Joe Mantegna knows what real marriage is like. His Criminal Minds character David Rossi was married and divorced three times, but that’s not what makes him an expert.
In real life, Mantegna is so different from the role he has been playing for so long, it’s almost unbelievable.
The reality is that Joe is a family man with the marriage stronger than any happy-ever-after story can tell you. But how did he meet his wife?
The sweetest love story
Joe and Arlene met for the first time when they were both in school. He attended Morton East High School in Illinois and she went to Morton West High School in the same state. The two were introduced to each other when they were doing district-wide musicals together.
But playing on the same stage didn’t spark any romance. Yet. Mantegna and his future wife parted ways until they met again on the set of the play Hair in 1969. That’s when the sparks had started flying.
Since then, the two have been inseparable. They’ve been married for almost 50 years, which we have to admit, is very impressive. Mantegna shares:
Outside of my immediate family, she’s the only one that’s really taken the ride with me. She’s been able to be part of it all, and contribute toward it all, and do it all, and see my dreams come true, at least in terms of a career, and have children together.
Speaking of children, Joe and Arlene have two daughters together, Mia and Gia, who inherited their parents’ best features.
The couple’s eldest, Mia, suffers from autism. But her condition only made her and her family stronger. Now, she is working at Arlene Mantegna's restaurant, helping the family business with her bookkeeping skills as she's gifted in math.