MICHAEL BONITATIS BIOGRAPHY
BORN: OCT 24, 1970 PHILADELPHIA, PA
ACTING: STUDIED MEISNER TECHNIQUE, METHOD (ACTOR’S STUDIO LA)
CURRENT EDUCATIONAL GOAL: B.S. IN MEDIA ARTS & ANIMATION
Michael Francis Bonitatis grew up in the small town Haddon Heights New Jersey in a very traditional Italian family. He started doing children’s theatre at the young age of 12 for community theatre. While in grade school Michael won local art contest for one of his drawings. During high school he started up a rockabilly band where he was the lead singer ‘The Fun Guy Five’. They won high school talent competition ‘Battle of the Bands’. He continued to play local bars and parties. Nancy Glass interviewed him for the national T.V. program ‘Evening Magazine’ while the band played town’s Fourth of July celebration.
The band broke up and Michael drove across America to California to continue to pursue an acting career. He studied with Joanne Baron in Beverly Hills and performed in several independent theatre productions including co-producing and acting in ‘Hooters’ and ‘Vesper’s Eve’ by award winning New York playwright Louis LaRusso (Marlon Brando Sat Right Here). Afterwards, Michael began to study with actor's studio West and Robert Viharo who studied under Lee Strasburg in New York (who appeared in such classic films as ‘Villa Rides’ with Yule Brenner and Robert Mitchum and ‘At Close Range’ with Christopher Walken.).
Michael has worked on several independent films including the A.F.I production of ‘Protozoa’ directed by Darren Aronofsky. He has worked with such notable veteran actors including Val Bisoglio who played John Travolta’s father in Saturday Night Fever, Charlie Dierkup ‘Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid The Sting.
Michael went on to CBS Comedy on the Lot doing improvisational comedy with Paul Ryan who trained Robin Williams. Then he wrote, developed, and performed in an original comedy cabaret show ‘Tony Mac’s Swingin’ L.A.’ The show was L.A. Weekley’s 'Pick of the Week’ and was nominated by Los Angeles Magazine 'Best Cabaret Show for 2000'.
Michael wrote an original screenplay ‘King’s Highway’ based on his real life experiences of growing up in an Italian family and going to Catholic school in New Jersey. He worked on developing it with Jennifer Lynch the Director of Boxing Helena.
Most recently cast as a lead in the Independent feature film ‘Dead Man’s Bluff’ starring Will Smith (Rich Man Poor Man), Michael Pataki, (Rocky IV) and Al Israel (Scarface). The film is currently in pre production.
Michael currently lives in Santa Monica, CA.