Italian actors from Staten Island
Compiled by Joyce Venezia Suss
Staten Island unquestionably has many Italian residents, but some are also colorful and talented characters who have successfully starred on stage and screen. The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere celebrates the achievements of these actors and actresses of Italian descent who were born and/or lived in Staten Island.
Frank Albanese was born in Staten Island. He was a heavyweight prizefighter and a longshoreman before he became an actor. He was well known for playing mobster roles, particularly on the HBO series “The Sopranos” and films including “Goodfellas” and “The Godfather: Part III.”
Michael Angarano, a former Oakwood resident, played Elliott on NBC’s “Will & Grace.” He also appeared in the films “Music of the Heart,” “Sky High,” “The Forbidden Kingdom,” “Haywire,” “The English Teacher” and “Sun Dogs.” On TV, he was in “Cover Me, “I’m Dying Up Here,” and “This Is Us” which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2019.
Alexandra Barreto, born on Staten Island, has appeared in film and television. She was the assassin Pilar in the FX series “Justified.” She also starred in the series “Pepper Dennis” and had recurring roles in “American Family,” “The District,” “Resurrection Blvd,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Crossing Jordan,” “CSI: NY,” and many other shows and shorts.
Dominick Brascia was an actor and director known for “Friday the 13th: A New Beginning,” “Evil Laugh,” and “Hard Rock Nightmare.” He graduated from New Dorp High School and went on to persue his childhood dream. He also appeared in “Knight Rider,” “Iron Eagle,” “Night Court,” “Busted,” “My Life as a Troll” and many others. Later in life, he hosted radio talk shows.
Eric Eremita is a lifelong Staten Islander and a professional contractor, best known for his role on “Love It or List It” and “Brother vs. Brother.”
Joey Faye, born Joseph Antony Palladino, was a comedian and actor who once lived in Great Kills. His career spanned 65 years from burlesque to Broadway, movies and TV shows. He appeared on Broadway in 17 shows, including “Room Service,” “The Tender Trap,” “Guys and Dolls,” and Neil Simon’s musical “Little Me.”
Joe Gatto is a comedian, producer and actor known for “Impractical Jokers,” “The Misery Index,” and “Impractical Jokers: The Movie.” He attended Monsignor Farrell High School and was a member of the school’s Improvisation Club. He is a member of The Tenderloins, a comedy troupe.
Carmine Giovinazzo graduated from Port Richmond High School and Wagner College. He starred in “CSI: NY” and played Sid Markham on the USA series “Graceland.” He also appeared in “Black Hawk Down.”
Vinny Guadagnino, an actor and writer, attended Susan Wagner High School and College of Staten Island. He appeared in “Jersey Shore,” “The Gate of Fallen Angels,” “90210,” and “The Great Food Truck Race,” and “The Masked Dancer.”
Robert Loggia was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for “Jagged Edge.” He graduated from New Dorp High School and Wagner College. The veteran actor played opposite Richard Gere in “Officer and a Gentleman,” Tom Hanks in “Big” (the memorable piano scene!) and Al Pacino in “Scarface.” He also has many small screen appearances including “The Sopranos” and “Family Guy.”
Frank Lombardi, formerly of New Springville, graduated from Moore Catholic High School and Wagner College. He started in Off-Broadway and daytime soap operas, then moved to Los Angeles where he wrote for “The Good Life,” “Monty,” “Mad About You,” “Living with Fran” and “Happily Divorced.” He was head writer and producer of the TV series “The Nanny.”
Elizabeth Masucci was born in Tottenville. An actress and producer, she is known for “Shame,” “The Americans” and “The Witches of Oz.”
Alyssa Milano grew up in Great Kills. At age 8, she played Annie in the national tour of the play of the same name. At age 11, she started playing opposite Tony Danza in “Who’s the Boss?” Milano’s other film and TV credits include “Commando” (opposite Arnold Schwarenegger), “Spin City” and “Charmed.”
James Reno Pelliccio was a New York City police detective turned actor who appeared in numerous movies including “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Radio Days,” “Donnie Brasco,” “Married to the Mob” and Spike Lee’s “Summer of Sam.” He also appeared on several television shows, including “Law and Order.” Often playing the role of either a gangster or a cop, Pellicco also served as technical advisor and location scout.
Eddie Pepitone lived in Staten Island as a child. He is a comedian, actor and writer who appeared on TV in “The Life & Times of Tim,” “The Sarah Silverman Program” and “Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time.” Pepitone appeared on “Last Comic Standing” and was a regular sketch performer on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” He appeared in films “The Muppets,” “Old School,” “School for Scoundrels” and “Terri.”
Theo Rossi attended Monsignor Farrell High School. He starred in the FX series “Sons of Anarchy.” He also appeared in “When the Bough Breaks” and “Low Riders.” He produced and starred in “Bad Hurt” filmed in Staten Island.
Glenn Scarpelli is an actor and producer known for “One Day at a Time,” “Jennifer Slept Here” and “Amazing Stories.” At age 10, he appeared in the Broadway play “Golda” with Anne Bancroft. He returned to the stage with the role of Richard, Duke of York in the Broadway revival of “Richard III” starring Al Pacino. He has appeared as characters in films and movies.
Steve Schirripa, formerly of Dongan Hills, starred in TV and feature films. He played Bobby Bacala, son-in-law of Tony Soprano in the HBO series “The Sopranos.”
Ray Serra attended McKee High School and Wagner College. He was a child prodigy violinist at Carnegie Hall. He appeared in more than 50 plays, countless TV productions and commercials, and over 30 films including “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Purple Rose of Cairo,” “Prizzi’s Honor,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” and “Marathon Man.”
Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino is an actor and producer known for “The Three Stooges,” “Jersey Shore,” and a Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump.
Sal Vulcano, a native Staten Islander, is a producer and actor known for “Impractical Jokers: The Movie,” “Impractical Jokers” and “12 Monkeys.” He attended Monsignor Farrell High School, where he was a member of the school’s improvisation club.
The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere is a not-for-profit organization that celebrates everything Italian by sharing stories such as this, and offering exceptional public programs: Language and cooking classes; art and photo exhibits; film festivals; opera luncheons and casino nights; Italian car shows and fashion shows; live concerts and theatrical performances; guest chef experiences and wine tastings; bocce and bingo (tombola); and much more. Casa Belvedere (house with a beautiful view) has established itself as a vibrant and buzzing cultural center in New York City. For more information, visit casa-belvedere.org.