John Turturro

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John Turturro
John Turturro at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Turturro at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
BornJohn Michael Turturro
(1957-02-28) February 28, 1957 (age 57)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, writer, director
Years active1980–present
Spouse(s)Katherine Borowitz (1985–present; 2 children)
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John Turturro
John Turturro at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Turturro at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
BornJohn Michael Turturro
(1957-02-28) February 28, 1957 (age 57)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, writer, director
Years active1980–present
Spouse(s)Katherine Borowitz (1985–present; 2 children)

John Michael Turturro (born February 28, 1957) is an American actor, writer and director known for his roles in the films Do the Right Thing (1989), Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), Quiz Show (1994), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and the first three films in the Transformers film series (2007–2011). He has appeared in over sixty films, and has worked frequently with the Coen brothers, Adam Sandler and Spike Lee.

Early life[edit]

Turturro was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Katherine, an amateur jazz singer who worked in a Navy yard during World War II, and Nicholas Turturro, a carpenter and construction worker who fought as a Navy sailor on D-Day.[1][2] Turturro's mother was Sicilian (from Aragona near Agrigento) and his father immigrated from Giovinazzo, Bari, Italy at the age of six.[3] Turturro was raised a Roman Catholic[4] and moved to the Rosedale section of Queens, New York with his family when he was six. He majored in Theatre Arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz, and completed his MFA at the Yale School of Drama.


Turturro's first film appearance was a non-speaking extra role in Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed Raging Bull (1980).[5] Turturro then created the title role of John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at the Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in 1983. He repeated it the following year Off-Broadway and won an Obie Award.

Spike Lee liked Turturro's performance in Five Corners so much that he cast him in Do the Right Thing. This movie was the first of a long-standing collaboration between the director and Turturro, which includes work together on a total of nine films—more than any other actor in the Lee oeuvre--[6] including Mo' Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Clockers (1995), Girl 6 (1996), He Got Game (1998), Summer of Sam (1999), She Hate Me (2004), and Miracle at St. Anna (2008).

Turturro has appeared in both comedy and drama films, and engaged in an extended collaboration with the Coen Brothers—he appeared in their films Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998), and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). He has also appeared in several of Adam Sandler's movies, such as Mr. Deeds (2002) and You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008). He played a severely disturbed patient of Jack Nicholson's character in the comedy Anger Management and played Johnny Depp's character's antagonist in Secret Window. Turturro hosted Saturday Night Live in 1994, where he spoofed his recent film Quiz Show, being told he was ineligible to host unless he answered questions in a booth and if he failed, the honor of hosting would go to Joey Buttafuoco, who was actually backstage to witness Turturro's test.

He won an Emmy award for his portrayal of Adrian Monk's brother Ambrose in the USA Network series Monk, and has reprised the role on numerous occasions. He has also been nominated and won many awards from film organizations such as Screen Actors Guild, Cannes Film Festival, Golden Globes and others.

Turturro produced and directed, as well as acted in, the film Illuminata (1999), which also starred his wife Katherine Borowitz. He wrote and directed the film Romance and Cigarettes (2005). In 2006 he appeared in Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd, and as the Sector 7 agent Simmons in three films of the Transformers live-action series. In 2010 he directed (and had cameo on-screen appearances in) Passione, which chronicles the rich musical heritage of Naples, Italy.

His stage directorial debut was in October 2011, with the Broadway play "Relatively Speaking," in which he guided an ensemble of veteran actors in a production of three comedic one-act plays, written by Elaine May, Woody Allen and Ethan Coen. The cast included Julie Kavner, Marlo Thomas, Mark Linn-Baker and Steve Guttenberg.[6]

Turturro's fifth directorial film Fading Gigolo premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in mid-September 2013. Turturro also acts in the film alongside Woody Allen, who plays a novice pimp overseeing the sex work of Turturro's character. In a September 2013 interview, Turturro expressed his intention to draw parallels between sex work and acting, explaining that the latter is a "service business" in which actors are "acting out people's wishes or fantasies."[5] In March 2014, John Turturro received the Career Achievement tribute and award at the 31st Edition of the Miami International Film Festival at the Olympia Theater in Downtown Miami.

Personal life[edit]

Turturro's brother is actor Nicholas Turturro. Artist Ralph Turturro, composer and film director Richard Termini and actress Aida Turturro are his cousins. He has two children, Amedeo (born 1990) and Diego (born 2000), with his wife, actress Katherine Borowitz.[2]

Turturro participates as a member of the Jury for the NYICFF, a local New York City Film Festival dedicated to screening films for children between the ages of 3 and 18.[7] He and his brother Nicholas are avid New York Mets fans.[8]

In January 2011, Turturro received his Italian passport and now has dual Italian and American citizenship.[9]


