Blessed with a piercing, blue-eyed glint, brawny looks, cocky "tough guy" stance and effortless charisma, TV's Christopher Meloni has grabbed audiences' attention, male and female alike, finding breakthrough small screen stardom playing both sides of the law. Audiences first were taken in by his sexually arresting portrayal of a sociopathic killer in the gripping prison drama Oz on cable TV.
Of Italian and French-Canadian parentage, he attended St. Stephen's School and played quarterback for his high school team. Developing an interest in acting rather early in life, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder following high school graduation. He initially majored in acting but wound up earning a degree in history in Acting won out in the long run, however, and Chris relocated to New York where he studied with acting guru Sanford Meisner at the renowned Neighborhood Playhouse.
Supplementing his income during these lean years by taking advantage of his powerful physique as construction worker, bouncer, personal trainer , Meloni worked his way up the acting ladder via parts in commercials.
The series' star Delta Burke had already left the cast by the time Chris came aboard in its final season. A second sitcom arrived almost immediately with the stereotypical Italian family sitcom The Fanelli Boys featuring Chris as dim-eyed, skirt-chasing Frankie Fanelli, one of the four "dees, dem and dos" sons of Brooklynite widow Theresa Fanelli Ann Morgan Guilbert. Despite a strong, boisterous cast, the show was painfully obvious and met an early demise. True to nature, Chris gave voice and added to the fun as a cocky, mooching high school teen who knows the "how to's" of attracting pretty girl dinos in the animated prehistoric series Dinosaurs An interchangeable ability to convey both heartfelt sympathy and virile menace did not go by unnoticed.
After minor parts on the big screen with Clean Slate , Junior and 12 Monkeys , Chris drew strong notices in the featured role of gangster Johnnie Marzzone in the classic neo-noir Bound , which earned cult status for its sexually-charged lesbian sub-storyline.
Christopher's introduction to the Oz prison as bisexual psychopath Chris Keller was powerhouse casting and he drew immediate notice and critical applause into the show's second season. Unflinching in its blood-soaked presentation of life behind bars, Chris' raw animal magnetism was unparalleled on the show and his steamy, erotic couplings with another male prisoner on screen promoted him swiftly to gay icon status.
Undaunted by the possible career-damaging effects that could occur, Chris' frank acceptance and acknowledgment was admirable indeed and his outright support of human rights causes earned him high marks. Chris' sudden burst of cable notoriety earned him his own prime time NBC series.
Despite the show's reality-driven approach, Meloni and Hargitay's dynamite chemistry carried the show to a new level.
Allowing their characters' more serious flaws to surface, Meloni, in particular, managed to convey Detective Stabler's private pain and personal turmoil with a raw poignancy. Both he and Hargitay have been honored with Emmy award nominations for their work here she has won.
Occasionally appearing on stage, Chris' theater credits include "The Rainmaker" as Starbuck and "Comers" , both at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Going well over a decade's worth of service to the series that made him a household name, Meloni finally retired his TV detective in Throughout the show's run he continued to flaunt his humorous side, showing up on such parody shows as MADtv and cracking up on the various night time TV haunts.
While he has not found outright stardom on the big screen he has nominally played "other man" roles in such popular films as Runaway Bride and Nights in Rodanthe , Chris has more than proved his staying power since he left the popular series.
He also has held regular roles on the series True Blood in and Surviving Jack as well as strong cinematic parts in the Superman film Man of Steel and in Small Time Sign In. Edit Christopher Meloni. Showing all 37 items.
Chris worked as a construction worker prior to getting his acting break. He got a degree in history at the University of Colorado. Both were born by a surrogate mother. Used to work as a bouncer, a bartender, and a personal trainer before launching his acting career. His two best known characters are on opposite sides of the law.
On Oz , he played Chris Keller, a perverted bisexual, sociopathic serial killer who terrorizes his fellow inmates. Ironically, Meloni's acting background is mainly in comedy. Is often said to resemble a young Robert De Niro. Particularly early on in his career, he was often confused for actor Elias Koteas.
Epatha Merkerson , but had to back out due to an illness. Godmother of his daughter Sophia is Mariska Hargitay. He has a real tattoo of a butterfly on his upper thigh, and a cubist representation of the crucifixion of Christ tattooed on his upper left arm. Accepted the honors at his old alma mater St. Stephens and St. Agnes School in Alexandria as the undefeated football team for which he quarterbacked was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Nathan Fillion replaced him. It runs until the end of September. John Travolta encouraged him to become a pilot and he has a license to fly a jet. Meloni stated he regretted having beat Showalter at chess when he was auditioning for the film. Close friends with Mariska Hargitay. On whether or not he's sick of talking about his Oz co-star, Lee Tergesen : "Talking about Lee is like eating a big fat chocolate sundae.
I know it's bad for me, but I can't help myself. I catch myself doing it all the time, or dreaming about it. I'm trying to quit cause it's ruining my girlish figure and I can't fit into any of my clothes the way I used to I didn't get into acting to be a public service announcer or an advocate and yet, by virtue of this show and how we handle the subject matter that we've been given, that's kind of how it's evolved in certain ways. A city like New York has clashing cultures and clashing ideas and big ideas, but these sorts of things weren't being thrown in the air and bandied about where I came from.
When it's mid-February, and it's bitterly cold outside, I am really glad that I'm not working in construction anymore. Mariska has her own foundation. She helps with survivors of sexual abuse - they go swimming with wild dolphins. All aspects of life that I look around, I'm very thankful to be standing where I am.
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