He is most notably recognized for his role as Bunny Tagliatti on NBC's soap opera Santa Barbara. He portrayed the role from 1988 to 1990. Following that success, he appeared as Pauly Hardman on the CBS soap Guiding Light in 1994. Following that, he was hired for the role of Joseph Sorel on ABC soap General Hospital in 1999, and appeared for a few years as that character. Joe has had many guest-starring roles on syndicated night-time series, and has appeared in commercials and documentaries as well.
Joe Marinelli has been awarded a prestigious Soap Opera Digest Award for Best Comic Performance in a Soap Opera (as the gangster transvestite Bunny Tagliatti), was a part of three Daytime Emmy awards for Best Soap Opera, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Performance by a Cast of a Motion Picture for his performance in Sideways, which was also nominated for Best Picture in the Academy Awards for 2005.