Giovanni Ribisi Bio - Biography

Name Giovanni Ribisi
Height 5' 7½"
Naionality American
Date of Birth 17 December 1974
Place of Birth Los Angeles, California, USA
Famous for
"For me, acting is all about the aesthetic. I just want to keep honing my craft. Not that I'm taking myself too seriously, but every artist should consider himself Picasso. Otherwise, you're doing yourself an injustice." Giovanni Ribisi

Los Angeles born Giovanni Ribisi began his acting career on the small screen. He had a guest role as Curtis Johnson in a two-part episode of NBC’s "Highway to Heaven" in September 1985. He followed it up with guest appearances in "Simon & Simon," "The Twilight Zone" and "Married... with Children." In 1987, Ribisi had his first recurring role on TV in NBC’s "My Two Dads," in which he played Cory Kupkus until the series’ last season (1990, alongside Paul Reiser, Greg Evigan and Staci Keanan).

Ribisi made his TV-movie debut in CBS’ true-story based Promised a Miracle (1988, adopted from Larry Parker's novel, starring Rosanna Arquette and Judge Reinhold). After appearing as Mitchell in two episode of "Blossom" (also in its TV movie version), Ribisi played the regular role of Skinner Buckley (1992) on the ABC comedy series "Davis Rules" (starring Trevor Bullock). From 1992 to 1993, Ribisi had a recurring role as Jeff Billings on the ABC long-running sitcom "The Wonder Years” (starring Fred Savage).

In 1993, Ribisi appeared in the TV movie The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, and starred as Elvis DeMattis in the short-lived CBS sitcom, "Family Album." He also appeared in a two-part episode of "The Commish" and "Walker, Texas Ranger." After making a guest appearance in two episodes of "NYPD Blue," Ribisi made a memorable guest appearance on Fox’s "The X-Files," playing a lightning-struck teenager who gets strange powers, and on CBS’ "Chicago Hope," as a skinhead desperate for a heart transplant. He also debuted on the silver screen, playing a supporting role opposite Lance Henriksen in Joe Gayton-directed horror The Outpost (1995/I, a.k.a. Wes Craven's 'The Mindripper').

Ribisi enjoyed his first real success with the recurring role of Frank Buffay Jr., the half-brother of Lisa Kudrow's Phoebe, on the hit NBC sitcom "Friends." He stayed with the show until the end of its season in 2004. Meanwhile, Ribisi was also cast to play a bit part as a band's drummer, who is replaced after an accident, in Tom Hanks’ acclaimed directional debut, the musical comedy That Thing You Do (1996, starring Tom Everett Scott and Liv Tyler).

That same year, Ribisi starred as Jeff, the cynical and bitter boyfriend of Amie Carey's character, in Richard Linklater’s adaptation of Eric Bogosian’s stage play SubUrbia, alongside Steve Zahn, John Cherico and Parker Posey. The next year, Ribisi had a bit part in David Lynch's Lost Highway (starring Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette) and played the supporting role of Bandit 20 in actor-director Kevin Costner's overblown The Postman, based on David Brin's novel. He then starred as part of a young couple, with Natasha Gregson Wagner, in Jesse Peretz’s feature-film directorial debut First Love, Last Rites, and appeared as a cameo in Rory Kelly's Some Girls (written by and co-starring his twin sister Marisa Ribisi).

Ribisi gained attention when Steven Spielberg cast him to play the unit's medic, Irwin Wade, in the World War II drama Saving Private Ryan (1998, starring Tom Hanks). His performance earned a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast, which subsequently placed him on the cover of Vanity Fair. The rest of the 1990s saw Ribisi star opposite Juliette Lewis, portraying two developmentally different young adults who meet and fall in love, in Garry Marshall's romantic comedy The Other Sister. He also teamed up with Claire Danes and Omar Epps, playing a trio of minor delinquents recruited by a cop to help uncover a drug ring, in Scott Silver's adaptation of the 1960s TV show, The Mod Squad, and narrated Sofia Coppola's the Virgin Suicides.

The new millennium watched Ribisi play the lead role of Seth Davis, an enterprising college dropout working at a small brokerage firm, in writer-director Ben Younger's Boiler Room, alongside Vin Diesel and Ben Affleck. He also became Nicolas Cage's kid brother in Dominic Sena’s remake of H.B. Halicki's 1974 motion picture, Gone in 60 Seconds (also with Angelina Jolie) and appeared as a troubled young man seeking guidance from a psychic reader (Cate Blanchett) in Sam Raimi's The Gift (with Greg Kinnear, Hilary Swank and Katie Holmes).

After his return to television playing journalist Mikal Gilmore, the brother of killer Gary Gilmore, in the HBO drama Shot in the Heart (2001), Ribisi reunited with Cate Blanchett in Tom Tykwer’s English-language directorial debut, Heaven (as an official translator) and was featured in John McTiernan's thriller Basic (with John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Connie Nielsen). Afterward, writer-director Sofia Coppola gave him a small part in her hit drama comedy Lost In Translation (starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson) and Adam Goldberg handed him the lead role of movie star Gray Evans, the husband of Franka Potente's character, in the drama I Love Your Work (both in 2003). He was also seen in Academy Award winner director Anthony Minghella's war epic Cold Mountain (based on Charles Frazier's best-selling Civil War novel, starring Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger and Jude Law) and starred as the insecure brother of Adam Garcia's character in writer-director Jan Sardi's Love's Brother.

Ribisi recently costarred as technical genius Dex, along with Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Jude Law, in writer-director Kerry Conran's sci-fi Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and played a plucky mechanic in John Moore's remake of Lukas Heller's 1965 action adventure, Flight of the Phoenix (with Dennis Quaid and Tyrese Gibson). He also portrayed an ambitious insurance agent, opposite Robin Williams and Holly Hunter, in Mark Mylod’s dark comedy The Big White (2005).

Currently, Ribisi in on set completing writer-director Lightfield Lewis' compilation of videos shot with numerous celebrities over a 20-year period, titled Lightfield's Home Videos, and Robert Moresco's crime drama 10th & Wolf (with James Marsden, Brad Renfro and Piper Perabo). He will also play Ludivine Sagnier's murdered husband in Charles Stratton's Therese Raquin (alongside Glenn Close).

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