Actor Vincent D’Onofrio

Vincent Philip D’Onofrio (/dəˈnɒfrioʊ/; born June 30, 1959) is an American actor, director, and producer. He is known for his supporting and leading roles in both film and television. He has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and two Saturn Awards, winning one for his antagonist role in Men in Black.

His roles include Private Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence in Full Metal Jacket (1987), Edgar the Bug in Men in Black (1997) and The Series (1997–2001), Carl Stargher in The Cell (2000), New York City Police Detective Robert Goren in Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001–10), Wilson Fisk / Kingpin in Daredevil (2015–18) and as Vic Hoskins in Jurassic World (2015).

Early life

D’Onofrio was born on June 30, 1959, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He is of Italian descent, with ancestors from Naples. His parents Gennaro and Phyllis D’Onofrio met while Gennaro was stationed in Hawaii with the US Air Force. Gennaro was trained as an interior decorator but spent most of his spare time in amateur theater. Vincent is the youngest of three siblings. His older siblings are Antoinette (born 1956) and Elizabeth (born 1957), an actress and drama coach residing in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. He was raised in Hawaii and Colorado during his early years.

D’Onofrio’s parents divorced when he was young; his mother later married George Meyer. He became stepbrother to Guy and Connie, Meyer’s children from a previous marriage.[citation needed] The family relocated to the Hialeah, Florida area. D’Onofrio has described himself as a shy boy who spent “a lot of time in my room, staying in my head”, later became interested in magic and sleight of hand, tricks he learned from Cuban entertainers who owned a small magic shop.

In his teens, he worked backstage in set building and sound production at a number of community theaters run by his father.[citation needed] He graduated from Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School.


Acting and filmmaking

After graduating from high school, D’Onofrio started to appear on stage. During an 18-month stint at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, he was involved with small, community-theater productions. He later studied method acting at the American Stanislavsky Theater and the Actors Studio, under coaches Sonia Moore and Sharon Chatten, which landed him his first paid role in off-Broadway’s This Property Is Condemned. He went on to appear in a number of their productions, including Of Mice and Men and Sexual Perversity in Chicago. D’Onofrio continued his career by performing in many New York University student productions while also working as a bouncer at the Hard Rock Cafe, a bodyguard for Robert Plant and Yul Brynner and a deliveryman.

In 1984, he made his Broadway debut as Nick Rizzoli in Open Admissions. In 1986, D’Onofrio took on the role often considered the defining moment in his acting career, as Pvt. Leonard Lawrence, an overweight, clumsy Marine recruit in the movie Full Metal Jacket. On a tip from friend Matthew Modine, D’Onofrio was urged to send audition tapes to director Stanley Kubrick, in England. Four tapes later, D’Onofrio landed the role. Originally, the character of Pvt. Lawrence had been written as a “skinny ignorant redneck”; however, Kubrick believed the role would have more impact if the character were big and clumsy. D’Onofrio gained 70 lb (32 kg) for the role, bringing his weight to 280 lb (130 kg). This remains the record for most weight gained by an actor for a film. While filming an obstacle course scene for the movie, D’Onofrio injured his left knee, compounded by the excessive weight, which required surgical reconstruction.

Over the course of nine months after filming of Full Metal Jacket was completed, D’Onofrio lost nearly all the weight he had gained for his role. He went on to play Dawson, the owner of Dawson’s Garage, in Adventures in Babysitting (1987). He appears in one scene near the end of the film. In 1988, he was cast in another supporting role in the film Mystic Pizza, playing the fiancé of Lili Taylor’s character. In the film, which was Julia Roberts’ breakout film, he was billed under his full name Vincent Phillip D’Onofrio.

D’Onofrio continued to play a wide variety of minor or supporting roles, including the father of a saint in Nancy Savoca’s Household Saints (1993), director Orson Welles in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood (1994), farmer Edgar and the evil “Bug” that possesses him from Men in Black (1997), a man who claims to be from the future in Happy Accidents (2000), and the serial killer Carl Stargher, opposite Jennifer Lopez’s character in The Cell (2000).

