Anthony LaPaglia born 31 January 1959 is an award-winning Australian actor. He played the role of Joe in the coming of age comedy Empire Records, John in the film Autumn In New York, as well as FBI agent Jack Malone on the American TV series Without a Trace, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama. He also appeared in 8 episodes of Frasier as Daphne Moon’s alcoholic brother Simon.
LaPaglia starred in the Australian films Looking for Alibrandi, Holding the Man, Lantana and Balibo. For the latter two films he won AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 2001 and 2009.
Anthony LaPaglia Background
LaPaglia was born in Adelaide, South Australia, the son of Maria Johannes (née Brendel), a secretary and model, Gedio “Eddie” LaPaglia (deceased), auto mechanic and car dealer. LaPaglia’s mother was Dutch and his father immigrated from Bovalino, Calabria, Italy, at the age of eighteen. His younger brother, Jonathan LaPaglia, is also an actor and his other brother, Michael is a car wholesaler in Los Angeles. His half-brother Robert Ringsell is an avid AFC fan, based in London. LaPaglia attended Rostrevor College & Norwood High School.
LaPaglia was working in Adelaide as a shoe salesman for Florsheim shoes in the early 1980s. He asked to be transferred to the US and continued working there whilst studying acting as he was rejected by the prestigious Sydney drama school NIDA. LaPaglia first began his venture into dramatic art in his late teens, when he enrolled in an acting course at the South Australian Castings Agency (SA Castings) in Adelaide. The two and half year course was to be supplemented with a further three months, which would have included a “boot camp” and a trial listing with SA Castings. After completing one and half years of the course, LaPaglia left Adelaide for Los Angeles.
Anthony LaPaglia Career
LaPaglia’s earliest credit was a 1985 part in an episode of the television series Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories. His first feature film was Cold Steel in 1987, followed that same year by the title role of Frank Nitti in the telemovie Nitti: The Enforcer. LaPaglia had a supporting role as a mobster in the minor hit Betsy’s Wedding in 1990. LaPaglia also starred alongside Danny Aiello & Lanie Kazan in 29th Street, a fact-based comedy/bio-pic, as the first New York State Lottery winner, Frank Pesce, Jr. This was followed by roles in the vampire/Mafia story Innocent Blood, the comedy thriller So I Married an Axe Murderer, the legal thriller The Client and the comedy Empire Records. That same year, LaPaglia appeared in the role of Jimmy Wyler, lead character in the TV series Murder One, during its second and final season.
During 1997–1998, LaPaglia appeared in a Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge with the Roundabout Theatre Company and later received a Tony Award for his portrayal of the protagonist, Eddie Carbone. LaPaglia also played Tito Merelli in Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor on Broadway. Before A View From the Bridge opened, LaPaglia was sent a script for the pilot of The Sopranos and met its creator, David Chase to discuss the role of protagonist Tony Soprano.
However, various factors, including his Broadway role, prevented LaPaglia obtaining the role. “‘The Sopranos’ thing didn’t work out and of course it did work out perfectly, because the right person ended up with the role. You can’t imagine that show without James Gandolfini.” LaPaglia did, however, later play an actor in a Sopranos-style TV show-within-a-film, in the comedy movie Analyze That. (In 2007, The Sopranos reciprocated, by featuring LaPaglia’s brother Jonathan in a film-within-the-TV show.)
Spike Lee cast LaPaglia as a New York police detective in Summer of Sam.
During 2000–04, LaPaglia appeared in eight episodes of the sitcom Frasier, including the finale, playing Daphne Moon’s brother Simon. The role won him an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series”.
LaPaglia made his debut in an Australian production with Looking for Alibrandi, followed by a role as a Sydney police detective in the critically acclaimed Ray Lawrence film Lantana.
In 2002, LaPaglia co-starred as a fire captain opposite Sigourney Weaver in The Guys, a film about New York firemen who died in the World Trade Center. He also played the role onstage, rotating with Bill Murray and others. He also played fictional Australian actor Anthony Bella in the comedy movie Analyze That but was uncredited in his role.
In addition to playing the central character in Without a Trace during 2002–09, LaPaglia co-wrote an episode entitled “Deep Water”.
In 2009, LaPaglia played the part of Roger East, a real life Australian journalist, in the political thriller Balibo, about the killing in 1975 of five Australian journalists by the Indonesian Army in the town of Balibo, East Timor. The opening scene depicts East’s own summary execution, during the Indonesian invasion.
In October 2011 it was announced that LaPaglia would join the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s new film Django Unchained, in which he would portray an Australian character once again. However, he eventually left the project, calling the production “out of control.”
