Chazz Palminteri

Calogero Lorenzo "Chazz" Palminteri (born May 15, 1952)[1] is an American actor, screenwriter, producer and playwright. He is best known for his Academy Award-nominated role for Best Supporting Actor in Bullets over Broadway, the 1993 film A Bronx Tale, based on his play of the same name, Special Agent Dave Kujan in The Usual Suspects, Primo Sidone in Analyze This and his recurring role as Shorty in Modern Family.

Chazz Palminteri
Palminteri in New York, April 2011
Calogero Lorenzo Palminteri[1]

(1952-05-15) May 15, 1952
ResidenceWestchester County, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, screenwriter, film producer, playwright
Years active1984–present
Gianna Ranaudo (m. 1992)

Early life

Palminteri was born on May 15, 1952, in the Bronx, the son of Rose, a homemaker, and Lorenzo Palminteri, a bus driver.[2] He was raised in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx.[3] Palminteri is of Sicilian origin, his grandparents, Calogero Palminteri and Rosa Bonfante, married in 1908, immigrated to the United States in 1910 from Menfi in the province of Agrigento, Sicily.

He struggled to become a star, splitting his time between acting in off-Broadway plays and moonlighting as a bouncer, alongside Dolph Lundgren. His big break came in 1988 with the premiere of his autobiographical one-man show, A Bronx Tale, which he wrote after being fired from a club for refusing entry to talent agent Swifty Lazar;[4] Robert De Niro later developed and directed a film version (1993).


Film career

Palminteri has had acclaimed dramatic performances in films such as A Bronx Tale, The Perez Family, Jade, and Diabolique, as well as comedic roles in films such as Oscar, Analyze This, and Down to Earth.

During its run, he appeared in many advertisements for Vanilla Coke, in which he portrayed a mob boss who would threaten celebrities if they did not praise the taste of the product in question, and then let them walk away with the Vanilla Coke to "reward their curiosity", touching on its slogan at the time. Palminteri has voiced characters in various animated films, the most notable being Smokey in Stuart Little and Woolworth in Hoodwinked.

He made his directorial debut with an episode of Oz, then the television film Women vs. Men and the 2004 feature film Noel.

Palminteri's recent acting efforts include A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Running Scared, and Arthur and the Minimoys.

In 2004, he received the "Indie Hero Award" from the Method Fest Independent Film Festival for his artistic achievements in film.


Palminteri starred on Broadway in A Bronx Tale, the semiautobiographical one-man show he first performed (as A Bronx Play) at Theatre West in Los Angeles in 1989.[5] The Broadway production, directed by Jerry Zaks and with music by John Gromada, began previews October 4, 2008, at the Walter Kerr Theatre and opened on October 25, running for 18 weeks. Palminteri plays 18 roles in A Bronx Tale, which depicts a rough childhood on the streets of the Bronx. The play ran for two months at Playhouse 91 in 1989. Robert De Niro saw this show there and made his directorial debut with the big-screen version, co-starring with Palminteri.[6]

Palminteri starred opposite Kenny D'Aquila in D'Aquila's play, Unorganized Crime.[7][8] Palminteri always appreciated the shot that Robert De Niro gave him, so he in turn agreed to star in D'Aquila's mafia-themed drama.[9]

Palminteri is currently performing in the Broadway musical version of A Bronx Tale since May 2018.


On January 20, 2010, Palminteri guested on Modern Family and played the same character on the November 2, 2011, episode.[10] Palminteri has reprised the role twice more in season 5. In June 2010, Palminteri began guest-starring on the TNT crime drama Rizzoli & Isles as Frank Rizzoli, Sr. He guest starred twice on the CBS drama Blue Bloods as Angelo Gallo, a mob lawyer and childhood friend of main character Frank Reagan.

Palminteri portrayed deceased mobster Paul Castellano in the 2001 TV film Boss of Bosses.

Other work

In 2011, Palminteri opened a restaurant, Chazz: A Bronx Original, in Baltimore's Little Italy neighborhood; their main foods are coal-fired pizza and Italian food. However, the restaurant closed in 2015.[11] Palminteri opened an Italian restaurant, Chazz Palminteri Ristorante Italiano, in New York City on Second Avenue. Also, Palminteri did the voice acting for the Call of Duty: Black Ops II character Sal De Luca in the zombies map Mob of the Dead, and his likeness was used for the character as well.

Personal life

Palminteri lives in Westchester County, New York. He describes himself as a "very spiritual", devout Roman Catholic.[12] He has two children. He is a self-avowed New York Yankees fan.



