Starting out as a prop man, Emmy-winning actor Michael Badalucco portrayed attorney Jimmy Berluti, Bobby's (played by Dylan McDermott) friend and business partner, on ABC’s legal drama series "The Practice" (1997-2004). He also guest-starred in the TV shows "Law & Order," "Ally McBeal," "Boston Public," "Joan of Arcadia" and "Bones."
On the big screen, Badalucco, who had his first speaking role in Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull" (1980), appeared in such films as "Broadway Danny Rose" (1984), "Desperately Seeking Susan" (1985), "Miller's Crossing" (1990), "Jungle Fever" (1991), "Switch" (1991), "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993), "The Search for One-eye Jimmy" (1994), "Basquiat" (1996), "One Fine Day" (1996), "You've Got Mail" (1998), "Summer of Sam" (1999), "O Brother, Where Art Thou," (2000), "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2001) and "Bewitched" (2005). He will next be seen in an upcoming independent thriller film called "In My Sleep."
This 5' 7" dark-haired Italian-American actor has been married to Brenda Heyob since 1996.
Childhood and Family:
Italian-American Michael Badalucco was born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 20, 1954. The son of Joe Badalucco, a set dresser, movie set carpenter and property person, and Jean, a homemaker, Badalucco has a brother named Joseph Badalucco Jr., who also works in the film industry and played Jimmy Altieri in the mafia show “The Sopranos.”
Graduating from Xavierian High School, in Bay Ridge, New York, Badalucco received a B.A. in theater arts from State University of New York (S.U.N.Y), where he met and acted with John Turturro.
Badalucco has been married to Brenda Heyob since 1996. They live in New York City.
Summer of Sam
Michael Badalucco, who first appeared in director John G Avildsen's "Slow Dance on the Killing Ground" (1978), studied theater at State University of New York (S.U.N.Y) and appeared in over twenty productions with the New Paltz Repertory Company. His New York stage credits include “Waiting for the Dough,” Sam Shepard's musical “The Tooth of Crime,” John Steinbeck's play-novelette “Of Mice and Men,” “Steel on Steel,” and "The Love of Don Perlimplin for Belsia in His Garden." While working as a prop man at his father's union Local 52, Badalucco also acted alongside fellow student John Turturro in a stage production of Sam Shepard's "The Tooth of Crime." Actor Robert De Niro saw the play and suggested both actors see director Martin Scorsese, who gave Badalucco his first speaking role in his biographical boxing drama film, "Raging Bull" (1980).
Badalucco, who was a prop man for Woody Allen's "Manhattan" (1979), appeared in Allen's black-and-white 1984 Academy Award-nominated comedy film, "Broadway Danny Rose." The following year, he was reunited with Turturro in Susan Seidelman's romantic drama comedy film starring Rosanna Arquette and Madonna, "Desperately Seeking Susan" (1985).
In the late 1980s, Badalucco worked as property assistant and assistant production manager for James Bridges' drama film based on the 1984 novel by Jay McInerney, "Bright Lights, Big City" (1988; starring Michael J. Fox, Kiefer Sutherland, and Phoebe Cates), in which he also appeared in a small role as a cop. He also worked as a prop man for Seidelman's comedy feature "She-Devil" (1989), starring Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr.
Entering the new decade, Badalucco was cast in the films "Miller's Crossing" (1990; starring Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Turturro), "Men of Respect" (1991), William Reilly's film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play “Macbeth” and "The Hard Way" (1991), a John Badham comedy. He was also seen in writer/director Blake Edwards' crime comedy starring Ellen Barkin, "Switch" (1991), Spike Lee's romantic drama starring Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra, "Jungle Fever" (1991), and Ernest R. Dickerson's drama starring Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps, "Juice" (1992).
After acting in John Turturro's directorial debut, "Mac" (1992), Badalucco appeared in Irwin Winkler's remake of "Night and the City" (1992; starring Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange), Nora Ephron's Oscar-nominated romantic comedy "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993; starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan), and Tim Hunter's drama "The Saint of Fort Washington" (1993; starring Danny Glover and Matt Dillon). He was also spotted as a guest in a March 1993 episode of NBC’s television series "Law & Order" and returned to the big screen in John A. Gallagher's comedy "Men Lie" (1994) and Luc Besson's action drama "Léon" (1994; starring Jean Reno and Gary Oldman), in which he played the father of Natalie Portman's character. He also played roles in Sam Henry Kass' comedy "The Search for One-eye Jimmy" (1994; starring Holt McCallany), and Nora Ephron's remake of the popular 1982 French comedy "Le Père Noël est une ordure," "Mixed Nuts" (1994; starring Steve Martin), in which he also worked as assistant property master.
