Jay Acovone is a versatile actor who is best known for his ability to play authoritative characters such as Mafia bosses, villains, police/military, and lawyers.  He was born on August 20, 1955 in NYC, New York, USA. His parents later moved to Mahopac, NY where he graduated from Mahopac High School. While he was always an avid movie fan, it was a chance encounter with a friend, urging him to take part in a play, that set him on a path for a career in acting. He attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York. His break came when he was cast to play the role of Skip Lee, opposite Al Pacino, in the movie Cruising (written and directed by William Friedkin). He spent the next few years working on daytime television in NYC, but moved to Los Angeles when he landed a co-starring role, opposite Jack Scalia, in the TV series Hollywood Beat (Aaron Spelling).


With Los Angeles established as his new home, Jay went on to have several supporting roles in film and television including Women of Valor (Susan Sarandon) and Cold Steel (Sharon Stone) before being recruited to be a series regular on Ron Koslow’s TV Series: Beauty and the Beast (starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman).  He played Deputy District Attorney Joe Maxwell, who was Hamilton’s stringent yet charismatic boss on the show.  The show was written and produced by George R. R. Martin, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, et al., and was nominated twice for an Emmy for an Outstanding Drama Series in 1987 and 1988.


After Beauty and the Beast ended, Jay continued to have multiple supporting or lead roles in TV and film including: Out for Justice (Steven Seagal), Lookin’ Italian (Matt LeBlanc), the Emmy-winning series Mattlock (Andy Griffith), and the Golden-Globe-winning series Friends (Jennifer Aniston).


The mid-1990’s brought a role in the blockbuster hit Independence Day (Will Smith), and a major recurring role in the TV series Stargate—SG1 (Richard Dean Anderson). Jay played Charles Kawalsky, a major in the Air Force, who traveled with Anderson’s team on a government mission to explore other dimensions. Stargate—SG1 won multiple awards, including the Saturn Award for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series for 3 different years.


The following decade led to a role in another blockbuster hit: Castaway (Tom Hanks),  followed by roles in Terminator 3 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and S.W.A.T. (Samuel L. Jackson); recurring roles in Silk Stalkings (Rob Estes), Sliders (John Rhys-Davies), NYPD Blue (Jimmy Smits) and the X-Files (Gillian Anderson); guest-starring roles in CSI: NY (Gary Sinise), Monk (Tony Shalhoub), Criminal Minds (Thomas Gibson), and 24 (Kiefer Sutherland).


In recent years, Jay saw a brief return to daytime television with a recurring role on General Hospital (Maurice Benard), and then went on to guest-star on multiple hit TV dramas including: The Mentalist (Simon Baker), Leverage (Timothy Hutton), CSI (George Eads), Vegas (Michael Chiklis), and NCIS (Mark Harmon).  In 2016, he acted in the motion capture video game Mafia III (2K Games), playing the role of an Italian Mafia boss, Sal Marcano.


In 2017, Jay was asked to perform the audiobook version of George R. R. Martin’s (Game of Thrones) novel, Wildcards – Dead Man’s Hand, along with Adrian Paul. (The book series has been slated for television through Universal Cable Productions and will be produced by Melinda M. Snodgrass and Gregory Noveck).


Besides acting, Jay is a big fan of NASCAR, Motocross, and blues guitar music. He enjoys going to live concerts, riding his dirt bike, and skiing (for which he holds an instructor’s license).  Jay lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their cat—which they adopted from rescue.



© Jay Acovone 2017