Joe “Pants” Pantoliano is an American artist who has featured in projects like Memento, The Matrix, and The Sopranos. Joe was born on 12th September, 1951, in Hoboken in New Jersey. His father’s name is Dominic Pantoliano who worked as a hearse driver, and his mother Mary was a seamstress. Mary was a part-time bookie. Pantoliano’s ancestors came from Italy and settled down in the USA. Joey’s friends began to call him “Joey Pants” as they were unable to pronounce his surname.
After his schooling, he went to HB Studios where he met actors such as Herbert Berghof and John Lehne. In the year 1974, Joe got the credit for his character of a mugger in “Road Movie.” In 1977, Joe got his first TV role as Frankie Milano in McNamara’s Band. Since then, Joe has chipped in a lot of TV shows before making it big in “Risky Business.” In the film “Risky Business,” Joe enacted the role of Guido aka The Killer Pimp. As the producers noted his ability to portray a villain at ease, they offered such roles to Joe. Then he appeared in flicks like “Baby’s Day Out,” “The Goonies,” “The Fugitive,” “Bad Boys.” In 1999, he took part in “The Matrix” as Cypher.
The Matrix became a well-liked science-fiction film among the movie buffs as it implemented many visual effects including “bullet time.” However, his breakthrough came in the form of Memento, where he essayed James Edward Gammell alias Teddy. With
as its director, it is a story of an insurance company employee Leonard who suffers from short-term memory ailment due to an assassination attempt which disables him to create any new memory.
However, Leonard is on a hunt to find his wife’s murderer. Wonderfully crafted, the critics praised Memento for its innovative story-telling with hailing the Nolan brothers (Christopher and Jonathan) for their efforts. Fans have termed Memento as a “must-see” movie. Pantoliano got an appreciation for his portrayal of Teddy. Christopher Nolan had admitted that there were fears over Joe’s looks being “too villainous” but went ahead with his decision of including Joe in the cast.
Apart from being involved in Hollywood, Joe has contributed a lot to the telefilms as well. Joe’s major TV project was “The Sopranos” where he played Ralph Cifaretto, a soldier-turned henchman. In fact, Joe tasted success when he got a Primetime Emmy Award for his role in The Sopranos. Joe has authored two memoirs which have reflected his journey to the stardom. First, he published Who’s Sorry Now, after which Joey launched his second book Being My Mother’s Son. Joe resides with his spouse Nancy Sheppard along with their four children.
In 2007, he admitted to suffering from clinical depression and urged others not to hide their problems as it would help patients fight against myths about mental illness. Joe is a co-founder of “No Kidding, Me Too!” which aims to make people aware of such diseases. In fact, as a child, Joe had difficulties in reading (dyslexia). He has given voice to Luigi Goterelli’s character for Grand Theft Auto 3. Joe will appear in Happy Anniversary.