Richard Grieco was a rising star in Hollywood in the late 1980s starring in 21 Jump Street and a spin-off show, Booker, until his career suddenly derailed and began a rapid descent into obscurity.
Grieco was born
on March 23, 1965 in Waterton, New York to an Italian father and Irish
mother. He was an athlete during his youth and played football for
Central Connecticut State University. As a young man, Grieco modeled for Armani, Calvin Klein and Chanel before studying acting.
Grieco broke into acting in the mid-1980s with minor non-recurring roles on popular television shows such as One Life to Live, Rags to Riches, Who's the Boss, The Facts of Life, and The Bronx Zoo. His break-through role that propelled him to stardom was his role as Booker on 21 Jump Street.
21 Jump Street
was a police procedural crime drama television series that aired
between April 1987 and April 1991. The series focused on a squad of
squad of young undercover police officers investigating crimes in high
schools, colleges, and other locations where youths congregate. The
series was one of the Fox network's more popular shows during the
network's early years. Although co-star Johnny Depp was the biggest star on the show, Grieco's character was probably a close second.
was known as a sex symbol among young women during the late 1980s for
his looks and his popularity led to the Fox network offering him a
starring role on the spin-off show, Booker,
where he continued to play Detective Booker. Unfortunately for Grieco,
however, his new show was poorly received and was cancelled after only
had a guido-like appearance during the height of his stardom, much like
the people who currently appear on the MTV reality show, Jersey Shore.
Grieco attempted to parlay his burgeoning stardom into a singing career. In 1994 Grieco joined the Dunmore Band.
Grieco later signed a contract with a German label and released the
album, Waiting for the Sky to Fall, in 1995. A decade later, in 2004,
Grieco collaborated with music manager Cheryl Bogart to form the band Wasteland Park.
Grieco's acting career, however, practically ended with the cancellation of Booker in 1990 as he nearly fell off the Hollywood radar. (While still a star, he was referenced in this hilarious early-1990s skit on Saturday Night Live
where a group of weight-lifters were in agreement that he needed to
receive a beating.) Grieco did have a starring role in short-lived
series such as Marker
on the UPN network in 1995, but that series was cancelled after only 13
episodes had aired. He did have a fairly prominent role in the 1998 Saturday Night Live vehicle, A Night At The Roxbury, but his appearance didn't seem to help his career.
During the past decade, Grieco has had starring roles in minor straight-to-video flicks such as Final Payback in 2001 and Fish Don't Blink in 2002. He has also appeared in several made-for-TV movies over the years, such as Phantom Force in 2004 and Almighty Thor in 2011.
must have looked at the stardom of former co-star, Johnny Depp, with
incredible envy. Perhaps he also thought that given the success of the Jersey Shore
show, the time was ripe for a Grieco comeback. It appears as though
Grieco may gone under the knife to get some plastic surgery in an effort
to revive his floundering acting career as shown in the photos below.
It appears as thought Grieco may have gotten a nose job
to thin out the bridge of his nose. As a result of this apparent
plastic surgery, Richard Grieco's face looks somewhat feminine and the
long hair certainly isn't helping his cause!
Grieco was briefly in the news in early 2011 when it was reported that he was practically begging to take over Charlie Sheen's role on Two and a Half Men after Sheen was fired in 2011. He also recently produced the Showtime reality series entitled Gigolos, about male prostitutes and claims that he was offered up to $10k a night for gay sex back in the 1980s. Grieco may have resort to male prostitution to raise some cash now, as he reportedly owes over $44,000 in back taxes to the IRS.
Grieco was one one Hollywood's rising stars in the late 1980s.
However, his career suddenly and inexplicably derailed, leaving him by
the wayside. In an apparent effort to jump-start his career he may have
gotten some bad plastic surgery. Accordingly, there can be no doubt
that Richard Grieco is one washed-up celebrity!