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John Turturro
John Turturro 2017.jpg
Turturro at the Montclair Film Festival in May 2017
John Michael Turturro

(1957-02-28) February 28, 1957 (age 66)
  • United States
  • Italy
Alma mater
  • Actor
  • filmmaker
Years active 1980–present
Katherine Borowitz
(m. 1985)
Children 2

John Michael Turturro (/tərˈtʊər/; born February 28, 1957) is an American actor and filmmaker. He is known for his contributions to the independent film movement. He has appeared in over sixty feature films and has worked frequently with the Coen brothers, Adam Sandler, and Spike Lee. He began his acting career on-screen in the early 1980s, and received early critical recognition with the independent film Five Corners (1987). Turturro's mainstream breakthrough came with Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989) and the Coens' Miller's Crossing (1990) and Barton Fink (1991), for which he won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. His subsequent roles included Herb Stempel in Quiz Show (1994), Jesus Quintana in both The Big Lebowski (1998) and The Jesus Rolls (2020), Pete in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Seymour Simmons in the Transformers film series (2007–2017) and Carmine Falcone in The Batman (2022). In 2016, in a lead role, he portrayed a lawyer in the HBO miniseries The Night Of. He had a recurring role in the miniseries The Plot Against America in 2020. He currently stars as Irving on the Apple TV+ series Severance.

An Emmy Award winner, Turturro has also been nominated for four Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and four Independent Spirit Awards. He directed Mac (1992), which won the Golden Camera Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Illuminata (1998), and Romance and Cigarettes (2005).

Early life

John Turturro was born on February 28, 1957 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, the son of Katherine Florence (Incerella) and Nicholas Turturro. His mother was born in the U.S. to Italian parents with roots in Sicily, and was an amateur jazz singer who had worked in a naval yard during World War II. ..... His father had emigrated at age six from Giovinazzo, Italy to the United States, and later worked as a carpenter and construction worker before joining the U.S. Navy.

Turturro was raised a Roman Catholic and moved to the Rosedale section of Queens, New York with his family when he was 6. He majored in theatre arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz and completed his MFA at the Yale School of Drama.


Turturro's first film appearance was a non-speaking extra role in Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed Raging Bull (1980). He 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. Turturro had a notable supporting role in William Friedkin's action film To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), as the henchman of the villainous counterfeiter played by Willem Dafoe.

Spike Lee liked Turturro's performance in Five Corners (1987) so much that he cast him in Do the Right Thing (1989). This movie was the first of a long-standing collaboration between the 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 Blues (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).

Turturro at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival

Turturro has appeared in both comedy and drama films, and engaged in an extended collaboration with the Coen Brothers—he appeared in their films Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991, in the lead role), The Big Lebowski (1998), and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). Turturro 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 character in the comedy Anger Management and played Johnny Depp's character's antagonist in Secret Window.

Turturro hosted Saturday Night Live in 1994, where he spoofed his then-recently made film, Quiz Show, being told he was ineligible to host unless he answered questions in a booth and if he failed, the honor 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 in the USA Network series Monk, and reprised the role on numerous occasions. He has also been nominated and won many awards from film organizations 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, actress 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 Seymour Simmons in four 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.

His stage directorial debut was in October 2011, with the Broadway play Relatively Speaking, in which he guided 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 included Julie Kavner, Marlo Thomas, Mark Linn-Baker and Steve Guttenberg.

Turturro's fifth directorial film Fading Gigolo premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in mid-September 2013. ..... In March 2014, Turturro received the Career Achievement tribute and award at the 31st Edition of the Miami International Film Festival at the Olympia Theater in Downtown Miami. Turturro starred in the 2016 miniseries The Night Of, garnering a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. In 2019 Turturro played William of Baskerville in a television adaptation of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose.

In 2022, he appeared in Matt Reeves' film The Batman based on the DC Comics character of the same name as Carmine Falcone.

Personal life

Turturro's brother is actor Nicholas Turturro. Composer and film director Richard Termini and actress Aida Turturro are his cousins. He has two children with his wife, actress Katherine Borowitz, who moved on to a social work career in 2016.

