It’s not often that an Oscar-winner disappears from the limelight without warning, particularly when their acceptance speech was so memorably short (“It was my privilege. Thank you.”) but it seems like Joe Pesci hasn’t appeared in a movie in a long time. Pretty remarkable considering how well-regarded he was in the 80’s and 90’s, particularly when collaborating with Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.
Pesci was famed for his ability to play volatile and erratic personalities; often gangsters with short tempers and filthy mouths. But he also had a great sense of comic timing and could carry off slapstick and crack wise with the best of them if he needed to. In sharp contrast to the characters he portrayed, Pesci was known in Hollywood for being a humble and softly-spoken man that most actors enjoyed working with.
Pesci starred in a number of high profile films such as Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Once Upon a Time in America, My Cousin Vinny, JFK, Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Lethal Weapon 2, Lethal Weapon 3, Lethal Weapon 4 and Casino, but nothing major since. Why? What happened to him? Did a life of crime catch up to him? Is he living under witness protection with a new name?
I’m joking of course, but there is a reason Pesci doesn’t appear in movies any more. Don’t worry: he’s alive and well and has pursued a very different career.
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