Armand Anthony Assante, Jr. is an Emmy Award-winning and four-time Golden Globe-nominated American actor. Assante was born in New York City and raised in Cornwall, New York. Once called the 'Ethnic Everyman' after successfully playing several challenging characters from many ethnic backgrounds, he has consistently given audiences strong performances.
First enjoying film success in “Private Benjamin” (1980), opposite Goldie Hawn, the handsome performer’s somewhat sinister look has made him a popular choice for tough-guy heroes, as in his starring role as private eye Mike Hammer in the film I, the Jury (1982) or as Mafia gangsters like that of Michael Moretti in Sidney Sheldon's Rage of Angels. He portrayed the notorious Bugsy Siegel in the Neil Simon comedy, The Marrying Man (1991), another mobster in Hoffa (1992) starring Jack Nicholson, and crime kingpin John Gotti in the 1996 made-for-television biopic Gotti, for which he won.
Other notable film appearances include his role as a Cuban bandleader in The Mambo Kings opposite Antonio Banderas and in the adaptation of the science-fiction story Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone, his co-star in two previous films. More recently he appeared in American Gangster (2007) with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.
Assante, however, is probably most celebrated for his work on the small screen. A regular on two NBC series, How to Survive a Marriage (1974-1975, as Johnny McGee) and The Doctors (1975-1977, as Dr. Mike Powers), he scored his first triumph with his role of Richard Mansfield on the CBS miniseries Jack the Ripper (1988), for which he took home nominations at the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. He won his Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie eight years later for the HBO drama Gotti (1996), where he brilliantly portrayed crime kingpin John Gotti. The role also brought Assante his next Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination. The next year, he resurfaced with his Golden Globe and Golden Satellite nominated portrayal of Odysseus in the miniseries adaptation of The Odyssey (1997). A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he has also played recurring roles in NBC's ER (2006), CBS' Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (2007) and ABC's October Road (2008).
Outside of the U.S., he has participated in several film projects in Eastern European countries like Macedonia, Turkey, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.
Among his many humanitarian efforts, Assante is an impassioned crusader for the removal of landmines.