Joe Mantegna
Mantegna at a 2014 Evening Parade reception in Washington, D.C.
Joseph Anthony Mantegna

(1947-11-13) November 13, 1947 (age 76)
EducationMorton College
Art Institute of Chicago
Years active1969–present
Arlene Vrhel
(m. 1975)
Children2, including Gia Mantegna

Joseph Anthony Mantegna (/mɑːnˈtnjə/, Italian pronunciation: [manˈteɲɲa]; born November 13, 1947) is an American actor. He has starred in the CBS television series Criminal Minds since 2007 as FBI Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi. He has voiced the recurring role of mob boss Fat Tony on the animated series The Simpsons, beginning with the 1991 episode "Bart the Murderer", as well as The Simpsons Movie (2007).

Mantegna began his career on stage in 1969 in the Chicago production of the musical Hair. He earned a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play and a Joseph Jefferson Award for portraying Richard Roma in the first American productions of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize–winning play Glengarry Glen Ross, the first of many collaborations with Mamet.[1] His long-standing association with Mamet includes the premieres of A Life in the Theatre, The Disappearance of the Jews and Speed-the-Plow on Broadway. Mantegna also directed a highly lauded production of Mamet's Lakeboat, which enjoyed a successful theatrical run in Los Angeles. He later directed the film version of Lakeboat.[2] In addition to theatrical appearances directed by Mamet, Mantegna appeared in Mamet's films House of Games (1987), Things Change (1988), Homicide (1991), and Redbelt (2008).

In film and on television, Mantegna is best known for his roles in box office hits such as Three Amigos (1986), The Godfather Part III (1990), Forget Paris (1995), and Up Close and Personal (1996). He starred in the television series First Monday (2002) and Joan of Arcadia (2003–2005). He has earned Emmy Award nominations for his roles in three different miniseries: The Last Don (1997), The Rat Pack (1998), and The Starter Wife (2007). He has also served as executive producer for various movies and television movies, including Corduroy (1984), Hoods (1998), and Lakeboat (2000), which he also directed. Additionally, he played Robert B. Parker's fictional detective Spenser in three made-for-TV movies between 1999 and 2001, and has narrated a number of audiobook readings of the Spenser novels.

Early life

Mantegna was born on November 13, 1947, in Chicago to Italian American parents.[3] His parents were Mary Ann (Novelli; 1916–2017), a shipping clerk from Acquaviva delle Fonti, Apulia, Italy,[4] and Joseph Henry Mantegna, an insurance salesman[5] from Calascibetta, Sicily,[6] who died in 1971 of tuberculosis.[7]

Mantegna was raised Catholic[8] and attended J. Sterling Morton High School East in Cicero, Illinois. He then attended Morton College and the Goodman School of Drama at the Art Institute of Chicago (now at DePaul University), leaving just before graduation in 1969.[9][10]

As a young man in Chicago, he played bass in a band called The Apocryphals, which later played with another local group, The Missing Links, who went on to form the band Chicago. As of 2007, Mantegna remained very close to the original members of Chicago.[11]

Mantegna started off in the film industry as a photographer, taking headshots.[12]


Mantegna in 2009

Mantegna made his acting debut in the Chicago production of the stage musical Hair (1969) and debuted on Broadway in Working (1978). He co-wrote Bleacher Bums, an award-winning play which was first performed at Chicago's Organic Theater Company, and was a member of its original cast. In the movie Xanadu (1980), he had a small role which was cut, although since his name is in the film's credits, Mantegna gets residuals for the film.[13]

Mantegna won a Tony award for his portrayal of Richard Roma in David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross. He has had a long and successful association with Mamet, appearing in a number of his works.[14]

Mantegna made his feature film debut in Medusa Challenger (1977). He played womanizing dentist Bruce Fleckstein in Compromising Positions (1985). He starred in an episode of The Twilight Zone in 1985 called Shelter Skelter. His other early film roles were supporting performances in The Money Pit (1986), Weeds (1987) and Suspect (1987).

He also starred in the critically acclaimed movies House of Games (1987) and Things Change (1988), both written by Mamet. He and Things Change co-star Don Ameche received the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival. In 1991, Mantegna starred in another Mamet story, the highly praised police thriller Homicide.

