At 18, Bronx-born blonde Cathy Moriarty had precisely no acting experience, which suited director Martin Scorsese just fine. Scorsese wanted a thoroughly natural, spontaneous actress to portray the bethumped Vickie La Motta, wife of volatile boxing champ Jake La Motta (Robert DeNiro), in the 1980 biopic Raging Bull. Moriarty won an Academy Award nomination for her fascinating portrayal of Vickie; alas, her next project was the much-maligned Neighbors (1981), which effectively killed her starring career before it had even begun. Her professional problems were exacerbated by a 1982 automobile accident. After back surgery and extensive emotional healing, Moriarty made a tentative film comeback in 1987. The film assignments began improving after 1990; she was terrific as a daytime-drama diva in Soapdish (1991), and even better as monotoned horror film star Ruth Corday in Matinee (1992). There have been a few setbacks during Moriarty's career renaissance (she was cut from the final print of Sean Penn's maiden directorial effect The Indian Runner), but there have been many more highs than lows, notably her winning the Cable ACE award for her work on a 1995 episode of Tales From the Crypt. Even if Cathy Moriarty never makes the uppermost ranks in stardom, she can always rely upon her trendy New York pizza parlor for a steady income.
- Grew up as one of seven children.
- Acted in dinner theaters while in high school.
- Was 17 when she auditioned for the role of Vickie LaMotta in Raging Bull.
- A car accident in 1982, and the subsequent back surgeries, sidelined her acting career until 1987.
- Opened Mulberry Street Pizza in Beverly Hills with partner Richard Palmer in 1991.
- Reteamed with Raging Bull costar Robert De Niro in the 2002 comedy Analyze That.