- List of The Sopranos characters
- James Gandolfini — Tony Soprano (1999–2007)
- Lorraine Bracco — Dr. Jennifer Melfi (1999–2007)
- Edie Falco — Carmela Soprano (1999–2007)
- Michael Imperioli — Christopher Moltisanti (1999–2007)
- Dominic Chianese — Corrado Soprano, Jr. (1999–2007)
- Vincent Pastore — Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero (1999–2000, recurring 2001-2007)
- Steven Van Zandt — Silvio Dante (1999–2007)
- Tony Sirico — Paulie Gualtieri (1999–2007)
- Robert Iler — Anthony Soprano, Jr. (1999–2007)
- Jamie-Lynn Sigler — Meadow Soprano (1999–2007)
- Drea de Matteo — Adriana La Cerva (2000–2004, recurring 1999, 2006)
- Aida Turturro — Janice Soprano Baccalieri (2000–2007)
- Steven R. Schirripa — Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri (2001–2007, recurring 2000)
- Nancy Marchand — Livia Soprano (1999–2001)
- Vincent Curatola — John "Johnny Sack" Sacramoni (2002–2007, recurring 1999–2001)
- John Ventimiglia — Artie Bucco (2001–2007, recurring 1999–2000)
- Federico Castelluccio — Furio Giunta (2001–2002, recurring 2000)
- Dan Grimaldi — Patsy Parisi (2006–2007, recurring 2000–2004)
- Joe Pantoliano — Ralph Cifaretto (2001–2002)
- Frank Vincent — Phil Leotardo (2006–2007, recurring 2004)
- Steve Buscemi — Tony Blundetto (2004, recurring 2006)
- David Proval — Richie Aprile (2000, recurring 2004)
- Arthur Nascarella — Carlo Gervasi (2007, recurring 2002–2007)
- Katherine Narducci — Charmaine Bucco (2001–2007, recurring 1999–2000)
- Joseph R. Gannascoli — Vito Spatafore (2006, recurring 2000–2004)
- Robert Funaro — Eugene Pontecorvo (2001, recurring 2002–2006)
- Ray Abruzzo — Carmine Lupertazzi, Jr. (2006–2007, recurring 2002–2004)
- Sharon Angela — Rosalie Aprile (2006–2007, recurring 1999–2006)
- Gregory Antonacci — Butch DeConcini (2007, recurring 2006–2007)
- Max Casella — Benny Fazio (2007, recurring 2001–2007)
- Carl Capotorto — "Little" Paulie Germani (2007, recurring 2001–2007)
- Toni Kalem — Angie Bonpensiero (2006, recurring 2000–2004)
- Maureen Van Zandt — Gabriella Dante (2007, recurring 1999–2007)
Recurring guest stars
- Jerry Adler — Herman "Hesh" Rabkin (1999–2007)
- Joe Lisi — Dick Barone (1999–2000)
- Paul Schulze — Father Phil Intintola (1999, 2001–2006)
- John Heard — Vin Makazian (1999, 2004)
- Matt Servitto — Agent Dwight Harris (1999–2007)
- Tom Aldredge — Hugh DeAngelis (2000–2007)
- Suzanne Shepherd — Mary DeAngelis (2000–2007)
- Peter Bogdanovich — Dr. Elliot Kupferberg (2000–2007)
- Jason Cerbone — Jackie Aprile, Jr. (2000–2001)
- Tony Lip — Carmine Lupertazzi, Sr. (2001–2004)
- Annabella Sciorra — Gloria Trillo (2001–2004)
- Robert Loggia — Feech La Manna (2004)
- Cara Buono — Kelli Lombardo Moltisanti (2006–2007)
Secondary character biographies
Rosalie "Ro" Aprile, played by Sharon Angela, is the widow of Jackie Aprile, Sr, and the mother of Jackie, Jr. and Kelli. She is good friends with mob wives Carmela Soprano and Gabriella Dante, to whom she offers characteristically frank advice.
Rosalie was always frank with her friends that she knew her husband, Jackie, had affairs, but seemed to have made her peace with his infidelity. During her marriage to Jackie, Ro had an affair with a man named Steve from her gym, which remained a source of guilt.
One year after Jackie Sr.'s death, she started a relationship with Ralph Cifaretto. Ralph had been a friend of Jackie's growing up and later a soldier in Jackie's crew before he moved to Miami. Their relationship became romantic after Ralph returned from Miami in 2000, following the deaths of both Jackie Sr. and Rosalie's brother-in-law, Richie Aprile. Ralph encouraged Jackie Jr. as he became more and more involved in the family business, providing him with a gun, accepting payments from him, involving him in making collections, and offering advice. Jackie Jr. tried to make a name for himself by robbing a card game (inspired by Ralph's telling the story of how Jackie Sr. made a name for himself by robbing a card game with Tony Soprano), but the heist went awry and a contract was put out on him. Unbeknownst to Rosalie, it was Ralph who ordered her son's death. Jackie Jr.'s cousin, Vito Spatafore, executed the hit, and the official story (as told to Rosalie, the rest of her family, and family friends) was that Jackie Jr. was killed by black drug dealers.
Following her son's death, Rosalie sunk into a prolonged period of mourning. Ralph began an affair with Janice Soprano. Rosalie's friend Karen Baccalieri died soon after Jackie Jr., and Ro's depression worsened. Ralph chose this opportunity to break up with Rosalie, claiming he was tired of her constant grief. Rosalie, angered by his selfishness, ordered him out of her home. (He left and attempted to move in with Janice.) She eventually forgave him, though, and visited him when his son was in the hospital.
Rosalie has always been a loyal friend to Carmela, and her advice to her friend is generally loving but blunt. Of particular note was their discussion of A.J. after he dropped out of college in season six. Rosalie told Carmela to be firm with A.J., because she didn't want Carmela to make the same mistakes she had, and end up burying her son. Rosalie also advised Carmela throughout the latter's flirtation with decorator Vic Musto — warning her of the dangers of infidelity and the guilt from her own experience but was supportive about the difficulties of living with the double standards inherent in a mafia marriage. Rosalie is considered an aunt by Carmela's children.
Rosalie had severed her relationship with Angie Bonpensiero following Big Pussy's disappearance (he was believed by the wives to have entered the witness protection program), but they ultimately reconciled and Angie discussed her increasing business involvement with the Soprano/DiMeo crime family with Rosalie. Rosalie belongs to the same church as Carmela and is a friend of Father Phil Intintola — she thinks of him as a sweet man. After Carmela pulls back from her relationship with Father Phil he seems to replace her with Rosalie. Rosalie was also friends with Adriana La Cerva (to whom she was related by marriage through Jackie Aprile) and attended her wedding shower.
