Childhood & Early Life
Giovanni Ribisi was born on 17th December, 1974 in Los Angeles, California in a family working in the entertainment industry. Ribisi has Italian, English, and German ancestry.
His father, Albert Anthony Ribisi is a musician and mother, Gay (Landrum) Ribisi is closely associated with films as a photographer, producer and talent manager for actors and writers. Ribisi’s twin sister, Marissa is 15 minutes younger than him. He has another younger sister named Gina.
Ribisi was passionate about acting as a child and went for auditions when he was 9 years old. His natural talent fetched him several roles in 1990’s in television series.
He studied acting at ‘The Beverly Hills Playhouse’ acting school founded by Milton Katselas.
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In 1985, Giovanni Ribisi began his acting career with ‘Highway to Heaven’ and continued working for television in ‘The New Leave It to Beaver’, ‘Married with Children’ and ‘My Two Dads’.
During 1990’s he played the role of Jeff, friend of Fred Savage in ‘The Wonder Years’ and Frank Jr, brother of Lisa Kudrow in ‘Friends’ which took his career to the next level.
Now Ribisi wanted to take a leap into films. He made this transition from television to movies by beginning with small roles in ‘The Outpost ‘and ‘The Grave’. Association with famous directors led him to some significant but small roles.
In 1996, he was seen in ‘That Thing You Do!’ and Richard Linklater's ‘SubUrbia’. The following year he was cast in David Lynch's ‘Lost Highway’.
‘Saving Private Ryan’, directed by Steven Spielberg, brought complete transformation to Ribisi’s career. The movie, released in 1998, portrayed him as a doctor during World War II. His breathtaking performance in this movie changed the way the world looked at him and he soon became a well-known name in Hollywood.
Ribisi was thereafter seen in several versatile roles as stockbroker, car thief, celebrity photographer and a remote resident during Civil War in ‘Boiler Room’, ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’, ‘Lost in Translation’ (2003) and ‘Cold Mountain’ respectively.
In 2004, Ribisi was cast as the airplane mechanic Dexter "Dex" Dearborn, in the adventure film on science-fiction, ‘Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow’.
Apart from television and films, Giovanni Ribisi has also appeared in music videos. He appeared in the song ‘Crystal Ball’ by Keanein 2006 and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's ‘Talk About the Blues’.
His journey of movies continued with portrayal of challenging characters in 2009 as a gangster from 1930s in ‘Public Enemies’, an internet entrepreneur in ‘Middle Men’ and as Parker Selfridge, a corporate administrator in ‘Avatar’.
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Ribisi studied computer graphics and later started ‘Stereo D’, a company which primarily converts 2D films into stereoscopic 3D films. The company did some work for ‘Avatar’ and further worked for films such as 'Titanic 3D', 'Jurassic Park 3D', 'Marvel's The Avengers', 'Star Trek Into Darkness', and 'Pacific Rim'.
In the next few years, Ribisi captivated his audiences with his performances in some notable movies of the time. ‘The Rum Diary’ in 2011 showed Ribisi as an alcohol and drug addict.
‘Ted’ was a comedy featuring Ribisi in 2012 whose sequel ‘Ted 2’ was released in 2015. The action thriller ‘Contraband’ also came around the same time.
In 2013 ‘Gangster Squad’, a crime drama, was released featuring Risibi as Conway Keeler.
The movie ‘Selma’, released in 2015, was a drama revolving around a story about civil rights. It was nominated for the Oscars. Again in 2015, Ribisi played the role of Ed Myers in 'Papa Hemingway in Cuba’, inspired from Denne Bart Petitclerc, a newspaper reporter.
His ‘The Bad Batch’ released in 2016 and featured him as ‘Bobby’. He has also directed a music video ‘Siberian Nights’, by ‘The Kills’ the same year.
The Amazon series ‘Sneaky Pete’ premiered on 13th January 2017, featuring Ribisi as Pete. The series was chosen by Amazon to telecast ten episodes.
Awards & Achievements
Giovanni Ribisi has gained reputation for his work in television and films worldwide. He has been nominated under many categories and also received several awards.
He had been nominated for the ‘Young Artist Award’ owing to his performances in ‘Highway to Heaven’ (1984), ‘My Two Dads’ (1987), ‘The Wonder Years’ (1988) and ‘Promised a Miracle’ (1988).
‘Saving Private Ryan’ made Ribisi the winner of the ‘Sho West Newcomer of the Year Award’ in 1999 and the ‘OFCS Award’. The movie was also nominated for the ‘Oscars’ and gained Ribisi nominations in many prestigious awards such as the ‘Screen Actors Guild Awards’.
Ribisi’s work in ‘The Gift’ was nominated in 2001 at the ‘Independent Spirit Award’ and the ‘Saturn Award’ for best supporting actor.
The character ‘Ralph’ in ‘My Name Is Earl’, earned an Emmy Award nomination for his performance in 2007.
Personal Life & Legacy
Ribisi married actress Mariah O'Brien on 18th March, 1997 but the marriage was dissolved on 3rd November 2001. They became parents of a daughter, Lucia in December 1997.
On 15th June 2012, Ribisi married the English model, Agyness Deyn but they announced their divorce in 2015.
Ribisi is an active Scientologist and was a part of the opening of ‘Scientology's Psychiatry: An Industry of Death’ museum held in December 2005.