Michael Imperioli’s Illustrious Career in Photos

the sopranos, hit series about a modern day mob boss
Michael Imperioli’s Illustrious Career in Photosgetty images - Getty Images

From his early beginnings in Goodfellas to his recent stint on The White Lotus, actor Michael Imperioli is a force to be reckoned with. The New York native, who became a household name from his role as hothead Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos, has appeared in countless television shows and movies, performs with his own band, and even has a podcast with fellow Sopranos star, Steve Schirripa. One thing is for sure—the screen icon has come a long way since his early days of taking acting classes in Manhattan. Ahead, we take a look at the star’s career.

1960s-1980s: Growing Up In New York

Imperioli was born in 1966 to Dan Imperioli, a bus driver and amateur actor, and Claire Imperioli, a department store worker who also loved acting, in Mount Vernon, New York. When he was 11 years old, his family moved to nearby Brewster, and it was there in high school that he began to have an interest in Broadway.

premiere of
Ron Galella - Getty Images

1980s: Acting Classes

At 17, Imperioli relocated to New York City’s East Village and began taking acting classes at the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Acting School. Fun fact: Imperioli met fellow actor John Ventimiglia while taking classes here and decided to become roommates. The two would join forces years later when they both were given lead roles in The Sopranos—Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti and Ventimiglia as Artie Bucco.

discussion with david chase at moma
Gabe Palacio - Getty Images

1990: Goodfellas

In 1990, Imperioli appeared in the Martin Scorsese-directed mob movie Goodfellas, which starred big names like Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta. In the film, Imperioli plays Spider, a fellow mob associate who gets shot and killed.

on the set of goodfellas
Sunset Boulevard - Getty Images

1992: Malcolm X

Blink, and you might miss him. A 20-something-year-old Imperioli appeared as a news reporter in the hit film Malcolm X.

denzel washington in 'malcolm x'
Archive Photos - Getty Images

1995: Bad Boys

He appeared on screen a few years later in the action comedy Bad Boys, which starred Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Imperioli took on the role of Jojo, an old informant of Mike and Marcus.

martin lawrence and will smith in 'bad boys'
Columbia Pictures - Getty Images

1995: The Basketball Diaries Premiere

Here, Imperioli is photographed attending The Basketball Diaries premiere at New York City’s Sony 7 Village Theater. He played Bobby in the movie.

<span class="photo-credit">Ron Galella - Getty Images</span>
Ron Galella - Getty Images

1996: Last Man Standing

One year later, Imperioli had a role in Last Man Standing, which boasted a cast including Bruce Willis, Christopher Walken, and Leslie Mann. The young actor appeared as Girgio Carmonte, a Chicago mobster.

last man standing
Michael Ochs Archives - Getty Images

1996: Law & Order

In the mid-90s, Imperioli guest starred as Johnny Stivers in an episode of Law & Order. Fun fact: He was incorrectly credited as “Michael Imperiola.”

law order
NBC - Getty Images

1999: The Sopranos

Imperioli became a household name when he became Christopher Moltisanti in the hit HBO television series The Sopranos. The actor won several awards for his performance on the show.

exploring the life of a modern day mob boss the exclusive new series the sopranos combin
getty images - Getty Images

1999: Summer of Sam

In 1999, Imperioli not only starred in Summer of Sam but also wrote and executive produced the picture. The film also featured other well-known stars, including Spike Lee, John Leguizamo, Adrian Broday, and Mira Sorvino.

the sopranos, hit series about a modern day mob boss
getty images - Getty Images

Early-2000s: Television Films

During the early 2000s, he appeared in several television films, including Disappearing Acts and The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

2001 directors guild awards
J. Vespa - Getty Images

2002: Love In The Time Of Money

During this period, he also appeared in the 2002 romantic comedy Love In The Time Of Money, which starred Steve Buscemi and Vera Farmiga. The movie received poor reviews from film critics.

