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Joe Spinell Photo

Joe Spinell

IMDB : Joe Spinell - IMDB(nm0818874)

1936-10-28

Manhattan, New York

Male

Biography

​Joe Spinell was born Joseph J. Spagnuolo in Manhattan, New York of Italian immigrant parents, and the last of six children. His father, Pelegrino Spagnuolo (b. 1892, d. 1950), died from liver and kidney disease. His mother Filomena Spagnuolo (b. 1903, d. 1987) was a bit-part actress who acted in a few movies, some of them alongside her son. Spinell stood 5 foot and 11 inches. He was born at his family's apartment in Manhattan's Little Italy on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. A few years after the death of his father, he moved with his mother and older siblings to Woodside, Queens, New York where he lived off-and-on for the remainder of his life. Spinell suffered most of his life from hemophilia as well as chronic asthma. Because of his large, heavyset frame and imposing looks, Spinell was often cast as criminals, thugs, or corrupt police officers. His most notable roles were as mafioso Willi Cicci in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, and as loan shark Tony Gazzo in Rocky and Rocky II. Although primarily known as a character actor, Spinell co-wrote and starred as a serial killer in the 1980 film, Maniac. Joe Spinell died in his apartment on January 13, 1989 at the age of 52. The cause of his untimely death is arguable to this day. Some say that his death was caused by sudden heart attack due to heavy drug use, drinking and emotional distress in light of his mother passing away two years earlier. It is also speculated that he may have died from asthma complications, or bled to death from hemophilia related causes. He was planning a sequel to Maniac before his death. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery, Queens near his home. He is the distant cousin of the American football team St. Louis Ram's Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo. Spinell was married to adult film star Jean Jennings from February 1977 to July 1979. Together they had one daughter, but they eventually divorced.

Photo Gallery

Filmography

Movie Name Release Date
Rocky

Rocky

When world heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed wants to give an unknown fighter a shot at the title as a publicity stunt, his handlers choose palooka Rocky Balboa, an uneducated collector for a Philadelphia loan shark. Rocky teams up with trainer Mickey Goldmill to make the most of this once in a lifetime break.

1976-11-21
Rocky II

Rocky II

After Rocky goes the distance with champ Apollo Creed, both try to put the fight behind them and move on. Rocky settles down with Adrian but can't put his life together outside the ring, while Creed seeks a rematch to restore his reputation. Soon enough, the "Master of Disaster" and the "Italian Stallion" are set on a collision course for a climactic battle that is brutal and unforgettable.

1979-06-15
Farewell, My Lovely

Farewell, My Lovely

LA private eye Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) is hired by ex-con Moose Malloy to find his girlfriend. While also investigating the murder of a client and the theft of a jade necklace, Marlowe becomes entangled with seductress Helen Grayle (Charlotte Rampling) and discovers a web of dark secrets that are better left hidden. Soaked in 1940s period detail, Farewell, My Lovely is a neo noir remake of the 1944 film but it follows the original Raymond Chandler's novel more closely.

1975-08-08
Stay Hungry

Stay Hungry

Stay Hungry is a 1976 dramatic comedy film by director Bob Rafelson from a screenplay by Charles Gaines. The story centers on a young Birmingham, Alabama, scion, played by Jeff Bridges, who gets involved in a shady real-estate deal. In order to close the deal, he needs to buy a gym building to complete a multi-parcel lot. When he visits the gym, however, he finds himself romantically interested in the receptionist (Sally Field) and drawn to the carefree lifestyle of the Austrian body builder "Joe Santo" (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who is training there for the Mr. Universe competition.

1976-04-23
Nighthawks

Nighthawks

An international terrorist has New York in a grip of panic and it's up to Det. Sgt. Deke DaSilva to take him down.

1981-04-04
Starcrash

Starcrash

A pair of smugglers manage to pick up a castaway while running from the authorities, who turns out to be the only survivor from a secret mission to destroy a mysterious superweapon designed by the evil Count Zartharn. The smugglers are soon recruited by the Emperor to complete the mission, as well as to rescue the Emperor's son, who has gone missing.

1979-03-09
Vigilante

Vigilante

New York City factory worker Eddie Marino (Robert Forster, Oscar nominee for JACKIE BROWN) is a solid citizen and regular guy, until the day a sadistic street gang brutally assaults his wife and murders his child. But when a corrupt judge sets the thugs free, Eddie goes berserk and vows revenge.

