Steve Buscemi
Steven Vincent "Steve" Buscemi
(born December 13, 1957) is an American actor, writer and film director. An associate member of the renowned experimental theatre company The Wooster Group, Buscemi has starred and supported in successful Hollywood and indie films including New York Stories, Mystery Train, Reservoir Dogs, Desperado, Con Air, Armageddon, The Grey Zone, Ghost World and Big Fish; and the HBO television series The Sopranos. He is also known for his appearances in many films by the Coen brothers: Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, The Big Lebowski and Paris, je t'aime.

Since 2010, he has starred in the critically acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire, which earned him two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe, and a nomination for an Emmy Award.

He made his directorial debut in 1996, with Trees Lounge, in which he also starred. Other works include Animal Factory (2000), Lonesome Jim (2005) and Interview (2007).

Early LifeEdit

Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Dorothy, who worked as a hostess at Howard Johnson's, and John Buscemi, a sanitation worker and Korean War veteran. Buscemi's father was of Italian descent, his ancestors were from the town of Menfi in Sicily, and Buscemi's mother was of part Irish ancestry. He has three brothers: Jon, Ken and Michael. Buscemi was raised Roman Catholic.

He graduated in 1975 from Valley Stream Central High School in Valley Stream, New York, a school which he attended with actress Patricia Charbonneau. In high school, Buscemi wrestled for the varsity squad and participated in the drama troupe, at the time directed by Mr. Lynne C. Lappin. Buscemi's 1996 film Trees Lounge, in which he not only starred but served as screenwriter and director, is set in and was largely shot in his childhood village of Valley Stream.

Buscemi briefly attended Nassau Community College before moving to Manhattan to enrol in the Lee Strasberg Institute. In the early 1980s, Buscemi also worked as a firefighter for four years on FDNY Engine 55. After 9/11, Buscemi returned to Engine 55 and worked alongside other firefighters to sift through the rubble from the World Trade Center.



His first role in a major motion picture was in the 1987 film Parting Glances, for which his performance in the role of Nick received praise. Other early films include Slaves of New York in 1988, and Tales from the Darkside, a 1990 film with three segments, Buscemi starred in the first segment, playing Bellingham, a college student who orders a mummy and unleashes it on fellow college students played by Christian Slater and Julianne Moore.

During 1990, Buscemi had a couple of additional crime roles. He played the henchman of Laurence Fishburne named Test Tube in Abel Ferrara's King of New York. He also played Mink in the Coen Brothers' Millers Crossing. Although he had to audition twice for this role, it marked the first of six of the Coen Brothers' films in which Buscemi appeared. Before his work with the Coen Brothers, he played a small but important role in Jim Jarmusch's independent anthology film Mystery Train, released in 1989, for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Male.

In 1991, he played the bellboy, Chet, in the Coen Brothers film, Barton Fink. His first lead role was in 1992, where he played Adolpho Rollo in Alexandre Rockwell's In the Soup. Then he came to public attention for playing Mr. Pink is Quentin Tarantino's 1992 film, Reservoir Dogs, a role that Tarantino wrote for himself.

Buscemi's other most notable character roles include Garland Greene in Con Air, Rockhound in Armageddon, Randall Boggs in Monsters Inc., Donny in The Big Lebowski, Carl Showalter in Fargo, Norther Winslow in Big Fish and Seymour in Ghost World, for which he won several awards. Buscemi often plays characters that are neurotic and paranoid. He has appeared in a number of films by the Coen Brothers, in which his character tend to die in grisly, prolonged or unexpected manners. He has frequently appeared in Adam Sandler films such as Airheads, Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy, Mr. Deeds, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Grown Ups. He also had worked with Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Jim Jarmusch, Robert Rodriguez, and Michael Bay on various occasions.

In 2003, Buscemi made a brief celebrity guest appearance as himself on the long-running FOX animated television show The Simpsons in the episode "Brake My Wife, Please". Most recently, Buscemi provided the voice for Dwight, a bank robber whom Marge promises to visit in jail if he turns himself in to the authorities. This episode, entitled "I Don't Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", originally aired on October 14, 2007.