In the mid 1990s, Badalucco appeared in Jeff Mazzola's short film "Dearly Beloved," Spike Lee's film adaptation of Richard Price's 1992 novel, "Clockers," starring Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, and Mekhi Phifer, and Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's comedy movie "Blue in the Face," with Harvey Keitel, Madonna, Giancarlo Esposito, Roseanne Barr, Michael J. Fox, Jared Harris, Lily Tomlin, and Mira Sorvino. He also starred in the made-for-television movie "The Sunshine Boys," an updated version of Neil Simon's 1972 Broadway play starring Woody Allen and Peter Falk, as well as guest-starred in an episode of CBS’ prime time television soap opera "Central Park West" and the newspaper drama "New York News."
Badalucco subsequently supported Sandra Bullock and Denis Leary in Bill Bennett's romantic comedy feature "Two If by Sea" (1996), appeared in Juha Wuolijoki's independent 24-minute film "Paulie" (1996), and played a small role in Julian Schnabel's biopic "Basquiat" (1996). He also appeared with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney in Michael Hoffman's romantic comedy, "One Fine Day" (1996).
From 1997 to 2004, Badalucco played his most prominent role to date, that of attorney Jimmy Berluti on ABC’s legal drama series "The Practice." His performance in the show received positive reviews and he was nominated for Emmy Awards in 1999 and 2000 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, which he won in 1999. He also received Screen Actors Guild Award nominations in 1999, 2000, and 2001 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, as well as Viewers for Quality Television Award nominations in 1998 and 2000 for the Q Award - Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series.
During his "Practice" tenure, Badalucco continued working in films and was seen in Juan José Campanella's dramatic thriller "Love Walked In" (1997; alongside Denis Leary and Terence Stamp), Daniel Taplitz's romantic "Commandments" (1997; starring Aidan Quinn and Courteney Cox), and John Andrew Gallagher's independent "The Deli" (1997; with Matt Keeslar, Brian Vincent, and Jack O'Connell). He also appeared in William DeVizia's movie "Lesser Prophets" (1997; alongside Amy Brenneman), Nora Ephron's romantic comedy "You've Got Mail" (1998; starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan), and was cast as David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” killer, in Spike Lee's crime film "Summer of Sam" (1999; with John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, and Jennifer Esposito). TV viewers could catch him in the television movie "Path to Paradise: The Untold Story of the World Trade Center Bombing" (1997; alongside Peter Gallagher and Marcia Gay Harden) and in an episode of Fox’s series starring Calista Flockhart, "Ally McBeal."
The new millennium saw Badalucco in a cameo as bank robber George Nelson in the Coen brothers' comedy film "O Brother, Where Art Thou" (2000) with George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Charles Durning. He also co-starred in Ajay Sahgal's 38-minute short comedy "It's a Shame About Ray," starring Carlos Jacott, and in the Coen brothers' Oscar-nominated drama "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2001), playing Billy Bob Thornton's good-natured Italian brother-in-law Frank.
Badalucco continued to add to his resume roles in the films "13 Moons" (2002; starring Steve Buscemi), an indie comedy by Alexandre Rockwell, "Naked Movie" (2002), and "2BPerfectlyHonest" (2004), Randel Cole's comedy starring Adam Trese, Andrew McCarthy, and John Turturro. On the small screen, he costarred in the comedic TV movie "Gourmet Club" (2004), guest-starred in an episode of Fox’s teen drama "Boston Public" and was seen in the medical drama "Gideon's Crossing."
Following the demise of "The Practice," Badalucco appeared in Nora Ephron's family film inspired by the classic television series, "Bewitched" (2005; starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell), starred as a former priest in Aaron Sawyer's short drama film "Broken Circle" (2006), and provided his voice to Juha Wuolijoki's touching family movie "Joulutarina" (2007; aka "Christmas Story"). He also co-starred with Shiri Appleby, Eyal Podell, and Dan Hedaya in the modern TV movie spin-off of “Romeo & Juliet,” "Pizza My Heart" (2005), guest-starred in an episode of CBS’ series "Joan of Arcadia," appeared in Fox’s legal-themed television show "Justice," and guest starred in the TV series "Bones."
Badalucco will soon complete his upcoming film project, "In My Sleep," an independent thriller written and directed by Allen Wolf.
Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, "The Practice," 1999