Anthony LaPaglia Biography

Anthony LaPaglia photo

Born: January 31, 1959


Date of Birth: January 31, 1959

Born in Adelaide, Australia, Anthony LaPaglia's first career choice was to be a teacher, but after three months on the job, he realized his heart wasn't in it. Instead, he moved to New York to become an actor. At first, he found it difficult to get work, because at auditions, after demonstrating for the casting people his American accent, they would say they could still hear that he was Australian. From then on, he told people he was from Brooklyn and would walk in speaking with an American accent. After that, he began landing numerous roles requiring a native New Yorker of Italian descent. LaPaglia's career started off in the theater, where he gained valuable experience.

LaPaglia's brooding, intense qualities transferred well onto the screen after making appearances on television shows such as Amazing Stories, Magnum, P.I., Hunter and Trapper John, M.D., he landed the title role in the TV movie Frank Nitti: The Enforcer (1988), followed by principal roles in feature films such as Betsy's Wedding (1989), in which he played a charming, polite mobster opposite Alan Alda.

LaPaglia has worked steadily ever since, appearing in three to seven films and TV movies per year. In 2000, he returned to Australia to play the lead role in the feature Lantana (2001). LaPaglia likes to research his roles, and to play Detective Leon Zat in the film, he spent 48 hours with two Sydney detectives, sitting in the back of their car while they were on duty. The film won awards from filmmaking societies and festivals around the world, and LaPaglia won the "Best Actor in a Leading Role" award from the Australian Film Institute for his part in the production.

LaPaglia has also won many awards for his stage work, including a Theatre World Award in 1995 for The Rose Tatoo; and an Outer Critics Circle award, a Drama Desk award and a Tony for his performance in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge in 1998. As well, he won an Emmy for "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series" for his work on the popular sitcom Frasier.

In 2002, he landed a lead role in the CBS TV series Without a Trace, playing FBI agent Jack Malone. LaPaglia and his wife, Australian actress Gia Carides, divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.

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