Joe Mantegna

Active - 1978 - 2016  |   Born - Nov 13, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Crime, Comedy Drama, Thriller

Share on

Biography by Sandra Brennan

The quiet yet dynamic screen presence of actor Joe Mantegna has made him one of the most powerful supporting actors in Hollywood. Born in Chicago, Mantegna made his acting debut in the 1969 production of Hair. He then joined Chicago's Organic Theatre Company. In 1978, he debuted on Broadway in Working; he also helped write Bleacher Bums, an award-winning play. Still, he did not become well-known until he played a recurring role on the TV show Soap. By 1983 he'd returned to Chicago, where he began working with playwright David Mamet. While playing the lead in Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross (1983), Mantegna won a Tony. When Mamet began making films, Mantegna became his actor of choice in works such as House of Games (1987) and Homicide (1991). Prior to that, the actor had played small roles in a number of other films. He also continues to play in a variety of movie genres, working with some of Hollywood's top directors. Mantegna turned producer in 1998 with the crime comedy Jerry and Tom. That trend continued on the small screen as Montenga produced such shows as Midway USA's Gun Stories, Shooting Gallery, and QuickBites, but it was his role as a regular on the CBS series Joan of Arcadia that really kept him in the public eye. Continually returning to his recurring role as Fat Tony on The Simpsons over the next decade, Montegna joined the cast of the hit television series Criminal Minds in 2007, and recieved an Emmy nomination for his performance in the successful mini-series The Starter Wife that same year.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography


  • Sang and played bass for a Chicago-area rock band called the Apochryphals from 1964 to '69.
  • Met his wife, Arlene, in high school; both appeared in a touring company of Hair in 1969, which was Mantegna's professional stage debut.
  • In 1978, while with Chicago's Organic Theater Company, cowrote Bleacher Bums, which later played off-Broadway and was adapted for television by the Chicago PBS station (it won a local Emmy).
  • Has appeared in six plays and movies written by fellow Chicagoan David Mamet, most notably Glengarry Glen Ross, for which he won a Tony.
  • Has set a record for guest appearances on The Simpsons, as Springfield mob chieftain Fat Tony.
  • Joined Criminal Minds at the beginning of the show's third season to replace departing star Mandy Patinkin.
  • Daughter Gia was Miss Golden Globe 2011.