Bronx native actress Cathy Moriarty became famous and received a number of appreciations after portraying the wife of Robert DeNiro in Martin Scorsese’s classic Raging Bull (1980). For her spectacular scene-stealing performance, Cathy was handed an Academy Award, two Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. After the promising debut, the lofty, blonde player was under the radar until 1991, when she offered wonderfully comic turn as the conniving Montana Morehead in the comedy Soapdish.
Cathy further revitalized her career with performance in such films as The Mambo Kings (1992), Matinee (1993) and the box office hit Casper (1995). Her more recent projects include A Brother’s Kiss (1997), Cop Land (1997), Digging to China (1998), But I’m a Cheerleader (1999), Prince of Central Park (2000) and Analyze That (2002).
Off screen, the American beauty of Irish heritage is a restaurateur. With ex-lover Richard Palmer, she co-founded Mulberry Street Pizza restaurants, including three parlors located around L.A. and one in New York. As for her marriage life, Cathy tied the knot with Carmine D’Anna from 1984 to 1991, before marrying her current husband, Joseph Gentile, in 1999. She becomes the mother of three, twins, Joseph and Catherine, and Annabella.
Childhood and Family:
In The Bronx, New York, Cathy Moriarty was born on November 29, 1960 to Irish immigrants, John Moriarty and Catherine Moriarty. She grew up in Westchester County, New York, along with her sister Mary and her brother Tommy, and started acting in local dinners while still in high school.
Met in 1981, Cathy became a one-man woman following her 1984 marriage to her former manager Carmine D’Anna. The bond, however, broke up after she filed for divorce in 1991. She then married Joseph Gentile on August 28, 1999. The pair have three children, twins Joseph John and Catherine Patricia (born on September 11, 2000) and Annabella Rose (born on November 15, 2001 at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York). Mrs. Gentile gave up smoking before the birth of her twins.
Starting out in local dinner theaters while in high school, 18-year-old Cathy Moriarty made an auspicious big screen debut after winning the role of Vicki La Motta, the wife of hot-blooded boxing champ Jake La Motta (Robert De Niro), in the biopic Raging Bull (1980) for director Martin Scorsese. The role handed her a BAFTA nomination for Most Outstanding Newcomer to Leading Film Role, two Golden Globe nods in the categories of Best Motion Picture Actress in a Supporting Role and New Star of the Year and eventually a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.
Unfortunately, an awful marriage, combined with a 1982 automobile accident that required major back surgery successfully ruined her career before it had began. After giving an excellent turn in the black comedy Neighbors (1981), she put acting on the backburner for several years and did not made her comeback until 1987, when she starred in the British terrible thriller White of an Eye, opposite David Keith. It took almost four years for Cathy to revive her career. In the comedy Soapdish (1991), starring Sally Field and Kevin Kline, she impressively portrayed the ambitiously bitchy daytime actress Montana Morehead. She continued with other notable supporting roles such as playing the love interest of Armand Assante in the drama/music The Mambo Kings (1992) and John Goodman’s actress lover in Matinee (1993). She also appeared as prostitute Reba in The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag (1992) and as the lost witness sought by undercover cops in Another Stakeout (1993).
In 1995, Cathy made her debut as a series regular with a costarring role, as Alice Clayton, in the short-lived CBS sitcom “Bless This House.” The same year, she took on the villainous role of Carrigan Crittenden in the blockbuster hit Casper. After Foxfire (1996) and Women Without Implants (1997), she had a feature role as the lead characters’ mom in A Brother’s Kiss (1997), appeared as Alyssa Milano’s mother in the Sundance-screened Hugo Pool (1997) and rejoined Robert De Niro and teamed up with Sylvester Stallone for the action Cop Land (1997).
The next year found roles in the Evan Rachel Wood and Kevin Bacon starring vehicle Digging to China, the direct-to-video-released Casper Meets Wendy (as Hilary Duff’s aunt) and the made-for-TV film Traces of Insanity. She rounded out the decade by playing roles in six movies, including the Toronto-premiered But I’m a Cheerleader (released theatrically in 2000, as the homophobic director of a camp to rehabilitate gay and lesbian teenagers), Gloria (as Madam Diane) and Crazy in Alabama (played the sister-in-law of Melanie Griffith. She was also the voice of Tish Wittenberg in “Hey Arnold!”
A starring role in the short film Next Stop, Eternity is Cathy’s opening projects in the new millennium. It was followed by supporting roles in Little Pieces (2000) and writer-director John Leekley’s Prince of Central Park (2000), along side Kathleen Turner and Harvey Keitel, as well as a voice over work in the direct-to-video animated feature Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2001, voiced Ruby). In 2002, Cathy was reunited with her ‘Raging Bull’ co-star De Niro in the comedy Analyze That.
After a few years of acting break, Cathy resurfaced on the small screen with a guest role in an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2005), playing Denise Eldridge.