Joe Spinell

Active - 1972 - 1989  |   Born - Jan 1, 1937   |   Died - Jan 13, 1989   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Comedy, Action, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Joe Spinell had the sort of face that you wouldn't want to confront in a dark alley -- which suited the actor fine. From his first film appearance in The Godfather (1972) onward, the powerfully built Spinell thrived in roles calling for heavy-breathing menace and brute strength. As such, he was the ideal "opposite" for the musclebound Sylvester Stallone in such films as Rocky (1975) and Paradise Alley (1978). Taking advantage of his established screen persona, Spinell produced, co-wrote, and starred in the 1980 scarefest Maniac, which one observer described as "nihilistic gore." Joe Spinell was the son of actress Mary Spinell, who had some 50 film appearances to her credit -- including the aforementioned Godfather.

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