50 facts about Steve Buscemi: became a firefighter in New York City, after taking a civil service test when he was 18

50 interesting facts you didn't know about actor Steve Buscemi.

1. His full name is Steven Vincent "Steve" Buscemi.

2. He is an actor and film director.

3. Buscemi has starred and supported in successful Hollywood and indie films, including Parting Glances, New York Stories, Mystery Train, Reservoir Dogs, Desperado, Con Air, Armageddon, The Grey Zone, Ghost World, Big Fish, and The Sopranos.

4. He is also known for his appearances in many films by the Coen brothers: Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, and The Big Lebowski.

5. Buscemi provides the voice of Randall Boggs in the Monsters, Inc. franchise.

6. From 2010 to 2014, he portrayed Enoch "Nucky" Thompson in the critically acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire.

7. The role in Boardwalk Empire earned him two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe, and two nominations for an Emmy Award.

8. He made his directorial debut in 1996, with Trees Lounge, in which he also starred.

9. Other directorial works include Animal Factory, Lonesome Jim and Interview.

10. He has also directed numerous episodes of TV shows, including Homicide: Life on the Street, The Sopranos, Oz, 30 Rock, and Nurse Jackie. He currently hosts the Emmy Award-nominated AOL On comedy talk-show Park Bench.

11. Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York.

12. His father was John Buscemi, a sanitation worker and Korean War veteran.

13. His mother Dorothy worked as a host at Howard Johnson's.

14. Buscemi's father was of Italian descent; his ancestors were from the town of Menfi in Sicily.

15. Buscemi's mother was of Irish, English, and Dutch ancestry.

16. He has three brothers: Jon, Ken, and Michael.

17. Buscemi was raised Roman Catholic.

18. He graduated in 1975 from Valley Stream Central High School in Nassau County, New York, a school which he attended with actress Patricia Charbonneau.

19. In high school, Buscemi wrestled for the varsity squad and participated in the drama troupe.

20. Buscemi's 1996 film Trees Lounge, in which he not only starred but served as screenwriter and director, is set in and was largely shot in his childhood village of Valley Stream.

21. Buscemi briefly attended Nassau Community College before moving to Manhattan to enroll in the Lee Strasberg Institute.

22. In 1980, Buscemi became a firefighter in New York City, after taking a civil service test in 1976 when he was 18.

23. For four years, Buscemi served on FDNY's Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan's Little Italy.

24. After 9/11, Buscemi returned to Engine 55 and for several days worked 12-hour shifts alongside other firefighters to sift through the rubble from the World Trade Center.

25. In 2003, he gave a speech supporting higher wages for firefighters at a union rally.

26. In 2014, he was appointed as an Honorary Batalion Chief of the FDNY.

27. His film debut was the 1985 No Wave Cinema film The Way it Is, directed by Eric Mitchell.

28. His other early films include Parting Glances in 1986, Slaves of New York in 1988, and Tales from the Darkside, a 1990 film with three segments.

29. Buscemi starred in the first segment, playing Bellingham, a college student who orders a mummy and unleashes it on fellow college students played by Christian Slater and Julianne Moore.

30. In 1990, Buscemi had a couple of additional crime roles. He played the henchman of Laurence Fishburne named Test Tube in Abel Ferrara's King of New York. He also played Mink in the Coen Brothers' Millers Crossing.

31. Although he had to audition twice for the role of Mink, it marked the first of five of the Coen Brothers' films in which Buscemi appeared.

32. Before his work with the Coen Brothers, he appeared in Jim Jarmusch's anthology film Mystery Train, released in 1989, for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Male.

33. His first lead role was in 1992, where he played Adolpho Rollo in Alexandre Rockwell's In the Soup.

34. He came to public attention for playing Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 film, Reservoir Dogs, a role that Tarantino wrote for himself.

35. In 2015, Buscemi became a producer of the documentary film Check It, about a Washington, D.C. transgender gang.

36. Buscemi has also worked as a director, making his directing debut in the 1990s. His directorial credits include: What Happened to Pete, Trees Lounge, Animal Factory, Lonesome Jim, Interview.

37. In addition to feature films, he directed episodes of the television shows Homicide: Life on the Street, four episodes of The Sopranos, including one of the most critically acclaimed episodes: Pine Barrens, as well as two episodes of HBO's prison-drama series Oz, entitled "U.S. Male" and "Cuts Like a Knife".

38. Buscemi pronounces his name as "Bu-semmy", but the Italian pronunciation is "Bu-shemmy". He once said about the pronunciation of his name: "I had to go to Sicily to find out I pronounce my name wrong."

39. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he was adamant about not altering his famously misaligned teeth, saying "I've had dentists who have wanted to help me out, but I say, 'You know, I won't work again if you fix my teeth."

40. Another aspect of Buscemi's image are his eyes which are noted for their old appearance and wrinkles.

41. "Buscemi Eyes" is a phenomenon when his eyes are photoshopped onto others' faces. His own reaction is that he doesn't find it amusing, while his wife does.

42. His supporting work in Jim Jarmusch's 1989 film Mystery Train earned him a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award.

43. He won an Independent Spirit Award for his work in Quentin Tarantino's film Reservoir Dogs.

44. He has received other forms of recognition in subsequent films such as Fargo, Trees Lounge, and Ghost World.

45. In April 2001, while shooting the film Domestic Disturbance in Wilmington, North Carolina, Buscemi was slashed and badly scarred on the face while at the Firebelly Lounge, intervening in a bar fight between his friends Vince Vaughn, screenwriter Scott Rosenberg, and a local man, who allegedly instigated the brawl.

46. He was in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, where he traced his maternal ancestry back to Julia Vanderhoof and Ralph B. Montgomery.

47. Buscemi married Jo Andres in 1987.

48. The couple they have one son.

49. In the summer of 2011, he joined rallies against the threat of the closing of eight Brooklyn firehouses under Mayor Bloomberg, saying "Closing [these firehouses] is no way to protect New York."

50. In 2014, Buscemi starred and narrated the HBO documentary A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY where he revisits his career with fellow firefighters and shares their stories including those from September 11th.

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Steve Buscemi

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