John Ventimiglia

John Ventimiglia would be the first person to tell you he's nothing like the Italian tough guys he's played in everything from "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010) to "Mickey Blue Eyes" (1999). The Queens-born, New Jersey-bred actor studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City and honed his acting chops on the stage before turning to film and TV in the 1990s. A student of classic '70s films and indie icon John Cassavetes, Ventimiglia parlayed his wiseguy looks into early roles as a dock-dwelling hoodlum in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994) and a criminal lowlife on "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99). But it was his portrayal of a sadsack mechanic in "Trees Lounge" (1996), Steve Buscemi's directorial debut, that eventually led to Ventimiglia's best-known role; restaurateur Artie Bucco on the critically-acclaimed "The Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007). His self-pitying but good-natured entrepreneur quickly became a fan favorite, giving the show several memorable moments. After the award-winning show went off the air, Ventimiglia, who once played in an '80s metal band called Zuzu's Petals, played against type with roles as a centuries-old vampire in the horror-comedy "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead" (2009); and as a beleaguered superhero in the small-scale "Alter Egos" (2012). A recurring performer on the primetime procedural "Blue Bloods" (CBS, 2010- ) since 2011, Ventimiglia later appeared opposite Michael Shannon in the real-life Mafia hitman film "The Iceman." As intentional as he is thoughtful, John Ventimiglia is much more than meets the eye.