Who Is Vincent D'Onofrio?

Vincent D'Onofrio first cut his teeth as an actor in a number of off-Broadway productions. His breakout role came as an unstable recruit in the 1987 film, Full Metal Jacket. A slew of movie roles followed, and in 2001, he was cast as Det. Robert Goren in the TV series, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a role he would play for a decade.

Early Years

Vincent Philip D'Onofrio was born on June 30, 1959, in Brooklyn, New York. The youngest of three children and only boy, D'Onofrio spent his early youth in New York until his mother, Phyllis, divorced his father, Gene, a theater production assistant and interior designer, and moved the family to Florida, where she started a new life with a new husband.

After graduating high school, D'Onofrio drove across the country with his best friend and ended up living in Boulder, Colorado, working construction and laboring jobs to pay the rent. His time there included a brief stint at the University of Colorado.

Career Beginnings

After exploring the community theater circuit in Boulder, D'Onofrio eventually allowed his interest in acting to bring him back to his native New York City. "I didn't know what I wanted to do," he once said. "But deep down, I knew it would be something artistic. In New York, I learned to respect the arts more. I started to go to [acting] classes, I studied, I took it seriously."

To make ends meet, the rugged, 6'3" actor worked as a bouncer in city clubs. "I saw a lot of things I would not necessarily talk about in an interview," he later recalled, with a laugh. "It was pretty crazy. There was a lot of violence. Some of it was really tough to be around."

In his off-hours, D'Onofrio sought out stage roles. A series of off-Broadway parts followed. Then, in 1984, he made his Broadway debut in Open Admissions.

His big break as a film actor came when he landed the memorable role of a mentally unstable recruit in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket (1987). It proved to be brutally demanding part, one that required D'Onofrio to gain 70 pounds and shave his head. "It changed my life," the actor later recalled. "Women didn't look at me; most of the time I was looking at their backs as they were running away. People used to say things to me twice, because they thought I was stupid."

Still, the part led him to a slew of other film roles, including those in Mystic Pizza (1988), JFK (1991), The Player (1992), Ed Wood (1994), Men In Black (1997) and The Cell (2000).

'Law & Order'

In 1998, D'Onofrio was nominated for an Emmy for his guest role on the series Homicide: Life on the Street. Three years later, D'Onofrio was cast as NYPD Major Case Squad Detective Robert Goren in Dick Wolf’s TV series, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a role that would make him a household name for a decade. In the series, D'Onofrio’s character is a quiet, intelligent detective who possesses a gift of intuition into human nature coupled with a keen ability to notice minute details of a crime. His partnership with the analytical Det. Alex Eames (played by Kathryn Erbe) made the series a lasting hit with viewers and fans of the franchise.

Later Roles

In the years since leaving Law & Order, D'Onofrio has maintained a busy acting career. His film credits include Kill the Irishman (2011), Crackers (2011), American Falls (2012), Fire with Fire (2012) Chained (2012), and Jurassic World (2015) among others.

In 2015 D'Onofrio landed another memorable TV role when he was cast as the brooding and bald, Fisk, a.k.a., "the Kingpin" in the Netflix series Daredevil, the first in a series of shows that tells the story of the Marvel universe.

Personal Life

For several years, beginning in the 1990s, D'Onofrio was in a relationship with the actress, Greta Scacchi. The couple has one daughter together.

In 1997, the actor married Carin van der Donk, a Dutch model. The couple has two sons together. The family resides in New York City.


  • Name: Vincent
  • Birth Year: 1959
  • Birth date: June 30, 1959
  • Birth State: New York
  • Birth City: Brooklyn
  • Birth Country: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Best Known For: Actor Vincent D'Onofrio is best known for playing the role of Det. Robert Goren in the TV series, 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent.'
  • Industries
    • Television
    • Film
  • Astrological Sign: Cancer

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  • Article Title: Vincent D'Onofrio Biography
  • Author: Biography.com Editors
  • Website Name: The Biography.com website
  • Url: https://www.biography.com/actors/vincent-donofrio
  • Access Date:
  • Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
  • Last Updated: June 2, 2020
  • Original Published Date: June 17, 2016