Danny Pintauro is the very definition of a survivor. He fought to free himself of drug addiction, outed himself as a gay man, and admitted to being one of the millions of people in the U.S. living with HIV. His honesty and perseverance should be celebrated, as should the special milestone he is about to hit.
Happy Birthday, Danny Pintauro!
And that’s because he was born on January 6, 1976, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which means that this still beloved performer is turning 45 years old today! Pintauro’s arrival was celebrated by Milltown, New Jersey who named him their bicentennial baby and later placed his birth certificate inside their bicentennial time capsule.
Pintauro began modeling at the tender age of two and a half, and within a year, he landed a part of the CBS soap opera As the World Turns. For the next 13 months, he played Paul Ryan, the son of Barbara Ryan (Colleen Zenk) and her dastardly lover, James Stenbeck (Anthony Herrera). Of peculiar note, the tot that Pintauro replaced was Canaan Crouch, the real-life son of Zenk and her then-husband.
Following his tenure in daytime, Pintauro was cast in the 1983 horror film Cujo, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. The plot concerned itself with the havoc wrought by a rabid St. Bernard in general, and in particular the fates of Donna and Tad Trenton (played by Dee Wallace and Pintauro respectively), a mother and son duo who are forced to seek refuge inside an immobile Ford Pinto.
While the novel ends on a somber, pessimistic note – with Tad succumbing to dehydration and sunstroke – the film allowed for a more optimistic conclusion. Tad survives his brush with death; and Pintauro survived a grueling production schedule which included multiple simulated animal attacks courtesy of four well-trained St. Bernards, several mechanical dogs, a black Labrador-Great Dane mix dressed in a St. Bernard costume, and a stuntman wearing a large dog costume!
Between 1984 and 1993, Pintauro became a household name thanks to his role as Jonathan Bower on Who’s the Boss? The sitcom, which starred former One Life to Live actress Judith Light and featured Tony Danza in his first major post-Taxi part, also served as Alyssa Milano’s introduction to a TV audience.
Post Boss, Pintauro’s acting career waned, and he eventually left the film industry to concentrate on his stagecraft. He appeared in productions like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Velocity of Gary, and Mommie Queerest.
Outside of the entertainment world, Pintauro worked as a Tupperware sales representative and a restaurant manager in Las Vegas. As of May 2019, he resides in Austin, Texas, with his husband, and works as a veterinarian technician.
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