Quick Facts

  • FULL NAME: Mitchell Craig Pileggi
  • BIRTHDATE: 05 April 1952
  • BIRTHPLACE: Portland, Oregon; United States of America
  • BIRTH SIGN: Aires – The Ram
  • CULTURAL BACKGROUND: Italian-American
  • HEIGHT: 6’2″
  • HAIR: Dark Brown (before it began to become that gorgeous bald pate).
  • EYES: Bronzed Brown
  • FATHER: Vito J. Pileggi, a defense contractor for the Department of Defense (Deceased)
  • MOTHER: Maxine A. Pileggi, a homemaker
  • SIBLINGS: Sister: Judi Pileggi Ward (Deceased)
    Brother: Nicholas Pileggi (not the playwright or author)
  • SPOUSE(S):
  • CHILDREN: Sawyer Scout Pileggi (Born: 24 May 1998)
  • EDUCATION: George C. Marshall Regional High School (Ankara, Turkey), Fullerton College, Fullerton, California
    University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, business
  • FORMER JOBS: Carpenter, Defense Contrator for the United States Department of Defence, cab driver, bookkeepr, janitor.
  • FAVOURITE AUTHORS: Anne Rice, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, James Steinbeck, Ernest Hemmingway, Larry McMurtry, Jack Kerouac, and many more.
  • FAVOURITE SINGERS: Jim Croce, Neil Young, Buddy Holly, and Elvis Presley.
  • FAVOURITE THINGS: Rollerblading, horseback riding, guitar playing, working out.
  • AWARDS:
    • Method Fest: WON Best Ensemble Cast Man in the Chair
    • Screen Actor’s Guild Awards: NOMINATED 1999 Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Drama Series The X-Files
    • Screen Actor’s Guild Awards: NOMINATED 1998 Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Drama Series The X-Files
    • Screen Actor’s Guild Awards: NOMINATED 1997 Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Drama Series The X-Files

MISCELLANEOUS FACTOIDS:

  • Studied under Helen Hunt’s father, Gordon Hunt.

Milestones

  • 1962 At age ten, moved with family to Ankara, Turkey for four years (dates approximate)
  • Was a high school athlete, concentrating on wrestling and football.
  • 1978 Hired to work as a housing accounting specialist for a defense contractor in Iran; moved there with his wife Debbie Andrews (date approximate)
  • 1980 Returned to US during the Iranian revolution; settled with wife in Austin, TX (date approximate)
  • 1983 Moved to Los Angeles after getting divorced (date approximate)
  • 1984 Feature acting debut, a small part in “On the Line/Rio Abajo”, a Spanish production about the relationship between two US border guards and a Mexican prostitute
  • 1984 TV-movie acting debut, “The Sky’s No Limit”, a CBS drama about three female astronauts
  • 1985 First TV guest shot, “The A-Team” on NBC
  • 1989 First feature lead, played mass murderer Horace Pinker in Wes Craven’s thriller “Shocker”
  • 1990 Appeared in three episodes of the hit CBS primetime soap “Dallas”
  • 1994 Joined the cast of Fox’s hit paranormal drama “The X-Files” in the recurring role of Assistant Director Skinner
  • 1995 Signed a six-year contract to appear on “The X-Files”
  • 1996 “Promoted” to a regular on “The X-Files” as of the 1996-97 season
  • 1996 Provided narration for the Fox compilation special “More Secrets of the X-Files”
  • Attended college in Munich, Germany
  • Attended junior college in California for a year
  • Born in Portland, Oregon
  • Impressed his teacher with his performance of “Maria” from “West Side Story” in high school chorus (an American school in Turkey); began playing leads in school musicals
  • Left acting after high school
  • Lived through two coups and coup attempts in Turkey
  • Resumed acting; became involved in community theater at the Zachary Scott Theatre as a bookkeeper, janitor and set builder as well as actor; productions included “The Lark”, “Lone Star” and “Bent”; played Pilate in “Jesus Christ Superstar”

Biography

Background

Italian-American actor Mitch Pileggi began his acting career in local theaters, B-movies, and as a guest star in a string of TV shows before making it big in 1994 when he was cast as FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner, the boss of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s lead characters Mulder and Scully, on Fox’s hit sci-fi drama series, “The X-Files,” in which he stayed until its finale on May 19, 2002. He would later reprise the role in the show’s feature film adaptations, “The X Files” (1998) and the upcoming “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” (2008).