In 1992, he appeared in Robert Altman’s The Player, as an aspiring screenwriter. In 1997, he made a move to television and received an Emmy nomination for his appearance as John Lange in the Homicide: Life on the Street episode “Subway”. In 1999, he turned down a role in The Sopranos. D’Onofrio portrayed leftist radical Abbie Hoffman in Steal This Movie in 2000, starring Janeane Garofalo as his wife.

In 2001, he took on what became his longest and perhaps best-known role as Det. Robert Goren on the NBC/USA Network television show Law & Order: Criminal Intent. On March 1, 2008, D’Onofrio made a cameo appearance in a presidential election-related sketch in a Saturday Night Live episode as his character Det. Robert Goren. In the sketch, he interrogates Hillary Clinton (played by Amy Poehler). His entrance to and exit from the skit are punctuated by the Law & Order “dun-DUN” sound.

In 2009, it was announced that D’Onofrio would be leaving Law & Order: Criminal Intent in the spring of 2010, with his last appearance occurring in the two-part, season-9 premiere. He was replaced by Jeff Goldblum, but after a drop in ratings, D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe agreed to return for a 10th (and final) season of the show.

In 2003, it was reported that D’Onofrio and Joe Pantoliano had begun work on a small film titled Little Victories, about a 12-year-old boy whose perceptions of the world are forever changed when his gangster uncle comes to live with him. According to a television interview with Pantoliano, the film was not completed and went into turnaround due to a failure to raise the funds necessary for production.[citation needed]

In November 2005, D’Onofrio won Best Actor at the Stockholm International Film Festival for his role as Mike Cobb in the independent film Thumbsucker. In 2006, he appeared in The Break-Up, starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, playing Vaughn’s eccentric brother. Vaughn and he had appeared together in two previous films, The Cell (2000), wherein Vaughn played an FBI agent pursuing D’Onofrio’s character, and Thumbsucker (2005). He appears in the Oscar-winning short “The New Tenants” (2009).[citation needed]

Over the next few years, D’Onofrio co-starred in films such as: Staten Island (2009), Brooklyn’s Finest (2010), Kill the Irishman (2011), Crackers (2011), American Falls (2012), Fire with Fire (2012), and Ass Backwards (2013).

In 2011, he began work on the Jennifer Lynch 2012 film Chained (previously titled Rabbit) in which he portrays Bob, a serial killer who kidnaps a young boy, Rabbit, and makes him his protégé. When he becomes older, Rabbit must decide whether to follow in the footsteps of his captor or plan his escape. The film shot in areas in and around Regina and Moose Jaw, both in Saskatchewan.

On May 1, 2012, due to “explicit violence”, the movie was given an NC-17 rating by the MPAA, despite an appeal by Jennifer Lynch, and the distributor, with scenes cut to maximize theater exposure and distribution. No stranger to the NC-17 ratings, Lynch, who responded to the ruling a day later also saw cuts made to her film Boxing Helena. In July 2012, a press release from Anchor Bay announced that the film would be released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 2, 2012, and would include the deleted scene, involving a throat being cut, which caused the NC-17 rating.

On September 14, 2011, it was announced that D’Onofrio would star alongside Ethan Hawke in a new NBC show, Blue Tilt, named after the harmful psychological effects homicide detectives experience after constantly dealing with horrific crimes.

D’Onofrio and Hawke had worked together in the films The Newton Boys, Staten Island, Brooklyn’s Finest and Sinister. The hour-long cop drama, in which D’Onofrio would play Sonny, was to follow the main characters’ attempts to balance their careers with family life. Writer Chris Brancato, fresh from Season 10 of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, was brought on board to pen the episodes. Filming of the pilot episode was set to start in February 2012. On March 27, 2012, a tweet from Kevin Dunigan, the co-creator and developer of the pilot, revealed that NBC had shelved the project because it did not have enough “pop to attract viewers”.

On April 30, 2012, the short film Crackers, starring D’Onofrio as Gus, won a People’s Choice Award at the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival. The festival, which had been dormant for six years, was rekindled and partly organized by Vincent’s sister, actress Elizabeth D’Onofrio.

Fresh from his role in Jennifer Lynch’s Chained, it was announced on August 11, 2012, that D’Onofrio would star in her upcoming film A Fall From Grace. The film tells the story of Detective Michael Tabb, to be played by Tim Roth, as he investigates the murders of young girls burned and washing ashore along the Mississippi River. A further upcoming Lynch project, The Monster Next Door, was set to also star D’Onofrio.

