Profile

Joe Spinell

​Joe Spinell was born Joseph J. Spagnuolo in Manhattan, New York of Italian immigrant parents, and the last of six children. His father, Pelegrino Spagnuolo (b. 1892, d. 1950), died from liver and kidney disease. His mother Filomena Spagnuolo (b. 1903, d. 1987) was a bit-part actress who acted in a few movies, some of them alongside her son. Spinell stood 5 foot and 11 inches. He was born at his family's apartment in Manhattan's Little Italy on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. A few years after the death of his father, he moved with his mother and older siblings to Woodside, Queens, New York where he lived off-and-on for the remainder of his life. Spinell suffered most of his life from hemophilia as well as chronic asthma. Because of his large, heavyset frame and imposing looks, Spinell was often cast as criminals, thugs, or corrupt police officers. His most notable roles were as mafioso Willi Cicci in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, and as loan shark Tony Gazzo in Rocky and Rocky II. Although primarily known as a character actor, Spinell co-wrote and starred as a serial killer in the 1980 film, Maniac. Joe Spinell died in his apartment on January 13, 1989 at the age of 52. The cause of his untimely death is arguable to this day. Some say that his death was caused by sudden heart attack due to heavy drug use, drinking and emotional distress in light of his mother passing away two years earlier. It is also speculated that he may have died from asthma complications, or bled to death from hemophilia related causes. He was planning a sequel to Maniac before his death. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery, Queens near his home. He is the distant cousin of the American football team St. Louis Ram's Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo. Spinell was married to adult film star Jean Jennings from February 1977 to July 1979. Together they had one daughter, but they eventually divorced. Born : 28th-Oct-1936

Movie Credits

Maniac

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in NYC, kills young women and local girl American models and takes their scalps as trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in photographer Anna, and end his killing spree.
Released : 14th-Nov-1980

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Operation Warzone

A squad of U.S. troops seek out a mysterious agent hiding out in the jungles of 1960s Vietnam whom has classified documents that could win the war.
Released : 1st-Jul-1988

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Rapid Fire

Mike Thompson is a former U.S. government agent whom is called on by his no-nonsense ex-employer Hanson to stop a terrorist named Mustapha who breaks out of a maximum security military prison aboard a battleship with the help from his aide Eddy Williams a former agent-turned-mercenary armed with an unstoppable rapid-firing, multi-use machine gun whom the U.S. government wants back at any cost. Mike is forced to rely on his former partner-in-crime Pappy, and a CIA agent named Corle, to help him try to track down Eddy hoping to lead him to Mustapha before they can plan their next terrorist strike.
Released : 1st-Jan-1989

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Mr. Robbie: Maniac II

A children's television host solves all kids problems. Shot as a promo reel for a sequel to Maniac (1980) but was cut short due to the untimely death of actor Joe Spinell.
Released : 1st-Nov-1986

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The Undertaker

A deranged undertaker kills various people to keep as his friends in his seedy funeral home.
Released : 1st-Nov-1988

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The Last Horror Film

A New York taxi driver stalks a beautiful actress attending the Cannes Film Festival, which coincides with a series of violent killings of the lady's friends.
Released : 12th-Aug-1982

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Hollywood Harry

Tongue-in-cheek account of a private eye hired to find a young porn actress.
Released : 3rd-Oct-1986

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The Ransom of Red Chief

Two con artists kidnap a young boy for ransom. The boy, who calls himself Red Chief, becomes a problem for them.
Released : 1st-Nov-1975

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Nunzio

A mentally-challenged delivery boy indulges in fantasies that he is a superhero in the tough streets of Brooklyn. He lives a life marked with torments from the gang of deadbeats at the corner, overbearing concern from his mother and older brother, and general confusion about women and his burgeoning desires for them.
Released : 12th-May-1978

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Walking the Edge

A Los Angeles taxi driver helps a distraught woman on the run from gangsters after they murder her husband and young son.
Released : 11th-Jan-1985

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K.O. Kippers

The story of modern-day vaudevillians, the "Kipper Kids." Harry and Harry Kipper are "somewhere in South America" training for a boxing match staged by Tony LaRosa, a down-and-out scam artist who has promised to make the Kippers "champions of the entire world."
Released : 13th-Aug-1988

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The One Man Jury

Officer Jim Wade is a loose cannon on the force with a reputation for roughing up suspects, informants, witnesses, and just about everybody else who rubs him the wrong way. When women start being killed by a mysterious serial murderer called The Slasher, Wade vows to put a stop to the killing spree, regardless of whether through legal means or not.
Released : 29th-Sep-1978

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Portrait of a Teenage Shoplifter

Teenager becomes involved in the thrill of shoplifting with her friends, until she is inevitably caught in the act.
Released : 1st-Dec-1981

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The Messenger

When his girlfriend dies of a drug overdose, a former Green Beret decides to take vengeance on the drug gangs responsible for her death.
Released : 1st-Dec-1986

