Veteran actor Joe Pesci has contributed to films that have become favorites for many movie lovers, from Raging Bull to Goodfellas, for which he received an Oscar, Home Alone, Lethal Weapon, A Bronx Tale, Casino, and many others. Pesci has more than proven how versatile he is, playing roles that are both threatening and comedic.
In recent years, Joe Pesci has become less visible on our screens for the reasons listed below. Follow us as we guide you through the highlights of his glittering Hollywood career.
Age, Early Life, and Rise to Fame
Joe Pesci was born in Newark, New Jersey, on February 9, 1943, the son of an Italian father, Angelo Pesci, and Mary (née Mesce). Growing up in Belleville, New Jersey, Pesci attended Belleville High School. Pesci had an innate passion for entertainment, and by the age of 5, he had already begun to appear in plays. His very first appearance on the big screen was in the TV variety show Startime Kids.
Pesci also cultivated a passion for music and learned to play the guitar. Together with his friend Frankie Valli, Pesci helped form the band Four Seasons and later played in several other bands. Like his mother, Pesci became a part-time hairdresser while pursuing his interests in show business. He released his debut album Little Joe Sure Can Sing! (1968), which consisted of covers of contemporary hit songs.
He eventually met Frankie Vincent, and together they performed in clubs all over New York. Together with Vincent, Pesci made his feature film debut in 1976 in the low-budget thriller The Death Collector.
Three years later Robert De Niro got to see the film and impressed with his performance, introduced it to Martin Scorsese, and began what was to become a long-term working relationship. His first Martin Scorsese film, Raging Bull (1980), made him a star overnight. He won a BAFTA movie for the role as well as an Oscar nod and the rest, as is often said, is history.
Joe Pesci excelled in the 80s and 90s with an enviable resume.
What Happened To Him, Where Is He Now?
After four decades of bringing his talent to the entertainment industry, Joe Pesci decided to retire in 1999. His main reason for doing so was to take a personal break from the camera and spend more time with his family.
Pesci also revealed that he was pursuing a music career, but after his second album Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You, released by Columbia Records in 1998, he was unable to release a new record.
Pesci enjoyed his free time until his bosom friend Robert De Niro asked him to take on a guest appearance in his 2006 film The Good Shepherd. He would then have several appearances, including one in a 2011 commercial, and fans were thrilled when it became known that Pesci would work with his longtime collaborators Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese in the mafia thriller The Irishman (2019).
Although Pesci didn’t say a word about the performance being a comeback of regular acting, The Telegraph saw it as proof enough to cover it. Well, only time will tell how long Pesci would be active before he would finally hang up his boots.
His Wife and Daughter
Joe Pesci is not married at the time of this writing, but has been married and divorced at least twice in the past. His first marriage was to an unknown woman in 1964 when he was 21 years old. According to unconfirmed reports, Pesci had a daughter who was born with the mystery woman around 1967.
His first marriage, which became known in the media, was with the model and actress Claudia Haro. Their marriage lasted from 1988 to 1992 and produced a daughter named Tiffany Pesci. Pesci’s ex-wife Claudia appeared on the news in 2012 in reports that linked her to a murder case. Pesci was engaged to former model and actress Angie Everhart in 2007 but broke off their engagement in 2008 before they made it to the altar.
Joe Pesci’s Height
Joe Pesci’s name will surely be on a list of Hollywood greats with short heights. The veteran actor in his prime stood at a height of 5 feet 3 inches. As is common with aging, the actor shrank by a few inches, so that today he is about 5 feet 1 inch tall.