In February 18, 2012, it was announced that LaPaglia would star in the ABC drama pilot Americana. The show was not picked up. It was announced in May 2013 that LaPaglia signed on in the feature adaptation of Stephen King’s A Good Marriage with Joan Allen.
In March 2014, LaPaglia joined a new CBS terrorism drama pilot titled Red Zone starring as a retired CIA operative and current high school football coach who returns to active duty after a terrorist attack in Washington, D.C. It was renamed Field of Play and not picked up for the 2014 season.
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LaPaglia had a supporting role in the Neil Armfield’s Australian romantic-drama film Holding the Man, as Bob Caleo. The 2015 film stars Ryan Corr and Craig Stott with supporting performances from LaPaglia, Guy Pearce and Geoffrey Rush. Holding the Man was adapted from Timothy Conigrave’s 1995 memoir of the same name. For his role within the film, LaPaglia was nominated for an AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 5th AACTA Awards in 2015.
In the 1980s, LaPaglia was a goalkeeper in the National Soccer League, playing for Adelaide City and West Adelaide. LaPaglia was part owner of A-League club Sydney FC until 2008; flying from California to Sydney to attend their matches since their inception in 2005. He was the narrator and executive producer of The Away Game, a critically acclaimed television documentary exploring the experiences of Australian footballers in Europe.
He plays occasionally with Hollywood United, an amateur organization of which he is club president, with other luminaries such as Frank Leboeuf, Vinnie Jones, Steve Jones and others.
LaPaglia has a minority shareholding in the International Goalkeepers Academy. The Academy was founded and is operated by James Fraser, who represented the Australian national team leading up to the 1974 FIFA World Cup.
LaPaglia has volunteered as an actor with the Young Storytellers Program. He played in a charity football match in 2007 to raise funds for Southern California wildfire relief.
Anthony Lapaglia Movies and TV Shows
- The Code (TV Show)
- Barry Moochmore 2012
- Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’hoole (Movie)
- Without A Trace (TV Show)
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV Show)
- The Architect (Movie)
- Happy Feet (Movie)
- Winter Solstice (Movie)
- Frasier (TV Show)
- Happy Hour (Movie)
- I’m With Lucy (Movie)
- The Salton Sea (Movie)
- The Guys (Movie)
- Dead Heat (Movie)
- Analyze That (Movie)
- Company Man (Movie)
- Lantana (Movie)
- The Bank (Movie)
- Autumn In New York (Movie)
- The House Of Mirth (Movie)
- Summer Of Sam (Movie)
- Analyze This (Movie)
- Sweet And Lowdown (Movie)
- Phoenix (Movie)
- Murder One (TV Show)
- Commandments (Movie)
- The Garden Of Redemption (Movie)
- Trees Lounge (Movie)
- Brilliant Lies (Movie)
- Bulletproof Heart (Movie)
- Empire Records (Movie)
- Chameleon (Movie)
- The Client (Movie)
- The Custodian (Movie)
- Mixed Nuts (Movie)
- Past Tense (Movie)
- Paperback Romance (Movie)
- So I Married An Axe Murderer (Movie)
- Innocent Blood (Movie)
- Whispers In The Dark (Movie)
- One Good Cop (Movie)
- 29Th Street (Movie)
- He Said, She Said (Movie)
- Father Dowling Mysteries (TV Show)
- Betsy’s Wedding (Movie)
- Slaves Of New York (Movie)
- Hunter (TV Show)
- Red Zone (TV Show)
- Lansky (TV Show)
- Philly Mob (TV Show)
- Bikers and Mobsters (TV Show)
- Miami Drug Cartel (TV Show)
- Vegas Mafia (TV Show)
- Nature (TV Show)
- InFANity (TV Show)
- Breakfast with the Arts (TV Show)
- VH1 Goes Inside (TV Show)
- Jazz (TV Show)
- Ken Burns American Stories (TV Show)
- The Architect (Movie)
- Winter Solstice (Movie)
- Theater Talk (TV Show)
- The Wendy Williams Show (TV Show)
- Live With Kelly and Ryan (TV Show)
- The Ellen DeGeneres Show (TV Show)
- Inside the Actors Studio (TV Show)
- The Early Show (TV Show)
- Square Off (TV Show)
- The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (TV Show)
- Higher Definition (TV Show)
- Jimmy Kimmel Live (TV Show)
- The View (TV Show)
- Late Show with David Letterman (TV Show)
- Tavis Smiley (TV Show)
- The Late Late Show (TV Show)
- Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (TV Show)
- The Rosie O’Donnell Show (TV Show)
- Tony Awards (TV Show)
- Screen Actors Guild Awards (TV Show)