Pileggi also played billionaire Richard Clayton on the WB action/drama series “Tarzan” (2003), land developer Colin Dowling on the WB drama series “The Mountain” (2004-2005), detective Armen D. Spivak on the ABC action series “Day Break” (2006), and provided the voice of Commissioner Gordon (2005-2007) on Kids’ WB Emmy Award-winning animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero, “The Batman.” He now plays USAF Colonel Steven Caldwell on the Sci-Fi Channel series “Stargate Atlantis.”

On the big screen, the actor appeared in the high-school comedy film “Three O’Clock High” (1987), the action thriller “Death Wish 4: The Crackdown” (1987; starring Charles Bronson), and the horror “Return of the Living Dead Part II” (1988) before landing his breakout film role as serial killer Horace Pinker in Wes Craven’s cult classic horror/thriller, “Shocker” (1989). He has since added to his resume roles in the films “Basic Instinct” (1992), “It’s Pat” (1994), “Gun Shy” (2000) and “Man in the Chair” (2007). Next, he will star in a film written and directed by Peter Coggan, “Woodshop.”

Childhood

Son to Italian-American parents Maxine Pileggi, a homemaker, and Vito Pileggi, who worked for a defense contractor, Mitchell Craig Pileggi was born on April 5, 1952, in Portland, Oregon. Because of his father’s occupation, his family moved frequently. Mitch lived in Oregon, California, and Texas before spending most of his adolescence in Turkey.

Pileggi attended an American high school in Turkey and was a high school athlete (wrestling and football). Upon returning to the U.S., he attended Fullerton College in California for a year. He graduated with a degree in business from the University of Texas. He also once attended college in Munich, Germany.

In the late ’70s, Pileggi, along with his brother Nick, worked in Iran until the 1979 Iranian Revolution caused them to escape to Greece. He eventually returned to U.S. in 1980 and settled in Austin, TX.

Meanwhile, on December 13, 1978, Pileggi married his first wife, Debbie Andrews. Pileggi and Andrews divorced on July 2, 1984.

In Hawaii, Pileggi married his second and present wife, Arlene Warren, whom he met on the set of “The X Files” (1993). On May 24, 1998, their first child was born, a daughter named Sawyer Pileggi.

Career

When he was a high school student in Turkey, Mitch Pileggi began acting in musical theater and impressed his teacher with his performance of the song “Maria” from “West Side Story.” He left acting after high school, but after returning to Austin from Iran, he resumed acting and became involved in the Zachary Scott Theatre as a bookkeeper, janitor and set builder. He was also an actor and appeared in the company’s productions of “The Lark,” “Lone Star,” “Bent,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” in which he played Pilate.

After divorcing his first wife, Pileggi moved to Los Angeles to further his acting career. He landed a bit part in “On the Line” (1984) and made his first appearance on television in the made-for-television movie “The Sky’s No Limit.”

Pileggi followed it up with guest spots on NBC’s series “The A-Team,” ABC’s “Hooperman” and “Ohara,” the long-running cop drama “Dragnet,” FOX’s sci-fi series “Alien Nation,” CBS’ soap opera “Falcon Crest,” and ABC’s award-winning “China Beach.” He also had a recurring role on CBS’ primetime television soap opera “Dallas” and appeared in a string of TV movies, including “Dalton: Code of Vengeance II” (1986), “U.S. Marshals: Waco & Rhinehart” (1987), and “Three on a Match” (1987).

Meanwhile, Pileggi was seen in Phil Joanou’s high-school comedy film “Three O’Clock High” (1987; starring Casey Siemaszko), J. Lee Thompson’s action thriller “Death Wish 4: The Crackdown” (1987; starring Charles Bronson), and Ken Wiederhorn’s horror film “Return of the Living Dead Part II” (1988).

He was also cast in George Bloom’s independent drama film “Brothers in Arms” (1989; with Todd Allen, Charles Grant, and Dedee Pfeiffer) before landing his first feature lead in Wes Craven’s cult classic horror/thriller “Shocker” (1989), in which he played serial killer Horace Pinker.

