Anthony LaPaglia: Doing It All

Anthony LaPaglia is an actor who can do it all, and Emmy voters agree.

This year, he is not only nominated for his guest appearance in the comedy "Frasier," he's also up for outstanding lead actor in a drama, heading up the FBI's missing persons unit in "Without a Trace."

On Thursday's The Early Show, LaPaglia talks to Julie Chen about his Emmy nominations for "Frasier" and "Without a Trace," playing in front of an audience, and why he never wears green.

Anthony LaPaglia is an actor who can do it all, and Emmy voters agree.

This year, he is not only nominated for his guest appearance in the comedy "Frasier," he's also up for outstanding lead actor in a drama, heading up the FBI's missing persons unit in "Without a Trace."

On Thursday's The Early Show, LaPaglia was modest about his Emmy nominations, saying, "I always think awards show are kind of a potluck."

He says he offers suggestions to the "Without A Trace" writers about how he would like to see his character Jack Malone develop at script meetings, where ideas are thrown around.

While playing his character Simon on Frasier, he always knew if he was funny or not, because of the response of the live audience.

LaPaglia says the Frasier finale was a "kind of a surreal experience. You actually felt like, this is a piece of television history. This is the last show of one of the most successful sitcoms that has gone on the air."

He is superstitious, and can't wear green. "When I used to play soccer and I was a goal keeper, the color most keepers wore then was green. And I always wore it and it was bad luck for me. So I had to pick another color," he says. "I have rituals that I go through. I still play soccer, and I have to put my boots on a certain way, and tape my fingers in a certain way. It's a bit nutty."

"Without a Trace" airs on Thursday nights at 10, 9 central, on CBS.

Facts About Anthony LaPaglia
  • Anthony M. LaPaglia was born Jan. 31, 1959, in Adelaide, Australia
  • Inspired to become an actor by a community theater performance of William Congreve's "Way of the World" in his native Australia; later worked in community theater in Australia
  • In 1982, LaPaglia moved to America and settled in NYC
  • Also in 1982, he made his big break in the Off-Broadway play "Bouncers," a play in which he demonstrated his versatility and talent for accents while rendering eight different characters
  • LaPaglia made a TV appearance as a second mechanic on "The Mission" episode of NBC's "Amazing Stories" in 1985
  • In 1988, LaPaglia made his TV-movie debut in title role of "Frank Nitti: The Enforcer"
  • LaPaglia's film debut, "Slaves of New York," premiered in 1989
  • He received a Tony for Actor in a Play for "A View From the Bridge" in 1998
  • LaPaglia's past jobs were production assistant, waiter, elementary school teacher, professional soccer player, furniture restorer, shoe salesperson and sprinkler installer
  • Anthony LaPaglia's younger brother, Jonathan LaPaglia, is a doctor and actor and was a regular on Fox series "New York Undercover" for the 1996-1997 season