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definition - Paul_Giamatti

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Paul Giamatti

Paul Giamatti

Giamatti at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival
Born Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti
(1967-06-06) June 6, 1967 (age 45)
New Haven, Connecticut
Nationality American
Occupation Actor
Years active 1989–present
Spouse Elizabeth Cohen (m.1997)
Parents Angelo Bartlett Giamatti
Toni Marilyn (Smith)

Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (/iəˈmɑːti/; born June 6, 1967) is an American actor. An acclaimed character actor, Giamatti began his career as a supporting actor in several films produced during the 1990s including Private Parts, The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, The Negotiator, and Man on the Moon before earning lead roles in several projects in the 2000s including American Splendor, Sideways, Cinderella Man, The Illusionist, John Adams, Cold Souls, Barney's Version, and Win Win.


  Early life

Giamatti, the youngest of three children, was born in New Haven, Connecticut. His father, Angelo Bartlett Giamatti, was a Yale University professor who later became president of the university and commissioner of Major League Baseball.[1] His mother, Toni Marilyn (née Smith), was a homemaker and English teacher who taught at Hopkins School and had also previously acted.[2][3] His paternal grandfather's parents were Italian immigrants from Telese.[4] The rest of his ancestry is Irish and English,[5] and his paternal grandmother was from a family with deep roots in New England. His brother, Marcus, is also an actor, and his sister, Elena, is a jewelry designer. Giamatti was educated at The Foote School and graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall in 1985. He attended Yale University, where he was elected to the Skull and Bones secret society.[6] Giamatti was active in the undergraduate theater scene, working alongside actors Ron Livingston and Edward Norton, who were also Yale students. He graduated from Yale in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English. He went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama where he studied with Earle R. Gister. He performed in numerous theatrical productions (including Broadway) before appearing in some small television and film roles in the early 1990s.


Giamatti's first high-profile role was in the film adaptation of Howard Stern's Private Parts (1997) as Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton, Stern's antagonistic program director at WNBC. Stern praised Giamatti's performance often on his radio program, calling for him to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He appeared in a number of supporting roles in big-budget movies such as The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, and The Negotiator (all 1998). In 1999, he played Bob Zmuda (and Tony Clifton) in the Andy Kaufman biographical film, Man on the Moon. Giamatti continued to be featured in major studio releases such as Big Momma's House (2000) with Martin Lawrence, the Planet of the Apes remake (2001), and in Big Fat Liar (2002) opposite Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes.

Giamatti began to earn critical acclaim after his lead role in the 2003 film American Splendor. He gained mainstream recognition and fame with the 2004 independent romantic comedy Sideways. His portrayal of a depressed writer vacationing in the Santa Barbara wine country garnered him a Golden Globe nomination and an Independent Spirit Award. Following the commercial success of Sideways, Giamatti appeared in Cinderella Man, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture.

In 2006, he was the lead in M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water, a supernatural thriller, followed by the animated film The Ant Bully, and Neil Burger's drama The Illusionist co-starring Edward Norton. He also played Mr. Hertz in the action film Shoot 'Em Up and Santa Claus in the comedy Fred Claus. In 2008, he received his first Emmy Award[7] for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie" for his title performance in the HBO miniseries John Adams, a role that also led to a Screen Actors Guild award. That same year, he starred in the independent film Pretty Bird which is a fictionalized retelling about the drama behind the invention of a rocketbelt.[8]

He was nominated for 45 separate awards between 2001 and 2008, and won 26 of them, including both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for John Adams. All of his nominations except one were for American Splendor, Sideways, Cinderella Man, or John Adams; the exception was a Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination for Big Momma's House.[9] In 2011, he won a second Golden Globe, for his portrayal of the titular character in the Canadian film Barney's Version. The Brooklyn Academy of Music asked Giamatti, its "2007 BAM Cinema Club Chair", to pick films for an eight-movie series called "Paul Giamatti Selects" and shown at the Academy in August and September 2007. His selections indicated a taste for paranoia and "the darkest of dark comedy," according to a writer for The New York Times, and included Frenzy, Dr. Strangelove, Brewster McCloud, The Big Clock, The Seventh Victim, Dawn of the Dead (1978 version), Seconds, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 version).[1][10][11]

  Giamatti at the premiere of Barney's Version in January 2011

Giamatti was set to play the lead role, Colonel Tom Parker, in Bubba Nosferatu: Curse of the She-Vampires,[12] which was to co-star Ron Perlman, who replaced Bruce Campbell.[13]

  Personal life

A resident of the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York,[10] Giamatti has been married to Elizabeth Giamatti (née Cohen) since 1997. They have a son, Samuel Paul, known as Sam (born 2001), who is raised in Elizabeth's Jewish religion. Giamatti himself is an atheist.[14]

  In culture

Comedian James Adomian performs an impression of Giamatti on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast. The AV Club describes Adomian's caricature of Giamatti as "a fantastically broken-down sad-sack."[15]


