An actor of striking intensity, Vincent Spano displays versatility as both a dramatic and comedic talent. With distinguished successes in film, television and theater, Spano’s work over the decades has afforded him the opportunity to play a wide range of roles in a diverse assortment of films shot all around the world. Throughout the years, Vincent has consistently proven himself to be a dedicated actor, receiving critical acclaim for his work and has often been referred to as a young Robert De Niro or Al Pacino. Following the release of one of his early films, Baby It’s You, Siskel & Ebert did a special show honoring a handful of young actors, comparing them to already established film stars -- Spano was one of the chosen few. The two film critics likened Spano to Al Pacino and backed up their analysis with comparable back-to-back clips of both actors. At the world premiere of City of Hope at the Sundance Film Festival, the ‘Hollywood Reporter’ reviewed Spano’s performance as “electric.” Later, turning his attention toward directing, the L.A. Times gave Spano’s first two short films a shining review stating, “In two high-voltage comedies, Vincent Spano demonstrates a keen aptitude for pacing and punch line”.
Born in New York City, Spano attended Stuyvesant High School. During his first year, he landed the role of ‘Steve’, a dying man’s son, in the Long Wharf theater production of The Shadow Box. Spano moved with the play to Broadway’s Morosco Theater where it won a Pulitzer Prize as well as two Tony Awards for Best Drama and Best Director. To be part of a production like that was an unheard of accomplishment for a young actor performing in his second play. One year later, at the age of fifteen, Spano appeared on screen in his first two feature film roles, The Double McGuffin and Jonathan Kaplan's Over the Edge.
At eighteen, Spano was cast in The Black Stallion Returns after a long and intense audition process (which involved proving that the NYC boy could ride a horse). With this film, he was welcomed into Francis Coppola's Zoetrope family who produced the film. Directly following the profound and exciting experience in which he spent six months out of the country shooting in Italy, Morocco and Algeria, Spano returned home for what many consider to be his “big break” – the role of “The Sheik” in John Sayles' Italian-Catholic-boy-meets-Jewish-girl romance, Baby It's You. After the films’ success, he was thrilled to have the opportunity once again to work with one of his favorite directors, Francis Coppola, in the role of Steve inRumblefish. In less than a year, Spano had put three major films in the can and had certainly established his career as a “serious” film actor. To Date, Spano has acted in more than forty theatrical and television films and has made memorable guest appearances in some of the best shows on television. (For more on his theatrical films, please refer to his filmmography)
For his work in television films, Spano was praised for his performance as fighter-pilot Ted Harduvel in HBO’s Afterburn, starring Laura Dern and he played Patricia Heaton’s love interest, Tony, in the charming and highly regarded, Steven Schachter-directed TNT movie, The Engagement Ring. He also headlined as “justice fighter” Ryan Cawdor in the Sci-Fi channel's Deathlands: Homeward Bound (based on the extensive post-apocalyptic book series); starred in the Hallmark Channel mini-series, Pandemic, with Tiffani Thiessen, Faye Dunaway and Eric Roberts; and rode a feisty horse in Lone Rider, a period western for the ION Channel in which he played the “black-hat bad-guy” Stu, to Lou Diamond Phillips’ hero. Spano contributed to the very special Jenifer (the Jenifer Estess Story) with Laura San Giacomo, a film recounting Jenifer’s real life and inspiring battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). In series television, he led a terrific ensemble cast in NBC's critically acclaimed, but short-lived undercover-cop drama Prince Street with Mariska Hargitay. He was soon reunited with Hargitay on Law & Order: SVU, in a recurring role as FBI Special Agent Dean Porter. In 2011, Spano starred as the guest lead on an episode of House, M.D., playing New Jersey slick prosecutor, Tommy Fortunato.
In addition to Francis Coppola and John Sayles, Vincent has worked with a remarkable list of renowned international film and television directors including: Frank Marshall, John Landis, Jonathan Kaplan, Andrei Konchalovskiy and the Tavianni Brothers. He has been fortunate to work with many talented, successful award-winning actors and actresses including: Peter O’Toole, Christopher Walken, Nicolas Cage, Chris Cooper, Alan Arkin, John Malkovich, Matt Dillon, Sylvester Stallone, Chazz Palmintieri, David Strathairn, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Diane Lane, Lea Thompson, Gina Gershon, Rosanna Arquette, Rebecca De Mornay, Virginia Madsen and so many more.
Working in films such as; The Black Stallion Returns, Baby It’s You,Rumblefish, Oscar, City of Hope and Alive, Vincent was exposed to many very gifted filmmakers. As a young actor, these mentors encouraged him behind the scenes with his filmmaking aspirations and imaginative free-flowing story ideas. His passion for filmmaking and screenwriting dates back to when he was a teenager and it influences his current work as a writer and director.
Vincent’s most ambitious short film to date, Bet Runner - shot in multiple locations with dual Panavision HD cameras and utilizing extensive Steadicam footage, including a lively City of Commerce Casino - encompasses more than twenty speaking roles and features stand-out performances and digitally composited effects. Spano directed In The Groove, a popular episode of HBO’s Tales from the Crypt, which was shot in only four days. He also directed, edited and produced the short, Tony & Bobby -- which won Best Short at The Los Angeles Italian Film Awards Festival-- and co-directed, High Expectations. Both films premiered at the annual Filmmaker’s Alliance DGA Event honoring Wim Wenders and were also selected for the LA International Short Film Festival.
Spano is continuing to develop feature film projects which he will direct/produce and some of which he has written and will also act in. He has also launched a voice-over career and has been enjoying working in Italy on a couple of award-winning mini-series. By consistently and overwhelmingly winning their time slots on Italian TV, the series’ have provided Vincent with a loyal following in Italy and Europe. Currently, Vincent is finalizing a feature film he has written and plans to direct and star in. He is busy prepping the project and securing a terrific cast. There are also a couple of potential acting projects over in Italy he is set to star in, based on his availability.
Vincent Spano has won several awards for his work over the years including The Motion Picture Bookers “Star of Tomorrow” while he was still a teenager. He was nominated as Best Actor for Cable’s ACE Award for his role as “baby mafia” economic powerhouse Marc Ciuni in Showtime's Blood Ties. Spano was one of the youngest honorees at the Lake Arrowhead film festival, joining the ranks other noted honorees including; Joe Mantegna, Keith Carradine, Chris McDonald, Beau Bridges, Kirk Douglas, Richard Chamberlain, Charlton Heston and Gena Rowlands. He continues to be recognized in Italy receiving multiple awards alongside great actors like Giancarlo Giannini, Joe Pesci, F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel and Paul Sorvino.
When an eclectic group of terrorists plot to attack the U.S. from within, it's up to a quasi-military special investigative unit to identify, infiltrate and neutralize the threat.