Also in November, filming began on the Vidhu Vinod Chopra movie, Broken Horses, which focused on gang warfare around the border between the United States and Mexico. D’Onofrio starred alongside Chris Marquette and Anton Yelchin.

In 2013, D’Onofrio co-starred in the film Escape Plan, filmed in New Orleans, also starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and 50 Cent. D’Onofrio portrayed Lester Clark, deputy director of the Prisons Bureau.

D’Onofrio co-starred in the film drama The Judge (2014).

His other projects included a role in Supreme Ruler with Marcia Gay Harden and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Eric Bogosian’s Mall which he co-wrote with his former Law & Order: Criminal Intent co-star, and Pawn Shop Chronicles.

In 2015, D’Onofrio made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Wilson Fisk in the first season of Daredevil. He reprised the role in an extended cameo appearance in season 2, and in season 3 as a series regular. He also portrayed Vic Hoskins in the action adventure film Jurassic World (2015), and Jack Horne in Antoine Fuqua’s 2016 remake of The Magnificent Seven.

In 2016, he played the role of the evil Duke Luca Abele in the video game Dishonored 2 for the PS4/Xbox1 platforms. He was able to draw upon his extensive acting experience to fully flesh out the voice of the corrupt Duke Abele in various public speeches that were broadcast in-game over large speakers suspended in the game area.


D’Onofrio has also had success behind the camera, producing The Whole Wide World (1996), in which he also starred, and Guy (1997) as well as executive producing The Velocity of Gary (1998) and Steal This Movie! (2000). In 2005, he directed and starred in the short film Five Minutes, Mr. Welles (2005), which represented a culmination of D’Onofrio’s desire to improve on his performance as Welles in Ed Wood, which reportedly left director Tim Burton underwhelmed. Burton decided to procure the services of voiceover artist Maurice LaMarche due to being known for his imitation of Welles’ voice to produce a more dramatically effective rendering of the character’s dialogue. Disappointed with his performance, having been given two weeks notice to prepare for the role, D’Onofrio wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the short in answer to the critics and himself. The film depicts D’Onofrio as Welles preparing for his role in The Third Man.

In 2008, he returned to directing with the feature-length musical slasher Don’t Go in the Woods (2010), written by his friend Joe Vinciguerra, featuring a score by Sam Bisbee, and starring various unknown actors hand-picked by D’Onofrio. It follows an indie rock band who venture into the woods to write new music, only to meet a crazed murderer (Tim Lajcik). The film, shot in 13 days near Kingston, New York, had a budget of $100,000 and played at numerous festivals throughout 2009 and 2010. Initially slated for national release in December 2011, the film opened to limited theaters on January 13, 2012, and was released on DVD on June 12, 2012. His next project is directing and starring in the 2019 western The Kid.


On October 27, 2009, D’Onofrio made his musical debut, appearing in character as comedic country singer George Geronimo Gerkie at Joe’s Pub in New York City. He appeared as Gerkie again at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on December 6, 2009, during Matt Pinfield’s Holiday Extravaganza Show and at the premiere of his movie Don’t Go in the Woods at Joe’s Pub on May 28, 2010. A fourth concert was held at the pub on July 22, 2010, with proceeds from the event going to the Utah Meth Cops project.

On November 11, 2011, while teaching students at the Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, D’Onofrio discussed plans for further concerts, and a George Gerkie documentary which is to be filmed by Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston director Whitney Smith.

In September 2011, Australian hip hop band The Funkoars, released an album titled The Quickening, featuring the song “Being Vincent D’Onofrio”, an homage to D’Onofrio’s career and his work on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. In February 2012, the band announced their upcoming “Being Vincent D’Onofrio Tour 2012” with artwork featuring D’Onofrio’s face in place of the band members’.

In 2014, D’Onofrio released two songs as part of an avant garde spoken-word project with multi-instrumentalist and composer Dana Lyn. The first single, “I’m a Hamster”, gathered attention on social media. The full album was made available for purchase in March 2015, on the band’s website.[citation needed]

Other work

In 1998, D’Onofrio, with his father Gene and sister Elizabeth, founded the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 2003, former film producer and dean of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Dale Pollock, took over the festival and moved it from Brevard, North Carolina, to Winston-Salem. Annually, the festival showcases the best films offered from the independent and international industry, as well as those from student filmmakers.

