ROBERT DE NIRO (Paul Vitti) launched his prodigious career in Brian De Palma's "The Wedding Party" in 1959. By 1973, De Niro had twice won the New York Film Critics' Award for Best Supporting Actor in recognition of his performances in "Bang the Drum Slowly" and Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets."
In 1974, De Niro received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the young Vito Corleane in "The Godfather, Part II." In 1980, he won his second Oscar, as Best Actor, for extraordinary portrayal of Jake La Motta in Scorsese's "Raging Bull." De Niro has earned Academy Award nominations for his work in four additional films: for his role as Travis Bickle in Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," as a Vietnam vet in Michael Cimino's "The Deerhunter," as a catatonic patient brought back to life in Penny Marshall's "Awakenings," and in 1992 for his role as Max Cady, an ex-con looking for revenge, in Scorsese's remake of the 1962 classic "Cape Fear."
De Niro's distinguished body of work also includes performances in Elia Kazan's film of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel "The Last Tycoon, Bernardo Bertolucci's "1900," Ulu Grosbard's "True Confessions" and "Falling in Love," Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America," Scorsese's "King of Comedy," "New York, New York," "GoodFellas" and "Casino," Terry Gilliam's "Brazil," Roland Joffe's "The Mission," Brian De Palma's "The Untouchables," Alan Parker's "Angel Heart," Martin Brest's "Midnight Run," David Jones' "Jacknife," Martin Ritt's "Stanley and Iris," Neil Jordan's "We're No Angels," Ron Howard's "Backdraft," Michael Caton-Jones' "This Boy's Life," John McNaughton's "Mad Dog and Glory," "A Bronx Tale," Kenneth Branagh's "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," Michael Mann's "Heat," Barry Levinson's "Sleepers" and "Wag the Dog," Jerry Zaks' "Marvin's Room," Tony Scott's "The Fan," James Mangold's "Copland," Alfonso Cuaron's "Great Expectations," Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" and "Ronin," directed by John Frankenheimer.
In 1988, De Niro founded his production company, Tribeca Productions, and the Tribeca Film Center with Jane Rosenthal, who also serves as producer on "Analyze This." The film "A Bronx Tale" marked De Niro's directorial debut.
BILLY CRYSTAL (Ben Sobol) has created one of the most versatile and remarkable careers in the entertainment industry, finding success both in front of the camera as a performer in film and television and behind the scenes as a writer, director and producer. The Long Island native grew up surrounded by music, as his family owned and operated the legendary Commodore label and record store, and his father produced concerts by some of the era's great jazz performers.
Before reaching college, Crystal had shown a knack for stand-up comedy that he later parlayed into a varied stage act that incorporated his gifts for mimicry and satire, as well as creating characters, many based on family members and persons he befriended through the family business.
After enjoying early acceptance as a live comic, he branched out into acting in television as a regular on the popular series "Soap," playing the first openly gay character on a network television series. During the 1984-85 television season, the comedian met with phenomenal national success on the legendary late night series "Saturday Night Live," creating several memorable characters, such as Fernando and Willie the Masochist, and performing a classic imitation of Sammy Davis, Jr.
Crystal produced the acclaimed HBO series "Sessions," and became the first comedian to perform in the Soviet Union with his special, "Midnight Train to Moscow." He has starred in the films "Running Scared," "Throw Momma From the Train," "Memories of Me," "The Princess Bride," "When Harry Met Sally”," "City Slickers" and its sequel "City Slickers II: The legend of Curley's Gold," which he also created and executive-produced, and "Mr. Saturday Night," which he also directed.
Crystal directed and starred opposite Debra Winger in "Forget Paris," and recently appeared in "Hamlet," directed by Kenneth Branagh; in "Deconstructing Harry," directed by Woody Allen; in the comedy "Fathers' Day," starring opposite Robin Williams; and in "My Giant," which he also produced.
