Joe Spinell is a Actor, Scriptwriter and Executive Producer American born on 28 october 1936 at New York City (USA)
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Birth name Joseph J. SpagnuoloNationality USABirth 28 october 1936
at New York City (USA
)Death 13 january 1989
(at 52 years) at Queens (USA
Joe Spinell (born Joseph J. Spagnuolo; October 28, 1936 – January 13, 1989) was an American character actor, who appeared in numerous films in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as various stage productions on and off Broadway. His notable roles included performances in The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974), Rocky (1976), Taxi Driver (1976), William Friedkin's Sorcerer (1977) and Cruising (1980), and the cult horror film Maniac (1980), which he also wrote.
Joe Spinell was born Joseph J. Spagnuolo ([spaˈɲɲwɔlo]) in Manhattan, New York of Italian immigrant parents, and the last of six children. His father, Pelegrino Spagnuolo (b. 1892, d. 1950), died from liver and kidney disease. His mother, Filomena Spagnuolo (b. 1903, d. 1987), was a bit-part actress who acted in a few movies, some of them alongside her son. Spinell stood 5 foot and 11 inches. He was born at his family's apartment on Second Avenue in Manhattan's Kip's Bay, an area then home to 10,000 Italian Americans. A few years after the death of his father, he moved with his mother and older siblings to Woodside, Queens, New York where he lived off-and-on for the remainder of his life. He was known to abuse drugs and alcohol heavily on and off throughout his career, especially during periods of unemployment. Spinell also suffered most of his life from hemophilia as well as chronic asthma.
Because of his large, heavyset frame and imposing looks, Spinell was often cast as criminals, thugs, or corrupt police officers. As a teenager and young adult, Spinell starred in various stage plays, both on and off Broadway. His most notable film roles were as mafioso Willie Cicci in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, and as loan shark Tony Gazzo in Rocky and Rocky II. Although primarily known as a character actor, Spinell co-wrote and starred as a serial killer in the 1980 film, Maniac.
Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie was a 1986 horror short promotional film shot by Joe Spinell to raise financing for a sequel to Spinell's 1980 horror film Maniac. The short film was included with the 30th anniversary edition release of Maniac. The feature length version of the film was never shot after Spinell passed away in 1989.
Towards the end of his life, most of his appearances in films were small parts or cameo appearances. His very last film role was a supporting part in the low-budget 1989 action-thriller Rapid Fire (not to be confused with a similar titled film starring Brandon Lee), which was directed by David A. Prior and filmed on location in Mobile, Alabama a few weeks before his death.