Archive | 1:00 pm

The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Enrico Colantoni

21 Dec

(The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame is where we turn the spotlight on a television actor or actress, and it is named after their patron saint, Zeljko Ivanek)

For one reason or another, Canadians seem to be regulars in this section and Colantoni is another.  Born in Toronto in 1963, his first two roles were in 1987 in single episodes of Canadian series Night Heat and Friday the 13th.  After that, there was a seven year gap before he worked again.  In 1994, he appeared in an episode of Law & Order, an episode of New York Undercover, and two episodes of NYPD Blue.  He then got a break as a main cast member of two season NBC sitcom Hope and Gloria.  Hope and Gloria are two Pittsburgh friends played by Jessica Lundy and Cynthia Stevenson who work as TV talk show producer and a hairdresser respectively.  Alan Thicke and Taylor Negron also co-star.  Colantoni plays Gloria’s ex-husband Louis.

In 1997, he got one of his two biggest roles to date, as photographer Elliot DiMauro on NBC seven season sitcom Just Shoot Me!  DiMauro frequently dates models and finds out that fellow main character Nina was once the driver in a hit and run that ended an engagement of his.  He has a brother played by David Cross.  He dated main character Maya for some time, and the two were briefly engaged.  While Just Shoot Me aired, he appeared in the late ‘90s with TV movies Cloned and The Member of the Wedding and in an episode of Life’s Work.

He began the next decade with episodes of 3rd Rock From the Sun and The Outer Limits and by playing Elia Kazan in TV movie James Dean.  He was in TV movie Expert Witness, the pilot episode of Whoopi and had a voice role in two episodes of Justice League.  He was in episodes of Stargate SG-1, Century City, Monk, and in two of Kim Possible.

In 2004, he got the second of his two biggest roles.  He starred in all three seasons of Veronica Mars, as Keith Mars, protective father, former sheriff and private investigator.  Keith was one of only two characters, along with Veronica, to appear in every episode of the show.  Keith’s suspicions that Lily Kane’s father was responsible for her murder led to him being recalled from his sheriff position and to his daughter be exiled from her circle of friends.  He runs for sheriff twice in the show, early in the second season, when he loses, and at the end of the third season, for which the outcome is never learned.  Keith briefly dated a married client, portrayed by his former Just Shoot Me! co-star Laura San Giacomo.

After Veronica Mars, he appeared in episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Numb3rs, and Brothers & Sisters.  He was in Canadian miniseries ZOS: Zone of Separation, about the enforcement of a UN ceasefire in a southeastern Europe town.  He has appeared for four seasons in Canadian police drama Flashpoint, which airs in the US on Ion, as Sergeant Greg Parker.  He is the leader of the Strategic Response Unit, which is his life, and his specialty is as a crisis negotiator.

He guest starred in Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas’ second series Party Down.  He was in an episode of Bones, and portrayed J. Edgar Hoover in the miniseries The Kennedys with Greg Kinnear and Kaite Holmes.  Most recently, he appeared in two episodes of Person of Interest, and it seems likely he’ll appear in more as killer evil crime boss Elias.  He has many members of the NYPD in his pocket and initially hid, pretending to be a high school teacher in Brooklyn.

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