In the early ’90s, Pileggi guest-starred in an episode of the NBC crime drama “Mancuso, FBI,” NBC’s detective show starring Fred Dryer, “Hunter,” the sitcom starring U.S./Canadian actor Matt Frewer, “Doctor Doctor,” CBS’ western family series “Paradise,” as well as the FOX sitcoms “Drexell’s Class,” “Get a Life,” and “Roc.” He also appeared in the TV movies “Night Visions” (1990), “Knight Rider 2000” (1991), “Trouble Shooters: Trapped Beneath the Earth” (1993) and “Pointman” (1994).

On the wide screen, Pileggi co-starred with Rod Steiger and Isaac Hayes in Sam Irvin’s independent vigilante film “Guilty as Charged” (1991) and alongside Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas in Paul Verhoeven’s critically-acclaimed thriller “Basic Instinct” (1992). He also supported Julia Sweeney in Adam Bernstein’s comedy film “It’s Pat” (1994) and was cast in the Lou Diamond Phillips-directed erotic thriller, “Dangerous Touch” (1994).

Pileggi hit it big in 1994 when he joined the cast of Fox’s hit paranormal drama “The X-Files” in the recurring role of FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner, the supervisor of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s lead characters Mulder and Scully. In 1995, Pileggi signed a six-year deal to appear on the show before eventually being picked as a regular in the 1996-1997 seasons. He stayed on the long-running show until its finale on May 19, 2002, and collected three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series that he shared with the show’s cast members. He also reprised his role in the show’s film version that was released in 1998.

During his lengthy stint on “The X-Files,” Pileggi also guest-starred in such TV series as “Pointman,” “Models Inc.,” “Players,” “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “That ’70s Show,” “ER,” “Batman Beyond,” and “The Lone Gunmen,” as well as starred in the TV movies “Raven Hawk” (1996) and “Legion of Fire: Killer Ants!” (1998). He also had an unaccredited role in Wes Craven’s horror/comedy film starring Eddie Murphy and Angela Bassett, “Vampire in Brooklyn” (1995), and was cast alongside Sandra Bullock, Liam Neeson, and Oliver Platt in Eric Blakeney’s crime/comedy movie “Gun Shy” (2000).

After “The X-Files” ended in 2002, Pileggi hosted the Sci-Fi Channel short-lived revival of the syndicated documentary series, “In Search of…” (2002), and co-starred as billionaire Richard Clayton on the WB action/drama series “Tarzan” (2003). He also played land developer Colin Dowling on the WB drama series “The Mountain” (2004-2005) and had a recurring role as D.E.A. Agent Hammond (2003-2005) on the NBC cop drama series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Pileggi next played Armen D. Spivak on the ABC series “Day Break” (2006) and provided the voice of Commissioner Gordon (2005-2007) on the Kids’ WB Emmy Award-winning animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero, “The Batman.” He now plays USAF Colonel Steven Caldwell on the Sci Fi Channel series “Stargate Atlantis.”

Pileggi was also spotted as a guest in an episode of the WB drama series loosely based on the DC Comics series, “Birds of Prey,” ABC’s drama starring Tim Daly, “Eyes,” NBC’s political drama “The West Wing,” FX Networks’ Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama series “Nip/Tuck,” CBS’ cop-crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS’ police procedural drama “Cold Case,” ABC’s Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning primetime medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC’s Golden Globe, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning legal drama comedy “Boston Legal,” and the CW comedy-drama “Reaper.”

He also appeared in the made-for-television movies “1st to Die” (2003), with Tracy Pollan, Gil Bellows, Carly Pope, Megan Gallagher, and Angie Everhart, and “Recount” (2008), starring Kevin Spacey. As for his film work, Pileggi won a Best Ensemble Cast award at the Method Fest for co-starring with Christopher Plummer, Michael Angarano, M. Emmet Walsh, and Robert Wagner in writer/director Michael Schroeder’s award-winning independent drama film, “Man in the Chair” (2007).

Pileggi revisited his “X-Files” role in the second feature film based on the popular sci-fi series, “The X-Files: I Want to Believe,” which was released on July 25, 2008, in North America. He completed filming “Woodshop,” a comedic drama written and directed by Peter Coggan. Pileggi began a recurring role in the FX channel’s revolutionary biker drama series “Sons of Anarchy” as the tattooed leader of the NORDS, Ernest Darby. Recently it was announced that Mitch would reprise his role of Samuel Campbell in the CW series “Supernatural” in a recurring status. In 2012 Mitch is scheduled to join the cast of the DALLAS reboot in the role of Harris Ryland.

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