Biography

An intense actor who regularly plays characters of Italian descent, Imperioli first made an impression as an aspiring Mafioso who ill-advisedly laughs at Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. Throughout the '90s, he played a succession of cops, criminals and everymen on the big screen. He was in five films by Spike Lee, including the 1999 drama Summer of Sam, which he cowrote with the director. Imperioli---who had been romantically linked with frequent costar Lili Taylor before marrying another woman in 1995---scored a big year in 1999, when he landed a career-making role on the mob TV series The Sopranos as Tony Soprano's irascible nephew, earning an Emmy win and five Emmy nominations for his multifaceted portrayal. He stayed with the small screen after The Sopranos ended its run in 2007, playing a hard-fisted detective on the out-there cop drama Life on Mars (2008-09) and headlining the police-themed Detroit 1-8-7 in 2010.

Fast Facts

  • Before getting steady work as an actor, earned a living as a furniture mover, messenger, bartender and waiter.
  • Gained a measure of fame as Spider in Goodfellas, who was shot in the foot by Joe Pesci's crazed mobster; in the first season of The Sopranos, his character, Christopher, likewise shoots a young man in the foot for no good reason.
  • Closed a restaurant, Ciel Rouge, that he owned in Manhattan with his wife to open off-Broadway theater Studio Dante.
  • Avid racehorse fan who has directed commercials for OTB, the Off Track Betting franchise.
  • Directed a commercial for Rutgers University's football program. The ad featured his Sopranos costar, James Gandolfini.
  • Wrote five episodes of The Sopranos.
  • Lead singer and guitarist for the rock band La Dolce Vita.
  • Is a member of the Jazz Foundation of America.

Awards

  • 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2006, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2003, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2004, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2005, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 1999, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2003, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee

Relationships

  • Claire Imperioli — Mother
  • Lili Taylor — Ex-significant Other
  • Isabella — Stepdaughter
  • John Imperioli — Brother
  • Victoria Imperioli — Wife
  • David Imperioli — Son
  • Vadim Imperioli — Son
  • Dan Imperioli — Father

Details

  • Birth Place: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
  • Birthday: March 26, 1966, Aries
  • Profession: Actor, Writer
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