December 27, 1962
Rockford, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||University of North Carolina School of the Arts (BFA)|
|Partner||Jon Robin Baitz (1990–2002)|
Joseph Mantello (born December 27, 1962) is an American actor and director known for his work on stage and screen. He first gained prominence for his Broadway acting debut in the original production of Tony Kushner's two-part epic play Angels in America (1993-1994) for which he received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play nomination. He has since acted in acclaimed Broadway revivals of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart (2011) and Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie (2017).
Mantello has transitioned his career as a Broadway director winning the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for Take Me Out (2003), and the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Assassins (2004). He has directed notable productions such as Wicked (2003), Glengarry Glenn Ross (2005), The Humans (2016), Three Tall Women (2018), and The Boys in the Band (2018)
Mantello was born in Rockford, Illinois, the son of Judy and Richard Mantello, an accountant. His father is of Italian ancestry and his mother is of half Italian descent. He was raised Catholic.
Mantello studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts; he started the Edge Theater in New York City with actress Mary-Louise Parker and writer Peter Hedges. He is a member of the Naked Angels theater company and an associate artist at the Roundabout Theatre Company.
Mantello came to New York from Illinois in 1984 in the midst of the AIDS crisis, having overcome a youthful feeling, he admitted to a reporter in 2013, that "for some reason I was deeply ashamed of the theater early on. I think it had to do with this growing sense I was gay, although I couldn’t have put a word to it back then. Where I grew up, boys played sports. When [teacher] Mrs. Windsor wrote in my yearbook, 'Have you ever considered a career in the theater?' it was literally like she wrote the word 'faggot'."
Mantello began his theatrical career as an actor in Keith Curran's Walking the Dead and Paula Vogel's The Baltimore Waltz. On the transition from acting to directing, Mantello said, "I think I've become a better actor since I started directing, although some people might disagree. Since I've been removed from the process I see things that actors fall into. Now there's a part of me that's removed from the process and can stand back."
Mantello directs a variety of theatre works, as The New York Times noted: "Very few American directors – Jack O'Brien and Mike Nichols come to mind – successfully jump genres and styles the way Mr. Mantello does, moving from a two-hander like Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune to the huge canvas of a mainstream musical comedy like Wicked, from downtown stand-up (The Santaland Diaries) to contemporary opera (Dead Man Walking) to political performance art (The Vagina Monologues)."
A Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Lips Together, Teeth Apart directed by Mantello was scheduled to open at the American Airlines Theatre in April 2010, when one of the stars, Megan Mullally, suddenly quit. The production was postponed indefinitely due to her departure.
Mantello directed the Jon Robin Baitz play Other Desert Cities at the Booth Theater in 2011. He returned to acting for the first time in over a decade with the role of Ned Weeks in the Broadway limited engagement revival of The Normal Heart in April 2011, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award as Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play. Mantello had previously been nominated for the Tony Award for his role as Louis in Angels in America.
He directed the Off-Broadway world premiere of the musical Dogfight in the summer of 2012 at the Second Stage Theater. In January 2013, he directed the Broadway premiere of Sharr White's The Other Place at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. In 2014 he directed Sting's new musical The Last Ship. He directed the Harvey Fierstein play Casa Valentina, which premiered on Broadway in April 2014.
Mantello acted in the revival of The Glass Menagerie which opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theatre in February 2017. Directed by Sam Gold, the play starred Sally Field as Amanda Wingfield, with Mantello playing Tom.
In 2018, Joe Mantello was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. In 2022, Mantello was featured in the book 50 Key Figures in Queer US Theatre.
From 1990 to 2002, Mantello was in a relationship with playwright Jon Robin Baitz. As of 2018, he lives with Paul Marlow, who owns a custom clothing company in Manhattan.
|1993||Angels in America: Millennium Approaches||Louis Ironson||Tony Kushner||Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway|
|1994||Angels in America: Perestroika||Louis Ironson |
Council of Principalities
|2010–11||The Normal Heart||Ned Weeks||Larry Kramer||John Golden Theatre, Broadway|
|2017||The Glass Menagerie||Tom Wingfield||Tennessee Williams||Belasco Theatre, Broadway|
|Year||Title||Playwright / composer||Venue|
|1994||What's Wrong with This Picture||Donald Margulies||Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Broadway|
|1995||Love! Valour! Compassion!||Terrence McNally||Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway|
|1997||Proposals||Neil Simon||Broadhurst Theatre, Broadway|
|2001||Design for Living||Noël Coward||American Airlines Theatre, Broadway|
|2002||An Evening with Mario Cantone||Mario Cantone|
|2002||Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune||Terrence McNally||Belasco Theatre, Broadway|
|2003||Take Me Out||Richard Greenberg||Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway|
|Wicked||Stephen Schwartz||Gershwin Theatre, Broadway|
|2004||Assassins||Stephen Sondheim||Studio 54, Broadway|
|Laugh Whore||Mario Cantone||Cort Theatre, Broadway|
|2005||Glengarry Glen Ross||David Mamet||Royale Theatre, Broadway|
|The Odd Couple||Neil Simon||Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Broadway|
|2006||Three Days of Rain||Richard Greenberg||Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Broadway|
|2007||The Ritz||Terrence McNally||Studio 54, Broadway|
|2008||November||David Mamet||Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Broadway|
|Pal Joey||Richard Rodgers||Studio 54, Broadway|
|2009||9 to 5||Dolly Parton||Marquis Theatre, Broadway|
|2011||8||Dustin Lance Black||Eugene O'Neill Theatre, Broadway|
|Other Desert Cities||Jon Robin Baitz||Booth Theatre, Broadway|
|2013||The Other Place||Sharr White||Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Broadway|
|I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers||John Logan||Booth Theatre, Broadway|
|2014||Casa Valentina||Harvey Fierstein||Samuel J. Friedman, Broadway|
|The Last Ship||Sting / John Logan||Neil Simon Theatre, Broadway|
|2015–16||An Act of God||David Javerbaum||Studio 54, Broadway|
|Airline Highway||Lisa D'Amour||Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Broadway|
|2016||The Humans||Stephen Karam||Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Broadway|
|Blackbird||David Harrower||Belasco Theatre, Broadway|
|2018||Three Tall Women||Edward Albee||John Golden Theatre, Broadway|
|The Boys in the Band||Mart Crowley||Booth Theatre, Broadway|
|2019||Hillary and Clinton||Lucas Hnath||John Golden Theatre, Broadway|
|2020||Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?||Edward Albee||Booth Theatre, Broadway|
|2023||Grey House||Levi Holloway||Lyceum Theatre, Broadway|
|1997||Love! Valour! Compassion!||—||Director|
|2020||The Boys in the Band||—||Director and producer|
|1990||Three Hotels||—||Director; Television movie|
|The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd||Mickey||Episode: "Here's Why You Can Never Have Too Much Petty Cash"|
|1991–98||Law & Order||Public Defender / Philip Marco||2 episodes|
|1993||Sisters||Adam Olderberg||Episode: "Moving Pictures"|
|1995||Central Park West||Ian Walker||3 episodes|
|2014||The Normal Heart||Mickey Marcus||HBO television film|
|2020||Hollywood||Dick Samuels||7 episodes|
|2022||The Watcher||John Graff||5 episodes|
|American Horror Story: NYC||Gino Barelli||10 episodes|
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Joe Mantello