The peripatetic nature of his father's profession took the young Pileggi and his family from his native Portland, OR to California to such far-flung locales as Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Iran. He first began acting as a student in an American high school in Turkey, discovering a penchant for musicals. Pileggi fell away from the limelight after high school, taking an undergraduate business degree at the University of Texas at Austin. He worked as a defense contractor himself for several years in Iran before fleeing the revolution. Settling finally in Austin, TX, Pileggi took up performing in community theater and went on to bit parts in TV. Moving to Los Angeles, he won additional TV guest shots and roles in low-budget genre movies--his most notable was as mass murderer Horace Pinker, the lead in Wes Craven's wildly uneven supernatural thriller "Shocker" (1989). His character survives the electric chair transformed into a malevolent energy that kills through TV. Pileggi sank his teeth into the showy part--cast by Craven for his ability to make criminality sexy--but the film's poor critical and commercial reception thwarted the producers' aim to create a new Freddy Krueger. Usually cast as toughs, unsympathetic cops and bad guys, Pileggi had small parts in such films as "Return of the Living Dead Part II" (1988), "Basic Instinct" (1992) and "It's Pat" (1994). Finally achieving celebrity with his role on "The X-Files," Pileggi has become a sex-symbol of sorts to many of the show's ardent admirers. His relaxed and youthful demeanor during conventions and personal appearances has served to enhance his status as a fan favorite. Accordingly, the shows' producers have slowly been giving Skinner more of a life beyond the walls of his office. Pileggi was promoted to series regular with the 1996-97 season.