Erik Palladino stars as Tully, the son of the DiRestas' landlord and their basement tenant, a career student to whom Kate connects closely, much to the annoyance of her husband John, in UPN's new comedy series "DiResta."
Palladino was raised in Yonkers, New York, one of three sons of a heating contractor and a schoolteacher. As a youngster, he fought hard for the right to stay up late and watch "Saturday Night Live." "I would do battle to watch that show," Palladino recounts. "Belushi was my guy, and Bill Murray. Those guys rocked. Watching that show is what made me go into acting."
Though puzzled by his fascination with "SNL," his parents knew it had a special significance in his life and when he asked to join the Children's Repertory Company at age 13, they consented and have been supportive of his career choice ever since.
Palladino did theater in New York until he was nearly 20, appearing in plays ranging from "Entertaining Mr. Sloane" to "True West." During this time he received his B.A. in Theater Arts from Marymount Manhattan College, which, as Palladino is happy to point out, is an all-women's college, except for the Theater Department. "Lets just say those weren't the lean years," he jokes.
While appearing on HBO's "Short Attention Span Theater," Palladino was convinced by a casting director to come to Los Angeles for the Fox series, "Love and Marriage." That was short-lived, but Palladino stuck around and ended up getting a recurring role on "Malcolm & Eddie" and a memorable stint on "Murphy Brown." "That was sort of shocking," he recalls. "I was 'Danny' in an episode, and then they wrote another whole episode, "Oh, Danny Boy," about this character. There I was, a year out of New York, suddenly sharing a stage with Candice Bergen and Lilly Tomlin!"
In "Can't Hardly Wait," the teen hit of the 1998 summer movie season, Palladino plays Jennifer Love Hewitt's cousin. Next summer Palladino will be seen in the independent film, "This Space Between Us," with Jeremy Sisto, playing a San Francisco native. "It was nice not to do the New York accent thing. I studied voice for two years in college to get rid of the accent, then I come to L.A. and now everybody wants me to do 'New York,'" Palladino says.
Having found an Italian restaurant that he likes, Palladino has adjusted well to Los Angeles. "Can't knock a place so beautiful," he says. In his free time he boxes, listens to music, plays softball and hangs out with his dog.
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