Daniel Margotta was born in Passaic, NJ. He was the first of the three children of Army Sergeant and electrician Daniel Margotta Sr. and Antoinette Piacenti. Daniel is a second-generation Italia-American, with four grandparents coming to the United States from Italy.
Daniel has dreamed of becoming an actor ever since he was a young boy. He grew up in a low-income apartment complex in New Jersey, where his family often struggled financially during his youth. Growing up, Daniel often turned to the streets for fun, forming a tight bond with the other kids in his neighborhood. Because of his size and abundance of energy, Daniel excelled at sports, playing baseball and football, both at his school and with the other kids in his neighborhood. The temptations of the streets, however, also offered Daniel a lot of negative influences, which got him into some trouble during his youth.
At the age of 14, Daniel spent a summer in a program for misguided kids from lower-income families. One of the program’s directors, a man by the name of Dr. Robert Perlett, incorporated a course on the history of cinema into the program’s curriculum. Daniel was absolutely captivated by the course, especially when they viewed On the Waterfront. Daniel was especially inspired because he saw the film’s star Marlon Brando as a kindred spirit. After that summer revelation, Daniel immersed himself in pursuing his acting dream by spending the rest of his teen years taking drama classes.
Daniel’s acting career began in May of 1990 at the age of 18, where he followed up on a casting call for The Godfather Part III. After one of the stuntmen on the crew was injured, Daniel was picked to make a brief appearance as a dead mobster who’d been shot in one of the film’s shooting scenes.
His debut in The Godfather Part III was followed by a series of smaller roles in The Hard Way, Law & Order, and several other productions, where he met and mingled with future and current Hollywood big shots like Michael J. Fox, Fabio, LL Cool J, and Brad Pitt. The following year, Daniel’s new-found Hollywood connections landed him a role alongside funnyman Joe Pesci in the 1991 comedy The Super, which earned him his first screen credit.
Daniel’s biggest break of his young career came in 1993, when he was contacted by a casting director to play the role of Pachunga in the classic Brian De Palma feature Carlito’s Way. Although the role was eventually Luis Guzman, Daniel was given the role of Monchin, Carlito’s bodyguard, which put him on the screen alongside Al Pacino.
The following year, Daniel got a part in the movie The Cowboy Way with Kiefer Sutherland and Woody Harrelson while finishing up his education at NYU. Through other projects, he met Patrick Coppola, nephew of renowned director Francis Ford Coppola. Daniel’s friendship with Patrick Coppola helped him land a job as an associate producer on the films Where Angels Dance and Seaside Seduction.
In 1997, Daniel had the opportunity to work with Al Pacino again in Donnie Brasco, working alongside Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, and Bruno Kirby. In 1999, Daniel collaborated with his old friend Robbie Bryan from The Hard Way on a film The Stand-In, which was Kelly Rippa’s first movie role. Daniel co-starred alongside Kelly in the movie, in addition to serving as one of the film’s executive producers.
After starring in a popular Got Milk? commercial in 1999, Daniel was given a role in the 2000 gangster movie Wannabes, starring alongside Joe Viterelli and Robert Costanza. The following year, he was given a role in Double Whammy, acting alongside Denis Leary, Steve Buscemi, and Elizabeth Hurley.
In 2003, John Hoyt, one of Daniel’s pals from Wannabes got Daniel a starring role in I Am Woody alongside David Vadim, a short comedy that won several awards, including Daniel’s Short Film Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Another Wannabes star, Willy DeMeo, co-wrote a comedy called Searching for Bobby D, and offered Daniel a starring role, where he acted alongside Tyson Beckford, Sandra Bernhard, and Carmen Electra.
After recovering from injuries sustained in an auto accident in 2007 which briefly stifled his acting career, Daniel linked up with an old friend and co-star Federico Castelluccio, who is most known for his steady role on The Sopranos. Castelluccio got Daniel roles in short films The Bronx Balletomane and Lily of the Feast, with Goodfellas star Paul Sorvino. In 2010, his friend John Hoyt wrote and produced a feature film called The Don of 42nd Street, in which he gave Daniel a starring role and an associate producer position.
Daniel lives in Parsippany, New Jersey, and enjoys frequent trips to the Jersey Shore and New York City. Daniel has maintained a deep sense of spirituality throughout his life, and strongly believes in community service and being a good role model. He involves himself in charity work by raising awareness for the terminally ill and placing himself on the list as a bone marrow donor with the HLA Registry Foundation.
Daniel, an ardent Republican, has worked in politics, serving as a member of the Morris County Republican committee and actively supporting several New Jersey politicians.
In 2007, Daniel was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle on Route 46. Daniel was left with several broken bones and endured two years’ worth of physical therapy. Despite the fact that the accident and the resulting injuries hindered his acting career for a couple of years, Daniel saw the accident as a humbling experience, and used the time off camera to go back to school and obtain some professional licenses.
Daniel enjoys fishing swimming, reading, cars, music, and writing screenplays.