Rosalie was supportive of Ginny Sacramoni when her husband John was arrested; she attended the wedding of Ginny's daughter Allegra, and took part in a birthday celebration for Ginny at her home.
Rosalie accompanied Carmela on a trip to Paris in the Season 6 episode "Cold Stones". They visited many of the city's sights and Ro lit candles for her late husband and son in a church. While there, she pursued a brief relationship with a much younger Frenchman named Michel. Carmela upset Rosalie by asking about her grief over her son and husband while they were supposed to be enjoying their trip, but Rosalie was quick to forgive her friend. She also comforted Carmela through some difficult moments while they were away. Rosalie attended Bobby's wake in the series finale, "Made in America".
Robert "Bobby Bacala" Baccalieri, Jr., played by Steve R. Schirripa, was a Capo and later the acting underboss of the DiMeo Crime Family, as well as Tony Soprano's brother-in-law. He was formerly one of the top aides to Corrado "Junior" Soprano.
His name is derived from real life organized crime figure Robert Bisaccia, also known as Bobby Cabert, who is an alleged member of the Gambino crime family based in New Jersey. Bobby Bacala, unlike many of his fellow wiseguys, was big-hearted and quite shy. He ran Junior Soprano's old loan shark business. Although not officially a captain, Bobby was a high-ranking soldier who ran Junior Soprano's interests as acting captain and reported directly to Junior, and more recently to Tony. Before his death, he was thought to be the heir to the job of boss, if Tony was whacked or arrested. Bobby was the son of Bobby Baccalieri, Sr., a highly respected mobster, (Tony Soprano referred to him as "a real terminator") who fronted as a barber. Bobby's father suffered from advanced lung cancer, but returned from retirement for one last job before his death in an auto crash, which Bobby found quite distressing. Before joining Junior Soprano's crew Bobby was a head waiter until at least 1986 and was groomed by his father Bobby Sr. At some point, Bobby became a made man, although without making his bones. Bobby was married to Karen Baccalieri until her death and they had two children, Bobby III and Sophia.
Bobby was quite different from the other men in the Soprano crime family. He was quiet, almost shy, sweet and even-tempered; these traits made him well-liked, if not necessarily respected. He was obese, which brought him much ridicule, but he was very loyal and even Tony apologized to him after making cracks about his weight. In turn, Bobby was always respectful, and sometimes affectionate, towards Tony, telling him "I always liked you," in the aftermath of a feud that saw Tony order the deaths of several members of Junior Soprano's crew, with Bobby ("The Last Man Standing") and Junior the sole survivors. He bore no lasting grudges against Paulie Gualtieri or Christopher Moltisanti, who carried out these hits, and appeared briefly looking delighted on the day Christopher was 'made.'
Bobby operated Junior Soprano's loan shark business in his stead and also acted as Junior's assistant while he was under house arrest on federal racketeering charges. Junior eventually rewarded him by putting him in charge of his loan shark operation during the later part of his prosecution. Bobby was made acting capo when Junior had Murf Lupo step down in "For All Debts Public and Private".
Bobby was very loyal to his wife, Karen, and was the only made man in the Soprano crew without a comaré. The only time he was ever seen with another woman other than his wife was in the episode University. When Ralphie walks back into the Bada Bing after beating Tracee to death, Bobby could be seen talking to another stripper. However, Bobby lost his wife in a car accident and took it especially hard. Following Karen's death, Janice Soprano, along with many other women, actively pursued Bobby, trying to help him out as much as possible (with cooking and watching over Bobby's two children) but also trying to initiate a relationship with him.
When his grief continued, Janice went so far as to use the internet to expose his children to a Ouija board within their house. This frightened them and cleared a path for Janice to demonstrate that Bobby's grief was affecting his children. Despite Bobby's initial reluctance, the two were soon married and he soon fathered a daughter, Domenica. Bobby remained unaware of his wife's machinations at the start of their relationship. Bobby also enjoyed playing with model trains.
Since 2001, when he assisted Tony in rescuing Christopher Moltisanti and Paulie Gualtieri from the Pine Barrens, Bobby had grown closer to Tony. Additionally, as Ralph Cifaretto put it, "dating the boss's sister will help a made man's career"; nevertheless, Tony had recently stepped up his expectations of Bobby, whom he felt was taking their new found family relationship as an excuse not to earn at a competitive level, compared to other members of the family. Bobby rose to the occasion by supplementing his income with $7000 he received for shooting a rapper he met at the hospital, while Tony was in the ICU, in order to raise the rapper's profile.
In the Season Six episode, "The Ride" Bobby's wife, son and youngest daughter were involved in a ride accident at the feast of St. Elzear while he took his other daughter to the bathroom. Bobby's initial reaction was relief that his family were unhurt. Janice berated him for not standing up for them at a later Sunday dinner at the Soprano residence. She later accompanied him when he paid a visit to the ride owner. Bobby stormed into his motel room, beat him up and tried to extort money from him but learned that Paulie Gualtieri had been responsible for withholding the funds needed to repair the ride. Bobby tracked him down at the festival and angrily confronted him - the two were separated by other associates in the crime family. At Christopher's belated bachelor party Bobby left soon after Paulie arrived. Tony ordered Paulie to make things right with Bobby. The episode demonstrated Bobby's devotion to his family, but also confirmed his credentials as a man not to be crossed lightly, further cementing his position in the higher echelons of Tony's crew.
In the Season Six episode, "Moe N' Joe", Bobby was beaten and robbed by a street gang as he was making his collections. One of the gang members fired a shot at the sidewalk near Bacala's face and a concrete fragment injured his right eye. The injury left his sight in the eye uncertain. Despite the injury, Bobby made certain his payments reached Tony, by way of a concerned Carlo Gervasi visiting Bobby at the hospital.
Bobby's injury prompted Tony to reassess his relationship with his sister and brother-in-law. Tony's feelings of guilt prompted him to broker an agreement with Johnny Sack that allowed Bobby and his family to buy Sack's house at half price.
