In 1986, Buscemi was cast as an AIDS-stricken rocker in Parting Glances, a landmark drama that established his credentials and launched his big-screen career. After guest appearances on TV shows such as "L.A. Law," he found steady film work with turns in Mystery Train (1989) and Barton Fink (1991). He impressed critics with his performance in the cult hit Reservoir Dogs (1992) and expanded his résumé with mainstream fare such as Billy Madison (1995).
Buscemi branched out into directing in 1996 with the well-received Trees Lounge and later returned to television to helm episodes of "The Sopranos." His other notable credits include a Golden Globe-winning role in the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire" (2010-).