Armand Assante
Armand Assante at a film screening in Chicago 2015
Armand Anthony Assante, Jr.

(1949-10-04) October 4, 1949 (age 72)
Years active1974–present

Armand Anthony Assante Jr. (/ɑːˈsɑːnti/; born October 4, 1949) is an American actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles as mobster John Gotti in the 1996 HBO television film Gotti, as Odysseus in the 1997 mini-series adaptation of Homer's The Odyssey, as Nietzsche in When Nietzsche Wept, and as Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer in 1982's I, the Jury. His performance in Gotti earned him a Primetime Emmy Award and nominations for the Golden Globe Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award.

Early life

Assante was born in New York City and raised in Cornwall, New York, the son of Armand Anthony Assante Sr. (August 5, 1922 – August 25, 2017),[1] a painter and artist, and Katharine (née Healy) (October 16, 1921 – June 29, 2011), a music teacher, English teacher and poet.[2][3][4] He is of Italian and Irish descent.[5]


During the 1970s, Assante was a regular on two NBC soap operas, How to Survive a Marriage as Johnny McGee and The Doctors as Mike Powers. His first film was The Lords of Flatbush (1974), although his work did not appear in the final cut of the film and the end credits misspelled his last name as Assanti. His first on-screen role was playing Sylvester Stallone's brother in Paradise Alley and a role that brought him greater attention came in 1980's Private Benjamin as a handsome Frenchman who becomes the love interest of a U.S. soldier played by Goldie Hawn. In 1984 he portrayed the playboy violin virtuoso Maximillian Stein in the Dudley Moore comedy vehicle Unfaithfully Yours.

Assante's somewhat sinister look has made him a popular choice for tough-guy heroes, as in his acclaimed starring role as private eye Mike Hammer in the film I, the Jury (1982) or as Mafia gangsters such as Michael Moretti in Sidney Sheldon's Rage of Angels. In 1990 his role as Roberto Texador in Sidney Lumet's film Q&A garnered him a Golden Globe nomination, and the following year he portrayed the notorious Bugsy Siegel in Neil Simon's The Marrying Man (1991). The following year he was seen as mafia boss Carol D'Allesandro in Hoffa (1992) starring Jack Nicholson, and crime kingpin John Gotti in the 1996 made-for-television biopic Gotti, for which he won his Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

In addition to mafia and "tough-guy" roles, Assante has distinguished himself in historical dramas, such as Napoleon Bonaparte in 1987's Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story opposite Jacqueline Bisset, the heroic Odysseus in The Odyssey, Friedrich Nietzsche in the film adaptation of Irving Yalom's novel When Nietzsche Wept, and as Sanchez, Queen Isabella's Minister of State, in 1492: Conquest of Paradise.

Other notable film appearances include one as a Cuban bandleader in The Mambo Kings opposite Antonio Banderas and in the adaptation of the science-fiction story Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone, his co-star in Paradise Alley. He appeared in the 2007 film American Gangster with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. He had a recurring guest star role in several episodes of NCIS, playing the international arms dealer René Benoit. He has also appeared in the 2009 horror film Smile as the mysterious Tollinger. Outside of the U.S., he has participated in several film projects and humanitarian endeavors in Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

