A proud member of both SAG/AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association, Joe’s career continued on its upward trajectory as 2016 began. KD/Justice for All Productions offered and he accepted a three-picture deal to serve as Executive Producer for Blue Lives Matter, Hospital Arrest and Renaissance Man.
In April 2013, while appearing opposite Andrea McArdle (Broadway’s original “Annie” and youngest Tony nominee ever) in a regional theatre production of the Broadway musical Mame, he was cast by noted writer-director Abel Ferrara and joined Golden Globe winners Gerard Depardieu and Jacqueline Bisset in Welcome to New York, a film based on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn 2011 sex scandal. Joe played the attorney who succeeded in obtaining a dismissal of the criminal charges against him. The film premiered at Cannes in March, 2014 and ran worldwide. WTNY had its United States premiere simultaneously in theaters and VOD in March 2015, to critical acclaim.
Lawless is the second of two children to Peggy Hickey and Joe Lawless, third generation Irish Americans and had a typical suburban childhood: parochial school and crowded classrooms, Little League baseball, Pop Warner football, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Joe saw his first Broadway show at the age of 10 and was immediately hooked. He attended St. Joseph’s Prep, a private Jesuit prep school in Philadelphia, where he won the Drama Award at graduation and then continued to pursue his love of theatre at St. Joseph’s College. Joe also found time to be elected President of Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit schools’ Honors Fraternity.
He then graduated from Villanova Law School, served as an Assistant District Attorney, Special Prosecutor and wrote the bestselling legal treatise, Prosecutorial Misconduct. At the same time, he managed to appear in his first professional productions as Arthur in Camelot, Curley in Oklahoma! and Harold Hill in The Music Man.
Joe then took a long “hiatus” to practice law, successfully try a number of high visibility criminal cases and become a sought after “talking head” on such shows as Nancy Grace, Geraldo at Large and Good Morning America. At the nudging of some friends, Joe finally returned to acting in Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles, followed by Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and A Moon for the Misbegotten. In 2012, he took on the role of Judge Logan and his first feature film, the indie The Fret and the Fever.