born February 9, 1943, Newark, New Jersey
Joseph Frank Pesci is a semi-retired Italian-American actor, comedian and musician, known for playing tough, volatile characters, in a variety of genres. He is best known for a trio of Martin Scorsese films in which he co-starred with Robert De Niro: Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995).
Pesci has starred in a number of other high-profile films, including Easy Money (1983), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Home Alone (1990), JFK (1991), My Cousin Vinny (1992), Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), A Bronx Tale (1993), and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998). He announced his retirement from acting in 1999, and since then he has appeared only sporadically in films, including a cameo appearance in the 2006 spy thriller The Good Shepherd, directed by De Niro. In late 2015, Pesci was announced by Martin Scorsese as part of the intended cast for the upcoming crime drama The Irishman.
Casino, Desert Scene with Joe Pesci and Robert de Niro
An interesting story: The first film he starred in was the 1975 low-budget crime film The Death Collector. After the film Pesci returned to run his restaurant in The Bronx. He then got a telephone call from Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro who were impressed with his performance in the film and asked him to co-star in a 1980 film with De Niro, Scorsese’s –Raging Bull. Pesci accepted the role and won the BAFTA Film Award for Newcomer to Leading Film Roles and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In 1990, Pesci won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the psychopathic mobster Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas.