Born in 1952, Chazz Palminteri grew up in a tough area of the Bronx, and it gave young Calogero (Palminteri's given first name) the life lessons that would later prove very useful to his career. Well known for A Bronx Tale, Palminteri originally wrote the script for the stage and performed it as a one-man show in Los Angeles. Mr. Palminteri was offered over a million dollars to walk away from the project, and with $200 left in the bank, he refused. He wanted to play Sonny and write the screenplay. One night, Robert De Niro walked in to see the show, and as they say, "the rest is history." He then moved the production to New York, where it played for four sold-out months and earned him nominations for the New York Outer Critics Circle for both acting and writing. While in New York, he completed the screenplay of A Bronx Tale and soon found himself starring opposite Robert De Niro, who chose the script for his directorial debut.