|Birthday:||April 26, 1958|
|Education:||Elizabeth Seton College in New York|
|Family & Friends|
|Family:||Giovanni Esposito (father)|
Elizabeth Foster (mother)
Shayne Lyra (daughter)
Kale Lyn (daughter)
|Relationships:||Joy McManigal (ex-wife)|
|Character:||Sidney Glass / Magic Mirror / The Genie|
|First appearance:||The Thing You Love Most|
|Last appearance:||The Song in Your Heart|
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito is an American actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Gustavo "Gus" Fring on the AMC shows Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, for which he won the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama award at the 2012 Critics' Choice Television Awards and was nominated for an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award at the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards.
He is well known for his roles in Spike Lee films, such as Do the Right Thing, School Daze, and Mo' Better Blues. Other notable films include Fresh, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, The Usual Suspects and King of New York. He has portrayed Sidney Glass/Magic Mirror on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Major Tom Neville in the NBC series Revolution.
View the Giancarlo Esposito Gallery.
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito was born in Copenhagen, the son of Giovanni Esposito and Elizabeth Foster. His mother was an African-American opera and nightclub singer from Alabama, and his father was an Italian stagehand and carpenter from Naples. Esposito was raised in Europe until the age of six, when his family settled in Manhattan, New York. He attended Elizabeth Seton College in New York and received a two-year degree in radio and television communications.
Esposito made his Broadway debut (1966) at age 8 playing a slave child opposite Shirley Jones in the short-lived musical Maggie Flynn (1968), set during the New York Draft Riots of 1863.
During the 1980s, Esposito appeared in films such as Taps, Maximum Overdrive, King of New York, and Trading Places. He also performed in TV shows such as Miami Vice and Spenser: For Hire. He played J. C. Pierce, a cadet in the 1981 movie Taps.
In 1988 he landed his breakout role as the leader ("Dean Big Brother Almighty") of the black fraternity "Gamma Phi Gamma" in director Spike Lee's film School Daze, exploring color relations at black colleges. Over the next four years, Esposito and Lee collaborated on three other movies: Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, and Malcolm X. During the 1990s Esposito appeared in the acclaimed indie films Night on Earth, Fresh and Smoke, as well as its sequel Blue in the Face. He also appeared in the mainstream film Reckless with Mia Farrow, and Waiting to Exhale starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett.
Esposito played FBI agent Mike Giardello on the TV crime drama Homicide: Life on the Street. That role drew from both his African American and Italian ancestry. He played this character during the show's seventh and final season. Mike's estranged father, shift lieutenant Al Giardello, is portrayed as subject to racism, something Esposito's character practiced in School Daze. Another multiracial role was as Sergeant Paul Gigante in the television comedy series, Bakersfield P.D. (Fox Broadcasting Company, 1993–94).
In 1997 Esposito played the film roles of Darryl in Trouble on the Corner and Charlie Dunt in Nothing to Lose. Other TV credits include NYPD Blue, Law & Order, The Practice, New York Undercover, and Fallen Angels: Fearless.
Esposito has portrayed drug dealers (Fresh, Breaking Bad, King of New York, Better Call Saul), policemen (The Usual Suspects, Derailed), political radicals (Bob Roberts, Do the Right Thing), and a demonic version of the Greek God of Sleep Hypnos from another dimension (Monkeybone). In 2001, he played Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr. in Ali, and Miguel Algarín, friend and collaborator of Nuyorican poet Miguel Piñero, in Piñero.
In 2006 Esposito starred in Last Holiday as Senator Dillings, alongside Queen Latifah and Timothy Hutton. Also in 2006, he played an unsympathetic detective named Esposito in the 2005 film, Hate Crime. The film explores homophobia.
Esposito played Robert Fuentes, a Miami businessman with shady connections, on the UPN television series South Beach. He has appeared in New Amsterdam and CSI: Miami. In Feel the Noise (2007), he played ex-musician Roberto, the Puerto Rican father of Omarion Grandberry's character, aspiring rap star "Rob".
He made his directorial debut with Gospel Hill (2008); he also produced the film and starred in it.
New York theatre credits for Esposito include The Me Nobody Knows, Lost in the Stars, Seesaw, and Merrily We Roll Along. In 2008 he appeared on Broadway as Gooper in an African American production of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Debbie Allen and starring James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, and Terrence Howard.
