Joe Mantegna

  1. Malcolm McDowell, Voyage of the Damned, 1975.  In a Nazi propaganda exercise – “Nobody loves Jews – so leave them to us”- Germany ships Jews to Havana, in the full knowledge that Cuba won’t accept them. Nor will any other nation. They return home, by which time WWII has begun, and of the 937 passengers, more than 600 die in concentration camps!  ThIs is no retread of Katharine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools, although similar and both featuring José Ferrer and Oskar Werner (in his final film here). No, this is a terrible true story, stuffed with stars, too many to deal with. Denholm Elliott has one scene, Orson Welles, four; luckier than the jettisoned Janet Suzman and Jack Warden.  A good guy this once, Malcolm McDowell was among the crew instead of (take a breath)… fellow Brits Jon Finch, Anthony Hopkins, Simon MacCorkindale, Ian McShane, John Moulder-Brown. Martin Potter and Hollywood’s Keith Carradine, Jeff Conaway, Raul Julia, Martin Kove, Joe Mantegna, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, John Ritter, John Travolta, Jon Voight.  

  2. Robert Urich, Spenser: For Hire, TV, 1985. For Joe, Spenser was  a dream come  true – second time around.  He loved Robert B. Parker’s pulp fiction and knew how Parker had pushed for him to be his shamus in the 1985 series. But no, the producers went for a better known Tellywood face: Urich. In the late 90s, Parker wrote his own Spenser  movies –  and  got his man for all three. And Joe  got fun writing,  the classic Parker repartee:  tidbits, exchanges, quips.  “He’s clever with his innuendoes and that’s the stuff that’s fun to play, just as it makes it fun to read.”

  3. Jon Polito, Miller’s Crossing, 1990.  The Coen brothers tackle  30s/40s, gangster noir…  Their 1988 draft had Mantegna, Phillip Bosco, Michael Gambon, Michael Gazzo and John Seitz suggested for  Italian crime boss Johnny Caspar, arch rival of Albert Finney’s Irish gang leader, Leo O’Bannion. The Coens had wanted Polito to play Eddie Dane, but he asked to be Caspar… in the first of his five films for the brothers during 1900-2000.
  4. Adam Baldwin, Radio Flyer, 1992. Joe quit when director David Evans was bounced for Richard Donner.
  5. Marlon Brando, The Freshman, 1992. Director Andrew Bergman wrote Carmine Sabatini for Al Pacino or Joe Mantegna,  never realising  that Marlon Brando was an enormous (!) fan of The In-Laws and jumped at the chance of sending-up Don Corleone. After shooting, he inexplicably trashed the movie!
  6. Dennis Farina, Law & Order, TV,2 007-2020.  evenge for Farina after losing a key role to Joe in The Godfather Part III. Succeeding the late Jerry Orbach’s 274 episodes, Farina is the only cop on producer Dick Wolf’s force to have been a real cop. In Chicago, where he was such a bad shot, he was called The Great Wounder. A year later, Joe won his own cop show, Criminal Minds, covering the work of the BAU, the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, He’d scored 273 chapters by 2020.  



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  6