John Turturro
John Michael Turturro
(born February 28, 1957) is an American actor, writer and director known for roles in the films Do the Right Thing (1989), Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), Quiz Show (1994), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and the Transformers film series. He has appeared in over sixty films, and has worked frequently with the Coen brothers, Adam Sandler and Spike Lee.

Early LifeEdit

Turturro was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Katherine, an amateur jazz singer who worked in a Navy yard during World War 2, and Nicholas Turturro, a carpenter and construction worker who fought as a Navy sailor in D-Day. Turturro's mother was Sicilian (from Aragona near Agrigento) and his father emigrated from Giovinazzo, Bari, Italy at the age of six. Turturro was raised a Roman Catholic and moved to the Rosedale section of Queens, New York with his family when he was six. He majored in drama at the State University of New York at New Paltz, and completed his MFA at the Yale School of Drama. He first appeared on film working as an extra in Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed Raging Bull (1980).


Turturro created the title role of John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at the Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in 1983. He repeated it the following year Off-Broadway and won an Obie Award. Spike Lee liked Turturro's performance in Five Corners so much that he chose to cast him in Do the Right Thing. This movie was the first of a long-standing collaboration between the famous director and Turturro, which includes work together on a total of nine films, more than any other actor in the Lee oeuvre including Mo' Better Blue (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Clockers (1995), Girl 6 (1996), He Got Game (1998), Summer of Sam (1999), She Hate Me (2004) and Miracle at St. Anna (2008). A versatile actor comfortable with both comedy and drama, Turturro also had an extended collaboration with the Coen Brothers, appearing in their films Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998), and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). He has also appeared in several of Adam Sandler's movies, such as Mr. Deeds (2002) and You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008). He played a severely disturbed patient of Jack Nicholson's in the comedy Anger Management and played Johnny Depp's antagonist in Secret Window. Turturro hosted Saturday Night Live in 1994, where he spoofed his recent film Quiz Show, being told he was ineligible to host unless he answered questions in a booth and if he failed, the honour of hosting would go to Joey Buttafuoco, who was actually backstage to witness Turturro's test.

He won an Emmy award for his portrayal of Adrian Monk's brother Ambrose Monk in the USA Network series Monk, and has reprised the role on numerous occasions. He has also been nominated and won many awards from film organisations such as Screen Actors Guild, Cannes Film Festival, Golden Globes and others.

Turturro produced and directed, as well as acted in, the film Illuminata (1999), which also starred his wife Katherine Borowitz. He wrote and directed the film Romance and Cigarettes (2005). In 2006 he appeared in Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd, and as the Sector 7 agent Simmons in three films of the Transformers live-action series. In 2010 he directed (and had cameo on-screen appearances in) Passione, which chronicles the rich musical heritage of Naples, Italy.

As a stage director, his Broadway debut is set for October 2011 with "Relatively Speaking", in which he will guide an ensemble of veteran actors in a production of three comedic one-act plays, written by Elaine May, Woody Allen and Ethan Coen. The cast includes Julie Kavner, Marlo Thomas, Mark Linn-Baker and Steve Guttenberg.

Personal LifeEdit

Turturro's brother is actor Nicholas Turturro. Actress Aida Turturro and artist Ralph Turturro are his cousins. He has two children, Amedeo (born 1990) and Diego (born 2000), with his wife, actress Katherine Borowitz.

Turturro participates as a member of the Jury for the NYICFF, a local New York City Film Festival dedicated to screening films for children between the ages of 3 and 18. He and his brother Nicholas are avid New York Yankees fans.


Year Title Role
1980 Raging Bull Man at Table
1984 Exterminator 2 Guy #1
1984 The Flamingo Kid Ted from Pinky's
1985 Desperately Seeking Susan Ray
1985 To Live and Die in L.A. Carl Cody
1986 Hannah and Her Sisters Writer
1986 The Color of Money Julian
1986 Gung Ho Willie
1986 Off Beat Neil Pepper
1987 Five Corners Heinz Zabantino
1987 The Sicilian Pisciotta
1989 Do the Right Thing Pino
1990 Catchfire Pinella
1990 State of Grace Nick
1990 Mo' Better Blues Moe Flatbush
1990 Miller's Crossing Bernie Bernbaum
1991 Men of Respect Mike Battaglia
1991 Jungle Fever Paulie Carbone
1991 Barton Fink Barton Fink
1992 Mac Niccolo Vitelli
1992 Brain Donors Roland T. Flakfizer
1993 Being Human Lucinnius
1993 Fearless Bill Pearlman
1994 Quiz Show Herb Stempel
1994 The Search for One-eye Jimmy Disco Bean
1995 Search and Destroy Ron
1995 Unstrung Heroes Sidney Lidz
1995 Clockers Det. Larry Mazilla
1995 Sugartime Sam Giancana
1996 Girl 6 Murray
1996 Box of Moon Light Al Fountain
1996 Grace of My Heart Joe Milner
1997 The Truce Primo Levi
1997 The Last Bet Leon
1998 Illuminata Tuccio
1998 Rounders Joey Knish
1998 He Got Game Billy Sunday
1998 O.K. Garage Jonny
1998 The Big Lebowski Jesus Quintana
1999 Summer of Sam Demon
1999 Cradle Will Rock Aldo Silvana
2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? Pete
2000 The Man Who Cried Dante Dominio
2000 Company Man Crocker Johnson
2000 Two Thousand and None Benjamin Kasparian
2001 The Luzhin Defence Alexander Luzhin
2001 Monkeybone Monkeybone
2001 Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Walker
2002 Collateral Damage Armstrong
2002 Monday Night Mayhem Howard Cosell
2002 Mr. Deeds Emilio Lopez
2003 Fear X Harry
2003 Anger Management Chuck
2003 Opopomoz
2004 She Hate Me Don Angelo Bonasera
2004 Secret Window John Shooter
2006 The Good Shepherd Ray Brocco
2006 Quelques jours en septembre William Pound
2006 Romance and Cigarettes Male Dancer and Singer
2006 The Bronx is Burning Billy Martin
2007 Transformers Agent Seymour Simmons
2006 Margot at the Wedding Jim
2007 Slipstream Harvey Brickman
2008 What Just Happened Dick Bell
2008 You Don't Mess with the Zohan Fatoush "The Phantom" Hakbarah
2008 Miracle at St. Anna Detective Antonio "Tony" Ricci
2009 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Camonetti
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Seymour Simmons
2009 Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy Himself
2010 Passione Himself/Narrator
2010 The Nutcracker in 3D The Rat King
2011 Cars 2 Francesco Bernoulli
2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon Seymour Simmons


  • World War Z (2007) as Serosha Garcia Alvarez


  • Miami Vice (episode 1x16) (1985)
  • Monk (as Ambrose Monk)
    • Mr. Monk and the Three Pies (2004)
    • Mr. Monk Goes Home Again (2005)
    • Mr. Monk's 100th Case (2008)
  • The Bronx is Burning (2007) as Billy Martin
  • Flight of the Conchords (2007) as Himself
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