In 2004, Buscemi joined the cast of The Sopranos as Tony Soprtano's cousin and childhood friend, Tony Blundetto, a role for which he was nominated an Emmy Award. Buscemi had previously contributed to the show as director of the third season episode "Pine Barrens," which was one of the most critically acclaimed episodes of the series, and the fourth season episode "Everybody Hurts." He appeared in the third episode of season 6, as a doorman in the afterlife, which is portrayed as a country club, in Tony Soprano's dream. He returned to direct the episodes "In Camelot", the seventh episode of season five, and "Mr. & Mrs. John Sacrimoni Request...", the fifth episode of season 6.

1995, Buscemi played suspected cop-shooter Gordon Pratt in the episode "End Game" at the end of a three-episode arc of Homicide: Life on the Street. He also had a role as Phil Hickle, Ellen's father and older Pete's guidance counsellor, in The Adventures of Pete and Pete, as well as guest-starring in Miami Vice in 1986. Buscemi was rumoured to be considered for the role of The Scarecrow in Joel Schumacher's proposed fifth instalment of the first Batman franchise, Batman Triumphant, before Warner Bros. cancelled the project.

In 2004, Buscemi appeared in the music video for Joe Strummer's cover of the Bob Marley track "Redemption Song". The video is shot after Strummer's death, and Buscemi appears beside a graffiti portrait of Strummer.

In 2002, Steve contributed to Lou Reed's concept album The Raven with the song "Broadway Song", and poems "Old Poe" and "The Cask".

Buscemi currently stars in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. He plays Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (based on Enoch L. Johnson), a corrupt Atlantic City politician who rules the town during the Prohibition era. Buscemi won a Golden Globe award for best lead actor in a drama series in 2011.

In 2011, he hosted Saturday Night Live on NBC.


Buscemi has worked extensively as a writer and director since making his debut feature during the 1990s. His directorial credits include:

  • What Happened to Pete (1992) (Short Film)
  • Trees Lounge (1996)
  • Animal Factory (2000)
  • Lonesome Jim (2005)
  • Interview (2007)

In addition to feature films, he directed episodes of the television shows Homicide: Life on the Street, four episodes of The Sopranos, as well as two episodes of HBO's prison-drama series Oz, entitled "U.S. Male" and "Cuts Like a Knife". He has also directed two episodes of 30 Rock ("Retreat to Move Forward" and "Leap Day") and six episodes of Showtime's Nurse Jackie. In the latter, his brother Michael played the character God in several episodes.

While scouting a location for a film, Buscemi visited the Philadelphia Eastern State Penitentiary. He found the building so interesting that he later provided the majority of the narration for the audio tour there.

Personal LifeEdit

Buscemi was a New York City firefighter from 1980 to 1984, with Engine Company #55 in the Little Italy section of New York. He showed up at his old firehouse the day after the World Trade Center tragedy in New York to volunteer, working twelve-hour shifts for a week after the terrorist act, and digging through rubble with his old comrades looking for missing firefighters. Buscemi was arrested, along with eleven others, on May 25, 2003 while protesting the closing of his former firehouse.

Buscemi pronounces his name as "Bu-semmy", but the correct Sicilian pronunciation is "Bu-shemmy". He once said about the pronunciation of his name: "I had to go to Sicily to find out I pronounce my name wrong."

In April 2001, while shooting the film Domestic Disturbance in Wilmington, North Carolina, Buscemi was slashed and badly scarred on the face while at the Firebelly Lounge, intervening in a bar fight between his friend Vince Vaughn, screenwriter Scott Rosenberg and a local man, who allegedly instigated the brawl.

Buscemi, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, is adamant about not altering his teeth saying "I've had dentists who have wanted to help me out, but I say, "You know, I won't work again if you fix my teeth."


