Joe Pantoliano

Joe Pantoliano


9/12/1951, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA

Birth Name

Joseph Peter Pantoliano



Also Known As

Joey Pants
out of 10
User Rating
41 votes


You may not have heard of him, but the odds are that you have seen him. Joe Pantoliano has been credited for over 100 film, television and stage appearances. He is a fantastic character actor best known for his roles as rough, tough, and sometimes dirty characters. Pantoliano…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Pantoliano is the president and founder of "No Kidding, Me Too!" After he had been diagnosed with clinical depression, Pantoliano founded this organization to help people who suffer from mental illness. There are numerous celebrities who support the organization and serve on the advisory board.

    • Pantoliano wrote a biography, Who's Sorry Now: The True Story of a Stand-Up Guy (2002, Dutton Books.)

    • Pantoliano is a member of the board for The Creative Coalition; it is a nonpartisan organization of entertainers that use their celebrity to inform the public of pressing issues.

    • Joe Pantoliano was previously a co-owner of the Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills.

    • Pantoliano often goes by the nickname, Joey Pants. Pantoliano is Italian for pants.

    • Pantoliano's work in the Wachowski brother's debut thriller,Bound (1996) impressed them so much that they created the character of Cypher in The Matrix (1999) just for him.

    • In 1980, Pantoliano made is film debut in 1980, in The Idolmaker.

    • Pantoliano's height is 9.25" (1.76 M.)

    • Joe had to overcome a severe case of dyslexia as a child.

    • Joe is part Italian.

    • Joe was awarded an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for his role as Ralph Cifaretto on The Sopranos.

  • Quotes

    • Pantoliano:(On the reasons he has shared story of mental illness) My reason? I see an injustice. And you can use celebrity, my celebrity, to shine a bright light. To bring this out of the shadows. Mental illness is the only illness where you get yelled at, get shamed, for having it. Shining a light is a way of obliterating that shame. And if I can be that light? Yeah.

    • Pantoliano: They say that politics is show business for ugly people.

    • Pantoliano: I liked Matrix Reloaded better than I liked the first one. I haven't seen Revolutions. I loved Cypher. He was very human. He was the one guy that doubted Morpheus, that doubted the real world. He was best served to go back into The Matrix and be a movie star and never know he was out of it. What a deal that would be!

    • Pantoliano: My real fear playing Ralphie in The Sopranos was that I would be typescast. Luckily, like Jimmy Gandolfini, I was able to get plenty of other work - Bad Boys 2 and Daredevil in particular. But in a way, Ralphie encouraged me to do more, to ensure he didn't define me. That's why I did Frankie & Johnny on Broadway and, to be honest, it's why I took the role in The Handler - to show my fanbase that there's more to me that just that nutcase, Ralphie.

    • Pantoliano: A character actor to me was someone who played a bunch of different roles versus a leading man or supporting actor, I wanted to be a character actor and do good parts. The guys that inspired me were Spencer Tracy, Robert Duvall, Albert Finney and Michael Caine, you, know, urban guys that came from the street. I just thought if they could do it then so could I. They were the kinda guys who started out being the fourth guy through the door and then, at last, they get a line of dialogue.

    • Pantoliano: (On making the transition from character actor to leading actor): It doesn't make any difference if you're a lead. It's all playtime.

    • Pantoliano: There aren't any small parts, only small paychecks.

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    Joe Pantoliano is a truly cool actor. You really believe that he got into acting because he loves it for what it is. You'll never see him in any tabloids and you won't hear any gossip about him. In his roles, you sense more realism than many other actor's who are considered more talented than he. Of all of his roles in all of his movies, my favorite has to be "The Matrix."moreless
  • A skilled that has proven he can take on almost any roll given to him.

    When most people think of a role that "Joey Pants" has played they will likely to think of a roll where he was a bad guy. Whether it be Ready to Rumble, the Matrix (Cypher), or The Sopranos, this actor has proven he's the guy you love to hate.

    The skill of this actor above all else is that he will constantly suprise the audience with his rolls. If one looks at many of his acting jobs, they are so unique and different that unless someone is told they will likely not realize who they are watching.

    While he has never proven himself good enough to be a leading actor for the most part and likely will not be the leading actor, with his skill, he makes a perfect actor to tie a tv show together such as The Handler or to have a medium size part in movies, such as Bad Boys, The Fugative.

    He has also written an autobiography about his life growing up in an Italian family, which shines a little light on how he got started into acting.

    Overall Joe Pantoliano is definatly a guy to watch. He gives a compelling performance every time, and definatly will grow to be one of the great character actors.moreless