The Making of The Godfather: The 50th Anniversary of a Mob Masterpiece
When The Godfather premiered in March of 1972, it was an instant success with critics and audiences alike. The following year, it won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It has become widely regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made, and its impact on the culture is far reaching. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, this program will explore the making of The Godfather with actor Johnny Martino, who played Paulie Gatto. The discussion also will dig into the real-life Mob’s involvement with the film.
Johnny Martino was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. As a teenager he began his singing and acting career. He studied with John Cassavetes, American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Universal Art Studios, which led to a role in the off-Broadway show “Hat Full of Rain.” He then had a hit song called “Baby Sitting Baby” that landed him on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. Shortly thereafter, Martino headed to California to pursue his acting career.
His first acting role came in “The Wild Wild West” television show in which he became a member of The Screen Actors Guild. Martino’s big break came when he was cast in Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” as “Paulie Gatto.”
His career has brought him back and forth between New York and California, he now lives in Central Florida with his wife Lori and their two sons John and Joseph. He continues to act, sing, write and produce.
Martino received a Crystal Reel Award for best lead actor for his part in the feature film “Confessions of a Thug.” The award was presented to him by the Florida Motion Picture Television Association. Author Richard Lester has also written a book about his life called A Wish Beyond The Stars – The Johnny Martino Story.
Martino received a Lifetime Achievement Award through the Treasure Coast International Film Festival in Port St. Lucie, Florida on June 2, 2013.