Mostly Credited As: Joe Dallesandro (1)
Sometimes Credited As: Joe Catano
Date Of Birth: December 31, 1948 (Age 64)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Pensacola, Florida
Joe Dallesandro (b.1948), the product of a broken home and a kid in trouble with the law as a teen, walked into a Greenwich Village apartment one day in 1967 to check out some guys who were shooting a movie and had left the door open. He was subsequently asked to peel down to his underwear and wrestle the film's male star, which he agreed to do, and before anyone could have grasped the implications, a Superstar was born. The filmmakers were Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey and they were so excited by what they saw on that single reel with this kid from off the streets that they asked him to be in their next film...and their next...and their next...
By 1968, he was the toast of the New York underground film scene, his beautiful face and form the center of all their advertising, effortlessly radiating male beauty off Warhol's silver screen while making you feel he didn't have a clue from where it was all coming.
The "Little Joe" of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" could be accused of bringing the underground "overground." As the enigmatic, often naked star of eight Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey films from out of the famed Factory between 1967 and 1972, Dallesandro simultaneously revolutionized the male as an overt sex object in the movies while luring audiences to turn a $1,500 film called Flesh (1968) into a $2,000,000 international arthouse hit that set the stage for Warhol's films being seen in commercial venues. Joe's appeal was almost iconic: the male as a thing of beauty, the actor as the anti-actor. A young man of few words, who rarely smiled, his image appealed to audiences because he seemed entirely without ego, as real as that gorgeous kid you saw getting on the bus yesterday. The initial attraction may have been soaked in sexual longing, but it resonated more deeply--with the possibility of attaining the fantasy. This was no Hollywood prettyboy pulling a stunt as an actor, this kid seemed genuine.
"He forever changed male sexuality in the cinema," says director John Waters without a whiff of his usual sarcasm.
Joe split with Warhol and Morrissey after completing Andy Warhol's Frankenstein and Dracula in Italy and stayed on in Europe for the next seven years making 18 films. He returned to the U.S in the early ‘80s and to the silver screen with an impressive performance as "Lucky" Luciano in Francis Coppola's The Cotton Club.
He continues his acting career to this day and enjoys a loyal following of fans.