Below is a compiled list of the most interesting facts about Joe Pesci. Check it out!
Compact Italian-American actor Joe Pesci was born February 9, 1943 in Newark, New Jersey, to Mary (Mesce), a part-time barber, and Angelo Pesci, a bartender and forklift driver. Pesci first broke into entertainment as a child actor, and by the mid-1950s, was starring on the series “Star Time Kids”. In the mid-1960s, he released a record under the stage name Joe Ritchie titled “Little Joe Sure Can Sing”, and was also playing guitar with several bands, including Joey Dee and The Starliters. He even joined with his friend Frank Vincent to start a vaudeville-style comedy act, but met with limited success (interestingly, Pesci and Vincent would later go on to co-star in several gangster films together, including Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995).
Interesting Facts about Joe Pesci
- Very good friends with Robert De Niro. They appeared together in seven films: Raging Bull (1980), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Goodfellas (1990), A Bronx Tale (1993), Casino (1995), The Good Shepherd (2006) and The Irishman (2019).
- All 3 of his Oscar nominated roles were in Martin Scorsese films.
- Joe was 21-years-old when he married his first wife in 1964.
- Pesci’s performance as Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas (1990) is ranked #96 on Premiere magazine’s 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
- The word pesci in Italian means “fish” (plural).
- According to Maxim magazine, he wrote and directed the “You think I’m funny?” scene from Goodfellas (1990) at director Martin Scorsese’s request.
- His portrayal of Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas (1990) has been the subject of several parodies. The character Pesto in the Animaniacs sketch “Goodfeathers”, has DeVito’s short temper and tendency to misinterpret a compliment. On “The Joe Pesci Show” on Saturday Night Live, Pesci (played by Jim Breuer) is shown to have that same tendency, only to have the real Pesci show up, deny that he is like that in real life, only to lose his temper and beat up Jim Brewer a la Tommy DeVito. And in the film Jersey Boys (2014), his character (played by Joseph Russo), even quotes Pesci’s famous “funny how?” line from the film. That is even more fitting in this film, as it charts his relationship with the real Tommy DeVito.
- He was nominated for the 2015 New Jersey Hall of Fame for his services in the Performance Arts.
- Childhood friends with Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. Introduced them to Bob Gaudio. Valli, DeVito, Massi and Gaudio became the rock group The Four Seasons.
- Close friends with George Carlin, and mentioned by Carlin in his bit “There is No God”.
- He was considered for Bruno Kirby’s roles in The Godfather: Part II (1974) and Donnie Brasco (1997).
- He sued the producers of Gotti (2018), claiming they had promised him a major role in the film for which he had packed on extra pounds, and then changed their minds, offering him a minor character. [July 2011]
Personal Quotes by Joe Pesci
I’m a bore. I save all my energy for my characters.- Joe Pesci
I love to star in movies, but I want to have good roles. It doesn’t help to get starring roles in something that’s no good. I mean, that will just kill you.- Joe Pesci
I would have done something else in life. Something more calming, in a different area where I did not have to use my emotions.- Joe Pesci
You don’t say hello to Mr. DeNiro? Show the respect, will ya?- Joe Pesci
There are great actors we’ll never see just because they haven’t had my luck.- Joe Pesci