|Tony Amendola Biography|
Though his last name implies Italian origins Tony Amendola was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. He started working at age 7, delivering newspapers. He and his brothers all worked to help provide for their family. It was a utilitarian way of life, and it taught him independence. He never had any aspirations about what he wanted to be, he just knew that he had to be something, to earn his own way. Fortunately in high school a teacher took interest in him and convinced him he had a mind, and that he should make good use of it. As a result, Tony enrolled in a state college, being the first member of his family to do so.
He attended Southern Connecticut State University where he had no intention of becoming an actor. But as destiny has it, when Tony was a freshman, he literally stumbled into an audition. This led to a tiny role in The Tempest, and from there two more plays and participation in almost every Shakespeare Festival. He graduated in 1974 and went on to attend Temple University in Philadelphia, graduating in 1977 with a Master of Fine Arts Degree. His first employment out of school was in a film archives, most likely in New York. There he was able to gain invaluable experience from his work and from the opportunity of being able to view many great films. In 1978 he decided to move to out west to find work in film and television. He stayed in Seattle, Washington for about a year, but decided California was where he needed to be. He settled in Berkeley for a few years and then made his way to Los Angeles. Though this move was originally meant to be temporary, he lives there with his wife, to this day.
Tony has played a big role in the preservation of classical theater ensemble in California. In 1990 he became a member of a pilot study group called the Antaeus Project. They, with the help of the Mark Taper Forum, decided to explore the possibilities of creating a classical ensemble in Los Angeles. Thus the Antaeus Company was born. To this day he is still on the board of directors and has a role in the company's growth. Tony is a theater-trained actor, and having spent the first 12 years of his career almost exclusively in the theater, he has a long history of wonderful performances. Some of these include: American Buffalo, as Teach; Othello, as Iago; Filumena, as Domenico; and Taming of the Shrew, as Petruchio.
The talent he has displayed on the stage has translated beautifully onto screen as well. He has starred in: Mask of Zorro, as Don Luiz; Follow the River, as LaPlante; Lonestar, as Chucho Montoya; and last but most certainly not least, in his recurring role on Stargate SG-1 as Master Bra'tac.Tony Amendola brings a powerful presence to the stage, whether in a theater or on the screen. He carries an air of confidence and magnetism that sweeps you into his character and their story. If only we had more actors like him, I think the word Hollywood, would take on a whole new meaning.
He's 5'10" and speaks Spanish and Italian. Some of his interests include: Italian cooking, museums, art galleries, and yoga. His favorite play is Taming of the Shrew and his favorite Stargate SG-1 episode is Threshold.
Little Known Facts:
Tony often wears a necklace called the Crossing Key, also known as the Key of Creativity through Challenge. He got the necklace at the 2000 BOBW convention in Sydney Australia from Intuitive Express, and can be seen wearing it in many of his photographs.
Tony and his wife, Judith Marx, narrated a book together called An Unfinished Life, by Mark Spragg.
Biography by Jamie.
Tony Amendola - Dragon Con 2003
picture courtesy of Theresa
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