Mantegna has played a wide range of roles, from the comic, as a jaded disc jockey in Airheads and an inept kidnapper from Baby's Day Out, to the dramatic, in roles such as Joey Zasa, a treacherous mobster in The Godfather Part III (1990) and an Emmy-nominated performance as singer Dean Martin in HBO's film The Rat Pack (1998).

Mantegna has a recurring role in the animated series The Simpsons as the voice of mob boss Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico. He insists on voicing the character every time he appears, no matter how little dialogue he has. To quote Mantegna: "If Fat Tony sneezes, I want to be there." However, in one instance, Phil Hartman voiced Fat Tony in the episode "A Fish Called Selma".

Mantegna spoofed himself when he hosted Saturday Night Live for the 1990–1991 season in which he calmly began his monologue by saying he did not wish to be typecast from his gangster roles. A disappointed little boy and his father leave, as they mistakenly believed the host would be Joe Montana (the football player) due to the similar names. Mantegna then began speaking in a low, controlled voice to the little boy, telling him it was best to stay in the audience and respect his performance; he warned the boy that if he (Mantegna) made a call, then Montana would not play in his next game—an implication that Mantegna's true personality equaled his gangster roles.

In 2002, Mantegna starred as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Joseph Novelli, on the CBS midseason replacement drama First Monday.[15]

Mantegna received the Lifetime Achievement Award on April 26, 2004, at the Los Angeles Italian Film Festival.[16]

On August 11, 2007, Mantegna signed on to replace departing star Mandy Patinkin on the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds.[17][18] Starting with season 9, he also directed several episodes.

Mantegna is very close with all his co-stars on Criminal Minds but is especially close with Shemar Moore. He is said to act like a father figure for Moore.[12]

Since 2006, he has co-narrated the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall in Washington D.C., with Gary Sinise.[19]

In 2016, he took part in an event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art reading some of Gabriele Tinti's poems about Hercules.[20][21]

Mantegna is said to have helped Verne Troyer get into the industry and presented him with the Media Access Award before his death.[12]


On April 29, 2011, Mantegna received the 2,438th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.[22] On June 6, 2011, Mantegna's hometown of Cicero, Illinois celebrated his body of work with an honorary street sign—Joe Mantegna Boulevard—on the northeast corner of Austin Boulevard and 25th Street, the location of his high school.[23] In 2014, Mantegna received a star on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto.[24] On May 3, 2017, the city of Chicago dedicated Joe Mantegna Way, a section of Armitage Avenue where Mantegna lived during his early acting days.[25]

On April 4, 2015, Mantegna received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Film and Television from The Riverside International Film Festival.[26] On May 22, 2015, Mantegna received the Saint Pio Award from the Saint Pio Foundation, in recognition of his outstanding contribution in being an extraordinary individual in "providing relief from suffering to those in need".

An avid firearms enthusiast, he is the host of MidwayUSA's Gun Stories on the cable television Outdoor Channel.[27]

Personal life

Mantegna married Arlene Vrhel on October 3, 1975. He said in an interview on The Talk that the 300th episode of Criminal Minds aired on October 3, 2018, their 43rd wedding anniversary, and he apologized during that interview for working on their anniversary.

They have two daughters: Mia and Gia. Arlene owned a Chicago-themed restaurant in Burbank, California, named Taste Chicago, which closed on March 22, 2019, for personal reasons.[28] Mia, born 1987, is autistic[29] and works as a make-up artist.[30][31] She has also appeared with her father on KCAL-TV in support of Autism Awareness Month (April). Gina was born in 1990 and changed her name to Gia at age eighteen.[29]

Mantegna is a Chicago Cubs fan and has led the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch multiple times.[32][33] This was referenced in the show Criminal Minds where his character David Rossi's office is decked with Cubs gear.

