Paul Giamatti

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Paul Giamatti
Paul Giamatti 2010 TIFF.jpg
BornPaul Edward Valentine Giamatti
(1967-06-06) June 6, 1967 (age 46)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Cohen (1997–present)
ParentsAngelo Bartlett Giamatti
Toni Marilyn (Smith) Giamatti
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Paul Giamatti
Paul Giamatti 2010 TIFF.jpg
BornPaul Edward Valentine Giamatti
(1967-06-06) June 6, 1967 (age 46)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Cohen (1997–present)
ParentsAngelo Bartlett Giamatti
Toni Marilyn (Smith) Giamatti

Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (/iəˈmɑːti/; born June 6, 1967) is an American 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 such as American Splendor, Sideways, Cinderella Man, The Illusionist, John Adams, Cold Souls, Barney's Version, and Win Win.

Early life[edit]

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 family were Italian immigrants from Telese Terme, near Naples (the surname was originally spelt "Giammattei", Italian pronunciation: [dʒamatˈtɛi]).[4] The rest of Giamatti's ancestry includes English, Dutch, Irish, Scottish, and French.[5] His paternal grandmother had deep roots in New England, dating back to the colonial era.[6] His brother, Marcus, is also an actor and his sister, Elena, is a jewelry designer.

Giamatti was first educated at The Foote School and later graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall in 1985. Giamatti attended Yale, where he was elected to the Skull and Bones secret society.[7] Giamatti was active in the undergraduate theater scene, working alongside actors Ron Livingston and Edward Norton, who were also Yale students. Giamatti graduated from Yale in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama, where he studied with Earle R. Gister. Giamatti performed in numerous theatrical productions, including Broadway and a stint from 1989 to 1992 with Seattle's Annex Theater,[8] before appearing in some small television and film roles in the early 1990s.


In 1997, Giamatti landed in his first high-profile role as Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton in the film adaptation of Howard Stern's Private Parts. Stern praised Giamatti's performance often on his radio program, calling for him to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Giamatti appeared in a number of supporting roles in the 1998 big-budget films including The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, and The Negotiator. In 1999, Giamatti played Bob Zmuda (and Tony Clifton) in Miloš Forman's Andy Kaufman biopic, Man on the Moon. Giamatti continued steadily in the early 2000s by appearing in major studio releases including Big Momma's House, Planet of the Apes, and Big Fat Liar.

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

In 2003, Giamatti began to earn critical acclaim after his lead role in film American Splendor. In 2004, Giamatti 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, Giamatti 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.

In 2008, Giamatti received his first Emmy Award[9] 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.[10] Giamatti was set to play the lead role, Colonel Tom Parker, in Bubba Nosferatu: Curse of the She-Vampires,[11] which was to co-star Ron Perlman, who replaced Bruce Campbell.[12]

In 2012, Giamatti became the voiceover actor for Liberty Mutual insurance commercials.[13] He was also the narrator for the PBS Nature episode An Original DUCKumentary.[14]

In 2013, Giamatti returned to his alma mater to play Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Yale University Theater in New Haven to rave reviews.[15]

Giamatti will play villain The Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.[16]

Giamatti has been cast to play Harold Levinson in the Christmas special of the fourth series of Downton Abbey.[17]


Giamatti 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.[18] 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][19][20]

Personal life[edit]

A resident of the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York,[19] 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.[21]

In culture[edit]

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."[22]

In the comic book series Ultimate Spider-Man, that series' version of the villain Tinkerer was rendered by artist Mark Bagley to resemble Giamatti, as per writer Brian Michael Bendis' instructions.[23]