In 2008, alongside his sister, Toni, D’Onofrio began hosting events to raise money for the Utah Meth Cops Project. He served as the project’s spokesperson from 2009 to 2012.

In the fall of 2011, D’Onofrio became a member of the advisory board for the Woodstock Film Festival, which holds an annual event for independent films. Other members of the board include Griffin Dunne, Ethan Hawke, and Aidan Quinn.

In February 2011, D’Onofrio became a public face of the gun control debate, appearing in an ad by the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City urging a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines.

In 2012, D’Onofrio returned to teach at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute where his daughter was a student.

On August 9, 2012, it was announced that D’Onofrio had been chosen to narrate the documentary, Heroes Behind The Badge (2012). The film follows four fallen officers and the impact their deaths have had on their families, colleagues, and communities. The proceeds are benefitting a memorial museum being built in Washington, DC. A longtime supporter of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, D’Onofrio has been the spokesperson for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and Museum since 2010. A follow up to the documentary, subtitled Sacrifice and Survival, was released in the fall of 2013.

On November 13, 2012, D’Onofrio joined the cast of the off-Broadway production Clive, alongside Brooks Ashmanskas and Zoe Kazan. Produced by Jonathan Marc Sherman and directed by Ethan Hawke, the play, based on Baal by Bertolt Brecht, opened at The New Group at Theatre Row on February 7, 2013.

Personal life

In the early 1990s, D’Onofrio was in a relationship with actress Greta Scacchi, with whom he starred in several films during that period (including The Player and Fires Within). Their daughter is actress Leila George (born c. 1991/1992), who is married to actor Sean Penn.

On March 22, 1997, D’Onofrio married Dutch model Carin van der Donk, and the couple had a son (born 1999). The couple split in the early 2000s, but reconciled and had a second son (born 2008).

On November 10, 2004, D’Onofrio collapsed on the set of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He collapsed again at home a few days later, and was later diagnosed with exhaustion. His exhaustion was attributed to his 14-hour days filming Criminal Intent, and the making of his short film Five Minutes, Mr. Welles during the show’s hiatus.

During an interview in January 2012, D’Onofrio discussed his frustration with conflicting reports on his current marital status, including inaccuracies on IMDb. He has stated that, despite some reports, he is currently married. He resides with his family in a townhouse in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan.