John Turturro participates as a member of the Jury for the New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF), which is dedicated to screening films for children between the ages of 3 and 18. Turturro holds dual Italian and American citizenship as of January 2011.

He has lived in Park Slope in Brooklyn, New York since 1988.



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Raging Bull Man at table Uncredited
1984 Flamingo Kid, TheThe Flamingo Kid Ted From Pinky's
1985 Desperately Seeking Susan Ray
To Live and Die in L.A. Carl Cody
1986 Hannah and Her Sisters Writer
Color of Money, TheThe Color of Money Julian
Gung Ho Willie
Off Beat Neil Pepper
1987 Five Corners Heinz Zabantino
Sicilian, TheThe Sicilian Pisciotta
1989 Do the Right Thing Pino Directed By Spike Lee
1990 Catchfire Pinella
State of Grace Detective Nick Richardson
Mo' Better Blues 'Moe' Flatbush Directed By Spike Lee
Miller's Crossing Bernie 'The Shamata Kid' Bernbaum With The Coen Brothers
1991 Men of Respect Mike Battaglia
Jungle Fever Paulie Carbone Directed By Spike Lee
Barton Fink Barton Fink With The Coen Brothers
1992 Mac Niccolò Vitelli Also director and writer
Brain Donors Roland T. Flakfizer
1993 Being Human Lucinnius
Fearless Bill Pearlman
1994 Quiz Show Herb Stempel
Search for One-eye Jimmy, TheThe Search for One-eye Jimmy Disco Bean
1995 Search and Destroy Ron
Unstrung Heroes Sidney Lidz
Clockers Detective Larry Mazilla
1996 Girl 6 Murray
Box of Moonlight Al Fountain
Grace of My Heart Joel Milner
1997 Lesser Prophets Leon
Truce, TheThe Truce Primo Levi
1998 Illuminata Tuccio Also director, writer and producer
Rounders Joey Knish
He Got Game Billy Sunday
OK Garage Jonny
Big Lebowski, TheThe Big Lebowski Jesus Quintana
Animals Tuxedo Man
1999 Summer of Sam Harvey The Dog (voice)
Cradle Will Rock Aldo Silvana
2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? Pete
Man Who Cried, TheThe Man Who Cried Dante Dominio
Company Man Crocker Johnson
Two Thousand and None Benjamin Kasparian
Luzhin Defence, TheThe Luzhin Defence Alexander Luzhin
2001 Monkeybone Monkeybone (voice)
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Walker
2002 Collateral Damage Sean Armstrong
Mr. Deeds Emilio Lopez
2003 Fear X Harry
Anger Management Chuck
Opopomoz John Voice
2004 Secret Passage Paolo Zane
Secret Window John Shooter
She Hate Me Don Angelo Bonasera
2BPerfectlyHonest Sal / Roberto
2005 Romance and Cigarettes Male Dancer & Singer Also director, writer and producer
The Moon and the Son Son (voice) Short film
2006 Good Shepherd, TheThe Good Shepherd Ray Brocco
A Few Days in September William Pound
2007 Transformers Agent Seymour Simmons
Margot at the Wedding Jim
Slipstream Harvey Brickman
Joulutarina Iisakki English dub
2008 What Just Happened Dick Bell
You Don't Mess With The Zohan Fatoush 'The Phantom' Hakbarah
Miracle at St. Anna Detective Antonio 'Tony' Ricci
2009 Taking of Pelham 123, TheThe Taking of Pelham 123 Lieutenant Vincent Camonetti
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Seymour Simmons
Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy Himself Documentary; also writer and executive producer
2010 Passione Himself / Narrator Documentary; also director and co-writer
Nutcracker in 3D, TheThe Nutcracker in 3D The Rat King
2011 Cars 2 Francesco Bernoulli (voice)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Seymour Simmons
Somewhere Tonight Leroy
2013 Fading Gigolo Fioravante Also director and writer
Gods Behaving Badly Hades
2014 God's Pocket Arthur 'Bird' Capezio
Exodus: Gods and Kings Seti I
Rio, I Love You Homem Segment "Quando não há Mais Amor"; also director and writer
2015 Mia madre Barry Huggins
Partly Cloudy with Sunny Spells Lombelli
The Ridiculous 6 Abner Doubleday
2016 Hands of Stone Frankie Carbo
2017 Landline Alan Jacobs
Hair John Turturro Short film; also director and writer
Transformers: The Last Knight Seymour Simmons
2018 Gloria Bell Arnold
2019 The True Adventures of Wolfboy Mr. Silk
The Jesus Rolls Jesus Quintana Also director and writer
2022 The Batman Carmine Falcone
Pinocchio Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Miami Vice David Traynor Episode: "Rites of Passage"
1988 The Fortunate Pilgrim Larry 4 episodes
1994 Saturday Night Live Himself / Host Episode: "John Turturro/Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers"
1995 Sugartime Sam Giancana Television film
2001 Biography Narrator 2 episodes
2002 Monday Night Mayhem Howard Cosell Television film
Frasier Grant (voice) Episode: "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
2004–08 Monk Ambrose Monk 3 episodes
2007 The Bronx Is Burning Billy Martin 8 episodes
Flight of the Conchords Credits Cop Episode: "The Actor"
2016 The New Yorker Presents Patient Episode: "#1.8"
The Night Of John Stone 8 episodes
2017 Difficult People 'Dusty' Episode: "Bernie and Blythe"
2019 The Name of the Rose William of Baskerville 8 episodes; also writer and executive producer
Green Eggs and Ham Goat (voice) 6 episodes
2020 The Plot Against America Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf 6 episodes
2022 Severance Irving Bailiff Main role