In 1988, during the play Speed the Plow, Mantegna was stricken with Bell's Palsy. Although considered temporary,[34] Mantegna still has persistent facial characteristics of the disease.[1]



Year Title Role Notes
1977 Medusa Challenger Joe
1978 Towing Chris
A Steady Rain N/A
1979 To Be Announced N/A
1980 Xanadu The Muses Scenes deleted[citation needed]
1983 Second Thoughts Orderly
1985 Compromising Positions Bruce Fleckstein
1986 The Money Pit Art Shirk
Off Beat Pete Peterson
Three Amigos Harry Flugleman
1987 Critical Condition Arthur Chambers
House of Games Mike
Weeds Carmine
Suspect Charlie Stella
1988 Things Change Jerry
1989 Wait Until Spring, Bandini Bandini
1990 The Godfather Part III Joey Zasa
Alice Joe
1991 Queens Logic Al
Homicide Bobby Gold
Bugsy George Raft
1993 Body of Evidence Robert Garrett
Family Prayers Martin Jacobs
Searching for Bobby Fischer Fred Waitzkin
1994 Baby's Day Out Eddie
Airheads Ian
1995 Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys Joey Franelli
For Better or Worse Stone
Forget Paris Andy
Above Suspicion Alan Rhinehart
1996 Eye for an Eye Det. Sgt. Denillo
Up Close & Personal Bucky Terranova
Underworld Frank Gavilan / Frank Cassady / Richard Essex
Albino Alligator A.T.F. Agent G.D. Browning
Thinner Richie Ginelli
Persons Unknown Jim Holland
1998 Jerry and Tom Tom
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit Gomez
For Hire Alan Webber
Hoods Angelo Martinelli
Celebrity Tony Gardella
Boy Meets Girl Il Magnifico
1999 Airspeed Raymond Stone
Error in Judgment Eric
The Runner Rocco
Liberty Heights Nate Kurtzman
2000 Lakeboat Guy at Gate Uncredited[citation needed]
Body and Soul Alex Dumas
More Dogs Than Bones Desalvo
The Last Producer TBA
2001 Fall: The Price of Silence Agent Jim Danaher
The Trumpet of the Swan Monty Voice role
Laguna Nicola Pianon
Off Key Ricardo Palacios
Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal Frank Garner
2002 Mother Ghost Jerry
2003 Uncle Nino Robert Micelli
2004 First Flight Robert Sloan Voice role
Stateside Gil Deloach
Pontormo: A Heretical Love Pontormo
A Very Married Christmas Frank Griffin
2005 Nine Lives Richard
Edmond Man in Bar
The Kid & I Davis Roman
2007 Elvis and Anabelle Charlie
Naked Fear Sheriff Tom Benike
Cougar Club Mr. Stack
Stories USA Mike (segment "Club Soda")
The Simpsons Movie Fat Tony Voice role
2008 Hank and Mike Mr. Pan
West of Brooklyn Gaetano D'Amico
Witless Protection Dr. Rondog 'Doc' Savage
Redbelt Jerry Weiss
Childless Richard
Who's Wagging Who? Rudy Voice role
Justice League: The New Frontier Crooner Voice role
The Last Hit Man Harry Tremayne
2009 Lonely Street Jerry Finkelman
Archie's Final Project Indian Psychiatrist
The Assistants Gary Greene
The House That Jack Built Jack Sr.
2010 Pop Shock Billy
Valentine's Day Angry Driver
Hoods Angelo 'Ange' Martinelli
2011 Cars 2 Grem Voice role
Sacks West N/A Short film
The Yule Tide Good Samaritan Tim O'Neill
2013 Compulsion Detective Reynolds
2014 10 Cent Pistol Punchy
AirBurst: The Soda of Doom MM-Ci Voice role
2015 Kill Me, Deadly Bugsy Siegel
2016 The Bronx Bull Rick Rosselli
2020 Rolling Thunder Joe [35]