1991Past MidnightLarry Canipe
1992SinglesKissing Man
1995Mighty AphroditeExtras Guild Researcher
1996Breathing RoomGeorge
Before and AfterMember of the JuryUncredited
1997Arresting GenaDetective Wilson
Donnie BrascoFBI Technician
Private PartsKenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton
My Best Friend's WeddingRichard the Bellman
Deconstructing HarryProfessor Abbot
Further Gesture, AA Further GestureHotel Clerk
1998Truman Show, TheThe Truman ShowControl Room Director
Dr. DolittleBlaine
Saving Private RyanSergeant Hill
Negotiator, TheThe NegotiatorRudy Timmons
Safe MenVeal Chop
1999Cradle Will RockCarlo
Man on the MoonBob Zmuda/Tony Clifton
2000If These Walls Could Talk 2Ted HedleySegment: "1961"
Big Momma's HouseJohn MaxwellNominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy
2001DuetsTodd Woods
StorytellingToby OxmanSegment: "Non-Fiction"
Planet of the ApesLimbo
2002Big Fat LiarMarty Wolf
ThunderpantsJohnson J. Johnson
2003American SplendorHarvey Pekar
2004SidewaysMiles Raymond
2005RobotsTim the Gate GuardVoice
The Fan and the FlowerNarratorVoice
Cinderella ManJoe Gould
2006Asterix and the VikingsAsterixEnglish dub
Hawk Is Dying, TheThe Hawk Is DyingGeorge Gattling
Illusionist, TheThe IllusionistChief Inspector Uhl
Lady in the WaterCleveland Heep
Ant Bully, TheThe Ant BullyStan BealsVoice
2007Nanny Diaries, TheThe Nanny DiariesMr. X
Shoot 'Em UpKarl Hertz
Fred ClausNicholas "Nick" Claus
2008Pretty BirdRickAlso producer
2009DuplicityRichard "Dick" Garsik
Cold SoulsPaul
Haunted World of El Superbeasto, TheThe Haunted World of El SuperbeastoDr. SatanVoice
Last Station, TheThe Last StationVladimir Chertkov
2010Barney's VersionBarney Panofsky
2011Win WinMike FlahertyIndiana Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
IroncladKing John
Hangover Part II, TheThe Hangover Part IIKingsley
Ides of March, TheThe Ides of MarchTom Duffy
2012Rock of AgesPaul Gill
CosmopolisBenno Levin
John Dies at the EndArnie BlondestoneAlso producer
Nominated – Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
Congress, TheThe CongressDr. Baker
Romeo and JulietFriar Laurence
ParklandAbraham Zapruder
12 Years a SlaveTheophilus Freeman
All Is BrightDennisAlso producer
Saving Mr. BanksRalph
2014Ernest & CelestineTBAEnglish dub
The Amazing Spider-Man 2Aleksei Sytsevich / The RhinoPost-Production
Love and MercyDr. Eugene LandyPost-Production
Madame BovaryMonsieur HomaisFilming
The Little PrinceTBAVoice
TBAThe GoonFrankieVoice


1990She'll Take RomanceHeckler #2TV Film
1994NYPD BlueMan in Sleeping BagEpisode: "You Bet Your Life"
1995New York NewsDr. WargnerEpisode: "Past Imperfect"
1996Show, TheThe ShowJeffrey RoffmanEpisode: "Pilot"
1998Tourist TrapJeremiah PiperTV Film
Homicide: Life on the StreetHarry TjarksEpisode: "Pit Bull Sessions"
WinchellHerman KurfeldTV Film
1999American ExperienceNarratorVoice
Episode: "New York: Part V - Cosmopolis"
2001King of the HillMr. McKayVoice
Episode: "It's Not Easy Being Green"
2003Pentagon Papers, TheThe Pentagon PapersAnthony RussoTV Film
2005Saturday Night LiveHostEpisode: "Paul Giamatti/Ludacris featuring Sum-41"
2006Amazing Screw-On Head, TheThe Amazing Screw-On HeadScrew-On HeadVoice
Television pilot
2008John AdamsJohn AdamsTV Miniseries
201030 RockRitchieEpisode: "When It Rains, It Pours"
2011Too Big to FailBen BernankeTV Film
ProhibitionHimselfTV Documentary
2013Downton AbbeyHarold LevinsonEpisode: "The London Season"

Video games[edit]

1996RipperDoctor Bud Cable


  1. ^ a b Gross, Terry (February 13, 2004). "Actor Paul Giamatti". NPR. Retrieved May 31, 2007. 
  2. ^ Pringle, Gill (November 27, 2007). "Paul Giamatti: Mr Potato face". The Independent (UK). Retrieved November 27, 2007. 
  3. ^ "–Ai. Bartlett Giamatti Marries Ton! Smith". The New York Times. June 19, 1960. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ LaGumina, Salvatore J. et al. (2000). The Italian American Experience: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland. pp. 263–264. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Wiecking, Steve. Seattle Met magazine. "Worried Man". July 2009 edition.
  9. ^ Paul Giamatti Emmy Award Winner
  10. ^ Paul Giamatti's Good Times
  11. ^ "Paul Giamatti Will Break Spine For Bubba Nosferatu! Now THAT'S Dedication!". DreadCentral. 
  12. ^ Wigler, Josh (July 6, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Paul Giamatti Says 'Bubba Nosferatu' Will Come Together, Despite Financial Setbacks". MTV. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (January 28, 2013). "Paul Giamatti in Talks to Play The Rhino in 'Spider-Man 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ According to the Internet Movie Database
  19. ^ a b Hale, Mike. "Film", The New York Times. July 29, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2007.
  20. ^ Web page titled "Paul Giamatti Selects" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Web site, Retrieved July 28, 2007
  21. ^ "I never saw Russell lose it on set..." |
  22. ^ "AV Club Podmass: The Best" (Week of February 17–23) The Onion
  23. ^ Brucie, Dylan (March 2007). "Ultimate Spider-Man". Wizard Xtra!. p. 117.
  24. ^ Kickstarter campaign for the independent animated film adaption of The Goon

External links[edit]