Anthony M. LaPaglia (/ləpɑːliːɑː/; born 31 January 1959) is an Australian actor.
He played the role of Joe in the coming of age comedy Empire Records and John in the film Autumn In New York, as well as FBI agent Jack Malone on the American TV series Without a Trace, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama. He also appeared in 8 episodes of Frasier as Daphne Moon’s alcoholic brother Simon.
LaPaglia starred in the Australian films Looking for Alibrandi, Holding the Man, Lantana and Balibo. For the latter two films he won AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 2001 and 2009.
1987 Cold Steel Spooky film debut
1989 Slaves of New York Henry
Mortal Sins Vito
1990 Betsy’s Wedding Stevie Dee
1991 He Said, She Said Mark
One Good Cop Stevie Diroma
29th Street Frank Pesce, Jr.
1992 Whispers in the Dark Larry Morgenstern
Innocent Blood Joe Gennaro
1993 So I Married an Axe Murderer Tony Giardino
The Custodian Det. Sgt. James Quinlan
1994 The Client Barry ‘The Blade’ Muldano
Lucky Break Edward ‘Eddie’ Mercer
Bulletproof Heart Mick
Mixed Nuts Felix
1995 Empire Records Joe Reaves
1996 Chameleon Willie Serling
Trees Lounge Rob
Brilliant Lies Gary Fitzgerald
1997 Commandments Harry Luce
1998 Phoenix Mike Henshaw
1999 Summer of Sam Detective Lou Petrocelli
Sweet and Lowdown Al Torrio
2000 Company Man Fidel Castro
Looking for Alibrandi Michael Andretti
The House of Mirth Sim Rosedale
Ősz New Yorkban Autumn in New York John
2001 Jack the Dog Jack’s Attorney
Lantana Detective Leon Zat
The Bank Simon O’Reily
2002 The Salton Sea Al Garcetti
Dead Heat Ray
I’m with Lucy Bobby Staley
The Guys Nick
Analyze That Anthony Bella / Nicky Caesar Uncredited
2003 Manhood Jack’s Attorney
Happy Hour Tulley
Spinning Boris Dick Dresner
2004 Winter Solstice Jim Winters also Executive Producer
2006 The Architect Leo Waters
Played Detective Drummond
Happy Feet Boss Skua voice role
2008 $9.99 Jim Peck voice role
2009 Balibo Roger East also Producer
2010 Overnight Captain Brody
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole Twilight voice role
2011 All-Star Superman Lex Luthor voice role
Happy Feet Two The Alpha Skua voice role
2012 Long Time Gone Gordie
Mental Barry Moochmore
2014 A Good Marriage Bob
Big Stone Gap Spec Broadwater
2015 A Month of Sundays Frank Mollard also Executive Producer
This Isn’t Funny Mike
Holding the Man Bob Caleo
2016 The Assignment Honest John Hartunian
Toy Gun Gaetano Lolli
2017 Annabelle: Creation Samuel Mullins
1985 Amazing Stories Mechanic television debut
Episode: “The Mission”
1986 Magnum, P.I. Albert Stanley Higgins Episode: “Who Is Don Luis Higgins… and Why Is He Doing These Terrible Things to Me?”
