Just Shoot Me!
“I like drama. I never really embraced comedy. I always ran away from it. When I got ‘Hope and Gloria,’ it really, really surprised me. It’s been a wonderful lesson for me because I tend not to have a lot of fun and to take everything seriously. So comedy is a wonderful gift. Comedy to me makes me have to have fun!” Enrico Colantoni
Genial, balding Canadian actor Enrico Colantoni became famous while portraying photographer Elliot DiMauro on the popular NBC sitcom “Just Shoot Me” (1997-2003). Currently, Colantoni, who was once named one of Los Angeles Daily News’ “Top five supporting actors in television,” is one of the stars of the UPN series “Veronica Mars” (2004-?), playing the role of private detective Keith Mars.
“TV is fun and it satisfies my blue collar work ethic. I get to go to work everyday. You know, movies would be great, but then there would be way too much time off in between.” Enrico Colantoni
As a movie actor, he has had supporting roles in such ventures as Albino Alligator (1996), The Wrong Guy (1997), Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Mick Jackson’s The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest (2002), Steven Soderbergh’s all star ensemble Full Frontal (2002) and Criminal (2004). His more recent and upcoming projects include The Happiest Day of His Life (2006), Sherman’s Way (2006) and Homeland Security (2007).
The Canadian import currently resides in Los Angeles, with wife Nancy Snyder and their two children. He remains a passionate admirer of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team. A humanitarian, Colantoni was discovered playing hockey at the 2004 and 2005 Freeze the Disease charity events for Cystic Fibrosis. He also supports the Penny Lane foundation, which helps abused and neglected children. In his spare time, he allocates time to Los Angeles youth at Inner City Arts, teaching drama.
Childhood and Family:
The second son of an Italian immigrant employee and a homemaker, Enrico Colantoni was born on February 14, 1963, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and grew up in a renowned Italian district of the city. He was interested in acting from an early age, and his interest in performing hit the highest point after seeing his older brother in a high school play. Instead of pursuing drama studies, after graduating from Father Henry Carr High School, Enrico majored psychology and sociology at the University of Toronto. He quickly realized his true calling and then transferred to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, where he won the Princess Grace Scholarship and the Charles Jehlinger Award. Enrico received his MFA degree from School of Drama, Yale University, in which he also picked up the school’s Carol Dye Award.
You know what? It really sucks. It’s my birthday, but to a woman it’s Valentine’s Day. I’m grateful that I’m married because we just celebrate the whole thing.” Enrico Colantoni
Enrico married Nancy Snyder in 1997. Together they have a son, Quintin (born 1997), and a daughter.
A 1983 graduate of New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Enrico Colantoni made the difficult choice to stay in New York and live the life of a struggling actor, instead of moving with his parents to Italy. His hard work paid off when he landed TV guest roles in an episode of the syndicated show “Friday the 13th” and in an episode of “Night Heat (both 1987). After refining his skill at Yale and later spending a season at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater, he returned to television in 1994 with featured guest roles in the crime dramas “Law & Order,” “New York Undercover” and “NYPD Blue,” where he appeared as Peter Boyle’s schizophrenic son.
The actor moved on to television series regular the following year when he was cast as Louis Utz on the NBC short-lived sitcom “Hope and Gloria,” starring Cynthia Stevenson and Jessica Lundy in the title characters. The same year, he also got his first taste in front of the movie camera in the action/comedy Money Train, opposite Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson and Jennifer Lopez. He continued with parts in Kevin Spacey’s thriller Albino Alligator (1996), the Canadian comedy The Wrong Guy (1997), supporting turns in the made-for-TV films The Member of the Wedding and Cloned (both 1997).
It was also in 1997 that Colantoni was cast in the weekly comedy series “Just Shoot Me!,” playing the womanizing fashion photographer Elliot DiMauro until 2003. Costarring David Spade, Laura San Giacomo, George Segal and Wendie Malick, the show was a hit and, Colantoni became a popular face among TV sitcom fans.
Colantoni went on to appear in films Screwed: A Hollywood Bedtime Story (1998, starred with Jennifer Aspen), the drama Divorce: A Contemporary Western (1998), the controversial thriller Stigmata (1999), portraying the ethically-challenged Father Dario, before delivering a remarkable featured role as the leader of a group of aliens in the enchanting comedy Galaxy Quest (1999). Still in 1999, the stage-trained player revisited the stage in a Los Angeles production of “Macbeth,” starring in the title role.
After guest starring in episodes of “3rd Rock from the Sun” (2000) and “The Outer Limits,” Colantoni teamed up with Steven Spielberg for the director’s highly-anticipated sci-fi film A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), opposite Frances O’Connor and Haley Joel Osment, and portrayed Elia Kazan in the TNT biopic telepic James Dean (2001). When his film slate started to interfere with his series schedule, Colantoni short-term depart from “Just Shoot Me” and came out as something of a silver screen star with supporting roles in Mick Jackson’s The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest (2002), the Steven Soderbergh-directed ensemble Full Frontal (2002, with David Duchovny and Catherine Keener) and the comedy Frank McKlusky, C.I. (2002).
A year after “Just Shoot Me!” departed the airwaves, Colantoni could be seen making a cameo turn as the Bookish Man in 2004’ drama film Criminal, which starred John C. Reilly and Maggie Gyllenhaal and helmed by Gregory Jacobs. He also appeared in episodes of “Monk,” as Joe Christie, and Disney’s “Kim Possible,” voicing Dr. Cyrus Bortel, and returned to series TV as a regular role in the UPN drama “Veronica Mars,” portraying Keith Mars, a private investigator who gets regular help from his teen daughter. Debuted on September 2004, the show, which stars the award-winning actress Kristen Bell, is now in the season three.
As of November 2006, Colantoni has completed two comedy films, director-writer Ursula Burton’s The Happiest Day of His Life and Sherman’s Way, starring as D.J, opposite James LeGros as Palmer. He is also set to appear with Antonio Banderas, Meg Ryan, Colin Hanks and Selma Blair in the action film Homeland Security, which slated for 2007 release.