Year Title Role Notes
1979 Elvis Joe Esposito Television film
1979 Bleacher Bums Decker Television film
1980–1981 Soap Juan One Recurring role, 7 episodes
1981 It's a Living Louis Allen Episode: "Of Mace and Men"
1981 Bosom Buddies The Shiek Episode: "The Road To Monte Carlo"
1981–1982 Open All Night Change / Arab Episodes: "Night Moves", "Centerfold", "A Visit from the Folks"
1982 The Greatest American Hero Juan Episode: "Now You See It"
1982 Archie Bunker's Place Joe Garver Episode: "Of Mice and Bunker"
1982 Simon & Simon Henry Episode: "Emeralds Are Not a Girl's Best Friend"
1984 Comedy Zone Various 2 episodes
1984 The Outlaws Yuri Television film
1985 Big Shots in America Jovan Joey Shagula Television film
1987 The Twilight Zone Harry Dobbs Episode: "Shelter Skelter"
1991 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Joe Mantegna/Vanilla Ice"
1991–present The Simpsons Fat Tony / Fit Tony / Fat-Fit Tony Recurring voice role; 39 episodes
1992 The Comrades of Summer Sparky Smith Television film
1992 The Water Engine Lawrence Oberman Television film
1993 Fallen Angels Carl Streeter Episode: "The Quiet Room"
1993 Frasier Derek Mann Voice role; episode: "I Hate Frasier Crane"
1994 State of Emergency Dr. John Novelli Television film
1995 Favorite Deadly Sins Frank Musso Television film
1997 Duckman Rube Richter Voice role; episode: "A Star is Abhorred", "Love! Anger! Kvetching!"
1997 Rugrats Jack Montello Voice role; episode: "Looking for Jack"
1997 A Call to Remember Davis Tobias Television film
1997 Face Down Bob Signorelli Television film
1997 Merry Christmas, George Bailey Joseph/Nick Television film
1997 The Last Don Pippi De Lena Miniseries
1998 The Great Empire: Rome Narrator Television film
1998 The Rat Pack Dean Martin Television film
1999 Spenser: Small Vices Spenser Television film
1999 My Little Assassin Fidel Castro Television film
2000 Thin Air Spenser Television film
2001 The Sopranos Mercedes ad voiceover Episode: "He Is Risen"; uncredited[citation needed]
2001 Walking Shadow Spenser Television film
2002 First Monday Justice Joseph Novelli Main role
2002 Women vs. Men Michael Television film
2002 And Thou Shalt Honor Host/Narrator Television film
2002 Inside NYPD Blue : A Decade On The Job Host/Narrator Television documentary
2003–2005 Joan of Arcadia Will Girardi Main role
2006 Let Go Jack Rossati Unsold television pilot
2006 Kim Possible Jimmy Blamhammer Voice role; episode: "And the Mole Rat Will Be CGI"
2007–2008 The Starter Wife Lou Manahan Recurring role, 8 episodes
2007–2020 Criminal Minds David Rossi Main role
2011 The War of 1812 Narrator PBS Documentary
2011–2016 Gun Stories Himself Host
2016–2017 Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders David Rossi Special guest; episodes: "The Harmful One", "II Mostro"
2017 Hell's Kitchen: All-Stars Himself Episode: "Raising the Bar"
2022 As We See It Lou Hoffman Main role
2022 Barry Himself Episodes: "all the sauces", "crazytimesh*tshow"
2022 Criminal Minds: Evolution David Rossi Main role

As a director

Year(s) Title Notes
2000 Lakeboat Drama
2011 QuickBites Episodes: "Faceless", "Sack Lunch"
2014–2020 Criminal Minds Episodes: "The Road Home", "Anonymous", "Til Death Do Us Part", "The Sandman", "Mirror Image", "True North", "False Flag", "The Dance of Love", "Luke"


Year Title Role Notes
1969 Hair Performer
1978 Working Emilio Hernandez / Dave McCormick
1984–1985 Glengarry Glen Ross Richard Roma
1988 Speed-the-Plow Bobby Gould

