Image of Joe Spinell

Joe Spinell

​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.


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Born:
Oct 28, 1936 In Manhattan, New York
Movie/TV Credits:
55
First Appeared:
In the movie El Padrino 1972-03-14
Latest Project:
Pelicula The Joe Spinell Story 2001-08-21
Known For
Poster of K.O. Kippers
Poster of The Undertaker
Poster of The Messenger
Poster of Maniaco
Filmography
Pelicula The Joe Spinell Story Himself 2001-08-21
Pelicula Thriller Zone Vinny Durand (segment "Fanatical Extremes") (archive footage) 1995-01-01
Pelicula Rapid Fire Hansen 1989-01-01
Pelicula The Undertaker Uncle Roscoe 1988-01-01
Pelicula Operation Warzone Brig. Gen. George Delevane 1988-07-01
Pelicula Casada con todos Leonard 'Tiptoes' Mazzilli 1988-08-19
Pelicula K.O. Kippers Tony Larosa 1988-08-13
Pelicula El cazachicas Eddie 1987-09-18
Pelicula The Messenger Rico 1986-01-01
Pelicula Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie Mr. Robbie 1986-11-01
Pelicula The Children of Times Square Street Vendor 1986-03-03
Pelicula Chicos escandalosos Guido Antonucci 1986-08-22
Pelicula Hollywood Harry 1986-10-03
Pelicula Vigilante Eisenberg 1983-01-04
Pelicula The Big Score Mayfield 1983-03-17
Pelicula Al filo de la navaja Brusstar 1983-01-01
Pelicula The Last Fight Angelo 1983-09-07
Pelicula La gran locura americana Agent / M.C. ("Success Wanters") 1983-11-02
Pelicula Eureka 1983-05-01
Pelicula Ir a perderlo y perderse Border Patrolman 1983-04-08
Pelicula Turno de noche Manetti 1982-07-30
Pelicula The Last Horror Film Vinny Durand 1982-10-09
Pelicula One Down, Two to Go Joe Spangler 1982-11-19
Pelicula Monseñor Bride's Father 1982-10-22
Pelicula Halcones de la noche Lt. Munafo 1981-03-17
Pelicula Brubaker Floyd Birdwell 1980-06-20
Pelicula The Little Dragons Yancey 1980-07-18
Pelicula La novena configuración Lt. Spinell 1980-02-29
Pelicula La zona prohibida Squeezit's Father 1980-03-21
Pelicula A la caza Patrolman DiSimone 1980-09-23
Pelicula Maniaco Frank Zito 1980-11-07
Pelicula El primer pecado mortal Charles Lipsky 1980-10-03
Pelicula Melvin y Howard Go-Go Club Owner #2 1980-09-19
Pelicula El eslabón del Niágara Man in Cantina 1979-05-04
Pelicula Muertes de invierno Arthur Fletcher 1979-05-11
Pelicula Rocky 2 Tony Gazzo 1979-06-15
Pelicula Vampire 1979-10-07
Pelicula El gran miércoles Psychologist 1978-05-26
Pelicula Nunzio Angelo 1978-05-12
Pelicula The One Man Jury Mike Abatino 1978-09-29
Pelicula Star Crash, choque de galaxias Count Zartharn 1978-12-21
Pelicula La cocina del infierno Burp 1978-09-22
Pelicula Carga maldita Spider 1977-06-24
Pelicula Rocky Gazzo 1976-11-21
Pelicula Next Stop, Greenwich Village Cop at El Station 1976-02-04
Pelicula Taxi Driver Personell Officer 1976-02-07
Pelicula Músculos de acero Jabo 1976-04-23
Pelicula Vidas sin barreras Mr. Colson 1975-01-01
Pelicula Strike Force Sol Terranova 1975-04-12
Pelicula Adiós, muñeca Nick 1975-08-08
Pelicula 92 in the Shade Ollie Slatt 1975-08-22
Pelicula El Padrino. Parte II Willi Cicci 1974-12-20
Pelicula Los Implacables, Patrulla Especial Toredano 1973-01-01
Pelicula Unos policías muy ladrones Marty 1973-08-17
Pelicula El Padrino Willi Cicci (uncredited) 1972-03-14