Jo Champa

Active - 1985 - 2010  |   Born - in Long Branch, NJ  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Action, Children's/Family

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An Italian-American raised in New Jersey, actress Jo Champa held firmly to her ethnic roots, to such a degree that she spent the early years of her career juggling screen acting assignments in Italy, for directors including Ettore Scola (La Famiglia, 1987), Massimo Troisi (Le Vie Del Signore Sono Finite, 1987), and Damiano Damiani (Il Sole Buio, 1990). Though she typically signed for supporting roles, European directors consistently praised her for bringing an exotic, alluring Mediterranean quality to the screen. Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha (1994) marked a point of transition to Hollywood for Champa, as an American-European co-production helmed by a celebrated Italian director; thereafter, she began turning up more regularly in U.S. projects, including the Steven Seagal actioner Out for Justice (1991), the New Line family comedy Monkey Trouble (1994), and the Marlon Brando-Johnny Depp fantasy Don Juan DeMarco (1995). In 2007, Champa landed a small role in the disaster-themed Hallmark telemovie Pandemic.

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