Award-winning actor, director, producer and writer Joe Mantegna was born on November 13, 1947, in Illinois. His parents – Mary Anne (née Novelli) and Joseph Anthony, Sr. – had family from Italy and Calascibetta, Sicily. Joe’s performance career began over forty years ago when he was cast in the stage production of Hair in 1969. In 1978, he made his Broadway debut in Working. Six years later, Joe starred in the Broadway play Glengarry Glen Ross and was honored with the Tony Award for Best Actor–Play.
Not only is Joe a renowned theater actor, but he has also left his mark on television and film, starring in Searching for Bobby Fisher, House of Games, Forget Paris, Cars 2, The Rat Pack, The Starter Wife, Joan of Arcadia and more. When he starred in the television drama First Monday, Joe insisted the Supreme Court Justice he was portraying must have Italian roots and bear the last name of his maternal grandfather, Novelli. In 2007, Joe took on the role of David Rossi for the television series Criminal Minds and has been a fan-favorite ever since. On April 29, 2011, he was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Joe has also been heavily involved in various philanthropic efforts including ACT Today for Military Families, Easter Seals, Autism Speaks, and the Gary Sinise Foundation. He has also hosted the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C. since 2002.
Joe has also been an integral part of the Sons of Italy family. For fifteen years he has hosted the Sons of Italy Foundation’s (SIF) National Education & Leadership Awards (NELA) Gala, held each May in Washington, D.C. In 2002, Joe was honored with the SIF’s Excellence in Media Award at the NELA.
Sources: Joe Mantegna: Official Site, Sons of Italy Foundation’s National Education & Leadership Awards Gala, CBS