Mr. Cortese, a Jersey boy, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater/ Communications from Midwestern College in Denison, Iowa, where he studied theatre, under the guidance of his acting teacher Alfred Rusico. While attending school on a drama scholarship, Joe did lead roles in many plays, many with seasoned New York and Hollywood actors. Some of his theatre credits include Lenny in Of Mice and Men, Pozzo in Waiting for Godot, and Patsy in Three Men on a Horse, to mention a few. After graduation he headed to New York and at 22 years of age he started his career in Journalism on Madison Ave. where he became the associate fashion editor for Gentlemens Quarterly at Esquire. After a very creative working relationship with Esquire, he left in pursuit of a career in acting and writing. This pursuit eventually led him to the New York Theatre. Some of his New York and regional credits include Waiting for Lefty and Mommas little Angels both at ETC. Mr. Cortese spent two summers at The Eugene ONeil playwrights foundation in Waterford Connecticut. Joe also starred in the original play Golden Girl portraying Clifford Odets, at Theatre for New City.