In the Season Six Episode, "Soprano Home Movies", during a game of Monopoly with Bobby, Carmela, and Janice, Tony began to make rude remarks towards Janice in reference to her promiscuous behavior as a younger woman, which Bobby took as a disrespectful affront. Unexpectedly, a usually meek and passive Bobby launched his fist into Tony's face, knocking him to the floor. Bobby won the fight, battering the inebriated Tony quite severely but also injuring his boss's pride. Tony, although reasonably gracious in defeat, was embarrassed at having been defeated in a brawl (especially by Bobby of all people) and frequently asserted to Bobby, Janice, and Carmela that he would have won the fight had he not slipped on the rug nor undergone such physical impotence since being shot by Uncle Junior. As a partial result of this awkward incident, Bobby was tasked with murdering the brother-in-law of one of Tony's Québécois associates, an important hit that formed part of a deal to save money on a pharmaceuticals racket. It was Bobby's first murder; Tony mentioned earlier that Bobby had never "popped his cherry" with wetwork.
Bobby's attitude was also affected by his elevation to Tony's acting underboss, and the added responsibility and privileges of the position. Tony brought Bobby up into the administration of the organization, because his earlier plan of positioning Christopher Moltisanti as his emissary and eventual heir had failed, following their personal falling out. While Paulie Walnuts held the nominal title of underboss, Bacala attended high-level meets and sit-downs alongside Tony and Silvio being a high-ranking capo however, he was never considered as an underboss but was consulted in strategy sessions, such as when Tony consulted Bobby about what to do about Phil Leotardo's attempts to displace him as boss of the family. A few years earlier, Tony would have never brought Bobby into such a high-level discussion. And unlike Moltisanti, Bobby did not take Tony's trust for granted nor did he take his new position lightly. Conscious of his abrupt rise from low level soldier to underboss, Bobby actually worked hard to keep Tony's trust and respect, rather than simply coasting on his goodwill as Moltisanti had, and his loyalty and work ethic hadn't gone unnoticed or unappreciated by Tony.
War broke out between the New Jersey and New York families in the episode "The Blue Comet". New York boss Phil Leotardo ordered the deaths of Bacala, Silvio Dante, and Tony Soprano. FBI agent Dwight Harris informed Tony at Satriale's that a snitch in Brooklyn implied that Phil had ordered a major hit on the New Jersey crew. Tony then gave orders to inform everyone of the upcoming assassination plot. Bobby left his cell phone behind as he entered a hobby shop, preventing him from receiving the call about the likely assassinations. While looking at a vintage train set, "The Blue Comet", two men entered the store and opened fire. Multiple gunshots sent his riddled body crashing on top of a model train display. Later in the episode, when a saddened Tony is reflecting on Bobby's death, holding the assault rifle that Bobby gave him on his birthday, Tony flashes back to the moment when he and Bobby were fishing, contemplating their own fates. Bobby observes that when getting killed, you "probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"
Until at least the first half of season 6, Bobby drives a 1980s Lincoln Mark VII, and his family car after marrying Janice is a third generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, which, in Soprano Home Movies, he backs into a tree while drunk. In The Blue Comet, he is driving a Cadillac DeVille, which he is seen exiting just moments before his death at the hands of Lupertazzi gunmen.
Murders committed by Baccalieri
- Rene LeCours: killed to appease the brother-in-law of one of Tony's Québécois associates and lower prices on a pharmaceuticals racket; also in compensation for striking Tony, which led to a long drawn-out brawl the night before. Being Bobby's first murder, he hesitated when killing him. (2007)
Charmaine Bucco is Artie's wife and the mother of his children Chiara Bucco, Melissa Bucco and Arthur "Art" Bucco III.
Artie is a longtime childhood friend of Tony Soprano; they went to elementary and high school together. He works as the co-owner and head chef of Nuovo Vesuvio, a local, upscale, Italian restaurant. He sometimes wishes he could be involved in Tony's seemingly glamorous criminal activities, but lacks the "image" and know-how. His wife, in turn, is frequently concerned about his attraction to (Tony's) "the business," often warning him about his occasional attempts at involvement, or even when he hints that he may wish to get involved. David Chase has stated that Artie's is based on a man named Daniel Somers—Chase's NYU roommate—who was known to be a self-loathing man; and like Artie, enjoyed basking and wallowing in self-pity.
Despite Artie and Tony's close friendship, their relationship has seen several low-points. At the end of Season One, Artie learns from Tony's mother, Livia, that Tony was responsible for burning down his original restaurant, Vesuvio. Tony's Uncle Junior had been planning to stage a hit at Vesuvio on "Little Pussy" Malanga (not to be confused with Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero) and, despite Tony's repeated requests, refused to move the hit to some other venue because the target felt comfortable there. Tony, knowing that the restaurant's patrons would be permanently chased away if a hit occurred there, devised arson as the win-win solution to this problem (i.e., no hit at Vesuvio, and Artie could rebuild it with the pay-out from his insurance policy). Artie builds a bigger and even more prosperous restaurant, the Nuovo Vesuvio. However, Artie had a strong emotional attachment to the old restaurant (which he inherited from his father), and goes on an angry rampage when he finds out that his best friend destroyed it (confronting Tony with a hunting rifle in the parking lot of Satriale's). Eventually, Artie believes Tony's repeated denials of having been the arsonist (only technically true, since Silvio actually firebombed the place...on Tony's orders), and he destroys his rifle before driving off erratically. There is a brief tension between the two, but by the end of the Season One finale, they have made up. Artie even keeps his kitchen open past closing time to prepare a special meal for the Sopranos when they seek refuge at Nuovo Vesuvio during a fierce thunderstorm. Tensions over Tony's arson briefly resurface after the death of Tony's mother in Season Three. At a gathering at the Soprano household after Livia's funeral, Artie, who was catering the affair, turns over Tony's garbage cans and tells Tony that he guesses that their "secret" died with Livia.
In Season Four, Artie approaches Ralph Cifaretto for a $50,000 loan. This money would let him act as shylock to Jean-Philippe, the brother of the new French hostess at Vesuvio, who needed $50,000 short-term to fund a business venture. Ralph denies Artie's request on the grounds that if Artie couldn't pay him back, he wouldn't be able to hurt Artie in revenge because of his close relationship with Tony. Tony finds out, and is hurt that Artie didn't come to him first for the loan. Tony agrees to lend Artie the money on relatively generous terms (1.5% interest) and Artie, in turn, lends the money to the Frenchman on more strict terms (12.5% interest). Jean-Philippe defaults (as he was scamming Artie the whole time), and Artie, seeking to force payment, visits him to rough him up—only to get beaten up himself. Despondent and unable to repay Tony's loan, Artie attempts suicide by overdosing on pills and alcohol, calling Tony before he loses consciousness, sobbing, "I love you and I'm sorry I let you down." Tony had been in a fragile emotional state to begin with because he had just learned that his ex-comáre, Gloria Trillo, had committed suicide—which he blamed himself for. Tony calls 911 but is angry when he shows up at the hospital because of Artie's lack of consideration for those around him in attempting suicide, asking him, "Suppose I come over to your house and find you dead? How am I supposed to feel?" Tony tells Artie that he'll assume the Frenchman's debt (including the interest), and collect it himself, if Artie agrees to cancel Tony's $6,000 tab at the restaurant. Artie agrees, but suggests that Tony knew how the whole thing would play out from the beginning (Artie would get suckered and fail; Tony would benefit twice by taking collecting on Jean-Philippe's debt, and get his restaurant tab erased). Tony becomes irately indignant over this suggestion and storms out, telling Artie not to tell anyone about either their arrangement or the suicide attempt. The two don't speak to each other for the rest of Season Four, and into Season Five; although, Tony still frequents Vesuvio during this timeframe.
