Chazz Palminteri Honored by New York State Senate

Joseph E. Robach

June 16, 2011

Recently, I had the opportunity to congratulate Chazz Palminteri for his commitment to preserving Italian American heritage. The New York State adopted a resolution earlier this month to honor Chazz at the Italian-American Day Celebration.

LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION honoring Chazz Palminteri for his commitment to

preserving Italian American heritage

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to pay tribute to

those individuals of true purpose and worthy accomplishment that provide

opportunities to celebrate their rich ethnic flavor and which strive to

preserve their cultural heritage; and

WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long

standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to honor

Chazz Palminteri for his commitment to preserving Italian American

heritage to be observed at the Italian-American Day Celebration, in

Albany, New York, on Monday, June 6, 2011; and

WHEREAS, Born on May 15, 1952, in the Bronx, New York, Calogero Loren

zo Palminteri, known as Chazz, grew up in a rough neighborhood which

taught him vital life lessons that would later prove very useful in

pursuing his passion and lifework; and

WHEREAS, After graduating from Theodore Roosevelt High School, Chazz

Palminteri went on to foster his craft, of writing, acting, and direct

ing, and in 1973, studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio; and

WHEREAS, Due to the negative stereotypes of the wise guys and hoodlums

of the Italian-American community, Chazz Palminteri, through his dedi

cation and hard work, has attempted to shed light on the accomplishments

of his true hero, the working man, the glue that holds together all the

Italian American communities throughout the country; and

WHEREAS, Chazz Palminteri has been a natural choice to continue the

Italianate torch in film, bringing true grit, muscle, and an evocative

realism to the sidewalks of his New York neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, Well known for "A Bronx Tale", Chazz Palminteri originally

wrote the semi-autobiographical script for the stage, and in 1988,

performed the masterpiece as a one-man show in Los Angeles, in which he

played 18 different roles, before moving the production to New York;

this outstanding performance earned him nominations for the New York

Outer Critics Circle, for both acting and writing; and

WHEREAS, While in New York Chazz Palminteri completed the screenplay

of "A Bronx Tale", and in 1993, found himself starring opposite Robert

DeNiro in the film, who chose the script for his directorial debut; and

WHEREAS, Extremely talented and multifaceted, Chazz Palminteri has

given acclaimed performances in film, television, and on stage, portray

ing both dramatic and comedic roles; he has also voiced characters in

various animated films, and has written as well as directed, while

always remaining true to his proud Italian American Heritage; and

WHEREAS, The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, Chazz Palmin

teri received the 1996 Leadership in Entertainment Award from the Coali

tion of Italo-American Associations, Inc., and was honored by President

Clinton with a Special Achievement Award for the Performing Arts from

the National Italian American Foundation in Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, Chazz Palminteri earned high praise and an Academy Award

nomination for his performance in "Bullets Over Broadway", in which he

portrayed a gangster with unexpected dramaturgical gifts; this earned

him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor, as well as

nominations for a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an American Comedy

Award; and

WHEREAS, In addition, Chazz Palminteri is the National Spokesperson

for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, leading the fight in finding a cure

for Thalassemia; and

WHEREAS, With him throughout have been his wife, Gianna, and their two

children, Dante Lorenzo and Gabriella Rose, all of whom feel privileged

to be part of his life and rejoice in his achievements; and

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body, in keeping with its

time-honored traditions, to recognize and pay tribute to those individ

uals who foster ethnic pride and enhance the profile of cultural diver

sity which strengthens the fabric of the communities of New York State;

now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to

honor Chazz Palminteri for his commitment to preserving Italian American

heritage; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran

smitted to Chazz Palminteri.