Date of Birth 30 June 1959, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Full Name Vincent Phillip D’Onofrio
Vincent D’Onofrio is known as an “actor’s actor”. The wide variety of roles he has played and the quality of his work have earned him a reputation as a versatile talent.
Vincent was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Phyllis, a restaurant manager and waitress, and Gene D’Onofrio, a theater production assistant and interior designer. He is of Italian descent. He studied at the Actors Studio and the American Stanislavski Theatre. His debut on stage was in 1984 in the Broadway play “Open Admissions”, followed by work in numerous other stage plays. As a film actor, D’Onofrio’s career break came when he played a mentally unbalanced recruit in Full Metal Jacket (1987), directed by the renowned Stanley Kubrick. For this role D’Onofrio gained nearly 70 pounds. He had a major role in Le choix d’aimer (1991), and appeared prominently in the box-office smash Men in Black (1997) as the bad guy (Edgar “The Bug”).
Other films of note in which he has appeared are Mystic Pizza (1988), JFK (1991), The Player (1992), Ed Wood (1994), The Cell (2000) and La rupture (2006). In 1996 D’Onofrio garnered critical acclaim along with co-star Renée Zellweger for The Whole Wide World (1996), which he helped produce. He also made a guest appearance in the TV series Homicide (1993) in a 1997 episode, where he played an accident victim who could not be rescued and was destined to die. For this performance he won an Emmy nomination. In 2000 he both produced and starred in Steal This Movie (2000), a biopic of radical leader Abbie Hoffman.
In 2001 D’Onofrio took the role which has likely given him his greatest public recognition: Det. Robert Goren, the lead character in the TV series New York – Section criminelle (2001). Goren is based on Sherlock Holmes but, instead of relying upon physical evidence like Holmes, D’Onofrio’s character focuses on psychology to identify the perpetrators, whom he often draws into confessing or yielding condemning evidence.
In his career D’Onofrio’s various film characters have included a priest, a bisexual former porn star, a hijacker, a serial killer, Orson Welles, a space alien, a 1960s radical leader, a pulp fiction writer, an ingenious police investigator and Stuart Smalley’s dope-head brother. His on-screen love interests have included Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Renée Zellweger, Marisa Tomei, Tracey Ullman, Rebecca De Mornay and Lili Taylor.