Known to millions for his occasional role on NBC's Friends as Lisa Kudrow's slow-witted brother, Ribisi first appeared on television a little over a decade ago as Vonni Ribisi on shows such as My Two Dads, Married...with Children, and The Wonder Years. But it wasn't until his role on Friends that people began to take notice, and by then Ribisi had already taken on roles in films such as Tom Hanks' That Thing You Do!, David Lynch's Lost Highway, and Richard Linklater's Suburbia.
Though all of these parts amounted to either small roles in big films or big roles in small films, Ribisi still managed to land a crucial part in what would become his breakout film, Steven Spielberg's World War II epic blockbuster, Saving Private Ryan. As the haunting, tragic P/T Medic Wade Ribisi left an indelible impression on audiences and critics. The role was a standout from the ensemble and justly catapulted this young actor to the top of the heap of his generation.
He followed up Saving Private Ryan with a leading role opposite Juliette Lewis in The Other Sister as a mentally impaired young man who falls in love with a like-minded young lady. The film did mild business and was largely panned by critics, but nonetheless, the film gave Ribisi a chance to display his considerable talent and range. And shortly thereafter, Ribisi shifted gears once again to co-star with Omar Epps and Claire Danes in Scott Silver's The Mod Squad, a youthful, hip '90s version of the '70s television show in which a trio of juvenile delinquents are given a second chance at rehabilitation by helping the police force. Ribisi played Pete Cochran and delivered yet another memorable performance that furthered his reputation as a versatile young actor.With his basset hound eyes and lost soul persona, Ribisi manages to create unforgettable characters that consistently show that he is not merely the "next big thing," but a truly, potentially bankable talent worth every bit of his hype and more.
Giovanni Ribisi (aka Antonio Giovanni Ribisi,Vonnie,Vonni, Vanni)
Date: December 17th, 1974 8:15pm
Height 5' 7.5" (1.71 m)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Nationality: italian, irish and german
Occupation: Actor, Musician
Claim to Fame:
1996-: Had recurring role of Frank Junior, the goofy half-brother of Lisa Kudrow's Phoebe, on the hit NBC sitcom Friends
ex Wife: Mariah O'Brien, actress; born 1971
Sisters: Marissa, screenwriter, actor and Gina, actress; younger
Daughter: Lucia, born 1997 (named after Donizetti's opera "Lucia Di Lammermoor")
Parents:Gay Landrum Ribisi, age 32 at time of Giovanni's birth (mother) and Albert A. Ribisi, age 25 at time of Giovanni's birth (father)
2002: Golden Arena Pula Film Festival - Best Actor - Foreign Film: Heaven
1999: ShoWest Newcomer of the Year Award (Male Star of tomorrow)
1999: Online Film Critics Society Awards - Best Ensemble Cast Performance for: Saving Private Ryan
2007 Emmy - Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: "My Name Is Earl"
2005 Saturn Award - Best Supporting Actor: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
2002 AFI TV Award Actor of the Year Movie/Mini-Series: Shot in the Heart
2001 - Saturn Award - Best Supporting Actor: The Gift
2001 - Independent Spirit Award - Best Supporting Male: The Gift
2000 - Teen Choice Award - Film - Choice Liar: Boiler Room
1999 - Teen Choice Award - Film - Choice Actor
1999 - SAG Award - Outstanding Performance by a Cast - shared with the cast of "Saving Private Ryan"
Young Artist Awards Nominations
1993 - Best Young Actor Recurring in a Television Series for: "Wonder Years, The" (1988)
1990 - Best Young Actor Starring in a Television Series for: "My Two Dads" (1987)
1989 - Best Young Actor in a Special, Pilot, Movie of the Week or Mini-series for: Promised a Miracle (1988) (TV)
1989 - Best Young Actor, Featured, Co-starring, Supporting, Recurring Role in a Comedy or Drama Series or Special for: "My Two Dads" (1987)
1986 - Best Young Actor - Guest in a Television Series for: "Highway to Heaven" (1984) - For episode "Song for Jason".
"For me, acting is all about the aesthetic. I just want to keep honing my craft. Not that I'm taking myself too seriously, but every artist should consider himself Picasso. Otherwise, you're doing yourself an injustice." --Biography Magazine, September 1998
"They're going to darken my teeth, and I'm going to get fake cold sores put all around my lips," he said enthusiastically. "I can't wait." - Vonni on THE GIFT, If Magazine Jan 27,2000
Ribisi is a Scientologist
He made guest appearances on "The Tracey Ullman Show".
Giovanni admires Marlon Brando: "Marlon Brando is the only true reason to become an actor."
Vonni was voted one of the sizzlin sixteen of 1998 by E!online
Studied acting at The Beverly Hills Playhouse with Milton Katselas
When he was a child, his family had a pet dachshund named Low-Rider.