2002 sundance film festival
George Pimentel - Getty Images

2004: My Baby’s Daddy

A few years later, he joined forces with Eddie Griffin and Anthony Anderson for the comedy My Baby’s Daddy. The movie follows the story of three friends played by Griffin, Anderson, and Imperioli, who all find out that their girlfriends are expecting at the same time.

los angeles premiere of
Vince Bucci - Getty Images

2005: Law & Order (Again)

He appeared on Law & Order once again in 2005. This time it was for five episodes.

law order
NBC - Getty Images

2008: Life on Mars

Imperioli also acted on the short-lived ABC television series Life on Mars, which aired from October 2008 to April 2009. In it, he played Ray Carling, a detective with anger issues.

on location for
Jeffrey Ufberg - Getty Images

2009: Hungry Ghosts

The New York native reunited with his Sopranos counterpart, Steve Schirippa, for Hungry Ghosts. Hungry Ghosts, both written and directed by Imperioli, was his directorial debut.

on location for
Bobby Bank - Getty Images

2009: The Lovely Bones

That same year he played the role of Detective Len Fenerman in the drama thriller The Lovely Bones, a film based on a book of the same name.

patrick mcmullan archives
Patrick McMullan - Getty Images

2010: The Secret Life of the American Teenager

A year later, he guest-starred on the ABC television series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager as an OB/GYN.

abc family's
Randy Holmes - Getty Images

2010: Detroit 1-8-7

Imperioli joined another police drama when he took on the lead role of Detective Louis Fitch in Detroit 1-8-7. The show ran for just one season on ABC.

Mark H. Preston - Getty Images

2012: Girls

Go back and rewatch the first season of Girls, and you may see a familiar face. The Sopranos star appeared in the popular HBO series Girls as Hannah’s writing professor, Powell Goodman.

on location for
Bobby Bank - Getty Images

2013: Oldboy

Imperioli once again worked with Spike Lee on Lee’s 2013 film Oldboy. The film centers around a man locked in solitary confinement for 20 years without explanation.

filmdistrict and complex media with the cinema society and grey goose host a screening of
Ben Gabbe - Getty Images

2014: Californication

The actor also had a recurring role in the seventh season of Californication. Another famous 90s actor, David Duchovny, also starred in the series.

celebrity sightings in los angeles april 2, 2014
JMA/Star Max - Getty Images

2014: Mad Dogs

In 2014, he starred in the Amazon Prime series Mad Dogs, an American remake of the British show of the same name. The show ran from 2011 until 2013.

red carpet premiere screening at the pacific design center west hollywood for amazon original series
Charley Gallay - Getty Images

2015: Hawaii 5-0

A year later, he transformed into Odell Martin, a barber who relocated to Hawaii, in Hawaii Five-0.

hawaii five 0
CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images

2018: Alex Inc.

He also appeared in the short-lived ABC series Alex Inc., which also starred Zach Braff and Tiya Sircar.

Tony Rivetti - Getty Images

2020: Lincoln Rhymes: Hunt for the Bone Collector

Even though this series only lasted for one season, Imperioli had a pretty substantial role as Rick Sellitto, a veteran NYPD detective who used to be Lincoln’s partner.

lincoln rhyme hunt for the bone collector season 1
NBC - Getty Images

2020: Talking Sopranos

In 2020, Imperioli joined his Sopranos co-star, Steve Schirripa, to create Talking Sopranos, a podcast focused on all things Sopranos. As part of the program, the duo rewatched every episode of the show and discussed the behind-the-scenes stories of each one.

late night with seth meyers season 9
NBC - Getty Images

2020: Zopa

Not only does Imperioli write, act, and produce, but he also has his own band called Zopa. They came out with their debut album in 2020.

a celebration of the legendary don hill
Cindy Ord - Getty Images

2023: The White Lotus

If you’re a White Lotus fan, then you already know that the famous actor had a starring role in its second season. According to reports, the show is heading to Thailand to film season three.

los angeles season 2 premiere of hbo original series
Matt Winkelmeyer/GA - Getty Images

You Might Also Like