Billy Burke

Active - 1990 - 2018  |   Born - Nov 25, 1966 in Bellingham, Washington, United States  |   Genres - Thriller, Drama, Fantasy, Comedy

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Biography by Nathan Southern

Raven-haired screen heartthrob Billy Burke traces his career back to the early '90s, but made his first substantial impression in 1998. The role in question that brought him serious public recognition was, ironically, a truly wacky one: he played Joey Cortino, the "psychotic" son of nutty godfather Vincenzo Cortino (the late Lloyd Bridges) in Mafia!, the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team's gag-filled spoof of American gangster pictures. After a string of smaller parts in features of lesser attention, Burke demonstrated his aptitude for the thriller genre with a small turn as Ben Devine in the Morgan Freeman headliner Along Came a Spider (2001). He made several guest appearances on Gilmore Girls and landed a small role in season two of the massive-hit series 24. Burke also delivered a stellar performances as firefighter Dennis Gauquin in the uneven melodrama Ladder 49 (2004), but he achieved his greatest coup in 2007, with four high-billed roles in Hollywood A-listers. These included -- among others -- the part of David in Robert Benton's ensemble drama Feast of Love and that of a detective in the Anthony Hopkins psychological thriller Fracture. Burke would go on to spend the next several years appearing in a number of films like New Moon, Drive Angry, and Highland Park, as well as TV series like Rizzoli & Isles and My Boys.

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  • While in his teens, he taught himself guitar and piano, wrote songs and formed a band that made it to a national battle-of-the-bands competition.
  • Recorded four original songs with Phil Ramone as part of a deal with Warner Brothers Records.
  • Made his film debut in the 1990 indie film Daredreamer, but had his big break in the 1998 comedy Mafia!
  • Had his first role as a television-series regular on the short-lived drama Wonderland.
  • The first time he met Twilight costar Kristen Stewart (who plays his daughter in the film) was on a plane, where he tapped her on the shoulder and introduced himself to the confused actress as her dad.