From an Ivy League school, to the NFL, to Wall Street, to Hollywood, Cris D’Annunzio has played almost as many roles in real life as he’s played on the stage and screen. Born in New York and raised in western Pennsylvania, Cris D'Annunzio had a traditional East Coast upbringing, living with his family and Italian immigrant grandparents. While playing football for Princeton University, D’Annunzio caught the acting bug while working as the stage manager for the symphony orchestra at Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York. By a stroke of chance, he was quickly discovered by the John Houseman Acting Company and soon appeared in their 1930s mobster play, Vaudevillian written and directed by Charles Newell, current Artistic Director of the Court Theatre in Chicago. Although the experience was short-lived, Cris never forgot the thrill of performing and acting has remained his passion throughout his career.
As a renowned character actor, Cris has lead a flourishing on-screen career appearing on some of TV’s most popular shows including The Office, Law & Order, Without A Trace, The District, Mad About You and Saturday Night Live. On the big screen, Cris landed roles in the crime-drama blockbuster American Gangster alongside Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, the Beatles-inspired musical Across the Universe, the sci-fi sequel Alien: Resurrection and the action-thriller Target. Cris starred in the acclaimed short film Clemency, which showed at the 2010 Sundance Festival and won several awards, including a best actor for D’Annunzio at Naperville International Film Festival.
With his extensive background in finance and entertainment, Cris has now expanded his talents into writing and producing. He recently co-wrote the screenplay for the 2008 Ray Liotta film Chasing 3000, which follows the real-life story of two brothers driving across country to see Baseball Hall-of-Famer Roberto Clemente get his 3,000 hit with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In addition to writing the screenplay, he also co-starred in the project. In February 2010, Cris debuted his one-man play Digging up Dad to rave reviews at the Ruskin Group Theater in Santa Monica, CA. The autobiographical play revolves around Cris coming to terms with his childhood and his relationship with his mafia-connected, alcoholic father. His company, Piccola Tazza Productions, currently has several projects in various stages of development.
When not acting or writing, Cris is an avid fan of the New York Mets and the English Premiere League's Tottenham Hotspur.