Year Title Role Notes
1983 The First Turn-On! Lobotomy
1984 It Don’t Pay to Be an Honest Citizen Bennie
1987 Full Metal Jacket Private Leonard ‘Gomer Pyle’ Lawrence Nominated – New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Adventures in Babysitting Dawson
1988 Mystic Pizza Bill Montijo
1989 Signs of Life Daryl Monahan
The Blood of Heroes Young Gar
1991 Crooked Hearts Charley
Dying Young Gordon
Fires Within Sam
Naked Tango Cholo
JFK Bill Newman
1992 The Player David Kahane
Salt on Our Skin Gavin
1993 Being Human Priest
Household Saints Joseph Santangelo Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Mr. Wonderful Dominic
1994 Ed Wood Orson Welles Voice dubbed by Maurice LaMarche
The Investigator Ephraim McDougall Short film
Imaginary Crimes Mr. Webster
1995 Stuart Saves His Family Donnie
Strange Days Officer Burton Steckler
Hotel Paradise The Naked Stranger
1996 The Whole Wide World Robert E. Howard Also producer
Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actor
Lone Star Film & Television Award for Best Actor
2nd – National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
The Winner Philip
Feeling Minnesota Sam Clayton
Good Luck Tony ‘Ole’ Olezniak
1997 Boys Life 2 Tony Randozza Segment: “Nunzio’s Second Cousin”
Men in Black Edgar / The Bug Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Science Fiction
Guy Guy Also producer
1998 The Newton Boys Wylie ‘Dock’ Newton
Claire Dolan Elton Garrett
The Velocity of Gary Valentino Also executive producer
1999 Spanish Judges Max
The Thirteenth Floor Jason Whitney / Jerry Ashton
2000 Happy Accidents Sam Deed
Steal This Movie! Abbie Hoffman Also executive producer
The Cell Carl Rudolph Stargher Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Science Fiction
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
2001 Chelsea Walls Frank
Impostor Major Hathaway
2002 Bark! Malcolm
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys Father Casey
The Salton Sea Pooh-Bear
2005 Thumbsucker Mike Cobb Stockholm Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Five Minutes, Mr. Welles Orson Welles Short film; also writer, director and producer
2006 The Break-Up Dennis Grobowski
2008 The Narrows Vinny Manadoro Nashville Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Cadillac Records Mississippi DJ Uncredited
2009 Ipso Facto Executive producer
Staten Island Parmie Tarzo
The New Tenants Jan Short film
2010 Zaritsas: Russian Women in New York Executive producer
Don’t Go in the Woods Writer and director
Brooklyn’s Finest Bobby ‘Carlo’ Powers
2011 Kill the Irishman John Nardi
Crackers Gus Short film
2012 Chained Bob Sitges Film Festival Award for Best Actor
American Falls Detective Foster Short film
Fire with Fire David Hagan Direct-to-DVD
Sinister Professor Jonas Uncredited
2013 Ass Backwards Bruce West
Charlie Countryman Bill
Chlorine Roger
Pawn Shop Chronicles Alton
Escape Plan Lester Clark
2014 The Unlicensed Therapist The Unlicensed Therapist Short film
Mall Danny Also producer
The Judge Glen Palmer
2015 Run All Night Detective John Harding
Broken Horses Julius Hench
Jurassic World Vic Hoskins Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain
Sinister 2 Professor Jonas Credit only
2016 Pelé: Birth of a Legend Vicente Feola
In Dubious Battle London
The Magnificent Seven Jack Horne
Phantom Boy The Face English dub
2017 Rings Galen Burke
CHiPs Ray ‘The Ringleader’ Kurtz
El Camino Christmas Carl Hooker
2018 Death Wish Frank Kersey
2019 The Kid Sheriff Romero Also director
2021 The Eyes of Tammy Faye Jerry Falwell Post-production
The Unforgivable TBA Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1986–1987 The Equalizer Thomas Marley / Davy Baylor 2 episodes
1987 Miami Vice Leon Wolf Episode: “The Afternoon Plane”
1997 Homicide: Life on the Street John Lange Episode: “Subway”
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
1998 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Mr. Blue Television film
1998–2000 Men in Black: The Series Edgar / The Bug 3 episodes
1999 That Championship Season Phil Romano Television film
2001–2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Detective Robert Goren 141 episodes
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2005)
2002 Sherlock: Case of Evil Moriarty Television film
The Red Sneakers Mercado Television film
2003 Mickeypalooza Himself Television special
2009 Xavier: Renegade Angel Eric / The Judge (voices) 2 episodes
2015 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Inspector Episode: “Infrastructure”
2015–2018 Daredevil Wilson Fisk / Kingpin 27 episodes
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television
Nominated – EWwy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
2017 Emerald City Frank Morgan / The Wizard of Oz 10 episodes
BoJack Horseman Himself (voice) Episode: “See Mr. Peanutbutter Run”
2017–2018 Ghost Wars Father Dan Carpenter 8 episodes
2019–present Godfather of Harlem Vincent ‘The Chin’ Gigante 20 episodes
2020 Interrogation Sergeant Ian Lynch 2 episodes
Ratched George Milburn 8 episodes


  • Mr. Laughs: A Look Behind The Curtain (2008), narrator for autobiographical documentary based on the life of comedian Sal Richards.
  • Man on the Ledge (October 2010), radio play.
  • Heroes Behind The Badge (Fall 2012), narrator for documentary.
  • Like Father, Like Son and Ram King (October 2012), Tales From Beyond The Pale live radio play performed live at Dixon Place in NYC.
  • Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (April 2017), voice of Robert Moses for documentary on Jane Jacobs’ crusade to save Washington Square Park from being overrun by an expressway.
  • Video games

    Year Title Role
    2005 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Detective Robert Goren
    2015 Lego Jurassic World Hoskins
    2016 Dishonored 2 Duke Luca Abele

    External Links

    Actor Vincent D’Onofrio – Wikipedia

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