The Twilight Zone Punk Episode: “A Day in Beaumont/The Last Defender of Camelot”
1988 Nitti: The Enforcer Frank Nitti Television Movie
1988 Police Story: Gladiator School Sergeant Petrelli Television Movie
1988 The Equalizer Agent #1 Episode: “The Child Broker”
1989 A Man Called Hawk Jesse Episode: “A Time and A Place”
1989 Gideon Oliver Raskin Episode: “Sleep Well, Professor Oliver”
1989 Hardball Randy Stoltz Episode: “The Silver Scream”
1990 Father Dowling Mysteries Paul Damon Episode: “The Visiting Priest Mystery”
1990 Equal Justice George Griffin Episode: “The Price of Justice”
1990 Criminal Justice David Ringel Television Movie
1991 The Brotherhood Salvatore’s Brother Television Movie
1991 Keeper of the City Vince Benedetto Television Movie
1991 Tales from the Crypt Abel, the Cable Guy Episode: “Spoiled”
1992 Black Magic Ross Gage Television Movie
1994 Past Tense Larry Talbert Television Movie
1996 Never Give Up: The Jimmy V Story Jim ‘Jimmy V’ Valvano Television Movie
1996-1997 Murder One Jimmy Wyler 18 episodes
1997 Murder One: Diary of a Serial Killer Jimmy Wyler Television Miniseries
1997 The Garden of Redemption Don Paolo Montale Television Movie
1999 Lansky Charlie ‘Lucky’ Luciano Television Movie
Black and Blue Bobby Benedetto Television Movie
2000 Normal, Ohio David Le tour Episode: “Pilot”
2001 On the Edge Dr. Maas Television Movie
2000–2004 Frasier Simon Moon 8 episodes
2002–2009 Without a Trace Jack Malone 160 episodes
also Writer Episode: “Deep Water”, Episode: “Devotion”
2006 The Away Game Television Doumentary
also Executive Producer
2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Jack Malone Episode: “Who and What”
2008 Tellement vrai
2012 Americana Robert Soulter Television Movie
2013 Boomerang Bill Hamilton Television Movie
2014 Red Zone Television Movie
2015 The Eichmann Show Leo Hurwitz Television Movie
2016 The Code Jan Roth 6 episodes
2016 Swedish Dicks Jack Episode: “#1.9”
2017 Riviera Constantine Clios 9 episodes
Bad Blood Vito Rizzuto Television Miniseries
2017 Sunshine Eddie Television Miniseries
1987 Bouncers Les Minetta Lane Theatre
1993 On the Open Road Angel Joseph Papp Public Theater/Martinson Hall
1995 The Rose Tattoo Alvaro Mangiacavallo Circle in the Square Theatre
Theatre World Award
Nominated – Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
1995–1996 Northeast Local Mickey Lincoln Center Theater
1997–1998 A View From the Bridge Eddie Criterion Center Stage Right
Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play
2002 The Guys Flea Theater
2010 Lend Me a Tenor Tito Merelli Music Box Theatre
Awards and nominations
Year Accolade Title Results
1991 Chicago Film Critics Association award, Most Promising Actor Betsy’s Wedding Nominated
1993 Australian Film Institute award, Best Lead Actor The Custodian Nominated
2000 Primetime Emmy award, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Frasier Won
2001 Australian Film Institute award, Best Lead Actor Lantana Won
2001 Film Critics Circle of Australia award, Best Supporting Actor – Male Looking for Alibrandi Nominated
2001 IF award, Best Actor Lantana Won
2002 Durban International Film Festival award, Best Actor Lantana Won
2002 Film Critics Circle of Australia award, Best Actor – Male Lantana Won
2002 Primetime Emmy award, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Frasier Won
2003 Chlotrudis award, Best Lead Actor Lantana Nominated
2004 Gold Derby award, Best Drama Lead Actor Without a Trace Nominated
2004 Golden Globe award, Best Lead Actor in a Television Series – Drama Without a Trace Won
2004 Hamptons International Film Festival award, Golden Starfish Award for Career Achievement Won
2004 Newport Beach Film Festival award, Outstanding Achievement in Acting Happy Hour Won
2004 Online Film & Television Association award, Best Actor in a Drama Series Without a Trace Nominated
2004 Primetime Emmy award, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Without a Trace Nominated
2004 Primetime Emmy award, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Frasier Nominated
2004 Prism award, Performance in a Film Festival award Happy Hour Won
2004 Satellite award, Best Lead Actor in a Series – Drama Without a Trace Nominated
2004 Screen Actors Guild award, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Without a Trace Nominated
2004 Screen Actors Guild award, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Without a Trace Nominated
2004 Verona Love Screens Film Festival award, Best Actor Happy Hour Won
2005 Satellite award, Best Lead Actor in a Series – Drama Without a Trace Nominated
2005 Screen Actors Guild award, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Without a Trace Nominated
2006 Australian Film Institute award, Best Lead Actor Winter Solstice Nominated
2009 Australian Film Institute award, Best Lead Actor Balibo Won
2009 Australian Film Institute award, Best Actor Without a Trace Nominated
2009 IF award, Best Actor Balibo Nominated
2009 IF award, Best Feature Film Balibo Nominated
2010 Film Critics Circle of Australia award, Best Actor – Male Balibo Won
2012 Behind the Voice Actors award, Best Vocal Ensemble in a TV Special/Direct-to-DVD Title or Theatrical Short All-Star Superman Won
2015 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts award, Best Supporting Actor Holding the Man Nominated
2016 Australian Film Critics Association award, Best Supporting Actor Holding the Man Nominated
2016 Film Critics Circle of Australia award, Best Actor – Supporting Role Holding the Man Nominated
2017 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts award, Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama Sunshine Nominated
LaPaglia was born in Adelaide, South Australia, the son of Maria Johannes (née Brendel), a secretary and model, and Gedio “Eddie” LaPaglia (deceased), an auto mechanic and car dealer. LaPaglia’s mother was Dutch, and his father emigrated from Bovalino, Calabria, Italy, at the age of eighteen. His younger brother, Jonathan LaPaglia, is also an actor, and his other brother, Michael, is a car wholesaler in Los Angeles. LaPaglia attended Rostrevor College and Norwood High School.
