Angelo Spizzirri, born in 1979, died in 2007, was an American actor known for playing a high school baseball player in the film “The Rookie” (2002), directed by John Lee Hancock and starring Dennis Quaid. First gaining notice as Chris Epps in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997), the Hollywood native went on to guest star in TV series such as “L.A. Heat” and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” and appear in several movies, including “Rocket's Red Glare” (2000), “Groove” (2000), “The Pleasure Drivers” (2005), “Underclassman” (2005) and “Jesus, Mary and Joey” (2006), before putting acting on the back burner in 2006 to begin a career as a band tour manager. He passed away a year later in October 2007.
Childhood and Family:
Angelo Spizzirri was born on December 17, 1979, in Hollywood, California. He attended prep school for four years in Rhode Island. He was named All-State in basketball and cross-country during his junior and senior year in high school.
On October 20, 2007, Angelo died of undisclosed causes in his home in Los Angeles. At the time, he was 28.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
High school basketball star Angelo Spizzirri began acting on television in 1997 when he landed a guest spot in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” He notably portrayed Chris Epps in the episode “Some Assembly Required.” It was followed by guest stints in “Sliders” (1998) and “L.A. Heat” (1999), where he played a guard and Duke Minks, respectively.
Spizzirri made his feature film acting debut in the family/thriller “Rocket's Red Glare” (2000), starring Chris Potter and directed and co wrote by Joseph Manduke. She played the supporting role of Earl. Later that same year, he was featured in Greg Harrison's drama, “Groove,” which was nominated for Best Feature - Under $500,000 and Producers Award at the 2001 and 2005 Independent Spirit Awards, respectively. The same year, he also played Mark in the “Chicken Soup for the Soup” episode “14 Steps/Damaged Goods/Ballerina Dreams.”
After playing Steve in an episode of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (2001), Spizzirri offered a memorable portrayal of Joel De La Garza in the baseball film “The Rookie” (2002), which is inspired by the true story of Jim Morris, who had a brief but celebrated Major League Baseball career. The film was directed by John Lee Hancock and starred Dennis Quaid as Jim Morris. He, however, did not appear in another movie until 2005's “The Pleasure Drivers,” a drama/thriller directed by Andrzej Sekula. Costars in the movie included Lauren Holly, Angus Macfadyen, Lacey Chabert and Meat Loaf.
Spizzirri next appeared in Marcos Siega's “Pretty Persuasion” (2005, starred Evan Rachel Wood) and “Underclassman” (2005, starred Nick Cannon), James Quattrochi's “Jesus, Mary and Joey” (2006, starred Vincent Pagano, Marley Shelton, Jennifer Esposito and Olympia Dukakis) and Jessica Kavana's “Thanks to Gravity” (2006, starred Sean Astin and Gina Philips). He also played Colm in the short film “The Red Veil” (2006), his last film performance before he decided to retire from acting to pursue a career as a tour manager for rock bands.
On October 20, 2007, Spizzirri died at age 28 of unrevealed causes.