Crystal has hosted the Grammy Awards three times and the Oscar telecast six times. He has won five Emmy Awards, six American Comedy Awards, and seven CableACE Awards, which pleased him most, as they are all in different categories -- host, comic, writer, producer, director. A dedicated human rights activist, he has co-hosted with Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg all eight Comic Relief telethons, the most recent of which occurred during the filming of "Analyze This."
LISA KUDROW (Laura) received this year's Emmy for her performance as Phoebe on the NBC-TV hit comedy series "Friends." The three time Emmy nominee has also been nominated for a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor's Guild Award for her work on the show.
Lisa was seen recently in "Clockwatchers" and the critical and popular success "The Opposite of Sex," and she previously starred with Mira Sorvino in the hit comedy "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion." She also co-starred in Albert Brooks' "Mother."
Born and raised in California, Kudrow attended Vassar College and graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology, intending to pursue a career in medical research with her father, a renowned headache specialist.
But when she returned to California after college, her passion for performing returned. Encouraged by her brother's good friend, actor/comedian Jon Lovitz, Kudrow began studying improvisation with Cynthia Szigeti and acting with Ian Tucker. In 1989, she became a member of Los Angeles' famed improvisational group, The Groundlings.
Kudrow has the distinction of appearing in two outstanding television series simultaneously. Along with her role as Phoebe on "Friends," she portrays Ursula on NBC's comedy "Mad About You."
CHAZZ PALMINTERI (Sindone) earned high praise and an Academy Award nomination for his performance in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway." His portrayal of Cheech, a gangster with unexpected dramaturgical gifts, also earned him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor, nominations for a Screen Actor's Guild Award and an American Comedy Award.
Palminteri is perhaps best known for his performance in "A Bronx Tale," which he had originally written for the stage and performed as a one-man show in Los Angeles. Palminteri then moved the show to New York, where it played for four sold-out months and earned him nominations from the New York Outer Critics Circle for both acting and writing. While in New York he completed the screen adaptation of "A Bronx Tale," which became one of the hottest properties in Hollywood. He held out for an offer that would let him star in the film, and soon found himself cast opposite Robert De Niro, who chose the script for his directorial debut.
For his second play, "Faithful," Palminteri again won the Los Angeles Dramalogue Award for acting. He also wrote and starred in the film version of "Faithful" opposite Cher and Ryan O'Neal.
Palminteri has also starred in "The Perez Family," opposite Marisa Tomei and Angelica Huston; "The Usual Suspects," co-starring Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey and Stephen Baldwin; "Jade," opposite David Caruso and Linda Fiorentino for director William Friedkin; "Mulholland Falls," opposite Nick Nolte and John Malkovich for director Lee Tamahori; and "Diabolique" opposite Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani.
Palminteri recently completed work in Anthony Drazen's upcoming "Hurlyburly," in which he stars opposite Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Garry Shandling, Meg Ryan, Robin Wright Penn and Anna Paquin.
Palminteri will make his directorial debut with his original script "The Wanderer," which tells the life story of rock and roll singer Dion DiMucci.
On the small screen, Palminteri will next star as famed Sicilian prosecuter Giovanni Falcone in the HBO film "Excellent Cadavers."
Palminteri received the 1996 Leadership in Entertainment Award from the Coalition of Italo-American Association, Inc. and was honored by President Clinton with a Special Achievement Award for the Performing Arts from the National Italian American Foundation in Washington D.C.
JOSEPH VITERELLI (Jelly), who has appeared in 30 films, recently completed a co-starring role with Hugh Grant in "Mickey Blue Eyes." He has starred in "Eraser," "American Strays," "Heaven's Prisoners," and "Black Rose of Harlem." He starred as Nick Valenti in Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway," and as Clamato in the recent spoof "Mafia!" Some of his other feature credits include "Out to Sea," "The Firm," "Ruby," "Mobsters" and "The Crossing Guard."
