Roberto M. Cannavale grew up in Union City, NJ. He appeared in his church school's various musicals including his very first, "Guys and Dolls," playing one of the gangsters, and "The Music Man" as Winthrop.
When he was 13, he moved to Puerto Rico with his mother for a few years. After returning to the United States, they settled in Coconut Creek, FL, where he attended high school. Cannavale graduated in the late 1980s and decided return to the New York/New Jersey area in order to start acting professionally. He worked in bars and gained experience as a "reader" with the Naked Angels theatre company.
Playwright Lanford Wilson spotted Cannavale while he was performing in an East Village production of Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart." Wilson invited Cannavale to join his prestigious Circle Repertory Theatre. He eventually earned stage parts in "Chilean Holidays" and in Wilson's "Virgil Is Still the Frog Boy." He also served as understudy to and replaced Mark Linn-Baker for a time in a 1998 production of "A Flea in Her Ear."
A role in the company's play, "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told" by Paul Rudnick, led to a recurring role on the TV series "Trinity."
Once "Trinity" ended, Wells cast him as paramedic Bobby Caffey in his series "Third Watch." The character became quite popular but Bobby, again feeling restricted and wishing to broaden his horizon as an actor, asked to be released from the show -- but "in a big way". Creator Wells obliged and had the paramedic fatally shot in the chest, experiencing a "beyond the grave" union with his character's deceased father.
Bobby next joined the cast of the acclaimed TV courtroom drama "100 Centre Street." He also earned recurring roles on shows "Ally McBeal" and "Six Feet Under." He was also featured in movies "Gloria," "The Bone Collector," "Washington Heights," "The Guru" and "The Station Agent."
He took controversial roles in the acclaimed series "Oz" and in the comedy "Shall We Dance" with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez.He earned big viewer points with his recurring portrayal of "Will Truman"'s dour cop/boyfriend on the hit sitcom "Will & Grace" (1998) in 2004 and won a "Guest Star" Emmy award in the process. Elsewhere, on stage, he merited attention in such productions as "Hurlyburly" and earned a Tony Award nomination for his 2007 Broadway debut in "Mauritius".
After five consecutive failed pilots, Bobby has come front-and-center with his quirky starring role in the ABC series "Cupid" (2009), while continuing to rake up credits on the big screen (The Merry Gentleman (2008), Diminished Capacity (2008), The Take (2007), 100 Feet (2008)). He is definitely here to stay.
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