Video games

Year Title Voice role Notes
2011 Cars 2 Francesco Bernoulli


Year Title Voice role Notes
2007 World War Z Serosha Garcia Alvarez


Year Title Role Venue Ref.
1998 Waiting for Godot Estragon Classic Stage Company, Off-Broadway
2003 Life x 3 Henry Circle in the Square Theatre, Broadway
2007 A Spanish Play Director Classic Stage Company, Off-Broadway
2011 The Cherry Orchard Yermolai Alekaseyevich Lopakhin Classic Stage Company, Off-Broadway
2011–12 Relatively Speaking Director Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Broadway
2013 The Master Builder Halvard Solness Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn
2015 Zorba! Zorba New York City Center, Concert Staging

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1989 Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Actor Five Corners Nominated
1990 New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor Miller's Crossing Nominated
1991 National Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Nominated
1991 Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Barton Fink Won
1991 Gotham Awards Best Actor Himself Won
1992 Sundance Film Festival Vision Award Himself Won
1992 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Actor Barton Fink Nominated
1992 Cannes Film Festival Caméra d'Or Mac Won
1994 Independent Spirit Award Best First Feature Nominated
Best Director Nominated
1995 Screen Actors Guild Award Best Supporting Actor Quiz Show Nominated
1995 Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated
1995 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Nominated
1998 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Illuminata Nominated
1998 Independent Spirit Award Best Male Box of Moonlight Nominated
2003 Screen Actors Guild Award Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie Monday Night Mayhem Nominated
2004 Primetime Emmy Award Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Monk: "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies" Won
2005 Drama Desk Award Best Actor in a Play The Sound of Naples Nominated
2005 Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Romance and Cigarettes Nominated
2007 Berlin Film Festival Silver Berlin Bear The Good Shepherd Won
2007 Gotham Awards Best Ensemble Performance Margot at the Wedding Nominated
2010 Venice Film Festival Award of the City of Rome Passione Won
2017 Primetime Emmy Award Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie The Night Of Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actor – Miniseries or TV Movie Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie Nominated
2021 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries The Plot Against America Nominated
2022 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Severance Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Streaming Television Series Nominated

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: John Turturro para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Famous Hispanic filmmakers
Alfonso Cuarón
Guillermo del Toro
Lin-Manuel Miranda
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