1984Home Free AllTruck Hijacker
1985The Last DragonHood No. 2
1992Innocent BloodTony
There Goes the NeighborhoodLyle Corrente
1993A Bronx TaleSonny LoSpecchioAlso writer
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor Also Bullets Over Broadway and The Usual Suspects
1994Bullets over BroadwayCheechIndependent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor Also A Bronx Tale and The Usual Suspects
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
1995The Usual SuspectsDavid "Dave" Kujan, Special Agent, U.S. Customs ServiceNational Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor Also A Bronx Tale and Bullets Over Broadway
The Perez FamilyLt. John Pirelli
The Last WordRicky
JadeMatt Gavin
1996DiaboliqueGuy Baran
FaithfulTonyAlso writer
Dante and the DebutanteAlso producer and writer
Mulholland FallsElleroy Coolidge
1998Scar CityLieutenant Laine Devon
A Night at the RoxburyBenny ZadirUncredited
1999Analyze ThisPrimo Sidone
Stuart LittleSmokeyVoice
2001Down to EarthKing
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's AdventureBusterVoice
One Eyed KingEddie Dugan
2002Poolhall JunkiesJoe
2003One Last RideTweat
Just Like Mona
2004NoelArizonaAlso director
2005Hoodwinked!WoolworthVoice; cameo
Bullets Over Hollywood[13]HimselfEncore documentary
In the MixFrank
2006Running ScaredDetective Rydell
A Guide to Recognizing Your SaintsMontySundance Film Festival – Special Jury Prize for Best Ensemble Performance
Arthur and the MinimoysTravel Agent
Little ManWalken
2007Body ArmourMaxwell
The DukesGeorgeAlso co-producer
2008Yonkers JoeYonkers JoeAlso executive producer
2009Once More with FeelingFrank Gregorio
Hollywood & WineGeno Scarpaci
2011The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon AdventureMarvin Milkshake
SafeEddieAlso producer
2012The Stone PonyAngelo Casella
Mighty FineJoe Fine
2013Once Upon a Time in QueensBen Rose
Underdogs StinkyVoice
2014Henry & MeBabe RuthVoice
2015LegendAngelo Bruno


1986Hill Street BluesSonny CappelitoEpisode: "Bald Ambition"
1987Glory YearsDrummondTV movie
MatlockMP Sgt. MarcyEpisodes: "The Court-Martial: Part 1",
"The Court-Martial: Part 2"
1989DallasFrankEpisode: "He-e-ere's Papa!"
Peter GunnSoldierTV movie
ValerieLeslieEpisode: "Viva Las Vegas"
1st & Ten: The Championship AlEpisode: "Duty Call"
WiseguyPeter Alatorre / Sal RosselliEpisodes: "Sins of the Father",
"Heir to the Throne",
"How Will They Remember Me?"
1990SydneyTonyEpisode: "Love Ya, Babe"
1999Excellent CadaversGiovanni FalconeTV movie
DilbertLeonardo da VinciVoice
Episode: "Art"
2001Boss of BossesPaul CastellanoTV movie
An All-Star Tribute to Brian WilsonHost
2004Dr. VegasDuke WalcottEpisode: "Lust for Life"
2005KojakCaptain Frank McNeil5 episodes
2010–2014Rizzoli & IslesFrank Rizzoli Sr.6 episodes
2010–2017Modern FamilyShorty5 episodes
2012–2013Blue BloodsAngelo GalloEpisodes: "Secrets and Lies",[14]
"Justice Served"[15]
2014Law & Order: Special Victims UnitPerry CannavaroEpisode: "Jersey Breakdown"
2015The Making of the Mob: New YorkHimself
Kevin Can WaitVincentEpisode: "Plus One Is the Loneliest Number"
2017Voltron: Legendary DefenderBurrowing AlienEpisode: "The Voltron Show!"
2019Godfather of HarlemJoe BonannoSupporting role

Video games

2012Call of Duty: Black Ops IISalvatore "Sal" DeLucaThe "Uprising" DLC, featured on the Zombies map "Mob of the Dead"

Theatre work


  • 2007 – A Bronx Tale – performer
  • 2013 – Human – performer and writer
  • 2016 – A Bronx Tale – writer and performer



  1. Chazz Palminteri bio. Retrieved on 2013-11-19.
  2. Duggan, Dennis (December 24, 1989). "A Playwright (And an Actor) Grows in the Bronx". Newsday.
  3. Allis, Sam (March 22, 2009). "All that Chazz". Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  4. "Broadway Names with Julie James", On Broadway, SiriusXM Radio, October 11, 2012
  5. The Villager, Vol. 77, No. 23; November 713, 2007
  6. "Cheri, Based on Colette's Classic Novella, Begins Performances Off-Broadway". November 19, 2013.
  7. "Kenny D'Aquila".
  8. "'Unorganized Crime' a quirky mob-family melodrama". Los Angeles Times.
  9. "Chazz Palminteri Talks New Play 'Unorganized Crime,' Getting His Start from Robert DeNiro (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  10. Natalie Abrams (October 26, 2009). "Elizabeth Banks and Chazz Palminteri to Guest-Star on Modern Family".
  11. "Chazz: A Bronx Original Closes". Baltimore magazine. January 26, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  12. Rypka, Marsala (December 2009) "With Chazz Palminteri". Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2014..
  13. "Bullets Over Hollywood (2005)". Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  14. "Blue Bloods: Season 3, Episode 9 Secrets and Lies". Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  15. "Blue Bloods: Season 4, Episode 8 ; Justice Served". Retrieved January 22, 2016.
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