- Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti
June 06, 1967 (age 54)
- Actor, Film Producer, Voice Actor
- Elizabeth Giamatti
- A. Bartlett Giamatti, Toni Marilyn Giamatti
Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti (born June 6, 1967) is an American actor. Giamatti began his career as a supporting actor in several films produced during the 1990s including Private Parts, The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, The Negotiator, and Man on the Moon before earning lead roles in several projects in the 2000s including American Splendor, Sideways, Cinderella Man, The Illusionist, John Adams, Cold Souls, Barney's Version, and Win Win.
Giamatti, the youngest of three children, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Angelo Bartlett Giamatti, a Yale University professor who later became president of the university and commissioner of Major League Baseball, and Toni Marilyn (née Smith), a homemaker and English teacher who taught at Hopkins School and had also previously acted. His paternal grandfather's family were Italian immigrants from Telese Terme, near Naples(the surname was originally spelt "Giammattei". The rest of Giamatti's ancestry includes Irish and English; his paternal grandmother had deep roots in New England, dating back to the colonial era. His brother, Marcus, is also an actor and his sister, Elena, is a jewelry designer.
Giamatti was first educated at The Foote School and later graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall in 1985. Giamatti attended Yale, where he was elected to the Skull and Bones secret society. Giamatti was active in the undergraduate theater scene, working alongside actors Ron Livingston and Edward Norton, who were also Yale students. Giamatti graduated from Yale in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama, where he studied with Earle R. Gister. Giamatti performed in numerous theatrical productions, including Broadway and a stint from 1989 to 1992 with Seattle's Annex Theater, before appearing in some small television and film roles in the early 1990s.
In 1997, Giamatti landed in his first high-profile role as Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton in the film adaptation of Howard Stern's Private Parts. Stern praised Giamatti's performance often on his radio program, calling for him to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 1998, Giamatti appeared in a number of supporting roles, in the big-budget films The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, and The Negotiator. In 1999, Giamatti played Bob Zmuda (and Tony Clifton) in Miloš Forman's Andy Kaufman biopic, Man on the Moon. Giamatti later continued steadily during the early 2000s by appearing in major studio releases including Big Momma's House, Planet of the Apes, and Big Fat Liar.
In 2003, Giamatti began to earn critical acclaim after his lead role in the film American Splendor. In 2004, Giamatti gained mainstream recognition and fame with the 2004 independent romantic comedy Sideways. His portrayal of a depressed writer vacationing in the Santa Barbara wine country garnered him a Golden Globe nomination and an Independent Spirit Award. Following the commercial success of Sideways, Giamatti appeared in Cinderella Man, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture. In 2006, Giamatti was the lead in M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water, a supernatural thriller, followed by the animated film The Ant Bully, and Neil Burger's drama The Illusionist co-starring Edward Norton.
Giamatti had his first major role in an action movie in the 2007 film Shoot 'Em Up, while also starring in The Nanny Diaries and Fred Claus. In 2008, Giamatti received his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his title performance in the HBO miniseries John Adams, a role that also led to a Screen Actors Guild award. That same year, he starred in the independent film Pretty Bird, which is a fictionalized retelling about the drama behind the invention of a rocketbelt.
A resident of the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Giamatti has been married to Elizabeth Giamatti (née Cohen) since 1997. They have a son, Samuel Paul, known as Sam (born 2001), who is raised in Elizabeth's Jewish religion. Giamatti himself is an atheist.