1983-09-16
Next Stop, Greenwich Village

Next Stop, Greenwich Village

An aspiring Jewish actor moves out of his parents' Brooklyn apartment to seek his fortune in the bohemian life of Greenwich Village in 1953.

1976-02-04
The Seven-Ups

The Seven-Ups

A tough detective who is part of an elite New York City unit is trying to find out who killed his partner, but uncovers a plot to kidnap mobsters for money.

1973-12-14
Maniac

Maniac

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in NYC, kills young women and takes their scalps as trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in photographer Anna, and end his killing spree?

1980-12-26
Cruising

Cruising

A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S/M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he has to learn and practice the complex rules and signals of this little society.

1980-12-06
Night Shift

Night Shift

A nebbish of a morgue attendant gets shunted back to the night shift where he is shackled with an obnoxious neophyte partner who dreams of the "one great idea" for success. His life takes a bizarre turn when a prostitute neighbour complains about the loss of her pimp. His partner, upon hearing the situation, suggests that they fill that opening themselves using the morgue at night .

1982-07-30
Sorcerer

Sorcerer

Four men from different parts of the globe, all hiding from their pasts in the same remote South American town, agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of unstable nitroglycerin across dangerous jungle.

1977-06-24
The Ninth Configuration

The Ninth Configuration

Col. Vincent Kane is a military psychiatrist who takes charge of an army mental hospital situated in a secluded castle. Among Kane's many eccentric patients is Capt. Billy Cutshaw, a troubled astronaut in the midst of an existential crisis. Although Kane's own grasp on sanity is questionable, he manages to engage Cutshaw in a series of thoughtful conversations about science and faith that deeply affect the lives of both men.

1980-02-29
The Joe Spinell Story

The Joe Spinell Story

The Joe Spinell Story is a An outstanding and eye-opening documentary, made in 2001 for the Anchor Bay DVD release of Maniac (1980). His most notable roles were as mafioso Willi Cicci in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, and as loan shark Tony Gazzo in Rocky and Rocky II. Although primarily known as a character actor, Spinell co-wrote and starred as a serial killer in the 1980 film, Maniac.

2001-08-21
The Last Horror Film

The Last Horror Film

A New York taxi driver stalks a beautiful actress attending the Cannes Film Festival, which coincides with a series of violent killings of the lady's friends.

1984-05-23
Operation Warzone

Operation Warzone

A squad of U.S. troops seek out a mysterious agent hiding out in the jungles of 1960s Vietnam whom has classified documents that could win the war.

1988-07-01
Nunzio

Nunzio

A mentally-challenged delivery boy indulges in fantasies that he is a superhero in the tough streets of Brooklyn. He lives a life marked with torments from the gang of deadbeats at the corner, overbearing concern from his mother and older brother, and general confusion about women and his burgeoning desires for them.

1978-05-12
The Big Score

The Big Score

A narcotics detective, played by Fred Williamson, lets nothing stand in the way of his bringing down a major drug dealer. After a bust gone awry, he's accused of stealing a lost briefcase filled with money and both the mob and the police are looking for him. A ruthless hit man, played by Bruce Glover, will stop at nothing to get what his boss wants; the money!

1983-03-17
Walking the Edge

Walking the Edge

A Los Angeles taxi driver helps a distraught young woman on the run from gangsters after they murder her husband and young son.

1983-01-01
The Messenger

The Messenger

When his girlfriend dies of a drug overdose, a former Green Beret decides to take vengeance on the drug gangs responsible for her death.

1986-01-01
Rapid Fire

Rapid Fire

Mike Thompson is a former U.S. government agent whom is called on by his no-nonsense ex-employer Hanson to stop a terrorist named Mustapha who breaks out of a maximum security military prison aboard a battleship with the help from his aide Eddy Williams a former agent-turned-mercenary armed with an unstoppable rapid-firing, multi-use machine gun whom the U.S. government wants back at any cost. Mike is forced to rely on his former partner-in-crime Pappy, and a CIA agent named Corle, to help him try to track down Eddy hoping to lead him to Mustapha before they can plan their next terrorist strike.

1989-01-01
Thriller Zone

Thriller Zone

There are three unrelated, unconnected segments in this horror anthology. In the first segment, "The Last Hand," a man is shot, while another man has a heart attack. The latter man (Morty) survives, and goes to his regular poker game, but the man who was shot shows up looking well, if sinister. Morty had a hand in his death, it seems, and Morty grows increasingly agitated, and starts hallucinating. In the second segment,"The Final Hour," a convicted murderer in the year 2213 is being transported to a trial for his appeal and forms a relationship with the ship's pilot. The last segment, "Fanatical Extreme," is a condensed version of the feature film The Last Horror Film (1982), in which taxi driver Joe Spinell tries to realize his fantasy of making a horror movie with his favorite star, but he's not exactly welcome.

