As a character player of Italian extraction, Frank Grillo found himself cast, almost by default, in tough, slick, street-smart roles specializing in urban cops, detectives, and assorted mafia types. Actually, Grillo's onscreen aura -- so often perceived as "unmistakably New York" -- was somewhat misleading: he grew up not in the Bronx or Brooklyn but in upstate New York, and gravitated to sports prior to drama, weighing his options and finding himself torn between a full-time career as an athlete and life as a full-time actor. Grillo's parents, it seems, would have neither, and sent him to business school at NYU; as soon as Grillo ended up on Wall Street, however, fate intervened: his path criss-crossed with that of a casting agent, and he promptly landed a role in a beer commercial. That marked the first of over 25 similar assignments, plugging various products and services. He took a massive step up in prestige and exposure when cast as regular Hart Jessup on the soap The Guiding Light, then enjoyed multi-episode runs and guest spots on such primetime series as The Shield, CSI, Las Vegas, and Without a Trace. Grillo's feature roles include The Mambo Kings (1992), April's Shower (2003), and Pride and Glory (2008). As the yers rolled on, Grillo would find himself cast in memorable projects like Blue Eyes, Edge of Darkness, Warrior, and The Grey.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Was a high-school athlete and hoped to play professional sports.
- Studied business at NYU and worked on Wall Street for one year before starting his acting career.
- His big break came in the form of a beer commercial.
- Was the fifth and last actor to play Hart Jessup on Guiding Light before the character was killed off in 1999. The following year, he married costar Wendy Moniz, who played Hart's killer.
- Has often portrayed law-enforcement officers on TV: He played detectives on For the People and Blind Justice, an officer on The Shield and landed a leading role on The Gates as the chief of police.
- Serves on Love Our Children USA's Celebrity Board of Governors---the organization aims to strengthen families and curb abuse against children.