From 2009 to 2011, Esposito appeared in seasons 2 through 4 of the AMC drama Breaking Bad, as Gus Fring, the head of a New Mexico-based methamphetamine drug ring. In the fourth season, he was the show's primary antagonist. He received critical acclaim for this role. He won the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama award at the 2012 Critics' Choice Television Awards and was nominated for an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award at the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards, but lost to co-star Aaron Paul.
He appeared in the film Rabbit Hole (2010).
Esposito appeared in the first season of the ABC program Once Upon a Time, which debuted in October 2011. He portrayed the split role of Sidney, a reporter for The Daily Mirror in the town of Storybrooke, Maine, who is the Magic Mirror, possessed by The Evil Queen in a parallel fairy tale world.
Esposito appeared in Revolution as Major Tom Neville, a central character who kills Ben Matheson in the pilot. He escorts a captured Danny to the capital Philadelphia of the Monroe Republic.
Esposito also appeared in Community as a guest star for the episode entitled "Digital Estate Planning". He performed again in the fourth season, in the episode titled "Paranormal Parentage".Esposito has additionally appeared in a video of the action role-playing sci-fi first-person shooter game Destiny, as well as plays The Dentist, a non-playable story character, in the game Payday 2.
He has joined the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series. He played Ra's al Ghul in Son of Batman and Black Spider in Batman: Assault on Arkham. He had a recurring role in the first season of The Get Down on Netflix. In 2017, Esposito reprised his role as Gus Fring in the Breaking Bad prequel series, Better Call Saul. In the show's second season, an anagram of the first letters of every episode name spelled out "FRING'S BACK", which was revealed to be intentional by showrunners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. Esposito appeared in a teaser for the third season portraying Gus as the Los Pollos Hermanos owner, officially confirming Esposito's involvement in season 3.
Esposito married Joy McManigal in 1995; they later divorced. He has four daughters.
|1979||Running||Puerto Rican Teenager|
|1979||Tutti a squola|
|1980||The Changeling||Extra (uncredited)|
|1981||The Gentleman Bandit||TV Movie||Jamie|
|1982||Another World||TV Series||Willie Armstrong|
|1982-1983||Guiding Light||TV Series||Clay Tynan|
|1982 - 1984||Sesame Street||TV Series||Mickey|
|1983||Trading Places||Cellmate #2|
|1983||Enormous Changes at the Last Minute||Julio|
|1984||The Brother from Another Planet||Man Being Arrested (uncredited)|
|1984||The Cotton Club||Bumpy Hood|
|1984||Go Tell It on the Mountain||Elisha|
|1984 - 1985||Miami Vice||TV Series||Adonis Jackson / Ricky / Luther|
|1985||CBS Schoolbreak Special||TV Series||Kyle|
|1985||Finnegan Begin Again||TV Movie||Intruder|
|1985||Desperately Seeking Susan||Street Vendor|
|1985 - 1986||American Playhouse||TV Series||Simon Fernandes / Elisha|
|1986||The Equalizer||TV Series||Jumpin' Jack|
|1987||Heartbeat||Video||Gang Member #1|
|1987||Spenser: For Hire||TV Series||Ramos|
|1987||Leg Work||TV Series||Tyson|
|1988||School Daze||Julian 'Big Brother Almighty' Eaves|
|1989||Do the Right Thing||Buggin Out|
|1990||King of New York||Lance|
|1990||Mo' Better Blues||Left Hand Lacey (Piano)|
|1991||Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man||Jimmy Jiles|
|1991||Night on Earth||YoYo (segment "New York")|
|1992||Bob Roberts||Bugs Raplin|
|1992||Malcolm X||Thomas Hayer|
|1993||Relentless: Mind of a Killer||TV Movie||Arthur Sistrunk|