1995-01-01
The One Man Jury

The One Man Jury

Officer Jim Wade is a loose cannon on the force with a reputation for roughing up suspects, informants, witnesses, and just about everybody else who rubs him the wrong way. When women start being killed by a mysterious serial murderer called The Slasher, Wade vows to put a stop to the killing spree, regardless of whether through legal means or not.

1978-09-29
The Little Dragons

The Little Dragons

Karate experts attempt to rescue a girl who was kidnapped by a mother and her two psycho sons.

1980-07-18
Eureka

Eureka

An Alaskan gold prospector (Gene Hackman) lives in luxury with his family on an island gangsters want.

1984-10-05
Married to the Mob

Married to the Mob

Angela de Marco is fed up with her gangster husband's line of work and wants no part of the crime world. When her husband is killed for having an affair with the mistress of mob boss Tony "The Tiger" Russo, Angela and her son depart for New York City to make a fresh start. Unfortunately, Tony has set his sights upon Angela -- and so has an undercover FBI agent looking to use her to bust Tony.

1988-08-19
Strike Force

Strike Force

A New York City detective teams up with a federal agent and a state trooper to bust up a drug ring.

1975-04-12
The Last Fight

The Last Fight

Singer-turned-boxer Andy 'Kid' Clave signs a contract with a shady promoter Joaquin Vargas. But Clave turns against Vargas when the promoter's thugs kill Clave's girlfriend when he thinks about backing out of the contract. While seeking a way to get revenge against Vargas, Clave learns that he has a blood clot in his head. But nothing will deter him from getting his revenge and making a shot at the title.

1983-09-07
One Down, Two to Go

One Down, Two to Go

A pair of tough cops go after the mob who jinxed the martial arts tournament and injured their buddy.

1982-11-19
Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver

A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.

1976-02-08
Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie

Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie

A children's television host solves all kids problems. Shot as a promo reel for a sequel to Maniac (1980) but was cut short due to the untimely death of actor Joe Spinell.

1986-11-01
The Whoopee Boys

The Whoopee Boys

Two New York hustlers (Michael O'Keefe, Paul Rodriguez) go to Palm Beach, Fla., and enroll in a charm school to please an heiress.

1986-08-22
National Lampoon's Movie Madness

National Lampoon's Movie Madness

A parody of film genres composed of three shorts, spoofing personal growth films, glossy soap operas, and police stories.

1982-04-23
Big Wednesday

Big Wednesday

Three 1960s California surfers fool around, drift apart and reunite years later to ride epic waves.

1978-05-26
Rancho Deluxe

Rancho Deluxe

Jack McKee and Cecil Colson are two bumbling drifters who make a living by rustling cattle from other peoples herds in the wilds of Montana. Jack is from a wealthy background but left his parents as he resented their posh lives, and Cecil is a Native American half-breed seeking his own path in life away from his father. Both hustle and rustle their way in the world by targeting cattle owned by wealthy ranch owner John Brown. Frustrated that someone is killing his cattle, John hires a pair of ranch hands Burt and Curt to find the rustlers. When Brown realizes he cannot trust his two inept ranch hands, he turns to the grizzled former rustler Henry Beige to find the cattle thieves, while Jack and Cecil are always one step ahead of them, not realizing that their luck will eventually run out sometime.

1975-01-01
Paradise Alley

Paradise Alley

Sylvester Stallone is fighting the odds again, this time in the wrestling ring. As Cosmo Carboni, he and his two brothers dream of getting out of Hell's Kitchen (circa 1946) and into the big time. The exit signs point to Paradise Alley, a sleazy private club where the floorshow consists of raucous wrestling matches with big purses. Stallone not only starred in and wrote this action-packed film, he also made his directorial debut in this tale of three guys who could take anything Hell's Kitchen could dish out.

1978-09-22
Winter Kills

Winter Kills

19 years after President Timothy Keegan was assassinated, his brother Nick discovers a dying man claiming to have been the gunman. While trying to avoid his wealthy and domineering father's attempts to control his actions, Nick follows the clues that have been handed to him. As he progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to discern the real trails from the dead ends, and increasing dangerous as unknown parties try to stop Nick from uncovering the truth.