Year Title Role
1985 Tommy's Tommy
1986 The Way It Is Raphael/Willy
Parting Glances Nick
Sleepwalk Worker
1987 Kiss Daddy Goodnight Johnny
Heart Nicky
No Picnic Dead Pimp
1988 Call Me Switchblade
Heart of Midnight Eddy
Arena Brains
1989 Slaves of New York Wilfredo
Mystery Train Charlie the Barber
Lonesome Dove Luke
New York Stories Gregory Stark
Borders Ted
Bloodhounds of Broadway Whining Willie
1990 Tales from the Darkside: The Movie Bellingham
Force of Circumstance
King of New York Test Tube
Miller's Crossing Mink
1991 Life Is Nice Convenience Store Clerk
Zandalee OPP Man
Barton Fink Chet
Billy Bathgate Irving
1992 In the Soup Adolpho Rollo
Reservoir Dogs Mr. Pink
CrissCross Drug Dealer
1993 Twenty Bucks Frank
Rising Sun Willy "The Weasel" Wilhelm
The Adventures of Pete & Pete Phil Hickle
Ed And His Dead Mother Ed Chilton
Claude Danny
Tales from the Crypt Ike
1994 The Search for One-eye Jimmy Ed Hoyt
The Hudsucker Proxy Beatnik Barman at Ann's 440
Airheads Rex
Pulp Fiction "Buddy Holly" waiter
The Last Outlaw Former Confederate Soldier and Outlaw Philo
Floundering Ned
Somebody to Love Mickey
Who Do I Gotta Kill?
Felidae Archie
1995 Billy Madison Danny McGrath
Living in Oblivion Nick Reve
Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead Mister Shhh
Desperado Buscemi
1996 Fargo Carl Showalter
Escape from L.A. Map to the Stars Eddie
Trees Lounge Tommy
Kansas City Johnny Flynn
1997 Con Air Garland "The Merietta Mangler" Greene
The Real Blonde Nick Reve
1998 The Big Lebowski Theodore Donald "Donny" Kerabatsos
Divine Trash Himself
The Imposters Happy Franks
The Wedding Singer David "Dave" Veltri
Armageddon Rockhound
Louis & Frank Drexel
1999 Big Daddy Homeless Guy
2000 28 Days Cornell Shaw
Animal Factory A.R. Hosspack
2001 Ghost World Seymour
Final Fantasy: The Spirts Within Neil Fleming
They Grey Zone "Hesch" Abramowics
Double Whammy Jerry Cubbins
Domestic Disturbance Ray Coleman
Monsters, Inc. Randall Boggs
2002 Deadrockstar Reverend Ely
Love in the Time of Money Martin Kunkle
Mr. Deeds Crazy Eyes
13 Moons Bananas The Clown
The Laramie Projects Doc O'Connor
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Romero
2003 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Romero
Coffee and Cigarettes Waiter (Segment "Twins")
Big Fish Norther Winslow
2002-2006 The Sopranos Tony Blundetto/Man
2004 Home on the Range Wesley
2005 Lonesome Jim
The Island James McCord
2006 Art School Confidential Broadway Bob D'Annunzio
Monster House Nebbercracker
Charlotte's Web Templeton the Rat
Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11 Narrator
2007 I Think I Love My Wife George Sianidis
Paris, je T'aime The Tourist (Segment "Tuileries")
Interview Pierre Peters
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry Clint Fitzer
The Simpsons Dwight
Delirious Les Galantine
Romance & Cigarettes Angelo
30 Rock Lenny Wosniak
2008 ER Mr. Masterson
Igor Scamper
2009 Rage Frank
John Rabe Dr. Robert Wilson
G-Force Bucky
The Messenger Dale Martin
Handsome Harry Thomas Kelley
2010 Saint John of Las Vegas John Alighieri
Youth in Revolt George Twisp
Grown Ups Wiley
The Chosen One Neal
Pete Smalls Is Dead Bernie Lake
2010 Boardwalk Empire Enoch "Nucky" Thompson
2011 Portlandia Book Store Customer
Saturday Night Live Host
Rampart Bill Blago
2012 On the Road TBA
Hotel Transylvania Wayne
2013 Monsters University Randall Boggs
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Anton Lovecraft
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