In the third episode of Season Five, Tony learns that Artie has been living in a Motel 6 since his wife (Charmaine Bucco) got the house in their separation. Tony offers to let Artie stay in his mother's old house, where Tony has been living since his separation from Carmela. Artie accepts, and the old friends reconcile.
By Season Six, Artie and Charmaine have reconciled. There is a growing sense of dissatisfaction amongst Nuovo Vesuvio's diners, culminating in the episode "Luxury Lounge". Artie has hired another young hostess that he lusts after—Martina, an undocumented Albanian immigrant that he has been helping through the U.S. government's immigration process. Soprano crew associate Benny Fazio is a regular fixture at the restaurant's bar, flirting with Martina (to Artie's chagrin, ostensibly because Benny has a wife who is expecting their first baby soon). The restaurant is losing many customers to a new rival restaurant (Da Giovanni's). Also, Artie spends increasingly less time cooking the food, delegating his Italian family recipes to non-Italian, illegal immigrant, line cooks. Charmaine worries that Artie's constant presence on the floor, chatting to customers, is also hurting business. Carmela sums up the restaurant's problems as a depressing atmosphere, stale menu, and aging decor. Tony suggests to Artie that promotional discount offers might help; Artie responds with hostility to any advice given. He accuses Tony of disloyalty for dining at Da Giovanni's, and again references his involvement in the arson of the first Vesuvio. The restaurant's finances worsen when American Express won't let its customers use its cards there, because several account numbers have already been stolen there and fraudulently misused to run-up charges elsewhere. Artie calls a staff meeting to ask the perpetrator to come forward, or to at least halt his/her activities. However, his insecurities once again get the better of him, and he becomes irate and accuses one, then all, of the employees of stealing from him. The coat-check girl, Sandy, tells Artie after the meeting that she has noticed immigrant Martina wearing new, $600 shoes. Artie confronts Martina and she instantly breaks, tearfully admitting to stealing, then passing, the charge card numbers to Benny; but, she instantly accuses Artie of changing his attitude toward her (from helping, to harassing) once he realized that she was sexually attracted to Benny, not him. Artie is enraged and storms to Benny's house in the middle of the night. The undersized Benny tries to deny his involvement, but Artie is undeterred. Artie starts a brawl, and surprisingly, beats Benny unconscious on his own front porch. He seems particularly angry that Benny saw him as an easy target, because he is not a wiseguy.
Tony invites Artie and his wife out on his boat, then lectures Artie about his behavior. He tells him Benny is baying for blood. Artie again refuses to accept advice, bemoaning the lack of fruit for his years of labor. Tony insists that Benny dine with his family at Vesuvio to celebrate his parents' anniversary—not the ultra-popular Da Giovanni's, as Benny had planned to. The occasion falls at the same time as the restaurant's first "twofers night" — an occasion that disgusts Artie (who has always regarded his restaurant as being above such promotions). Artie makes a veiled reference to Benny's relationship with Martina while chatting-up the family at their table; this prompts a humiliated Benny to storm into Vesuvio's kitchen, and plunge Artie's right hand into a scalding pot of tomato sauce. Tony visits Vesuvio with his wife and mother-in-law, and privately suggests that Artie go see Dr. Melfi for help, as he has been "going about his life in pity for himself". Artie insults Tony by telling him to go to Giovanni's, instead (rhetorically questioning whether they would serve him customized food, bland enough for his damaged pancreas, as Artie did him after his shooting). Tony responds by telling Artie a hard truth: no one likes his excessive chatter on the restaurant floor, and he should spend more time in the kitchen.
In 2007, the indication is that Artie has dealt with his personal issues, and worked to restore his business—Nuovo Vesuvio even plays host to then-New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini (in a cameo appearance). Artie had also catered Christopher Moltisanti's belated bachelor party at Nuovo Vesuvio, and without coming into confrontation with Benny.
Artie's father (also Arthur Bucco) was a chef and was married to Dorothy "Dot" D'Auria Bucco; they were both born in Newark, New Jersey. His paternal grandparents, Angelo Bucco and Concetta Palagonia Bucco, emigrated from Baiano, Avellino, Italy in 1913 and opened the family's first restaurant in 1926. This was Bucco's Vesuvio in the Italian First Ward of Newark, New Jersey. The second Bucco's Vesuvio opened in Bloomfield, New Jersey in the early 1950s. Artie's parents helped finance his attendance at the Cooks Culinary Academy in London, England. Soon after he graduated, his parents retired to New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Artie and Charmaine took over Vesuvio as equal partners.
Charmaine is an old friend of Carmela Soprano's, and married Artie Bucco -- a friend of Tony Soprano's ever since grade school. She also dated Tony Soprano in high school, and several allusions to their high school sex life are spread throughout the series—especially one scene in the episode, The Test Dream. Artie and Charmaine co-own an upscale Italian restaurant, Vesuvio (inherited from Artie's father); Charmaine runs the front-of-the-house, and Artie is the head chef. Charmaine's education is referenced periodically in the series: for instance, in The Test Dream, Tony reveals that Charmaine is a licensed notary public. Also, in the Season Four episode Everybody Hurts, when Charmaine raises concerns over losing control of Vesuvio, in relation to Artie's excitement over Tony's offer to become an "investor" in Vesuvio (which would fund Artie's dreams of transforming the restaurant into an ultra-high-end, extension of his own ego), Artie sarcastically retorts that this business idea would never pass Charmaine's "incredibly high Wharton School of Business standards".
Artie and Charmaine have three children together, one son, and two daughters. One of their daughters played with Meadow on the high school soccer team.
