Michael Badalucco, a Brooklyn native, got his start in the entertainment industry at a very young age, going to work with his father Giuseppe, a Sicilian born immigrant, who worked as a carpenter on movie sets.
In 1963, during the filming of Fail Safe starring Henry Fonda, a photo of a young boy was needed. Eight-year old Badalucco posed for the picture, and thus began his acting career. He went on to Xaverian H.S. and got his first taste of theatre there in musicals like A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and dramas like Shaw’s St. Joan.
He began his formal acting studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz. It was there that he cut his teeth on stage, performing in over 20 plays. He graduated with a B.A. in Theatre Arts in 1976. In 2003, his alma mater conferred upon him an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, citing his “extraordinary success while never losing perspective on what is important in life.”
His first speaking role was in the feature film Raging Bull, directed by Martin Scorsese, which led to additional roles in movies such as Broadway Danny Rose, directed by Woody Allen.
Throughout the 1990’s, Badalucco appeared in a series of memorable supporting roles in such acclaimed films as Miller’s Crossing, Sleepless in Seattle, Jungle Fever, The Professional, and Mac. His performance in the romantic comedy One Fine Day, prompted star Michelle Pfeiffer to recommend Badalucco to her husband, David E. Kelley, for a role in his ABC television series The Practice. Not only did Badalucco get the part, but his performance as Jimmy Berluti would ultimately serve as his breakout role. In 1999 he received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
Next, on the big screen, he portrayed serial killer David Berkowitz in Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam. He then stepped into the shoes of notorious gangster George “Baby Face” Nelson for the throwback Coen Brothers comedy, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and appeared in their subsequent film, The Man Who Wasn’t There.
He continues to pursue his craft on television, stage and screen. In addition to Badalucco’s love of acting, he has been involved with a number of charitable organizations which include The Jimmy Fund and The Little Sisters of the Poor. In 2003, Habitat for Humanity of Los Angeles presented him with the Building Hope Award. He received the Heart of the City Award from Heartshare Human Services of New York in 2005. In 2013, he was inducted into the Diocese of Brooklyn Hall of Fame.
Mr. Badalucco is privileged to support Italian-American causes through his work with the National Italian American Foundation and Arba Sicula, an organization which preserves, studies, and promotes the language and culture of Sicily.
He is also a proud member of the New York Athletic Club, Tiro A Segno of New York, and The Italian American Marching Club of New Orleans, where he has served as Grand Marshal of its annual parade in honor of St. Joseph.