LaPaglia was working in Adelaide as a shoe salesman for Florsheim shoes in the early 1980s. He asked to be transferred to the US and continued working there whilst studying acting as he was rejected by the prestigious Sydney drama school NIDA. LaPaglia first began his venture into dramatic art in his late teens, when he enrolled in an acting course at the South Australian Castings Agency (SA Castings) in Adelaide. The two-and-half-year course was to be supplemented with a further three months, which would have included a “boot camp” and a trial listing with SA Castings. After completing one-and-a-half years of the course, LaPaglia left Adelaide for Los Angeles.
LaPaglia’s earliest credit was a 1985 part in an episode of the television series Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories. His first feature film was Cold Steel in 1987, followed that same year by the title role of Frank Nitti in the telemovie Nitti: The Enforcer. LaPaglia had a supporting role as a mobster in the minor hit Betsy’s Wedding (1990).
He starred alongside Danny Aiello and Lainie Kazan in 29th Street, a fact-based comedy/bio-pic, as the first New York State Lottery winner, Frank Pesce, Jr. This was followed by roles in the vampire/Mafia story Innocent Blood (1992), the comedy thriller So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), the legal thriller The Client (1994), and the comedy Empire Records in 1995. That same year, LaPaglia appeared in the role of Jimmy Wyler, lead character in the TV series Murder One, during its second and final season.
During 1997–98, LaPaglia appeared in a Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge with the Roundabout Theatre Company and later received a Tony Award for his portrayal of the protagonist, Eddie Carbone. LaPaglia also played Tito Merelli in Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor on Broadway. Before A View From the Bridge opened, LaPaglia was sent a script for the pilot of The Sopranos and met its creator, David Chase, to discuss the role of protagonist Tony Soprano.
However, various factors, including his Broadway role, prevented LaPaglia obtaining the role. “‘The Sopranos’ thing didn’t work out … and of course it did work out perfectly, because the right person ended up with the role. You can’t imagine that show without James Gandolfini.” LaPaglia did, however, later play (in an uncredited 2002 cameo) an actor in a Sopranos-style TV show-within-a-film, in the comedy movie Analyze That. (In 2007, The Sopranos reciprocated, by featuring LaPaglia’s brother Jonathan in a film-within-the-TV-show.) Spike Lee cast LaPaglia as a New York police detective in Summer of Sam (1999). During 2000–04, LaPaglia appeared in eight episodes of the sitcom Frasier, including the finale, playing Daphne Moon’s brother Simon. The role won him an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series”. LaPaglia made his debut in an Australian production with Looking for Alibrandi (1999), followed by a role as a Sydney police detective in the critically acclaimed Ray Lawrence film Lantana (2001).
In 2002, LaPaglia co-starred as a fire captain opposite Sigourney Weaver in The Guys, a film about New York firemen who died in the World Trade Center. He also played the role onstage, rotating with Bill Murray and others. “We did it as a tribute to the men,” said LaPaglia. “I’ve been so lucky to do it, to be part of this experience. But I can’t go back to that morning or watch the video. It’s too painful.” He also played fictional Australian actor Anthony Bella (who played Nicky Caesar in the fictitious series ‘Little Caesar’) in the comedy movie Analyze That, but was uncredited in his role.