In Season One (1999), Charmaine and Carmela have drifted apart. Charmaine resents that Carmela enjoys an affluent lifestyle that is only made possible by her husband's criminal activities. She discourages Artie from associating with Tony because of those mafia connections, and talks Artie out of accepting suspiciously generous gifts from Tony. Charmaine and Carmela's friendship reaches a crisis point when Carmela hires the Buccos to cater a silent auction fundraiser at the Soprano home. Carmela treats Charmaine like a servant, prompting Charmaine to exact revenge by revealing that she slept with and dated Tony at the same time he was beginning to date Carmela (who was on a trip with her parents at the time).
Charmaine's often appears shrewish and irritable, and she rarely masks her growing annoyance at her husband's deepening association with members of the Soprano crime family. However, she could also be considered one of the series's few moral anchors. She never compromises her moral and ethical decency; as a result, she's one of the few recurring characters who is never corrupted by Tony Soprano's influence.
Following a series of escalating arguments, Artie and Charmaine finally separate. Artie sees Tony as the person who can help him realize his dreams of fame and fortune. Charmaine sees Tony as a cancer-like threat to their family's chances to achieve The American Dream. She also feels that the more Artie pursues Tony's influence and approval, the less Artie likes and listens to her. She leaves, telling him, "You're not getting the kids". Since the split, Charmaine considerably improved her personal appearance, while defiantly continuing to work at Nuovo Vesuvio (which the Buccos opened to replace Vesuvio, which burned down in Season 1, episode 1).
Charmaine ultimately reconciles with Artie. During their restaurant's financial difficulties in 2006, Charmaine remains level-headed and actually supportive of her husband.
Albie is a former soldier in the Leotardo crew, and has reputedly worked for Phil Leotardo since the 1980s. After Johnny Sack was arrested and indicted on various charges, Phil was promoted to Acting boss, and Albie was made new consigliere. Albie helped mediate the Barone Sanitation dispute with the Soprano crime family. He also attended Allegra Sacrimoni's wedding, and sat at Phil's left hand at the meal to celebrate Gerry Torciano getting his "button" at the Vesuvio. Albie accompanied Phil to New Jersey for the Feast of St. Elzear, and helped organize the distribution of stolen vitamins that Tony offered them from a truck hijacking. Once Johnny Sack allocuted in federal court, Albie expressed relief, saying, "Could have been worse. He could've flipped." Phil expressed outrage at this statement, feeling that Johnny should have stood trial instead of admitting the existence of "this thing of ours." Alongside newly-made Underboss Butch DeConcini, Albie was one of Phil's most trusted advisors and confidants, often seen talking either only to Butch or Phil himself. After Phil hatches the plot to kill the entire regime of the Soprano crime family, Albie first protests in shock that taking out an entire family is impossible, however, he later agrees to Phil's decision. Along with Butch, Albie plans the executions of Tony Soprano, Silvio Dante and Bobby Baccalieri. In the final episode, "Made in America", Albie meets with Tony, Paulie Gualtieri, Little Carmine, Butch DeConcini, and George Paglieri, in New York, where the Lupertazzis agree to end their war with the Sopranos. He does not disclose to Tony where Phil is hiding, saying he "can't go there, but you do what ya gotta do."
Murders Ordered By Cianflone
- Faustino "Doc" Santoro: Killed during the New York power struggle.
Ralph "Ralphie" Cifaretto, played by Joe Pantoliano, is not present in Season 1 or 2, as he spends a prolonged amount of time in Miami from spring 1999 to mid-2000, returning following the "disappearance" of Aprile capo Richie Aprile. Ralph first appears on the show as a soldier in the Aprile Crew in the second episode of season 3," Proshai, Livushka" but eventually reached the rank of Caporegime of the Aprile Crew in the DiMeo crime family, under the regime of Tony Soprano and Junior Soprano. He is characterized as an excellent earner but also unstable and prone to sudden outbursts of violence.
Ralph's 2000 return
Ralph was a member of the DiMeo crime family. He was born in the late-1950s and grew up in New Jersey along with associates Tony, Silvio, and Jackie Aprile Sr. He didn't move up in the ranks of the family nearly as fast as his peers; he credits this to not going along with the robbing of Feech La Mana's card game, which led to Tony, Silvio, and Jackie, Sr. getting made and respected. At one point, Ralph mentions he wanted to be an architect but had to drop out of the eleventh grade after his mother's death, to raise his brothers and sisters. Ralph was sent down to Florida to watch over the family's interests in Miami, which he described as one big vacation. In Miami, he did excessive amounts of cocaine and developed an addiction, and later would blame the drug for his violent outbursts. He returned to New Jersey in mid-2000, following the disappearance of Aprile Crew caporegime Richie Aprile. As he was a soldier at the time, albeit a high ranking one, he unofficially tried to take over the Crew despite Tony's reluctance to make him captain, and often referred to it as "my crew".
Status with Tony
Although they had gotten along in their youth, recent years had Tony having problems with Ralph; he viewed Ralph as obnoxious, disrespectful, and insubordinate, which is why he passed Ralph over for promotion and gave it to the less qualified, but more docile Gigi Cestone. Although Ralph was the highest earning member of his crew, Tony could not bear to promote someone whom he despised so much. At the time, Ralph had become obsessed with the 2000 film Gladiator and would incessantly quote the film, occasionally acting out the most violent scenes, which became very annoying to others around him. Ralph was always totally oblivious to others' feelings and would make the most inappropriate comments at the worst possible times. In the episode "Another Toothpick", Vito Spatafore's brother Bryan is violently beaten and put into a coma, and it is revealed that he will probably suffer permanent brain damage from the attack. Ralph remarks "look at the bright side: he wasn't that smart to begin with." He also undermines the leadership of the Aprile crew capo Cestone, who chooses the elderly Bobby Baccala, Sr. to kill Bryan's assailant, saying "You send in an old man; what's he gonna do? Gum the guy to death?"
As an earner
While Ralph may be loud and obnoxious, when it comes to earning, he is undefeated. Even when his son, Justin, was on the verge of death and comatose in the hospital, it does not hinder his earning ability, which is also complimented and acknowledged by Tony. Upon his return from Miami, he (as Junior says) "really whipped the Aprile Crew into shape." His earning skills assist in Tony seeing past him as a hazard and temporarily becomes Tony's prized earner during his short reign as capo of the Aprile Crew. Paulie becomes exceptionally jealous of Ralphie, because Ralphie outearns him and because the two don't get along. Paulie envies Ralphie to the extent that he is persistently searching for the slightest excuse to have him killed. Paulie becomes peripheral to Tony, as Tony is always focused on the abundance of income Ralph earns for the family. It is revealed that the family receives $3 million a year in construction alone due to Ralph's adroit business and managerial skills. Ralph does, of course, have a considerable advantage over the other capos, since he is in charge of the highly profitable Esplanade Construction. Reviewer suspicions have elicited the theory that the construction source may be bringing in more than $3 million a year and that Ralphie is only kicking up a certain percentage to Tony and pocketing the rest. This theory is somewhat valid, since Ralph lived considerably more lavish than the rest of the Soprano Crime Family members. His financial status is comparable to that of the big earners of the New York Lupertazzi Family. When Christopher discovers his corpse after Tony brings him over to Ralph's house, he comments, "He was a captain, T... our biggest earner." Patsy Parisi speculates to Albert Barese over their suspicion that if Tony whacked Ralph over the horse, that anyone of them could get whacked just as easily.