Viterelli was a late bloomer in his acting career. For more than 25 years he had been offered acting opportunities from producers, casting directors, and directors, including his longtime friend, filmmaker Leo Penn. Viterelli declined them all until 1981, when Sean Penn called and said they were having difficulty casting a character from the Lower East Side in a film that was shooting on location in Viterelli's old neighborhood on Mott Street. That screen test led to a major role in Phil Joanou's "State of Grace," Viterelli's motion picture debut.
For television, his credits include the telefilms "What She Doesn't Know," "In the Shadow of a Killer" and "Palace Guard," as well as guest-starring roles on the series "Fallen Angels" and "The Commish."
HAROLD RAMIS (Director/Screenwriter) is celebrated for his unique talents in writing, directing, producing and acting, has lent his expertise to many of the most successful screen comedies ever made.
Born in Chicago, Ramis received a bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis and returned there in 1993 to receive an honorary Doctorate in Arts. He got his start in comedy in 1969 at Chicago's famed Second City improvisational theater troupe while still employed as associate editor at Playboy Magazine. In 1974, he moved to New York to help write and perform in "The National Lampoon Show" with fellow Second City graduates John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray. By 1976, Ramis was the head writer and a regular performer on SCTV.
Ramis' Hollywood breakthrough came in 1978, when he co-wrote (with Doug Kenny and Chris Miller) the blockbuster comedy "National Lampoon's Animal House." Ramis went on to write a string of hits. He and Ivan Reitman (producer of "Animal House") teamed up again to work as writer and producer/director on such box-office successes as "Meatballs "Stripes," "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II." Ramis also co-starred in "Stripes" and the "Ghostbuster" films.
Ramis made his directorial debut and co-wrote "Caddyshack" starring Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield, followed by "National Lampoon's Vacation," the enormously popular comedy he directed and which starred Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. He also directed and co-wrote "Club Paradise," starring Robin Williams and Peter O'Toole, and in the same year, co-wrote and served as executive producer on Rodney Dangerfield's "Back to School."
Ramis' appearance in "Baby Boom" opposite Diane Keaton marked his debut as an actor in a film he hadn't written, produced or directed. He also appeared in "Stealing Home" with Jodie Foster and Mark Harmon, "Love Affair" with Warren Beatty, Annette Bening and Gary Shandling, and James L. Brooks' "As Good As It Gets," the Academy Award-nominated film starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.
Ramis also directed, produced and co-wrote the comedy hit "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell; directed "Stuart Saves His Family," starring Al Franken and Laura San Giacomo; and directed, co-wrote (uncredited) and co-produced "Multiplicity," starring Michael Keaton and Andie MacDowell.
During producer PAULA WEINSTEIN's expansive career in the entertainment industry, she has worked with virtually every major studio in the film industry.
Weinstein was raised in Europe and began her career working as an assistant film editor in New York City. She then became Special Events Director in the office of Mayor John Lindsay, bringing plays, ballets and street festivals to the city's various communities.
Moving to Los Angeles in 1973, Weinstein signed on as a talent agent for what was to become International Creative management (ICM). She later moved to the William Morris Agency, where she handled a client portfolio that included Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland.
Weinstein joined Warner Bros. as Vice President of Production in 1976 and later enlisted with 20th Century Fox as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Production, developing and producing such films as "Nine to Five" and "Brubaker." In 1979, she relocated to The Ladd Company, collaborating on such films as "Body Heat," Lawrence Kasdan's directorial debut.
After two years with Ladd, Weinstein moved to United Artists as President of the Motion Picture Division, where she supervised all productions. Two of the many hits that she brought to the screen during this time were "WarGames" and "Yentl."
In 1984, Weinstein started WW Productions, an independent production company in partnership with Gareth Wigan that, among other projects, produced "American Flyers" for Warner Bros. In 1987, she also assumed the title of Executive Consultant to MGM's worldwide division. This position allowed her to continue producing independent projects such as "A Dry White Season" (for which Marlon Brando was nominated for an Academy Award) and "The Fabulous Baker Boys," nominated for four Academy Awards, which she jointly produced with Mirage Productions in 1989.