In addition to playing the central character in Without a Trace during 2002–09, LaPaglia co-wrote an episode entitled “Deep Water”.
In 2009, LaPaglia played the part of Roger East, a real life Australian journalist, in the political thriller Balibo, about the killing in 1975 of five Australian journalists by the Indonesian Army in the town of Balibo, East Timor. The opening scene depicts East’s own summary execution, during the Indonesian invasion.
In October 2011 it was announced that LaPaglia would join the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s new film Django Unchained, in which he would portray an Australian character once again. However, he eventually left the project, calling the production “out of control.”
In February 18, 2012, it was announced that LaPaglia would star in the ABC drama pilot Americana. The show was not picked up.
It was announced in May 2013 that LaPaglia signed on in the feature adaptation of Stephen King’s A Good Marriage with Joan Allen.
In March 2014, LaPaglia joined a new CBS terrorism drama pilot titled Red Zone starring as a retired CIA operative and current high school football coach who returns to active duty after a terrorist attack in Washington, D.C. It was renamed Field of Play and not picked up for the 2014 season.
LaPaglia had a supporting role in the Neil Armfield’s Australian romantic-drama film Holding the Man, as Bob Caleo. The 2015 film stars Ryan Corr and Craig Stott, with supporting performances from LaPaglia, Guy Pearce and Geoffrey Rush. Holding the Man was adapted from Timothy Conigrave’s 1995 memoir of the same name. For his role within the film, LaPaglia was nominated for an AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 5th AACTA Awards in 2015.
In 2017, LaPaglia interpreted Vito Rizzuto in the Simon Barry TV series Bad Blood which aired on CityTV, in French on ICI Radio-Canada.
In 2017 starred in Sunshine an Australian crime drama series screened on SBS from Wednesday 18 October 2017. The four-part miniseries is an Essential Media production, directed by Daina Reid and written by Matt Cameron and Elise McCredie.
From 2017, stars in veteran filmmaker Neil Jordan’s, sumptuous series Riviera. Set in the French Riviera, the series follows Georgina Clios, a midwestern art curator whose life is turned upside down after the death of her billionaire husband Constantine Clios ( LaPaglia) in a yacht accident. Georgina becomes immersed in a world of lies, double-dealing and crime, as she seeks to uncover the truth about her husband’s death.
LaPaglia currently lives in Santa Monica, California, USA. He has said that he adopted an American accent to help him get acting work after moving to the US. His current accent is neither distinctly American nor is it Australian, but, rather, a combination of both. According to an offhand remark by LaPaglia, he has employed an American accent since 1982. LaPaglia is the godfather of Poppy Montgomery and Adam Kaufman’s son, Jackson.
LaPaglia’s first marriage was to actress Cherie Michan. His second marriage was to actress Gia Carides, whom he met at a party; the two starred in the 1994 Australian movie Paperback Romance (a.k.a. Lucky Break) and married in 1998. Their daughter Bridget was born in January 2003. In April 2015, newspapers reported that LaPaglia and Carides had split after 17 years.
In the 1980s, LaPaglia was a goalkeeper in the National Soccer League, playing for Adelaide City and West Adelaide. LaPaglia was part owner of A-League club Sydney FC until 2008; flying from California to Sydney to attend their matches since their inception in 2005. He was the narrator and executive producer of The Away Game, a critically acclaimed television documentary exploring the experiences of Australian footballers in Europe.
He plays occasionally with Hollywood United, an amateur organisation of which he is club president, with others in the entertainment industry including Frank Leboeuf, Vinnie Jones, Steve Jones (of the Sex Pistols) and others.
LaPaglia has a minority shareholding in the International Goalkeepers Academy. The Academy was founded and is operated by James Fraser, who represented the Australian national team leading up to the 1974 FIFA World Cup.
LaPaglia has volunteered as an actor with the Young Storytellers Program. He played in a charity football match in 2007 to raise funds for Southern California wildfire relief.