The Stripper Incident
In the episode "University", he enters the Bada Bing's V.I.P. lounge, loudly quoting and acting scenes from Gladiator. After making inappropriate comments, he picks up a chain and proceeds to swing it at Georgie, the club's head bouncer and bartender, in an attempt to imitate a battle scene from Gladiator. Although the men urge Ralph to calm down and women begin screaming, Ralph continues swinging until he inadvertently hits Georgie in the eye, which causes Georgie to have to wear an eye bandage for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Ralph has also begun a volatile relationship with a 20-year old stripper named Tracee. Although very beautiful and sweet, Tracee is also extremely naïve, unaware of Ralph's true nature. When Silvio comes to Ralph's apartment one afternoon to get Tracee, who had been loafing around with Ralph instead of working to repay Silvio the money he had loaned her for braces, Silvio becomes violently frustrated and smacks her hard across the face, which Ralph finds funny. One night while Ralph is conversing with Christopher, Bobby, and Gigi, Tracee walks by, and Ralph comments that she can't even say hello. Tracee is angry at Ralph for not calling her for a few days and insults him in front of his friends. Angered, Ralph proceeds to follow Tracee outside where they reconcile for a moment until Ralph makes yet another inappropriate comment regarding Tracee's pregnancy — earlier asserting to Tony it was his baby — a claim he later denies to Johnny Sack. Ralph calls Tracee a "cock-sucking slob" then turns violent when Tracee slaps and spits at him. Ralphie then becomes very enraged and he proceeds to hit and stomp Tracee to death. When Silvio, Paulie, Tony, and Christopher discover her corpse laying outside, Silvio instructs Chris to cover it up with a sheet, while the others bring Ralph back outside to explain himself. Tony instantly sees past Ralph's lie that "she fell." After Ralph says "It's my fault she's a klutz?", Tony strikes him repeatedly. Ralph defends himself by shouting, "I'm a made guy!" Tony justifies his actions by saying that Ralphie "disrespected the Bing."
This incident causes temporary bad blood between Ralph and Tony. Although Tony feels his response was justified, others, especially Ralph, feel it violated traditional Mafia code. Although Silvio believes that Ralph's actions were indeed despicable, Tony would only have been able to physically retaliate if it had involved a woman whom Tony either had a sexual relationship with or who was a blood relative, and Tracee was neither. After Gigi Cestone dies of an heart attack, Tony reluctantly installs Ralph as captain of the Aprile Crew, for he is the most qualified at the time. Ralphie's crew becomes the highest earning crew of the family, mainly due to Ralph running the lucrative Esplanade construction project.
In the season 3 penultimate episode "Amour Fou", inspired by a story from Ralph, Jackie Aprile, Jr. (Ralph's stepson to be) and some friends rob a poker game that belonged to Ralph and his crew, which ends as Jackie shoots Furio Giunta, a made man, in the leg, and killing the dealer, Sunshine. Christopher Moltisanti, shot and killed Renzi. To control the situation, Ralph reluctantly orders the boy's death. In season 4, it is discovered Ralph is into sado-masochism, including role playing as a female prostitute and being sodomized by his girlfriends via a phallic device of some sort. He briefly pursues relationships with Rosalie Aprile and Janice Soprano; both of these relationships end badly. Ralph dumps Rosalie for Janice (with whom he'd been messing around clandestinely behind Rosalie's back for a brief time), but Janice quickly dumps Ralph (possibly because of his preference for masochistic sex). In the episode "Mergers and Acquisitions", Ralph's latest mistress, Valentina La Paz, is introduced who later complains to Tony about Ralph's sexual inadequacies and eccentric sexual fetishes; she later breaks up with Ralph as well, begins dating Tony, and is his mistress through the end of Season Five. Valentina later makes it explicitly clear to Tony it was Ralph's sexual idiosyncrasies that caused their relationship to end.
The Weight Joke
In the episode "No Show", while at Albert Barese's birthday dinner, Ralph makes a derisive joke regarding Johnny Sack's overweight wife, Ginny. Johnny Sack is eventually informed of the joke via Paulie Gualtieri, who is in prison on a firearms registration charge at the time. Johnny is so personally insulted that he contracts a hit on Ralph for the insult, only to call it off at the last minute. Unbeknownst to Johnny, calling off the hit not only saved Ralphie's life but also his own, for Carmine Lupertazzi had planned for Johnny to be murdered indirectly via Tony Soprano's hit men. By sanctioning the hit on Ralph, Johnny was being insubordinate to Carmine who would not sanction the hit himself, as Carmine judged that taxing Ralph may be appropriate punishment for the insult, but that a hit would be extreme.
Pie-O-My, his son's injury, and his demise
The final straw comes when Ralph purchases a race horse from Hesh Rabkin named Pie-O-My. The horse is a winner and makes Ralph and Tony (who offers advice on racing strategy) a lot of money. Because of Tony's advice, Ralph gives Tony a "piece" of his winnings. However, while Ralph only cares about Pie-O-My as a means to make money, Tony becomes emotionally attached to the horse, even paying for veterinary help and staying with her when she gets sick.
In 2002, in the episode "Whoever Did This", Ralph's son Justin is badly injured when a bow and arrow is accidentally shot in his chest while playing an unsupervised game of Lord of the Rings. Ralph is devastated, and turns to Father Intintola for guidance, becoming remorseful about his many sins. Tension between Tony and Ralph comes to a head when Pie-O-My dies in a suspicious stable fire. Tony suspects Ralph caused the horse's death to collect the $200,000 insurance policy to cover his son's medical expenses. Tony goes to Ralph's house to confront him. Although Ralph vehemently denies setting the fire, he mocks Tony's concern for the situation, pointing out that while he has special affection for animals, he shows no similar concern for human life. Once again, heated words turn into a violent battle. Tony punches Ralph, knocking him across the kitchen. Although Ralph fights back with pots, frying pans, a knife, and sprays Tony in the eye with Raid, the fight culminates with Tony strangling and slamming Ralph's head against his kitchen floor. During the fight, Tony screams out that "She was a beautiful, innocent creature!" and while that is clearly a reference to Pie-O-My, many reviewers felt Tony was also referring to Ralph's murder of Tracee the stripper.