In 1990, Paula Weinstein and Mark Rosenberg, a fellow 20-year veteran of the film industry, created Spring Creek Productions. Their first produced feature film was "Fearless," directed by Peter Weir. Actress Rosie Perez received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her role in the drama, which starred Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rosselini, Tom Hulce and John Turturro. Spring Creek's second film to go into production was "Flesh and Bone," which reunited the producers with their collaborators on "The Fabulous Baker Boys," writer-director Steve Kloves and Sydney Pollack's Mirage Prods. The contemporary love story, directed by Kloves from his original screenplay, starred Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and James Caan.
Weinstein and Rosenberg also served as executive producers on "Citizen Cohn," starring James Woods as the notorious McCarthy-era lawyer. The HBO telefilm won four Emmy Awards, three Cable Ace Awards and was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. Since then, Weinstein executive produced "Truman," starring Gary Sinese, which was honored with both a CableACE and an Emmy Award, and the NBC movie-of-the-week, "Because Mommy Works," starring Anne Archer, John Heard and Ashley Crow.
In 1993, Weinstein produced Alek Keshishian's "With Honors," starring Joe Pesci, Brendan Fraser, Moira Kelly, Patrick Dempsey and Josh Hamilton. As well, Spring Creek executive produced "House of the Spirits," based on the Isabel Allende novel. Starring Meryl Streep, Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons, the film was written and directed by Bille August.
Weinstein executive produced the NBC movie-of-the-week "Because Mommy Works" and in 1995, she and Anthea Sylbert produced "Something to Talk About" for Warner Bros. Starring Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid and Robert Duvall, it was directed by Lasse Hallstrom.
This was followed by the Emmy Award-winning "Truman" starring Gary Sinise and directed by Frank Pierson, which Weinstein produced for HBO Films. For HBO she also executive produced "The Cherokee Kid" and "First Time Felon."
In 1989, Weinstein and Rosenberg received the Bill of Rights Award from the Southern California Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. When Rosenberg suffered a fatal heart attack in November, 1992, The Mark Rosenberg Legal Center of South Central Los Angeles was established in memorium by the ACLU Foundation.
A founding member of the Hollywood Women's Political Committee, Weinstein was honored by the National Urban League Guild at their Beaux Arts Ball in 1990.
Weinstein is currently partnered with filmmaker Barry Levinson and is producing his film "Liberty Heights."
JANE ROSENTHAL (Producer) founded Tribeca Productions with Robert De Niro in 1988, where she oversees all aspects of project development and serves as producer with De Niro.
Tribeca's motion pictures include "Thunderheart," "Cape Fear," "Mistress," "Night and the City," "The Night We Never Met," "Panther," "A Bronx Tale," the screen adaptation of Scott McPherson's award-winning play "Marvin's Room," starring Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton, and Barry Levinson's critically acclaimed "Wag the Dog," written by David Mamet and starring Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro and Anne Heche, which garnered two Academy Award nominations.
In 1992, Tribeca TV was launched with the highly lauded series "Tribeca." Rosenthal also produced the hit miniseries "Witness to the Mob" for NBC, which aired last May.
Prior to founding Tribeca, Rosenthal was at Warner Bros. television as Vice President of Movies and Miniseries. Before that she spent two years at Walt Disney as Vice President in Charge of Motion Pictures and Television, where she was involved in the production of "The Color of Money," "Adventures in Babysitting," and "The Good Mother."
Earlier, Rosenthal spent a year at Universal as Vice President of Feature Production, following her five year stint at CBS as Director of Motion Pictures for Television. During that time she developed such critically praised films as "Gideon's Trumpet," "Silences of the Heart" and "The Burning Bed."