Enrico Colantoni Main Page
Enrico Colantoni Biography Part II
While continuing his New York stage work, Colantoni began garnering television roles as well.
Law and Order (lÔ and Ôr’der) n. One of a growing number of television programs filmed in New York so that a few struggling stage actors can eat upon occasion, on which Enrico Colantoni made his first post-Yale small screen appearance. Unless you count A Current Affair (featuring a John Belushi dramatic re-creation, of which I can find no definite verification. I can only speculate that if he did it, he didn’t play Belushi.) Likewise, a dramatic re-creation on Top Cops or an unverified appearance on Another World, may pre-date the February 1994 Law and Order episode.
Season 4 Episode 69026R
CENSURE  10/9pm 2/02/94

JUDGE & JURY - Detectives help thwart a blackmail attempt and find that a respected judge is to blame. Later in the investiagtion, ADA Kincaid (Jill Hennessy) is accused of trumping up charges against the judge in retaliation for him rejecting her sexual advances when she served as his clerk -- an accusation which results in a Censure for Kincaid. Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) and Enrico Colantoni (Just Shoot Me) guest star.

Younger Rico

His next major television part would prove to be a turning point in Rico’s life and career.

He auditioned for the producers of NYPD Blue in 1994 and was impressive enough for them to devise a character especially for him.  "I got to play Peter Boyle's schizophrenic son. It took two episodes, but I finally killed him," Colantoni says.

Peter Boyle

"My favorite [role] is my character from NYPD Blue,” he said in 1999. “The drama comes easier to me, because I'm already a dark and brooding guy.”

The actors with whom he worked there were also among his favorite performers: “Besides the people on my shows, it [his favorites] has to be Peter Boyle, Dennis Franz (from NYPD Blue), and Jonathan Pryce [Stigmata].

The 1994-95 season in which Rico appeared was the only year in which NYPD Blue won an Emmy for Best Drama Series. They also won the Emmy for Best Casting that same year. The show was also nominated in the category of Best Cinematography for Colantoni’s first episode “You Bet your Life” That particular episode was also nominated for an an ACS (American Cinematographers Society) award.

Filmed both in NY and LA, the show lured Rico to the west coast for filming.

Rico succinctly sums up his rise to celebrity status –
“Well, I studied for a lot of years and struggled for a lot of years, then I did a show called NYPD Blue. That brought me out to Los Angeles, and while I was in Los Angeles I auditioned for Hope and Gloria and they hired me."

Episode 8: "You Bet Your Life"

Simone and Sipowicz investigate the murder of a pregnant woman whose charred remains leave few clues as to her identity or that of her killer. Meanwhile, Sipowicz is deeply concerned when his friend, Dan Breen, is beaten up by Breen's mentally disturbed son, Danny.

Episode 9: "Don We Now Our Gay Apparel"

With transsexual Candace La Rue as a material witness, Simone and Sipowicz investigate the murder of a gay-bar proprietor. Also, Dan Breen visits his mentally disturbed son Danny despite Sipowicz' strenuous objections.

Colantoni co-starred for two seasons on Hope & Gloria (NBC, 1995-1996) as Gloria's twice ex-husband, Louis. By some accounts, he stole the show, even though it was a genre with which he was relatively unfamiliar. “I like drama. I never really embraced comedy,” he admitted. “I always ran away from it. When I got Hope and Gloria it really, really surprised me. It's been a wonderful lesson for me because I tend not to have a lot of fun and to take everything seriously. So comedy is a wonderful gift. Comedy to me makes me have to have fun!

“I miss Louis,” he adds. “Louis was a lot of fun. Louis is more like me than Elliott.”

Hope & Gloria didn’t last long enough to gather many accolades, but the Pilot episode was nominated for a 1995 Casting Society of America award in the category of Best Casting for TV. (Let’s be honest: that HAD to be for casting Rico.)

Although short-lived, the series did lead to a small measure of renown, hockey, the North Carolina Azalea Festival, and lasting friendships for Rico. “Yes, most of them. We're still very good friends,” he says of the Hope & Gloria cast.
One of those friendships, with fellow cast member and Canadian Alan Thicke, led to a renewal of his interest in hockey. “I've played hockey since I was a kid. But I only recently picked it up again when I met Alan Thicke,” he said in 1999.They also, apparently, share an interest in Musical Theater.