|1993||American Experience||TV Series documentary||Dr. Kenneth Clark|
|1993||Amos & Andrew||Reverend Fenton Brunch|
|1993||Seven Songs for Malcolm X||Documentary||Autobiography Reading (voice)|
|1993 - 1994||Bakersfield P.D.||TV Series||Detective Paul Gigante|
|1995||The Usual Suspects||Jack Baer|
|1995||Smoke||OTB Man #1, Tommy|
|1995||Blue in the Face||Tommy Finelli|
|1995||Reckless||Host Tim Timko|
|1995||The Keeper||Paul Lamont|
|1995||New York Undercover||TV Series||Adolfo Guzman|
|1995||Fallen Angels||TV Series||Paris Minton|
|1995||Waiting to Exhale||David Matthews (uncredited)|
|1996||Chicago Hope||TV Series||Cherchez LaFemme|
|1996||Mylène Farmer: California||Video short||Rich Man / Pimp|
|1996||Swift Justice||TV Series||Andrew Coffin|
|1996||Living Single||TV Series||Jackson Turner|
|1996||The Tomorrow Man||TV Movie||Jonathan Driscoll|
|1996 - 1998||NYPD Blue||TV Series||Jamaal / Ferdinand Hollie|
|1996 - 1999||Nash Bridges||TV Series||Arnold / Gordon Keller / Whip Tyrell|
|1996 - 2005||Law & Order||TV Series||Rodney Fallon / Mr. Baylor|
|1997||Nothing to Lose||Charlie Dunt|
|1997||Loose Women||Stylist #2|
|1997||Five Desperate Hours||TV Movie||Joseph Grange|
|1997||Trouble on the Corner||Darryl|
|1997||Big City Blues||Georgie|
|1997||The People||Anthony Rivera|
|1997||The Maze||Henry Kunitz|
|1998||The Hunger||TV Series||Vampire|
|1998||Creature||TV Mini-Series||Lt. Thomas Peniston / Werewolf|
|1998||Lulu on the Bridge||Black (DVD deleted scene) (uncredited)|
|1998||Where's Marlowe?||Blind Man (uncredited)|
|1998||Naked City: Justice with a Bullet||TV Movie||Chaz Villanueva|
|1998||Thirst||TV Movie||Dr. Lawrence Carver|
|1998 - 1999||Homicide: Life on the Street||TV Series||Mike Giardello|
|2000||Homicide: The Movie||TV Movie||Officer Mike Giardello|
|2000||Touched by an Angel||TV Series||Antonio Gaudi|
|2000 - 2001||The $treet||TV Series||Tom Divack|
|2001||Strong Medicine||TV Series||James 'Junior' Bell|
|2001||Ali||Cassius Clay, Sr.|
|2001||100 Centre Street||TV Series||Jacob Lenz|
|2002||The Practice||TV Series||Ray McMurphy|
|2002||Third Watch||TV Series||Father Romero|
|2002||A Nero Wolfe Mystery||TV Series||Ambassador Theodore Kelefy|
|2002||Girls Club||TV Series||Nicholas Hahn|
|2003||The Division||TV Series||Dr. Pembroke|
|2003||Lucky||TV Series||Lord Marion|
|2003||Street Time||TV Series||Jesse Haslim|
|2003||Blind Horizon||J.C. Reynolds|
|2004||Half & Half||TV Series||Darrell Washington|
|2004||Soul Food||TV Series||Jules|
|2004||5ive Days to Midnight||TV Mini-Series||Tim Sanders|
|2004||Doing Hard Time||Video||Captain Pierce|
|2004||A Killer Within||Vargas|
|2004||NYPD 2069||TV Movie||Lt. Garner|
|2005||Hate Crime||Detective Esposito|
|2005||Chupacabra Terror||Video||Dr. Peña|
|2005||I Will Avenge You, Iago!||Director|
|2005||Law & Order: Trial by Jury||TV Series||Orlando Ramirez|
|2005||Back in the Day||Benson Cooper|
|2005||Carlito's Way: Rise to Power||Video||Little Jeff|
|2006||Last Holiday||Senator Dillings|
|2006||Sherrybaby||Parole Officer Hernandez|
|2006||South Beach||TV Series||Robert Fuentes|
|2006||Ghost Whisperer||TV Series||Ely Fisher|
|2006||Bones||TV Series||Richard Benoit|
|2006||Dr. Vegas||TV Series|
|2006||Las Vegas||TV Series||Reggie Archibald|
|2006 - 2008||CSI: Miami||TV Series||Chief Braga|
|2007||Racing Daylight||Fred / Drifter|
|2007||The Box||Det. Dwayne Burkhalter|
|2007||Feel the Noise||Roberto|
|2008||New Amsterdam||TV Series||Special Agent James Lawson|
|2008||Gospel Hill||Dr. Palmer|
|2009 - 2011||Breaking Bad||TV Series||Gustavo 'Gus' Fring|
|2010||Leverage||TV Series||Alexander Moto|
|2010||Lie to Me||TV Series||Beau Hackman|
