You may know him as a guy who frequently appears in Adam Sandler’s movies. But did you know that Peter Dante has a prominent career on his own? Why does the name of his wife sound so familiar, despite her not being a Hollywood celebrity?
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Early life and Family
Peter Francis Dante was born on 16 December 1968, in West Hartford, Connecticut USA. Nothing is disclosed about his parents, possible siblings or his early years, except that he attended a local high school, and several years after matriculating attended for a post-graduate year at the Fork Union Military Academy, an all-male college preparatory boarding school that is located in Fork Union, Virginia US.
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While there, he played football and lacrosse. Later, he enrolled at Hofstra University, a private university located in Hempstead, New York US, in which he perfected his lacrosse skills; he later became an assistant coach for Loyola Marymount University’s team for the 2011 season. He also coached other club teams that made it to various state championships, such as the Riptide lacrosse team.
TV and Feature Film Career
Dante made his acting debut in 1995, when he made guest appearances in two TV series, “The Jeff Foxworthy Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show”.
Three years later in 1998, he landed a minor role in the comedy film “The Wedding Singer”, alongside Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, the first of many movies tin which he would act alongside Sandler. In fact, that very same year he and Sandler both appeared in another comedy film, “The Waterboy”, in which Dante portrayed Gee Grenouille.
In 1999, Dante appeared in “Matters of Consequence”, as well as in Dennis Dugan’s comedy film “Big Daddy”, opposite Sandler, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, and Jon Stewart. The following year, Dante landed the role of Peter in the comedy film “Little Nicky”, and in 2002 portrayed Murph in “Mr. Deeds”, opposite Winona Ryder, Sandler and John Turturro.
That same year he landed his first voice acting role, as he provided the voice of Foot Locker Guy in Seth Kearsley’s animated comedy film “Eight Crazy Nights”.
Dante portrayed several characters in 2003, actually himself in a cameo in “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star”, opposite David Spade, Alyssa Milano and Mary McCormack, and Officer J. J. Hill in “Stuck on You”, starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear and Eva Mendes. In 2004 he made a brief appearance as the Security Guard in the famous romantic comedy film “50 First Dates”, and in 2006 he was in Nicholaus Goossen’s feature film “Grandma’s Boy”, in which he – apparently coincidentally – portrayed a character named Dante, but which he also produced.
In 2007, Dante portrayed Tony Paroni in “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry”, a comedy film about two firefighters (portrayed by Sandler and Kevin James) pretending to be a gay couple so they could receive domestic partner benefits. He also made a guest appearance in the TV series “The King of Queens”.
In 2008, he appeared in “Strange Wilderness” and in “The Wife and Times of Teddy Berman”. In 2010, he starred as Dinger in the comedy film “Costa Rican Summer”, joined by Pamela Anderson and Brock Kelly.
Dante appeared in several titles from 2011, such as “Hust Go with It”, “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star”, “Pretend Time” and “Jack and Jill”.
In 2012, he portrayed Dante Spirou in the comedy film “That’s My Boy”, and the following year he appeared in “Grown Ups 2”, alongside Sandler, Kevin James, and Chris Rock.
Dante then went on hiatus from acting until 2017, when he made a guest appearance in the TV series “Typical Rick”. As of June 2020, he only had a few support roles in TV series, including “Sugar and Toys” and “The Dab Roast”. He is announced to appear in several yet unreleased films, including “The Pizza Joint”, “Road to Wherever” and “Paper Bullets”.
Other Career Endeavors
Apart from being known as an actor, Dante is also a musician, writer and producer.
He is a member of the music group called Rad Omen, together with DJ Troublemaker, Dirt Nasty, Benji Madden and Steven Laing. He released his debut album in 2011, which he called “Peace, Love and Freedom”. One of his recording colleagues is his fellow actor and friend, Adam Sandler.
Dante keeps most of his personal life private. He married movie producer Cynthia Pett-Dante – details of their relationship haven’t been disclosed, but they have a son Jake together. Rumours of their divorce are apparently correct, as Cynthia filed papers in 2010. Cynthia is known for producing movies and series such as “Mean Machine” and “Sorry for Your Loss”. She is also a manager of the famous actor Brad Pitt.
Dante and Adam Sendler met by a coincidence, when Sandler showed up with Garry Shandling, who was Dante’s colleague at the time, at a local basketball game that they played in the neighborhood. After realizing they come from the same area, Sandler asked Dante to play a one-on-one game, and the two remained best friends ever since.
Throughout his career, Dante has had several legal issues. In 2008, he asked for a restraining order against the husband of a woman he allegedly spoke to in a flirtatious manner. He stated that the man threatened to ‘cut his genitals off and shove them down his throat’.
In 2018, Dante and Cynthia, were sued by actress Megan Fox, claiming that the Malibu house she bought from the couple for $3.2 million had serious undisclosed issues, and demanding $5 million in damages.
Despite mostly portraying minor roles, Peter Dante has a net worth that is estimated at around $10 million! Most of his fortune, though, is earned through his divorce from Cynthia Pett-Dante. The movie that he produced, “Grandma’s Boy”, earned over $7 million at the box office, but generated more than $30 million in DVD sales!
Peter Dante has dark hair and brown eyes. He is 5ft 11ins (1.80m) tall and weighs around 176lbs (80kgs). He has an athletic body build, and is considered to be handsome by many.