Chazz Palminteri - Rotten Tomatoes

Chazz Palminteri

Highest Rated:   96% Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
Lowest Rated:   7% Faithful (1996)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   New York, NY, USA
Actor, playwright, and screenwriter Chazz Palminteri is anything but an overnight success. For him, stardom was the result of nearly 20 years of relative obscurity as he worked his way from nightclubs to off-Broadway to small television roles. It was only after he penned his one-man 35-character autobiographical play A Bronx Tale that the then-36-year-old actor hit the big time. A big, burly Italian, he has since specialized in playing heavies and other bad guys. Born Calogero Lorenzo Palminteri, the son of a Bronx bus driver, he first dreamed of an acting career at age 13. Following high school, however, Palminteri became a singer and spent over a decade as a lounge crooner; he was also a member of a pop group. Though he made a decent living, Palminteri couldn't forget his initial aspiration and, in 1982, devoted himself full-time to acting. While attending acting classes and auditioning, Palminteri supported himself as a doorman and spent the next few years working off-Broadway in small roles. In 1988, he headed to Southern California to work as a bit-player on television, making his debut appearance on Hill Street Blues. After two years of playing relatively inconsequential parts, a frustrated Palminteri took matters into his own hands and, on five yellow legal pads, wrote the script for A Bronx Tale. The play debuted at the West Coast Ensemble theater to critical raves. He then took it to Playhouse 91 in New York, where it played to standing-room-only crowds for four months. One night, Robert DeNiro caught it and was greatly impressed by both Palminteri and his play. Shortly afterward, Palminteri was visited by Hollywood producers wanting to by the film rights. Cagily, he refused to sell unless he was guaranteed the lead. Four years later, with help from DeNiro, who would use it for his directorial debut and play a supporting role, Palminteri's wish came true. Released in 1993, A Bronx Tale received critical praise but did not catch on with audiences. Still, it was enough to jump-start Palminteri's film career and, in 1994, he co-starred in Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway as Cheech, a gangster thug with a love of the theater. Palminteri's portrayal of Cheech earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 1996, another of Palminteri's plays, Faithful, the offbeat story of a strange relationship between a suicidal housewife and the thug her husband hires to kill her, became a film starring himself and Cher. A subsequent turn as the malevolent headmaster of a prestigious private school in the same year's Diabolique found Palminteri hanging up his gangster hat to turn in an especially menacing performance, with subsequent roles in Mulholland Falls, Analyze This, and Just Like Mona showing an actor who had perfected roles on both sides of the law and seemed to show little interest in branching out. Vocal performances in Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure and the computer animated 2005 comedy Hoodwinked made impressive use of the screen heavy's distinctive voice, and gave the longtime screen actor a chance to have some fun without necessarily having the stress of being on camera. A rare voyage into weekly television followed when Palminteri served as boss to one of television's greatest detectives in the 2005 revival of Kojack (this time featuring actor Ving Rhames in the role of the lollipop -munching cop), with a subsequent role as a crooked cop in Wayne Kramer's hyper-stylized action entry Running Scared finding the actor remaining safely behind the badge. One of six co-recipients of a Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Ensemble Performance at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival for his participation in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Palminteri cold next be seen as a diamond-hunting gangster searching for a most unusual thief in the Wayans brothers comedy Little Man (2006). Since then, Palminteri has divided his time between family life and his film career.

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
61% Legend
  • Angelo Bruno
$14.2M 2015
No Score Yet Gotti: Three Generations
  • Paul Castellano
2015
67% Underdogs (Metegol)
  • Actor
$0.2M 2015
No Score Yet Henry & Me
  • Babe Ruth
2014
No Score Yet Final Recourse
  • Jerry
2013
No Score Yet Hollywood & Wine
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Once Upon a Time in Queens
  • Actor
2013
27% The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure
  • Milky Marvin
$1.1M 2012
20% Mighty Fine
  • Executive Producer
  • Joe Fine
2012
No Score Yet Cat Tale
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet Body Armour
  • Lee Maxwell
2009
No Score Yet Once More with Feeling
  • Frank Gregorio
2009
55% Yonkers Joe
  • Executive Producer
  • Yonkers Joe
2009
50% Jolene
  • Sal Fontaine
2008
No Score Yet Yankee Stadium: Baseball's Cathedral
  • Narrator
2008
57% The Dukes
  • George
  • Producer
2007
21% Arthur and the Invisibles (Arthur and the Minimoys)
  • Travel Agent
$15.1M 2007
76% A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
  • Monty
$0.5M 2006
No Score Yet Push
  • Vince
2006
12% Little Man
  • Walken
$58.3M 2006
40% Running Scared
  • Detective Rydell
$6.7M 2006
14% In the Mix
  • Frank
$10.2M 2005
No Score Yet Animal
  • Kassada
2005
46% Hoodwinked
  • Woolworth the Sheep
$50.9M 2005
29% Noel
  • Arizona
  • Director
2004
No Score Yet One Last Ride
  • Tweat
2003
No Score Yet Women vs. Men
  • Director
2002
34% Poolhall Junkies
  • Joe
$0.6M 2002
No Score Yet One Eyed King
  • Eddie Dugan
2001
20% Down to Earth
  • King
$63.1M 2001
45% Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure
  • Buster
2000
66% Stuart Little
  • Smokey
1999
63% Excellent Cadavers
  • Giovanni Falcone
1999
No Score Yet Boss of Bosses
  • Paul Castellano
1999
No Score Yet Scar City
  • Actor
1999
69% Analyze This
  • Primo Sindone
1999
60% Hurlyburly
  • Phil
1998
11% A Night at the Roxbury
  • Zadir (uncredited)
1998
No Score Yet Scarred City
  • Lain Devon
1998
No Score Yet Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's
  • Actor
1997
31% Mulholland Falls
  • Ellery Coolidge
1996
7% Faithful
  • Screenwriter
1996
12% Diabolique
  • Guy Baran
1996
No Score Yet Little Italy
  • Actor
1996
14% Jade
  • Matt
1995
No Score Yet The Last Word
  • Ricky
1995
88% The Usual Suspects
  • Dave Kujan
1995
63% The Perez Family
  • Officer Pirelli
1995
96% Bullets Over Broadway
  • Cheech
1994
96% A Bronx Tale
  • Screenwriter
  • Sonny
1993
No Score Yet There Goes the Neighborhood (Paydirt)
  • Lyle
1992
41% Innocent Blood
  • Tony
1992
13% Oscar
  • Connie
1991
33% The Last Dragon
  • Hood
1985
No Score Yet Home Free All
  • Hijacker
1983

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
  • Perry Cannavaro
  • 2014
85% Modern Family
2009
  • Shorty
  • 2014
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
No Score Yet Rizzoli & Isles
2010-2016
  • Frank Rizzoli
  • 2014
  • 2012
  • 2010
No Score Yet Blue Bloods
2010
  • Angelo Gallo
  • 2013
  • 2012
No Score Yet Oz
1997-2003
  • Director
  • 1999

Quotes from Chazz Palminteri's Characters