Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri is an actor, screenwriter, and playwright. He has appeared in Ron Underwood’s In the Mix starring the music sensation, Usher, and the animated film Hoodwinked, with Glenn Close, Jim Belushi and Anne Hathaway. In 2006 he appeared in: A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, the controversial coming-of-age drama by Orlando Montiel, and starring Robert Downey, Jr.; The Dukes, a heist movie set to 50’s rock and roll, written and directed by Robert Davi; Push, a drama set in the world of drugs, sex, and the allure of fast money directed by Dave Rodriguez, the action thriller Running Scared, written and directed by Wayne Kramer and co-starring Paul Walker; and the animated adventure comedy Cat Tale, with Sean Astin, Jerry O’Connell and Michael Richards. He starred in the action film, Body Armour and also filmed a pilot for ABC titled Drift.
Palminteri made his feature film directorial debut with the holiday film Noel, starring Penelope Cruz, Susan Sarandon, and Paul Walker. The film is the first feature film to be distributed via Flexplay.
Palminteri earned high praise and an Academy Award nomination for his performance in Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway. His portrayal of "Cheech",”a gangster with unexpected dramaturgical gifts, also earned him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor, as well as nominations for a Screen Actors Guild Award and an American Comedy Award.
On television, Palminteri starred opposite Ving Rhames in USA Network’s series Kojak. He portrayed Mob Boss Paul Castellano in TNT's Boss of Bosses. In the HBO film Excellent Cadavers he starred as famed Sicilian prosecutor Giovanni Falcone, who pursued the Mafia and was ultimately assassinated. As a director, Palminteri directed “Unnatural Disasters” -- an episode of the critically acclaimed prison series, Oz. He also directed Women vs. Men, a Showtime feature, starring Paul Reiser, Joe Montagna and Christine Lahti.
Well known for A Bronx Tale, Palminteri originally wrote the script for the stage and performed it as a one-man show in Los Angeles. He then moved the production to New York, where it played for four sold-out months and earned him nominations for the New York Outer Critics Circle for both acting and writing. For his second play, Faithful, Palminteri again won the Los Angeles Dramalogue Award for acting. He also wrote and starred in the film version of Faithful opposite Cher and Ryan O'Neal.
In the fall of 2002, he starred opposite Al Pacino in Bertolt Brecht’s brilliant parable play, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui The standing-room-only production at the National Actors Theatre in New York City, was directed by Tony Randall, with a star-studded cast which included Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Paul Giamatti, Dominic Chianese, Billy Crudup and Charles Durning.
Palminteri received the 1996 Leadership in Entertainment Award from the Coalition of Italo-American Association, Inc. and was honored by President Clinton with a Special Achievement Award for the Performing Arts from the National Italian American Foundation in Washington, D.C.
In addition, Palminteri is the National Spokesperson for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, leading the fight against Thalassemia. Thalassemia is an inherited characteristic of blood which reduces the amount of hemoglobin the body is able to produce, thus causing anemia. This potentially fatal trait is primarily found in people of Mediterranean, African, Asian, Southeast Asian and Indian descent.
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