Alan Thicke
guest-starred on
Just Shoot Me in the 2001-2002 Season Finale, “The Boys in the Band.”
Getting into the Thicke of it
Sitcom star and game show host joins musical Chicago

Toronto Sun
Tuesday, March 31, 1998

So let's talk musicals -- specifically, why is Alan Thicke showing up on the Princess Of Wales stage tonight as slick lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago. I mean, shouldn't he be off starring in a sitcom or hosting a game show or something?

[Rest of not so interesting… uh, I mean relevant, article deleted.]
As nonchalant as he tries to sound about it, Thicke is clearly pumped about Chicago. His wife picked up the signals – and gave him a going-away-to-Chicago party last week.

"She took me out for dinner, then she blindfolded me and said she was taking me out somewhere, and my mind raced with exotic and erotic fantasy. She drove me around in circles, it turned out she was driving me home. I walked through the door blindfolded, the music from Chicago started blaring and there were 40 people there, all in wardrobe. There was a choreographed number and my buddy Rico from Toronto -- Enrico Colantoni from Hope And Gloria, now on Just Shoot Me -- he did a song from the show.

"It was really quite spectacular, a nice little bon voyage."

A lot of stuff I've done has never been seen. – Enrico Colantoni

Maybe he means this kind of stuff… or the Azalea Festival.

Source: 1996 North Carolina Azalea Festival Website

The North Carolina Azalea Festival is pleased to announce the 1996 celebrity guests are actors Enrico Colantoni and Joseph Marcell as well as Miss North Carolina, Lisa Bamford.

Enrico Colantoni plays Louis Utz, the endearing ex-husband of Gloria, on NBC-TV's Hope & Gloria.
His television appearances include a powerful episode of NYPD Blue and guest starring roles on Law & Order, Another World, Top Cops, and the syndicated Friday the 13th among others.

Miss North Carolina Lisa Bamford, who received a standing ovation for her piano composition at last year's Azalea Princess Pageant, will return as Mistress of Ceremonies.

Lisa Bamford

It’s a pretty good bet that Rico was in North Carolina working on his TV Movie The Member of the Wedding. That or he just really likes azaleas… but then who doesn’t.

Colantoni’s film career, as well as television success, officially began in 1995 with
... an action flick re-teaming White Men Can’t Jump’s Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes and also starring a pre-Ben JLo. It goes into the category of Don’t-Blink-or-You’ll-Miss-it, as far as Rico’s role is concerned.

Possibly Uninteresting Fact #6
Some shots of the subway car in Money Train are re-used in 1999’s Stigmata, a film featuring, you guessed it, Enrico Colantoni.

His follow-up feature film, Albino Alligator (1996), doesn’t even fall into the "blink" category. Rico’s Agent #3 character appears only in shadow (but, lord knows, he has an unmistakable profile.) He’s only in the first ten minutes of the film – sorry to spoil it
– but watch the whole thing anyway, just for Joe Mantegna’s “statement” to the press and Faye Dunaway’s Razzie award-winning turn as a Cajun bar maid.

Rico also starred in the 1995 short film Bigger Fish, which made the rounds of film festivals, but may never have been seen elsewhere.

Bigger Fish (1995)

The Member of the Wedding (1997)
During this period, Colantoni is more prominently featured in two made for TV Movies: The Member of the Wedding and Cloned, both in 1997.

The Member of the Wedding (based on the Carson McCullers’ novel), in which he plays the father, received some critical acclaim. Cloned did not.

Dave Foley guest starred as Jay, the Blind Guy, in the March 2002 Just Shoot Me episode “Blind Ambition.”
Also made during this pre-Just Shoot Me era, though I hesitate to mention it, was The Wrong Guy (1997) a Fugitive parody, starring fellow Canadian and JSM guest star Dave Foley. Filmed in Toronto, it was not released until 2002 in the US, and even then went straight to video. Reviews were almost unanimously bad. Some Foley fans, however , claim that it’s “friggin’ brilliant.” With jokes like this (below), well, it’s hard to say.
Creepy Guy (Rico): Know how many assassins it took to kill JFK?

Nelson Hibbert (Dave Foley): One?

Creepy Guy (Rico): Nope. There were no gunmen at all. His head just did that.

The Wrong Guy

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All this stuff is copyright 2003-2005. Mind you, I'm not trying to infringe on anyone else's copyrights, like NYPD Blue or TIme Warner or any other powerful mega-corporations. Really.

Number of people who may have learned something new about Alan Thicke.

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