Half-Italian, half-German/Irish/Scottish/English/Welsh, Anthony Cistaro was born in Kirksville, Missouri, one of six children; two brothers (one with the California Highway Patrol) and three sisters (one with a local Police department). The Cistaro family moved to San Francisco, California when Anthony was three months old. His father worked as a teacher and counselor, while his mother worked as a secretarial assistant in academic departments.
Since the age of four, Anthony dreamed of becoming an actor. In grammar school, two of his instructors, Steve Borchelt and Bill Kovachich, used to write full-length comedies. Usually parodies of existing genres with songs and music. They were huge productions and they gave him his first taste of performing before an audience.
Throughout grammar, middle and high school, Anthony continued to be involved in productions. He attended St. Ignatius College Prep. in San Francisco, graduating in 1981. Following high school, Anthony attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he graduated with a double-major in 1985, earning a B.A. in French and Communication Arts. Afterwards, Anthony accepted a few guest star roles on some of the most popular series on television, including Cheers, Seinfeld and The Nanny.
In Los Angeles, he studied acting technique with Stella Adler, one of the great American teachers of acting. Later, he felt his work was becoming uneven -- in order to get back on track, he decided to spend a few years at the American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.) Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University (1997). Anthony performed in over seventeen productions during his tenure at the A.R.T.
The time spent privately with his family is exceedingly important to him, and Anthony tries to keep them out of the spotlight of the media whenever possible. When asked what he would do if he were not able to continue as an actor, Anthony has said that some career choices that appeal to him include: "teacher, writer, swim instructor, beach lifeguard or FBI agent." For now he enjoys playing the complex and unpredictable Kenneth Irons on Witchblade (2000).