See also


  1. ^ a b McKenna, Kristine (October 28, 1988). "Things Changing in the Acting Character of Joe Mantegna". Los Angeles Times. Mantegna's career took a major leap forward in 1974 when he met David Mamet. Hailed as one of the great playwrights of the modern era, Mamet saw Mantegna as the ideal vehicle for his work, partly because they had markedly similar backgrounds.
  2. ^ "Joe Mantegna - National Memorial Day Concert - PBS". Archived from the original on September 3, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  3. ^ Ryan, Maureen (October 30, 2007). "Joe Mantegna Replaces Mandy Patinkin in "Criminal Minds" 8 p.m. Wed. CBS". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on January 4, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  4. ^ "Death Notices: Mantegna". Chicago Tribune. April 9, 2017.
  5. ^ "Joe Mantegna Biography". Filmreference. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  6. ^ " Interview with Award-Winning Actor, Joe Mantegna" (PDF). CiaoDC. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 27, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  7. ^ "Joe Mantegna". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  8. ^ Sanello, Frank (October 6, 1991). "Casting change With thanks to David Mamet, actor Joe Mantegna is his own man". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  9. ^ "Life's been lucky for Joe Mantegna — and us - South Southwest".
  10. ^ "Joe Mantegna". BuddyTV. Archived from the original on September 22, 2008. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  11. ^ Kelly, Liz (May 25, 2007). "Catching Up with Joe Mantegna". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c "Joe Mantegna Revisit". Ability. August 8, 2020. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  13. ^ Rabin, Nathan (April 21, 2009). "Joe Mantegna". A.V. Club. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  14. ^ "Joe Mantegna". National Memorial Day Concert. Archived from the original on September 3, 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  15. ^ "Joe Mantegna". TV Guide. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  16. ^ Welsh, James M.; Phillips, Gene D.; Hill, Rodney F. (2010). The Francis Ford Coppola Encyclopedia. Scarecrow Press. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-8108-7650-7.
  17. ^ Walton, Dawnie (August 11, 2008). "Mantegna Joins 'Criminal Minds'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  18. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (August 11, 2007). "Criminal Minds Trades Inigo Montoya for Joe Mantegna". TV Guide. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  19. ^ "Co-Hosts Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise". PBS. Archived from the original on November 9, 2019. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  20. ^ "Event—Hercules: Dramatic Reading of Gabriele Tinti's poem by Joe Mantegna". Los Angeles County Museum of Art. June 2, 2016. Archived from the original on November 7, 2021 – via YouTube.
  21. ^ "Il protagonista è Ercole. Joe Mantegna, LACMA e Gabriele Tinti, gli ingredienti" [The protagonist is Hercules. Joe Mantegna, LACMA and Gabriele Tinti, the ingredients]. Rai Cultura (in Italian). Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  22. ^ "Chicago Actor Joe Mantegna Honored with a Star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame". aChicagoThing. April 27, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  23. ^ "12 Things You Didn't Know About Joe Mantegna". CBS. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  24. ^ "Inductees 2014". Italian Walk of Fame.
  25. ^ "Actor Joe Mantegna To Get Stretch Of Armitage Named For Him Wednesday". DNAinfo Chicago. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017.
  26. ^ "Riverside International Film Festival includes movie filmed at Edwards Mansion in Redlands". Redlands Daily Facts. April 2, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  27. ^ "Meet the Host". Outdoor Channel. December 6, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  28. ^ "Authentic Chicago Style Italian food in California!". Taste Chicago. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  29. ^ a b "Joe Mantegna – When Life Flips the Script". Ability. July 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  30. ^ Emory, Margaret (September 2, 2018). "A Father's Love: Actor Joe Mantegna on his Daughter's Autism". BrainWorld.
  31. ^ "Celebrities Lend Helping Hand to The Help Group Gala Honoring Disney-ABC's Sweeney and Family; $850,000 Raised for Special Needs Children" (Press release). Mickey News. Archived from the original on July 20, 2006. writing "James Denton ... applauded hosts of the organization's autism awareness public service announcements, including celebrity parents of children with autism, Ed Asner, Gary Cole, Joe Mantegna, and John Schneider.
  32. ^ "Joe Mantegna explains the unusual origins of his 'Criminal Minds' character". Chicago Tribune. October 30, 2007. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  33. ^ "Cubs to tweak guest-singer rules". ESPN. Associated Press. February 27, 2013.
  34. ^ Bell's Palsey. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved 2018-07-02
  35. ^ LePire, Bobby (July 30, 2020). "Rolling Thunder". Film Threat. Retrieved April 25, 2023.