Other work

In 2013, Assante became a partner in his own premium cigar brand known as Ora Vivo Cigars.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1974 The Lords of Flatbush Wedding guest
1978 Paradise Alley Lenny Carboni
1979 Prophecy John Hawks
1980 Little Darlings Gary Callahan
Private Benjamin Henri Alan Tremont
Sophia Loren: Her Own Story Riccardo Scicolone
1982 Love and Money Lorenzo Prado
I, the Jury Mike Hammer
1984 Unfaithfully Yours Maximillian Stein
1986 Belizaire the Cajun Belizaire Breaux
1988 The Penitent Juan Mateo
1989 Eternity Romi
Animal Behavior Mark Mathias
1990 Q&A Roberto Texador Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1991 The Marrying Man Bugsy Siegel
1992 The Mambo Kings Caesar Castillo
1492: Conquest of Paradise Sanchez
Hoffa Carl 'Dally' D'Allesandro
1993 Fatal Instinct Ned Ravine
1994 Trial by Jury 'Rusty' Pirone
1995 Judge Dredd Rico
1996 Striptease Lieutenant Al Garcia
1998 Looking for an Echo Vince 'Vinnie' Pirelli
2000 The Road to El Dorado Tzekel-Kan Nominated—Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
2001 Last Run Frank Banner
One Eyed King Hollis 'Holly' Cone
2002 Partners in Action Jack Cunningham
2003 Citizen Verdict Sam Patterson
Consequence Sam Tyler
2005 Casanova's Last Stand Sebastian Marr
Children of Wax Kemal
Dot.Kill Charlie Daines
The Third Wish Benefactor
Mirror Wars York
Two for the Money C.M. Novian
Confessions of a Pit Fighter Argento
Rambam: The Story of Maimonides Yitzchak, the Inkman Voice, illustrated animated film
2006 Funny Money Genero
Dead Lenny Tony 'Thick'
Soul's Midnight Simon
Surveillance Harley
2007 Mexican Sunrise Salvidar
California Dreamin' Captain Doug Jones
When Nietzsche Wept Nietzsche
American Gangster Dominic Cottano Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2008 La Linea Padre Antonio
The Man Who Came Back Amos
2009 Smile Tollinger
The Steam Experiment Detective Mancini
Chicago Overcoat Stefano D'Agnostino
Breaking Point Marty Berlin
Magic Man Taper
The Bleeding Jake Plummer
2010 Shadows in Paradise Captain John 'Ghost' Santo
Killer by Nature Eugene Branch
2011 The Return of Joe Rich Uncle Dom
2013 Dead Man Down Lon Gordon
Assumed Killer Aaron Banfield
Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn Joseph Baldano Sr.
2014 Montevideo, vidimo se! Hotchkins
A Fine Step Bolivar
2015 Kids vs Monsters Damian
Sicilian Vampire Vince
2016 Darc Lafique
The Red Maple Leaf Joe Cortez
Stressed to Kill Paul Jordan
2017 The Neighborhood Tucci
Diamond Cartel Mussa
First Law Don Nowet
You Can't Have It The Man
Joe's War Dr. Galante
The Wanderers: The Quest of The Demon Hunter Louis
Power of Silence Narrator
2018 Con Man Jack Saxon
Lazarat Pedulla
Darc Lafique
2019 General Andreas
2020 The Match Camp Commander

Television films

Year Title Role Notes
1975 First Ladies Diaries Robards
1978 Human Feelings Johnny Turner
Lady of the House Ernest
The Pirate Ahmed
1983 Rage of Angels Michael Moretti
1984 Why Me? James Stalling
1986 A Deadly Business Charles Macaluso
1987 Stranger in My Bed Hal Slater
Hands of a Stranger Joe Hearn
1989 Passion and Paradise Alfred de Marigny
1991 Fever Ray
1994 Blind Justice Canaan
1995 Kidnapped Alan Breck Stewart
1996 Gotti John Gotti Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
1999 The Hunley Lieutenant George E. Dixon
2000 On the Beach Commander Dwight Towers
2001 After the Storm Jean-Pierre
2002 Federal Protection Frank Carbone
2008 Shark Swarm Hamilton Lux
2009 The Lost Kevin

Television series

Year Title Role Notes
1974–1975 How to Survive a Marriage Johnny McGee N/A
1975–1977 The Doctors Mike Powers #6 102 episodes
1977 Kojak Tom Ryan Episode: "Caper on a Quiet Street"
1979 Mrs. Columbo Freddie Faust Episode: "A Chilling Surprise"
1985 Evergreen Joe Friedman 3 episodes
1987 Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story Napoleon Bonaparte 3 episodes - ABC-TV miniseries
1988 Jack the Ripper Richard Mansfield 2 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1997 The Odyssey Odysseus 2 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
2002 Push, Nevada N/A Episode: "The Amount"
2006 ER Richard Elliot 4 episodes
2007 NCIS 'La Grenouille' 5 episodes
2008 October Road Gabriel Diaz 2 episodes
2010 Chuck Premier Alejandro Goya 2 episodes
Human Target Joubert Episode: "Christopher Chance"
2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Nicolas Amaro Episode: "Padre Sandunguero"
2018 The Deuce Mr. Martino Episode: "Nobody Has to Get Hurt"
2018-present The Family Business Sal Dash

Awards and nominations

Emmy Awards

Golden Globe Awards

Screen Actors Guild Awards

Annie Awards

In 2010, Assante received a star on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[7]


  1. ^ "Armand Assante, Sr. - Friday, August 25, 2017".
  2. ^ Armand Assante Biography (1949-)[dead link]
  3. ^ Cutting Edge Voices Presents an Interview with Kathy Haggerty Archived May 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Obituaries: Katherine Assante". Cornwall and Cornwall on Hudson. 3 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-12-13. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Broeske, From Pat H. (6 May 1990). "Assante: Versatile, but Not French" – via LA Times.
  6. ^ William Cooper, "Cigar Preview: Ora Vivo Armand Assante by Victor Vitale," Cigar Coop, July 11, 2013.
  7. ^ "Inductees 2010". Italian Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2016.