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Thriller Zone

There are three unrelated, unconnected segments in this horror anthology. In the first segment, "The Last Hand," a man is shot, while another man has a heart attack. The latter man (Morty) survives, and goes to his regular poker game, but the man who was shot shows up looking well, if sinister. Morty had a hand in his death, it seems, and Morty grows increasingly agitated, and starts hallucinating. In the second segment,"The Final Hour," a convicted murderer in the year 2213 is being transported to a trial for his appeal and forms a relationship with the ship's pilot. The last segment, "Fanatical Extreme," is a condensed version of the feature film The Last Horror Film (1982), in which taxi driver Joe Spinell tries to realize his fantasy of making a horror movie with his favorite star, but he's not exactly welcome.
Released : 1st-Jan-1995

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Strike Force

A New York City detective teams up with a federal agent and a state trooper to bust up a drug ring.
Released : 12th-Apr-1975

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Starcrash

A pair of smugglers manage to pick up a castaway while running from the authorities, who turns out to be the only survivor from a secret mission to destroy a mysterious superweapon designed by the evil Count Zartharn. The smugglers are soon recruited by the Emperor to complete the mission, as well as to rescue the Emperor's son, who has gone missing.
Released : 21st-Dec-1978

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Cruising

A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S&M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as a decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he has to learn and practice the complex rules and signals of this little society.
Released : 15th-Feb-1980

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The Last Fight

Singer-turned-boxer Andy 'Kid' Clave signs a contract with a shady promoter Joaquin Vargas. But Clave turns against Vargas when the promoter's thugs kill Clave's girlfriend when he thinks about backing out of the contract. While seeking a way to get revenge against Vargas, Clave learns that he has a blood clot in his head. But nothing will deter him from getting his revenge and making a shot at the title.
Released : 7th-Sep-1983

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Rocky II

After Rocky goes the distance with champ Apollo Creed, both try to put the fight behind them and move on. Rocky settles down with Adrian but can't put his life together outside the ring, while Creed seeks a rematch to restore his reputation. Soon enough, the "Master of Disaster" and the "Italian Stallion" are set on a collision course for a climactic battle that is brutal and unforgettable.
Released : 15th-Jun-1979

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Rocky

An uneducated collector for a Philadelphia loan shark is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fight against the world heavyweight boxing champion.
Released : 21st-Nov-1976

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One Down, Two to Go

A pair of tough cops go after the mob who jinxed the martial arts tournament and injured their buddy.
Released : 19th-Nov-1982

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Farewell, My Lovely

Private eye Philip Marlowe is hired by ex-con Moose Malloy to find his girlfriend, a former lounge dancer. While also investigating the murder of a client and the theft of a jade necklace, Marlowe becomes entangled with seductress Helen Grayle and discovers a web of dark secrets that are better left hidden.
Released : 8th-Aug-1975

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Vigilante

New York City factory worker Eddie Marino is a solid citizen and regular guy, until the day a sadistic street gang brutally assaults his wife and murders his child. When a corrupt judge sets the thugs free, Eddie goes berserk and vows revenge.
Released : 4th-Jan-1983

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The Ninth Configuration

Col. Vincent Kane is a military psychiatrist who takes charge of an army mental hospital situated in a secluded castle. Among Kane's many eccentric patients is Capt. Billy Cutshaw, a troubled astronaut in the midst of an existential crisis. Although Kane's own grasp on sanity is questionable, he manages to engage Cutshaw in a series of thoughtful conversations about science and faith that deeply affect the lives of both men.
Released : 29th-Feb-1980

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The Little Dragons

Karate experts attempt to rescue a girl who was kidnapped by a mother and her two psycho sons.
Released : 18th-Jul-1980

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The Children of Times Square

An alienated teenage boy runs away from home and ventures to New York City where he falls in with a gang of juvenile delinquents working as drug dealers and pickpockets for a shady crime boss.
Released : 3rd-Mar-1986

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Cops and Robbers

Two disillusioned New York policemen plan a $10 million robbery to fuel their low pensions, only to run into one debacle after another in the process.
Released : 15th-Aug-1973

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Out of the Darkness

A gripping thriller telling the true story of the hunt and capture of David Berkowitz, a.k.a. "Son of Sam" — the infamous serial killer who stalked New York in the 70s.
Released : 12th-Oct-1985

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The Big Score

A narcotics detective, played by Fred Williamson, lets nothing stand in the way of his bringing down a major drug dealer. After a bust gone awry, he's accused of stealing a lost briefcase filled with money and both the mob and the police are looking for him. A ruthless hit man, played by Bruce Glover, will stop at nothing to get what his boss wants; the money!
Released : 17th-Mar-1983

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The Whoopee Boys

Two New York hustlers (Michael O'Keefe, Paul Rodriguez) go to Palm Beach, Fla., and enroll in a charm school to please an heiress.
Released : 22nd-Aug-1986