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Past Midnight Larry Canipe
1992 Singles Kissing Man
1994 NYPD Blue Man In Sleeping Bag Television series; Episode: "You Bet Your Life"
1995 Mighty Aphrodite Extras Guild Researcher
New York News Dr. Wargner Television series; Episode: "Past Imperfect"
Sabrina Scott
1996 Show, TheThe Show Jeffrey Roffman Television series; Pilot
Breathing Room George
Ripper Doctor Bud Cable Video game
1997 Arresting Gena Detective Wilson
Donnie Brasco FBI Technician
Private Parts Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton
My Best Friend's Wedding Richard the Bellman
Deconstructing Harry Professor Abbot
Further Gesture, AA Further Gesture Hotel Clerk
1998 Tourist Trap Jeremiah Piper
Homicide: Life on the Street Harry Tjarks Television series; Episode: "Pit Bull Sessions"
Truman Show, TheThe Truman Show Control Room Director
Dr. Dolittle Blaine
Saving Private Ryan Sergeant Hill
Negotiator, TheThe Negotiator Rudy Timmons
Safe Men Veal Chop
1999 Cradle Will Rock Carlo
Man on the Moon Bob Zmuda/Tony Clifton
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 Ted Hedley Television series; Segment: "1961"
Big Momma's House John Maxwell Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy
Duets Todd Woods
2001 King of the Hill Mr. McKay Television series; Episode: "It's Not Easy Being Green"
Storytelling Toby Oxman
Planet of the Apes Limbo
2002 Big Fat Liar Marty Wolf
Thunderpants Johnson J. Johnson
2003 American Splendor Harvey Pekar
Paycheck Shorty
Confidence Gordo
Pentagon Papers, TheThe Pentagon Papers Anthony Russo Television series
2004 Sideways Miles Raymond
2005 Saturday Night Live Host Television series; Episode: 30 × 10
Robots Tim the Gate Guard
Fan and the Flower, TheThe Fan and the Flower Narrator
Cinderella Man Joe Gould
2006 Asterix and the Vikings Asterix English Dub
Hawk Is Dying, TheThe Hawk Is Dying George Gattling
Illusionist, TheThe Illusionist Chief Inspector Uhl
Lady in the Water Cleveland Heep
Ant Bully, TheThe Ant Bully Stan Beals
Amazing Screw-On Head, TheThe Amazing Screw-On Head Screw-On Head Television series
2007 Nanny Diaries, TheThe Nanny Diaries Mr. X
Shoot 'Em Up Karl Hertz
Fred Claus Nicholas "Nick" Claus
2008 John Adams John Adams
Pretty Bird Rick
2009 Duplicity Richard "Dick" Garsik
Cold Souls Paul
Haunted World of El Superbeasto, TheThe Haunted World of El Superbeasto Dr. Satan
Last Station, TheThe Last Station Vladimir Chertkov
2010 Barney's Version Barney Panofsky
2011 Win Win Mike Flaherty Indiana Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Ironclad King John
The Hangover Part II Kingsley
Too Big to Fail Ben Bernanke
Prohibition Himself
The Ides of March Tom Duffy
2012 Rock of Ages Paul Gill
Cosmopolis Benno Levin
John Dies at the End Arnie Blondestone Also producer
Romeo and Juliet Friar Laurence
2013 The Congress
Twelve Years a Slave Theophilus Freeman


  1. ^ a b Gross, Terry (February 13, 2004). "Actor Paul Giamatti". NPR. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1674650. Retrieved May 31, 2007. 
  2. ^ Pringle, Gill (November 27, 2007). "Paul Giamatti: Mr Potato face". The Independent (UK). http://arts.independent.co.uk/film/features/article3199367.ece. Retrieved November 27, 2007. 
  3. ^ "–Ai. Bartlett Giamatti Marries Ton! Smith". The New York Times. June 19, 1960. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00B15F738551A7A93CBA8178DD85F448685F9. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ Reston, James (1997). Collision at Home Plate: The Lives of Pete Rose and Bart Giamatti. Nebraska: U of Nebraska Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0-8032-8964-2. http://books.google.ca/books?visbn=0-8032-8964-2&id=znjlwbfZOTcC&pg=RA1-PA16&lpg=RA1-PA16&ots=_8zqp4MZuD&dq=%22Bartlett+Giamatti%22+ITALIAN&sig=iGZHVZTGXmCp8qRjBnZbD5GjzyE. 
  5. ^ Interview previously available at http://www.sundayherald.com/57083
  6. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (November 12, 2009). "G2: 'I'm clearly not Brad Pitt': Paul Giamatti tends to play moody defeatists and rageful misanthropes. Which is just the way he likes it.". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ Paul Giamatti Emmy Award Winner
  8. ^ Paul Giamatti's Good Times
  9. ^ According to the Internet Movie Database
  10. ^ a b Hale, Mike. "Film", The New York Times. July 29, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2007.
  11. ^ Web page titled "Paul Giamatti Selects" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Web site, Retrieved July 28, 2007
  12. ^ "Paul Giamatti Will Break Spine For Bubba Nosferatu! Now THAT'S Dedication!". DreadCentral. http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/38374/paul-giamatti-will-break-spine-for-bubba-nosferatu-now-thats-dedication. 
  13. ^ Wigler, Josh (July 6, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Paul Giamatti Says 'Bubba Nosferatu' Will Come Together, Despite Financial Setbacks". MTV. http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2010/07/06/exclusive-paul-giamatti-says-bubba-nosferatu-will-come-together-despite-financial-setbacks/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+mtvmoviesblog+%28MTV+Movies+Blog%29. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  14. ^ "I never saw Russell lose it on set..." | TotalFilm.com
  15. ^ "AV Club Podmass: The Best" (Week of February 17–23) The Onion

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