Lillo Brancato Jr is an actor, perhaps best known for his role in Robert De Niro’s debut film as a director, “A Bronx Tale”. However, despite his success as an actor, Lillo’s drug addiction drove him to commit crimes for which he did time in prison. In 2013, he was released on parole and made his return onto the silver screen. Here is a look at the life of the actor Lillo Brancato.
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Early life and family
Lillo was born on the 30th August 1976, in Bogata, Colombia.
At the age of four, he was adopted by an Italian-American family from Yonkers, New York City USA – his adoptive father is Lillo Brancato Senior, and his mother is Domenica Brancato. His father worked as a construction worker, and his mother was a beautician.
He has an adoptive brother Vincent, ‘Vinny’, who was reported to have worked as a fashion model, but has since been employed as a civil servant in Yonkers. Despite being born in Colombia, Lillo has stated in an interview that he considers himself Italian because he was raised to enjoy pasta.
Lillo’s educational background is mostly limited to matriculating from high school. Lillo studied at Mount Saint Michael Academy, but hasn’t furthered his education at any later point in his life.
Lillo began his career in show business at the age of 15 in 1992 – at the time Lillo was swimming with a group of friends at Jones Beach, New York when he caught the attention of the talent scout, who was on the lookout for Robert De Niro look-alikes.
It was Lillo’s accurate impersonation of De Niro’s character ‘Travis Bickle’ in the film “Taxi Driver’ that landed him the role of De Niro’s son in his first film casting “A Bronx Tale”.
Following this success, Lillo continued to pursue a life of acting, and landed several more roles, in 1994 as Pvt Donnie Benitez in “Renaissance Man”, and in 1995 he could be seen in the film “Crimson Tide”. In the following years, he would continue in minor roles, among which the more notable titles include the 1998 film “Enemy of the State”.
Lillo made his debut on television on the set of “Dead Man’s Gun” in 1999, and the following year landed a recurring role in “The Sopranos” as Matthew Bevilaqua. He also starred in a few other shows, including “NYPD Blue”, and the short-lived crime drama “Falcone”.
As his career continued, Lillo landed several more roles in films, such as the 2001 films “Sticks” and “In The Shadows”, and in 2002 he landed the role of Larry in the film “The Adventures of Pluto Nash”. In 2004 he was cast in “Downtown: A Street Tale”, and his last appearance before his arrest in 2005 was in the film “Slingshot”
Since his return to the silver screen following his release from prison, Lillo has appeared in a couple of films, but has not returned as of yet to a career in television. He starred in the 2015 short film “The Bronx Dahmer”, as well as the 2016 film “Back In The Day”. Lillo also made an appearance in “Vamp Bikers Tres”, and in 2017 appeared in the film “Dead On Arrival”, and the short film “Man of the House”.
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Buon Compleanno @lillo_brancato born this day in 1976 in #Bogota #Colombia he was adopted by an Italian-American Family when he was 4 months old and raised Italian. He considers himself Italian having been raised by his adopted parents. He is best known for his starring role in #ABronxTale where he played #Calogero aka #C #ItalianAmericanByAdoption #ItalianAmerican #ItalianPride #ItalianCulture #HappyBirtrhday #HBD #BuonCompleanno #LilloBrancato #LilloBrancatoJr
His latest appearances include roles in the films “5th Borough” and “The Fearless Two”, both of which were released in 2020. Lillo has recently branched out to pursue a career as a producer, and has worked on the post-production of “The Fury” and “Zombie: The Motion Picture”.
Hobbies, favourite things and interesting facts
The little information out there about Lillo’s personal preferences is that he was a fan of Robert De Niro even before he starred alongside him in his debut film. Other than that, it is common knowledge that Lillo had served a ten-year sentence for burglary, in the Oneida Correctional Facility.
The incident that led to Lillo’s arrest happened on 10 December 2005 in New York, confronted by an off-duty police officer with accomplice Steven Armento, while attempting to burglarize a home in Arnow Place. It resulted in a gunfight that cost the police officer his life and left Lillo and his accomplice wounded. Steven Armento was armed and the one who opened fire on the police officer – he was charged with murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
This was not, however, Lillo’s first run-in with the police.
Earlier that same year in June, Lillo was arrested and charged with being in possession of illegal narcotics. After being pulled over by police in the Bronx, New York, initially because the car had a missing tail-light, a search of the glove compartment turned up four bags of heroin.
Past relationships in which Lillo has been involved, and that have gained public attention, were with Chanel Capra in the early nineties, then he dated the daughter of Steven Armento, Stefanie, which landed him in serious trouble. It is now suggested that he is seeing Christina Chen, and that they are making plans for marriage.
- Date of Birth: 30 August 1976
- Hair colour: Brown
- Eye colour: Brown
- Height: 5ft 7ins (1.7m)
- Weight: 169 lbs (77kgs)
- Shoe Size: Unknown
- Star Sign: Aries
- Nationality: American/Columbian
- Ethnicity: Mestizo
Due to Lillo’s criminal past, his wealth has taken a serious knock, so that his net worth is estimated at only somewhat over $1,000, as of mid-2020.