|2010||Detroit 1-8-7||TV Series||Eddie Henderson|
|2011||S.W.A.T.: Firefight||Video||Inspector Hollander|
|2011||Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior||TV Series||Gordon Ramirez|
|2011||Dreaming American||Short||Daytona LeMans|
|2011 - 2017||Once Upon a Time||TV Series||Sidney Glass / Magic Mirror / The Genie|
|2012||NYC 22||TV Series||Harvey Williams|
|2012||Alex Cross||Daramus Holiday|
|2012 - 2013||Community||TV Series||Gilbert Lawson|
|2012 - 2014||Revolution||TV Series||Tom Neville|
|2013||Over/Under||TV Movie||Oliver Ohrt|
|2013||Revolution: Enemies of the State||TV Mini-Series||Lt. Tom Neville|
|2013||Axe Cop||TV Series||Army Chihuahua|
|2013||Payday 2||Video Game||The Dentist (voice)|
|2013||They Die by Dawn||Isom Dart|
|2013||Timms Valley||TV Series||Pruit Normings|
|2014||30 for 30||TV Series documentary||Narrator|
|2014||Son of Batman||Video||Ra's al Ghul (voice)|
|2014||Batman: Assault on Arkham||Video||Black Spider (voice)|
|2015||Allegiance||TV Series||Oscar Christoph|
|2015||Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials||Jorge|
|2015||Drunk History||TV Series||Andrés Pico|
|2015||I Did Not Forget You||Short||Dr. Sabian|
|2016||The Pills: Sempre meglio che lavorare||il Boss|
|2016||The Jungle Book||Akela (voice)|
|2016||Money Monster||Captain Powell|
|2016||Brother Nature||Congressman Frank McClaren|
|2016 - 2017||The Get Down||TV Series||Pastor Ramon Cruz|
|2017||The Show||Mason Washington|
|2017||Rebel||TV Series||Charles Gold|
|2017||Better Call Saul: Los Pollos Hermanos Employee Training||TV Mini-Series||Gus Fring|
|2017||MFKZ||Mr. K (English version, voice)|
|2017 - 2019||Dear White People||TV Series||Narrator|
|2017 - 2020||Better Call Saul||TV Series||Gustavo 'Gus' Fring|
|2018||Maze Runner: The Death Cure||Jorge|
|2018||Westworld||TV Series||El Lazo|
|2018||Dallas & Robo||TV Series||Victor Goldsmith|
|2019||The Boys||TV Series||Stan Edgar|
|2019||Jett||TV Series||Charlie Baudelaire|
|2019||Creepshow||TV Series||Doc (segment "Gray Matter")|
|2019||Line of Duty||Volk|
|2019||Godfather of Harlem||TV Series||Congressman Powell|
|2019||The Mandalorian||TV Series||Moff Gideon|
|2019||The Long Home|
|2019 - 2020||Harley Quinn||TV Series||Lex Luthor|
|2020||Stargirl (post-production)||Archie Brubaker|
|2020||Da 5 Bloods (post-production)|
- His mother was an American opera singer and his father was a stagehand and carpenter from Naples, Italy.
- His mother was doing a nightclub gig on a split bill with Josephine Baker in Copenhagen, Denmark, around the time he was born.
- Lived in Europe, New York City, and Cleveland until he; his older brother, Vincent; and their parents moved to Manhattan when Giancarlo was six. During the boys' teens, the family lived in Elmsford in Westchester County, New York.
- Is a member of the Atlantic Theater Ensemble, the theater company started by David Mamet and William H. Macy.
- Won Obie Awards for his performances in "Zooman and the Sign" (1981) and "Distant Fires" (1993).
- Was a member of the dramatic jury at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.
- Was one of the chorus of children who sang the theme song of The Electric Company (1971).
- Is a supporter of Mumia Abu Jamal and participated in the 2012 documentary Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary (2012).
- Giancarlo Esposito and Aaron Paul appeared together many years before Breaking Bad (2008) on Ghost Whisperer: Fury (2006).
- He was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6351 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, on April 26, 2014.
- Fluent in Italian and Spanish.
- For a while in New York City, he was a roommate of Laurence Fishburne.