As an actor Joe Cortese has achieved success in film, television and theatre. Joe recently starred in director Abel Ferrara’s “GoGo Tales” with Willem De Foe and Bob Hoskins, which had its World Premiere at The Cannes Film Festival and its American Premiere at the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Joe won the Best Actor award for 2006 at The New York Hip Hop film festival for his starring role in the comedy, “Shut Up and Shoot”. In 2005 Joe starred in Paramount's "Against the Ropes” with Meg Ryan, Tony Shalhoub and Charles Dutton, as well as "You Got Nothin’" for director Phillip Angelotti. Cortese also garnered considerable attention for his role in "Raving Mad" which is now headed for the festival circuit. Other outstanding performances include starring roles in "Lucky Town" with James Caan and Kirsten Dunst, "The Shipment" with Matthew Modine and Elizabeth Berkley, and "American History X" with Edward Norton. Joe received rave reviews in Paramount's "Malevolence" where he played "Billy Bob Jones": a character loosely based on James Earl Ray. He also received kudos for his role as Johnny Roselli in HBO's critically acclaimed movie, "The Rat Pack".
Some of Joe's theatre credits include Arthur Miller's "The Crucible", Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" and Luigi Pirandello’s "Che Che" and "The Man with the Flower in his Mouth". He was last seen on stage in Sam Shepard's "True West". Joe was also one of the founding members of the MET Theatre in Los Angeles, where he produced “A Night with Robert Duvall" as well as the original play "Cody Angelino's Coming", in which he also starred. Joe also appeared in numerous TV shows, including "The C.A.T. Squad", "Something's Out There" (NBC), "Exclusive" (ABC), "Assault and Matrimony" (NBC), "Just Life" (ABC), "Letting' GO" (ABC), "Born to Run" (FOX), "If Tomorrow Comes" (CBS), Jackie Collins' "Lady Boss" (NBC), "He Wants Her Back" (PBS), and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.
Joe has written and sold three screenplays, the most recent being ‘Charlie Lucky’ which goes into pre-production this Fall. The two other screenplays are ‘The Bridge’ and ‘High Caliber’, both are in development and slated to go into production in 2010.