Joe Pesci is an extremely versatile actor. He was born in Newark, New Jersey on the 9th of February 1943. His father was a bartender and also worked for General Motors as a forklift driver. His mother worked as barber. He grew up in Bellville, New Jersey where he went to Belleville High School.
When he was just five years old, Pesci acted in New York plays. In the mid fifties, he went on to star in the series Star Time Kids. He also worked as a barber in the sixties and then later in the sixties under the stage name “Joe Ritchie,” he released a record Little Joe Sure Can Sing. He also played the guitar in several bands, Joey Dee and the Starlighters was one of the bands that he played in. He also joined a vaudeville-style comedy act with Frank Vincent, which was not very successful. He and Vincent did later co-star in many gangster films together in the nineties, which include Casino and Goodfellas.
Joe’s first role was in Hey, Let’s Twist in 1961. It was not until fifteen years later that he landed a minor role in the 1976 film The Death Collector. Director Martin Scorese was convinced by Robert De Niro to cast Pesci in the 1980 production of Raging Bull as Joey LaMotta after seeing the movie The Death Collector. This film was what resulted in Joe Pesci becoming noticed by the Hollywood world. He then went on to act in many other films.
Pesci earned Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the film Goodfellas. He also earned super star status for his role in the Lethal Weapon movies as Leo Getz.
Pesci’s comic talents shined in the Home Alone movies where he played the bumbling robber Harry Lyme where he became well known to people of all ages.
Pesci returned to his love, music in 1998 when he released Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You, his second LP which was in essence a tribute to the character Vincent LaGuardia Gambini he played in the 1992 hit My Cousin Vinny. The single Wise Guy from the LP became very popular in the Hip-Hop world.
Joe also helped produce the Broadway musical based on the lives of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Jersey Boys.
Joe Pesci retired from acting in 1999 so that he could pursue his musical career. He did make an appearance in The Good Shepherd and starred in Love Ranch in 2010. He has also appeared in a 2011 Snickers commercial.
Joe Pesci has had a very colorful and entertaining career. His name is well known in most households.