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Versatile American actor Giancarlo Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, but grew up in Manhattan from the age of six. His mother was an African-American nightclub singer (who once shared a bill with Josephine Baker) and his father was an Italian stagehand. In show business most of his life, Esposito made his Broadway debut in a 1966 production of Maggie Flynn. His other stage credits include Sacrilege, Miss Moffatt, and Balm in Gilead. He won a 1981 Theatre World Award for his performance in Zooman and the Sign.On the big screen, Esposito started appearing in Spike Lee films during the late '80s in a wide range of roles with great character names. He was the frat leader Julian "Big Brother Almighty" in School Daze, the outspoken reactionary Buggin' Out in Do the Right Thing, the dandy pianist Left Hand Lacey in Mo' Better Blues, and the criminal Thomas Hayer in Malcolm X. Esposito's other film roles include an investigative journalist in Bob Roberts, an activist in Amos & Andrew, and a game show host in Reckless. In 1995, he earned an Independent Spirit award nomination for his supporting role of doting drug dealer Esteban in Boaz Yakin's debut drama Fresh. Esposito also appeared in Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's Smoke, along with the sequel Blue in the Face. The next year, he turned briefly to producing with the independent prison film The Keeper, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.On television, Esposito appeared on NYPD Blue, Law & Order, and the short-lived Fox comedy Bakersfield, P.D. In 1999, he earned an Image award nomination for his role as FBI Agent Michael Giardello on Homicide: Life on the Street. He also has contributed to the Fox television dramas The $treet and girls club. While teaching at the Atlantic Theatre Company, Esposito found time to portray real-life figures in the biopics Ali (as Cassius Clay Sr.) and Pi
He is half African-American, half Italian. His mother was an opera singer, and his father was a stagehand/carpenter from Naples, Italy.
His mother was doing a nightclub gig on a split bill with Josephine Baker in Copenhagen around the time he was born.
Lived in Europe, New York City, and Cleveland until he, his older brother, Vincent, and their parents moved Manhattan when Giancarlo was six. During the boys' teens, the family lived in Elmsford (Westchester County), New York.
Two children, with McManigal, Shayne (b. 1997) and Kale (b. 1998)
Is a member of the Atlantic Theater Ensemble. Atlantic Theater is the theater company started by David Mamet and William H. Macy.
He has won two Obie Awards for his performances in Distant Fires and Zooman and the Sign.
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