'Criminal Minds' Star Joe Mantegna Revealed The Struggle Of Learning His Daughter Was Autistic And How His Family Bravely Overcame The Odds

Date May 18, 2018

Joe Mantegna is a real Hollywood old-timer. One of his roles was in Francis Ford Coppola's iconic The Godfather Part III (1990), and since then he became a go-to actor for portraying Italian mobsters.


I've waited my entire life. Go Cubs!

Публикация от Joe Mantegna (@joemantegna)

For modern audiences, however, Joe Mantegna is agent David Rossi in popular TV series Criminal Minds. As an unofficial father figure of the team, fans of the show are used to seeing the 70-year-old actor as a warm and nurturing character.

© Criminal Minds (2005) / CBS Television Studios

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It's not surprising that Mantegna is perfect in his portrayal of a dad type character. Actor has two beautiful daughters, Mia and Gia, who he loves very much.

Gia even joined her father on the set of Criminal Minds during one of the episodes.

Mantegna's older daughter, Mia, is different from her sister and had to overcome some tough odds.

Learning to live with daughter's autism

Joe Mantegna and his wife, Arlene, learned about their daughter's autism when she was 3 years old. At that time, it was 1990 and most people didn't know what being autistic meant.


Happy Birthday to my darling @giamantegna

Публикация от Joe Mantegna (@joemantegna)

Mia's speech and behavior were not like the other children's. Joe and Arlene weren't sure if they were supposed to treat her differently.

I remember it hit my wife and me like a ton of bricks, because, first of all, it was just a word we had heard about.

After news settled in, Mantegna decided they're going to do the same things they did as a family, which is traveling and going out together. They even sent Mia to the first grade, despite being worried about kids treating her badly.

To Joe and Arlene's surprise, the teacher was very understanding and let other children know that Mia was different, but it was okay.

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Mia grew up to be a bright young woman. She works at Arlene Mantegna's restaurant and helps with bookkeeping because she's gifted in math.

Mantegna's oldest daughter is also interested in makeup. She attended the school for stylists and is now a certified makeup artist.


Joe says he's blessed to know both of his daughters found their place in life and that Mia can take care of herself.

Loss in the family

Last year, Joe Mantegna lost his dear mother, Maryann. She used to be very involved in his career and was always giving Joe advice. The actor admitted to going through tough time after losing his biggest fan.


‪Today my 101 year old mom was laid to rest. We celebrate the life of an incredible woman.‬

Публикация от Joe Mantegna (@joemantegna)

But without his mother, Joe Mantegna has three other wonderful and loving women in his life who always got his back.

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