Tony enlists the help of Christopher Moltisanti to help dispose of the body. Christopher cuts off Ralph's head and hands with a meat cleaver, also discovering he's bald and wears a toupee, and places them in a bowling bag. Ralph's body is wrapped up and weighed down and thrown over into a quarry. Tony and Christopher then go to Mikey Palmice's hospitalized father's farm and bury the head and hands. Christopher, despite being high on heroin at the time, sees past Tony's lie that he found Ralph dead and knows in his heart Tony did in fact kill him over the horse. Ralph's disappearance becomes quite an issue, but Tony eventually concocts a story that Johnny Sack had Ralph killed over a business deal gone wrong. Ralph rubbed almost everybody the wrong way, thus the real circumstances behind his death are never investigated. Ironically, however, right before he died, he was on his way to becoming the person he should have been all along: a Ralph people liked and respected.
Ralph lived in a townhouse when he first moved up from Miami, which he left when he moved in with Rosalie Aprile, and later briefly with Janice Soprano. When he becomes a capo, he is obviously making more money and buys a large suburban home in West Orange, New Jersey. He also drove a dark green 1996 Lincoln Mark VIII.
- Later on in the series, Tony has three dreams which include Ralph, as well as Tony's other victims, such as Big Pussy and Mikey Palmice.
- In the season 4 episode "Calling All Cars", which happens to be two episodes after the one in which Ralph is murdered, the first dream Tony has about him involves Carmela driving Tony's father's old Cadillac with Ralph in the passenger seat. A caterpillar appears on Ralph's bald head and then turns into a butterfly. When Tony discusses this dream with Dr. Melfi in therapy, Melfi points out the transition of the caterpillar to butterfly signifies a change, indicating Ralph was trying to become a better person shortly before his death.
The second dream of the episode involves Tony following Ralph into an old house where Tony sees a silhouette of a woman at the top of the stairs.
- In the episode "The Test Dream", Tony rides in a car with Ralph, Pussy, Mikey Palmice and several other deceased characters. When Tony asks, "where we going?" Ralphie replies, "We're driving you to the job."
- In the season 6 part II episode "Remember When", Paulie Gualtieri is reminiscing about how he, Ralph, and Big Pussy Bonpensiero took Tony out to eat after he did his first hit on the bookie Willie Overall, at which point Tony is reminded about the Ginny Sack joke and questions Paulie as to how Johnny Sack may have found out; Paulie's understanding of what actually happened to Ralph (along with him, Tony and Silvio murdering Big Pussy) leads him and the audience to believe Tony is going to kill him too, but Tony decides to let Paulie live.
- In the episode "Walk Like a Man", Christopher Moltisanti, while extremely intoxicated, reveals to J.T. Dolan that he knows Ralph was murdered.
- In the series finale, "Made in America", Paulie tells Tony he doesn't want the job as captain of the old Cifaretto crew because of the bad luck that befell anyone in charge of the Aprile crew, including Ralph.
Butch "The Little Guy" DeConcini, played by Greg Antonacci, is a high ranking member of the Lupertazzi crime family, first appearing in the show as a capo and later being promoted to underboss.
Butch is initially a capo but later becomes the underboss of the Lupertazzi crime family under Phil Leotardo. He attended Little Carmine Lupertazzi's "meeting of minds" to try to resolve a dispute with the Soprano crime family in 2006 after Tony responded to the murder of Vito Spatafore by blowing up a wire room in Sheepshead Bay that was owned by Phil Leotardo. After the effort failed, DeConcini was vocal in his desire to move against Tony Soprano. DeConcini was critical of Albie Cianfalone's assertion that the attack showed that Tony had balls, saying he felt his bombing of one of Phil's properties was similar to the 9/11 attacks and should be met with an effort to eradicate the perpetrators. When Phil refused to consider killing a boss, it was Butch who suggested they move on someone else in Tony's family. Phil soon suffered a heart attack and Butch kept watch at the hospital with others—he was confrontational when Tony visited Phil. When Phil ordered a hit on Doc Santoro to take over the Lupertazzi family once and for all, it was Butch who oversaw the assassination behind the wheel of one of the getaway cars. Upon Phil's permanent elevation to boss, Butch was made underboss of the family. Alongside Albie Cianflone, Butch is one of Phil's primary confidants and advisors. While Butch may have an old grudge against the Soprano family, he puts business first when it becomes clear that Phil's attempt to wipe out the Soprano family leadership has failed, and he notices Phil's threatening tone regarding his future due to the failure to find and murder Tony. During a sit-down with Tony Soprano and Paulie Gualtieri, he, along with Albie Cianflone and Little Carmine Lupertazzi, agree to end the war against the Soprano family. While Butch will not give up Phil's whereabouts (it is earlier established that Phil won't tell Butch where he is), he gives consent on behalf of the Lupertazzi family for Tony to hunt down and murder Phil. Butch would seem to be the likely choice to become Boss of the Lupertazzi family.
Murders ordered by DeConcini
- Faustino "Doc" Santoro: Multiple gunshot wounds to various parts of the abdomen and face. Killed during the New York power struggle. (2007)
Benito "Benny" Fazio, Jr., played by Max Casella, is an associate of Christopher Moltisanti, who began working for the Soprano crime family with Chris under Capo Paulie Gualtieri and continued to work for Chris after his elevation to Caporegime.
Benny debuted in the third episode of Season 3, with his release from county jail and renewed association with Christopher. Benny belongs to the crew run by Paulie and later Moltisanti. He began working for Christopher just after Christopher became a made man in 2001 (Season 3). Benny's star began to rise due to his association with Christopher, as well as the fact that he is the godson of Soprano capo Larry Barese.
In 2001, Benny and Chris often hung out at the Ooh-Fa Pizzeria, which brought them into contact with Jackie Aprile, Jr. Jackie informed them of an opportunity to rob a Jewel concert at Rutgers University. Benny and Chris committed the robbery and made a clean escape with Jackie driving.
In 2002 (Season 4), Benny was awarded one of the "no-work" carpenter jobs at the esplanade construction site and was often found there following this. He was assigned the important task of killing two would-be assassins contracted by Tony to whack New York boss Carmine Lupertazzi after the hit was called off. Benny and Petey LaRosa ambushed and killed the hitmen - two black heroin dealers - who were set up by Christopher Moltisanti.
