri on the 15 May 1952 in the Bronx, New York to Rose and Lorenzo Palminteri. His family originated in Agrigento, Sicily, Italy with his grandparents immigrating to the United States. He was brought up in the Belmont area of the Bronx.
Chazz Palminteri was a pupil the Theodore Roosevelt High School, a large public school in the Bronx. He also studied at Lee Strasberg's School of Acting in New York City.
Rise to Fame
In the early 1980s, Chazz Palminteri appeared in off-Broadway productions and also performed as a singer in a band he had founded. At times, he worked as a bouncer. He found success with his one-person show, A Bronx Tale. The show played to sold-out audiences for four months in New York City, and the New York Critics Circle awarded Palminteri for his acting and writing. Robert De Niro chose A Bronx Tale (1993) for his directorial debut while Palminteri wrote the screenplay and starred as Sonny.
Early film work included Home Free All (1984), The Last Dragon (1985), Oscar (1991) and Innocent Blood (1992). After the success of A Bronx Tale (1993) Chazz Palminteri went on to star, write and produce many films including Bullets Over Broadway (1994), The Usual Suspects (1994), The Perez Family (1995), The Last Word (1995), Jade (1995), Dante and the Debutante (1996) and Hurley Burley (1998).
He voice acted in as Smokey in Stuart Little (1999) and as Buster in Lady, the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure (2001) and Woolworth in Hoodwinked! (2004). In 2005, he appeared as himself in the Encore documentary, Bullets Over Hollywood.
Later films include The Stony Pony (2011), Once Upon A Time in Queens (2013), Henry & Me (2014) as the voice of Babe Ruth and Legend (2015). Early television appearances include Hill Street Blue (1986), Glory Years (1987). Dallas (1989), Sydney (1990) and Excellent Cadavers (1999). Chazz Palminteri was in the television film Boss of Bosses (2001)where he portrayed the Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano. He was recently in the award-winning television film Unorganised Crime (2018) which he co-wrote and starred in with Kenny D'Aquila.
Awards and Achievements
Chazz Palminteri was presented with a Special Achievement Award for the Performing Arts from the National Italian American Foundation and has also received a Leadership in Entertainment Award from the Coalition of Italo-American Association. He is a member of the Actors Studio in New York City. He won the Method Fest Independent Film Festival’s Indie Hero Award in 2004.
In 1995 Palminteri won the Film Independent Spirits Best Supporting Male award for his role in Bullets Over Broadway (1994). At the Hollywood International Pictures Film Festival (2018), Unorganized Crime (2018) received an award for the Best Short Drama - a distinction shared with Kenny D’Aquila. They also won the 2018 Independent Shorts Awards Gold Award for Unorganized Crime (2018).
Chazz Palminteri is married to Gianna Ranaudo, and they have two children. His Italian restaurant, in partnership with the Empire Steakhouse chain, is located on 30 West 64th Street, New York.