Joe Mantegna of 'Criminal Minds' Is a Doting Husband and Proud Dad of Two Beautiful Kids
Famous “Criminal Minds” actor, Joe Mantegna is always so bubbly off the screen. He is the perfect picture of a family man that not many would believe that he has a daughter diagnosed with a rather serious medical condition.
Mantegna, a known American actor, and filmmaker is perhaps most famously known for playing David Rossi in the world-famous crime series, “Criminal Minds.” That is just one of his excellent works in the film industry. He has many awards attesting to his skills and how he is a name of great reckoning in the entertainment industry.
“I’M PRETTY SURE YOUR DAUGHTER IS AUTISTIC.”
Many would think Mantegna has never had troubles and find it hard to believe that the star is the parent of an autistic child. Brain World writes that the actor and his wife of many decades, Arlene made the startling discovery about twenty-four years ago.
Mantegna once revealed a doctor said to them:
“I’m pretty sure your daughter is autistic.”
Delivering Mia was complicated by an infection in the umbilical cord, causing the medical team to resort to performing an emergency C-section to save her life. Mantegna:
“She was a very strong little girl; I saw babies of much higher birth weight do much worse for some reason and not survive.”
Mantegna and his wife didn't notice any difference in Mia until they were in New York where the actor was shooting Woody Allen’s “Alice” and “The Godfather Part III.” They discovered that her speech was nothing like her age mates and that she had problems focusing, so they sought a neurologist.
The actor explained that they didn't expect the diagnosis at all saying,
“it hit my wife and me like a ton of bricks.”
That was mainly because it was sometime in 1990 when autism was less prevalent, and only a very few knew about the condition.
Arlene and me at home in Toluca Lake. We love Toluca Lake and now it’s got its own magazine. Thrilled to be a part of it. Welcome to the neighborhood @tolucalakemagazine! pic.twitter.com/a8qFAz3wGW— Joe Mantegna (@JoeMantegna) March 27, 2018
The Mantegna couple eventually came out of the "confused" phase and made moves to do whatever they could to help Mia live like any other child.
While Mantegna continued working his hats off, he made sure to keep his family very close to him at all times because being the loving husband he is; he didn't want to burden his wife with caring for Mia alone.
THE MANTEGNAS’ BOLD DECISION
Thankfully, the lovely couple met a teacher who had an autistic sister. It was her who persuaded them to let Mia interact with other kids by enrolling her in school, and that doing so, they should make the teacher and her classmates understand her condition.
The now 71-year-old star recalled Mia’s first day at the school when the class teacher walked in front of the class and said:
“This is Mia. She’s going to be a little different than the rest of you kids. She might start singing to herself; she might walk up to the blackboard; she may talk to herself; she may say some inappropriate things. It doesn’t matter. She has autism. And we’re all going to help her.”
He and his wife were moved to tears because it was the first time anybody had done something like that. The pair never shy away from discussing Mia.
Our founders Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett were honored by the @LAPressClub with the Distinguished Storyteller Award! Lloyd Morrisett accepted the award last night from @JoeMantegna and his daughter, Mia Mantegna. pic.twitter.com/mFYWEmDjd6— Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) December 4, 2017
Now over twenty, the youthful beauty is doing very well and works at her mother's restaurant. She even does the bookkeeping, because she is a whiz with the computer and numbers!