1979-05-11
The Godfather: Part II

The Godfather: Part II

In the continuing saga of the Corleone crime family, a young Vito Corleone grows up in Sicily and in 1910s New York. In the 1950s, Michael Corleone attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.

1974-12-20
The Godfather

The Godfather

Spanning the years 1945 to 1955, a chronicle of the fictional Italian-American Corleone crime family. When organized crime family patriarch, Vito Corleone barely survives an attempt on his life, his youngest son, Michael steps in to take care of the would-be killers, launching a campaign of bloody revenge.

1972-03-15
Hollywood Harry

Hollywood Harry

Tongue-in-cheek account of a private eye hired to find a young porn actress.

1986-10-03
K.O. Kippers

K.O. Kippers

The story of modern-day vaudevillians, the "Kipper Kids." Harry and Harry Kipper are "somewhere in South America" training for a boxing match staged by Tony LaRosa, a down-and-out scam artist who has promised to make the Kippers "champions of the entire world."

1988-08-13
The Undertaker

The Undertaker

A deranged undertaker kills various people to keep as his friends in his seedy funeral home.

1988-01-01
Losin' It

Losin' It

Set in 1965, four Los Angeles school friends -- Woody, Dave, Spider and Wendell -- go on a series of misadventures when they head to Tijuana, Mexico, for a night of cruisin', causing trouble, and to lose their virginity.

1983-04-22
Brubaker

Brubaker

The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

1980-06-20
The Pick-up Artist

The Pick-up Artist

A womanizer meets his match when he falls for the daughter of a gambling addict who is in debt to the mob.

1987-09-18
Forbidden Zone

Forbidden Zone

A mysterious door in the basement of the Hercules house leads to the Sixth Dimension by way of a gigantic set of intestine. When Frenchy slips through the door, King Fausto falls in love with her. The jealous Queen Doris takes Frenchy prisoner, and it is up to the Hercules family and friend Squeezit Henderson to rescue her.

1980-03-21
Vampire

Vampire

An architect builds a new church in San Francisco that ultimately displeases the local vampire community so its leader, Anton Voytek, kills the man's girlfriend to show his displeasure. The architect then teams with a local cop to get even.

1979-10-07
Monsignor

Monsignor

The vows of an ambitious young American priest are tested during World War II. Not only does Father John Flaherty get involved with the black market to raise money for the Vatican, he also falls in love with a young French nun.

1982-10-22
Melvin and Howard

Melvin and Howard

The story of hard-luck Melvin Dummar, who claimed to have received a will naming him an heir to the fortune of Howard Hughes.

1980-09-19
FantastiCozzi

FantastiCozzi

A feature-length documentary about the life and career of Italian director Luigi Cozzi and his obsession with Science Fiction and Fantasy.

2016-05-21
92 in the Shade

92 in the Shade

A young drifter returns to his home in Key West, Florida and attempts to open a fishing charter business, provoking a dangerous feud with a rival fishing sea captain.

1975-08-22
Last Embrace

Last Embrace

Secret agent Harry Hannan suffers a mental breakdown when a botched mission in Mexico results in the death of his wife. He is sent to a mental asylum, after which he eventually returns to work. But, once again, he begins to doubt his sanity when he receives a bizarre death threat written in Hebrew. Not knowing which of his colleagues wants to kill him, Hannan teams up with pretty young college student Ellie Fabian to attempt to unravel the mystery.

1979-05-04
Cops and Robbers

Cops and Robbers

Two disillusioned New York policemen plan a $10 million robbery to fuel their low pensions, only to run into one debacle after another in the process.

1973-08-15
The First Deadly Sin

The First Deadly Sin

A serial killer is stalking New York. Inspector Edward X. Delaney is an NYPD detective, nearing retirement, who is trying to put together the pieces of the case. Are the victims somehow linked? What does the brutal method of death signify?

1980-10-03
Trackdown: Finding the Goodbar Killer

Trackdown: Finding the Goodbar Killer

This made-for-TV sequel to the 1977 theatrical film "Looking For Mr. Goodbar" follows a New York City detective's quest to find the murderer of a schoolteacher.

1983-10-15
The Children of Times Square

The Children of Times Square

An alienated teenage boy runs away from home and ventures to New York City where he falls in with a gang of juvenile delinquents working as drug dealers and pickpockets for a shady crime boss.(IMDB)

1986-03-03
The Ransom of Red Chief

The Ransom of Red Chief

Two con artists kidnap a young boy for ransom. The boy, who calls himself Red Chief, becomes a problem for them.

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