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Big Wednesday

Three 1960s California surfers fool around, drift apart and reunite years later to ride epic waves.
Released : 26th-May-1978

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Paradise Alley

Three Italian-American brothers, living in the slums of 1940's New York City, try to help each other with one's wrestling career using one brother's promotional skills and another brother's con-artist tactics to thwart a sleazy manager.
Released : 22nd-Sep-1978

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The First Deadly Sin

A serial killer is stalking New York. Inspector Edward X. Delaney is an NYPD detective, nearing retirement, who is trying to put together the pieces of the case. Are the victims somehow linked? What does the brutal method of death signify?
Released : 3rd-Oct-1980

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Nighthawks

An international terrorist has New York in a grip of panic and it's up to Det. Sgt. Deke DaSilva to take him down.
Released : 17th-Mar-1981

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The Seven-Ups

A tough detective who is part of an elite New York City unit is trying to find out who killed his partner, but uncovers a plot to kidnap mobsters for money.
Released : 14th-Dec-1973

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Sorcerer

Four men from different parts of the globe, all hiding from their pasts in the same remote South American town, agree to risk their lives transporting several cases of dynamite (which is so old that it is dripping unstable nitroglycerin) across dangerous jungle terrain.
Released : 24th-Jun-1977

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92 in the Shade

A young drifter returns to his home in Key West, Florida and attempts to open a fishing charter business, provoking a dangerous feud with a rival fishing sea captain.
Released : 22nd-Aug-1975

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Blood Ties

An innocent American engineer is blackmailed by gangsters into a plot to assassinate his cousin, who is a judge in Sicily fighting the Mafia.
Released : 14th-Dec-1986

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Deadly Illusion

A private eye hired to kill a man's wife warns her instead and then finds both are impostors.
Released : 16th-Oct-1987

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A Question of Honor

Television account of an honest New York narcotics cop who becomes unwillingly involved in a plan to uncover corruption in his department.
Released : 28th-Apr-1982

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Nightside

Danny Dandoy is a good-humored, streetwise cop working the dusk-to-dawn shift in Los Angeles with his somewhat naive new partner, Macey, in this proposed pilot for a new TV series.
Released : 8th-Jun-1980

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Night Shift

A nebbish of a morgue attendant gets shunted back to the night shift where he is shackled with an obnoxious neophyte partner who dreams of the "one great idea" for success. His life takes a bizarre turn when a prostitute neighbor complains about the loss of her pimp. His partner, upon hearing the situation, suggests that they fill that opening themselves using the morgue at night.
Released : 30th-Jul-1982

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Eureka

An Alaskan gold prospector lives in luxury with his family on an island which gangsters want.
Released : 1st-May-1983

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Rancho Deluxe

Two drifters, of widely varying backgrounds, rustle cattle and try to avoid being caught in contemporary Montana.
Released : 14th-Mar-1975

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Vampire

Vampire Anton Voytek's lair is disturbed by the ground breaking for a new church. Anton attempts to start a modern life using his hoarded wealth, but finds it's been confiscated by the authorities. He takes revenge on the architect responsible, who in turn, aided by a retired detective, tries to hunt down and destroy Anton.
Released : 7th-Oct-1979

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Married to the Mob

Angela de Marco is fed up with her gangster husband's line of work and wants no part of the crime world. When her husband is killed for having an affair with the mistress of mob boss Tony "The Tiger" Russo, Angela and her son depart for New York City to make a fresh start. Unfortunately, Tony has set his sights upon Angela -- and so has an undercover FBI agent looking to use her to bust Tony.
Released : 19th-Aug-1988

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Trackdown: Finding the Goodbar Killer

This made-for-TV sequel to the 1977 theatrical film "Looking For Mr. Goodbar" follows a New York City detective's quest to find the murderer of a schoolteacher.
Released : 15th-Oct-1983

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Next Stop, Greenwich Village

An aspiring Jewish actor moves out of his parents' Brooklyn apartment to seek his fortune in the bohemian life of Greenwich Village in 1953.
Released : 4th-Feb-1976

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Losin' It

Set in 1965, four Los Angeles school friends -- Woody, Dave, Spider and Wendell -- go on a series of misadventures when they head to Tijuana, Mexico, for a night of cruisin', causing trouble, and to lose their virginity.
Released : 20th-Aug-1982

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Forbidden Zone

A mysterious door in the basement of the Hercules house leads to the Sixth Dimension by way of a gigantic set of intestine. When Frenchy slips through the door, King Fausto falls in love with her. The jealous Queen Doris takes Frenchy prisoner, and it is up to the Hercules family and friend Squeezit Henderson to rescue her.
Released : 15th-Mar-1980

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TV Credits

Mario Puzo's The Godfather: The Complete Novel for Television

William "Willie" Cicci - An adaptation of Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II, re-edited in chronological order with additional footage not seen in the first two films added.
Released : 12th-Nov-1977

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