Robert Pastorelli

Robert Pastorelli


6/21/1954, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA



Birth Name


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Known for playing streetwise, savvy and ballsy characters, Robert Pastorelli was an accomplished film, TV and stage actor perhaps best known for the role of house painter Eldin on Murphy Brown.

Pastorelli was a former boxer, which added to the tough-guy persona of many of his…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In Cracker, Fitz was supposed to smoke. However, Robert Pastorelli had recently quit smoking, so Fitz would hold or play with a cigarette, but never light up.

    • Recalling Robert Pastorelli after his death, Candace Bergen said, "He was not a traditional guy, which was a huge part of his charm."

    • Robert Pastorelli dated Glenn Close from 1999 until 2004.

    • Murphy Brown creator Diane English wrote the role of Eldin specifically for Robert Pastorelli.

    • Remembering Robert Pastorelli after his death, Diane English said, ''Despite the fact that he had this sort of gangsteresque exterior, he was an incredibly warm and likable person with such a huge heart.''

    • Robert Pastorelli had a near-death experience when he was 19. He was involved in a serious car accident and was in intensive care. While in the hospital, he had a vision of himself outside of his body, and when he saw the pain his death would cause his father, he made the decision to live. The next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital.

    • In reviewing Cracker, the New York Times said Robert Pastorelli delivered "a deft interpretation of the role that is both singular and a respectful echo. While he doesn't go to the extremes of eloquence and chaos that Mr. Coltrane did, he is just as relentless in showing how Fitz's pain can be illuminating."

    • He appeared in an M&M's commercial in 1994.

    • Robert Pastorelli's last film was Be Cool, and it was released posthumously.

    • He was nominated for an Emmy in 1995 (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy, Murphy Brown).

    • Robert Pastorelli has two daughters: Gianna Li, born February 1998, with ex-live-in girlfriend Charmone Jonovich; and Giannina Marie, born March 2000, with long-time girlfriend Jalee Carder.

  • Quotes

    • Robert Pastorelli: (asked by Entertainment Weekly if he would rather take Mother Teresa or Madonna out to dinner) Easy - Madonna. God bless Mother Teresa. But I'd invite the little Italian girl who has shaken up the world.

    • Robert Pastorelli: (why he left "Murphy Brown") The fourth and fifth years were different. It stopped being fun, so I knew I had to move on. If I had stayed, it would have been only for the money, and that's not what acting is all about.

    • Robert Pastorelli: You do a show and go home and don't realize the impact you're having. Then one day you're returning Christmas presents at a mall in New Jersey and you hear people behind you talking. You think, 'Oh, yeah. I do that TV thing. Yeah.'

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  • Died too young...a tragic end to an always entertaining actor.

    It's sad to watch Robert Pastorelli in old movies and TV shows now, because you see his talent on display and the tragedy of his death really hits you. Here was a very talented guy who never really got the break-out success he deserved, and he died before it could happen.

    Like many actors, Pastorelli had a history of substance abuse and hard living, and unfortunately he could never shake that. The timing of his death is really bitter - he had just finished a role in "Be Cool," a major movie and it may have led to more gigs. The role, though small, is goofy and funny and one of the few good parts of that film. Pastorelli could always be counted on to make the most of a "bit" or supporting part, whether it was as William Hurt's sidekick in Michael or as the ex-mob guy in Eraser. His characters stuck with you and he was always able to put a unique spin on them, just like Eldin on Murphy Brown.

    It's a shame too that he didn't have more chances to show off his talents in dramas. As big a fan of the U.S. version of "Cracker" as I am, I realize it was not popular and did not get seen by many. I think people who only knew Pastorelli from "Murphy Brown" would have been pleasantly surprised by his performance.moreless
  • Robert Pastorelli was a great very talented actor and is very missed...

    I loved the work of Robert Pastorelli. Most people do not realize how many movies and tv shows he was in. I am sad for the loss of sucha wonderful actor and will always be a big fan. Robert was very funny and also incredibly diverse. He was amazing in the Yarn Princess in Stricking Distance where is was serious, and even out out there. Robert was about hte only good thing in Be Cool as well. I always wathced anything that guy was in and was always pleaseed with how talented he was. What a huge loss for the acting world!!moreless