Film credits
Raging Bull1980Man at tableUncredited
Exterminator 21984Guy #1
Flamingo Kid, TheThe Flamingo Kid1984Ted from Pinky's
Desperately Seeking Susan1985Ray
To Live and Die in L.A.1985Carl Cody
Hannah and Her Sisters1986Writer
Color of Money, TheThe Color of Money1986Julian
Gung Ho1986Willie
Off Beat1986Neil Pepper
Five Corners1987Heinz ZabantinoNominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Sicilian, TheThe Sicilian1987Pisciotta
Do the Right Thing1989Pino
State of Grace1990Nick
Mo' Better Blues1990Moe Flatbush
Miller's Crossing1990Bernie BernbaumNominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor (3rd place)
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor (3rd place)
Men of Respect1991Mike Battaglia
Jungle Fever1991Paulie Carbone
Barton Fink1991Barton Fink
Mac1992Niccolò Vitelli
Brain Donors1992Roland T. Flakfizer
Being Human1993Lucinnius
Fearless1993Bill Pearlman
Quiz Show1994Herb Stempel
Search for One-eye Jimmy, TheThe Search for One-eye Jimmy1994Disco Bean
Search and Destroy1995Ron
Unstrung Heroes1995Sidney Lidz
Clockers1995Det. Larry Mazilla
Sugartime1995Sam GiancanaTV film
Girl 61996Murray
Box of Moonlight1996Al FountainNominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male
Grace of My Heart1996Joe Milner
The Last Bet1997Leon
Truce, TheThe Truce1997Primo Levi
Rounders1998Joey Knish
He Got Game1998Billy Sunday
O.K. Garage1998Jonny
Big Lebowski, TheThe Big Lebowski1998Jesus Quintana
Summer of Sam1999DemonVoice role
Cradle Will Rock1999Aldo Silvana
O Brother, Where Art Thou?2000PeteNominated—MTV Movie Award for On-Screen Team (with George Clooney and Tim Blake Nelson)
Man Who Cried, TheThe Man Who Cried2000Dante Dominio
Company Man2000Crocker Johnson
Two Thousand and None2000Benjamin Kasparian
Luzhin Defence, TheThe Luzhin Defence2001Alexander Luzhin
Monkeybone2001MonkeyboneVoice role
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing2001WalkerFlorida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
Collateral Damage2002Armstrong
Monday Night Mayhem2002Howard CosellNominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Mr. Deeds2002Emilio Lopez
Fear X2003Harry
Anger Management2003Chuck
Opopomoz2003Voice role
Secret Passage2004Paolo Zane
Secret Window2004John ShooterNominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
She Hate Me2004Don Angelo Bonasera
Good Shepherd, TheThe Good Shepherd2006Ray Brocco
Quelques jours en septembre2006William Pound
Romance and Cigarettes2006Male dancer and singer
Bronx Is Burning, TheThe Bronx Is Burning2006Billy MartinNominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Transformers2007Agent Seymour Simmons
Margot at the Wedding2006JimNominated—Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Slipstream2007Harvey Brickman
What Just Happened2008Dick Bell
You Don't Mess With The Zohan2008Fatoush 'The Phantom' Hakbarah
Miracle at St. Anna2008Detective Antonio 'Tony' RicciNominated—Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Taking of Pelham 123, TheThe Taking of Pelham 1232009Camonetti
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen2009Seymour Simmons
Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy2009HimselfProducer, screenwriter
Passione2010Himself/NarratorDirector, co-screenwriter
Nutcracker in 3D, TheThe Nutcracker in 3D2010The Rat King
Cars 22011Francesco Bernoulli
Transformers: Dark of the Moon2011Seymour Simmons
Fading Gigolo2013FioravanteDirector, screenwriter
Gods Behaving Badly2013Hades
God's Pocket2014Arthur 'Bird' Capezio
Exodus: Gods and Kings2014Seti I
Rio, I Love You2014HomemDirector, screenwriter (segment "Quando não há Mais Amor")





  1. ^ "John Turturro Biography - Yahoo! Movies". 1957-02-28. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  2. ^ a b Pfefferman, Naomi (1998-04-19). "Far Beyond Tears". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  3. ^ "TURTURRO BURNS THROUGH THREE VERSIONS OF REALITY IN 'LIFE (X) 3'". Saint Paul Pioneer Press. 2003-06-01. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  4. ^ "Actor and director John Turturro's Dirty Dozen — 12 movie favorites that have a special place in his heart. - Review - movie review | Film Comment | Find Articles at". 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2010-03-14. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b Shoard, Catherine (12 September 2013). "John Turturro on nuns, Woody Allen and middle-aged sex". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Akers, W.M. (19 September 2011). "The Long and the Short of It". The New York Observer -Fall Arts Preview. 
  7. ^ "NYICFF Jury". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  8. ^ "I Breathe Baseball featuring Nick Turturro on MLB Network Sunday, September, 27th and Sunday, October 4th" (Press release). 10/07/2009. Retrieved 1 June 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ "John Turturro and His New Italian Passport". YouTube. 2011-01-27. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 

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