Over time, Benny became a trusted associate and came to be known by boss Tony Soprano, acting both as a driver and as a guard of his house during his separation with Carmela. Benny also worked with Christopher as part of Tony's scheme to get Feech La Manna sent back to prison — they pretended to mention a truck of stolen electronics only in passing, but knew Feech would want to get involved. He did, and stored them in his garage, but his parole officer had been tipped off and came to investigate.
However, in late 2004, Benny was seriously beaten by New York capo Phil Leotardo. The crisis brought on by Tony Blundetto was reaching a head and Phil severely beat Benny to send a message to Tony. Phil knew of Benny's friendship with Chris and position as driver to Tony; Phil and Benny had been present together at meetings between Tony and Johnny Sack. Tony, feeling guilty about Benny's fractured skull, offered to give Benny his button when he recovers, as a consolation, meaning he will become a made man.
By 2006 Benny appeared to have recovered from the attack fully. His responsibilities included driving acting boss Silvio Dante while Tony was in the ICU, guarding Tony's ICU room and chasing down Vito Spatafore to his comare's beach house following the revelation that he was homosexual. Benny was partnered with Patsy Parisi in a business relationship with Angie Bonpensiero and was responsible for assisting her auto body shop business and handling money she invests in loan sharking.
It was revealed that Benny is married to Jen Fazio with a son on the way. However, Benny began an affair with Martina, the newest hostess at Nuovo Vesuvio's, much to the irritation of owner and head chef Artie Bucco who had his eyes on her.
Benny was involved in Chris' credit card fraud scheme with Mohammed and Ahmed, using his relationship with Martina to get account numbers used at Nuovo Vesuvio and selling them on through Soprano crew associate James "Murmur" Zancone. Benny was also responsible for paying Chris' tribute to Tony while Chris visited L.A. Tony had Benny deliver the money straight to Artie to cover his tab at Artie's restaurant, ironically paying Artie back with money drained from his own business.
American Express investigated Vesuvio's role in the credit card fraud and pulls his ability to accept their cards, prompting Artie to identify Martina as the criminal in his staff. Artie confronted Benny at his home; the scuffle that followed sent Benny to the hospital. Despite orders from Tony to make peace with Artie, Benny later gets revenge after Artie insults him at a family dinner that Tony insisted he organize at Vesuvio. Benny was there to celebrate his parents' anniversary and Artie offers him a "Martina", saying it's an Albanian martini, adding that "...they go down real easy". Enraged, Benny follows Artie to the kitchen and holds his arm in a pot of boiling tomato sauce, burning him very badly, and also rams his head into the large metal counter. Benny later attended Chris' belated bachelor party, also at Nuovo Vesuvio which was hosted by Artie, but the two refrained from initiating further violence.
Benny was also able to exact some revenge for his beating by Phil Leotardo. Tony assigned Benny the task of watching Phil's wire room in Sheepshead Bay when the Soprano crew bombed it. Benny was pleased to report to Tony that Phil and his girlfriend arrived just before the explosion and was knocked down (but relatively unharmed) by the blast. By 2007, Benny was a made man making his own collections, with a rank of "Soldier".
Benny is present at a card game where Little Paulie Germani is thrown out of a window by Christopher Moltisanti. Benny, shocked by what Chris has done, calls an ambulance. He has also accompanied Paulie Gualtieri and Silvio to the Bada Bing and was in Atlantic City with Tony and crew while Tony gambled away a lot of money. Following Moltisanti's death, Benny is saddened, as the two were close, but consoled himself with the thought that Chris had persevered to battle his drug problem. After Chris's death in the episode "Kennedy and Heidi" Benny remarked he was out making his collections when he heard of Chris's death. Benny also helped guard Tony while he was on the lam from Phil Leotardo. Benny and several of Tony's other crew members were checking gas stations to find Phil Leotardo after a some intel from Agent Harris. Benny is last seen acting as the getaway driver when Walden Belfiore shot Phil Leotardo to death at a Raceway Gas Station. In season 5, he drives a Chevrolet Camaro which he crashes into the side of a building while trying to escape from Phil Leotardo. In season 6, he is shown to be driving a Chrysler 300.
Murders committed by Fazio
Little Paulie Germani
Paul "Little Paulie" Germani, played by Carl Capotorto, is thought to be the nephew (later revealed to actually be a first cousin) and right-hand of Soprano family Capo Paulie Gualtieri. Germani is an associate and later soldier in the Moltisanti crew.
Later in Season 4, Germani was tasked with vandalizing Carmine Lupertazzi's restaurant when Tony and Carmine got into a dispute over the HUD scam. He was also responsible for intimidating Alan Sapinsly after Tony's separation caused him to withdraw from a contract to buy property from Sapinsly. Paulie and Benny used Tony's home entertainment system speakers on his boat to blast Dean Martin recordings at the Sapinsly home at all hours.
Germani regularly hangs out with Christopher and accompanies him on debt collections visits. Germani has taken a few knocks in the past, noticeably at a Columbus Day rally and after taking a joke too far with Eugene Pontecorvo at the Esplanade construction site. In season 5, Little Paulie accompanied Chris when collecting a loan from writer J. T. Dolan. In season 6, Germani has been seen enjoying the private room at the Bada Bing with Benny and Chris. Paulie also attended Chris's belated bachelor party.
Germani helped his uncle organize the 2006 Feast of Saint Elzear and when his corner-cutting caused a ride to malfunction, Little Paulie was left to deal with the police.
In the Season 6, part II episode "Walk like a Man", Little Paulie is badly hurt after being pushed out of a second story window by Christopher during a feud with Paulie. He suffers 6 broken vertebrae. He helps in the war with the Lupertazzi crime family, disguising himself as a police officer while searching for Phil Leotardo.
Gervasi was promoted to caporegime of Jimmy Altieri's crew after Jimmy was murdered on suspicion of being an F.B.I. informant. He had the unique position of being in charge of obtaining grey-market goods from container ships docking at the Newark ports. These procurements included everything from Vespa scooters to provolone cheese. Carlo also accompanied Tony, Ralph and Hesh to the stables to purchase the racing horse Pie-O-My. In Season 6, Carlo attended two celebration dinners at Nuovo Vesuvio, first when his cousin Burt Gervasi became a made man and a second for Christopher Moltisanti's belated bachelor party. When Bobby Baccalieri was injured, Gervasi visited him in the hospital and passed his collections up to an indifferent Tony Soprano. He shares the same last name as reputed Montreal, Canada mobsters Paolo Gervasi, and his son Salvatore Gervasi. The Italian surname Gervasi, along with the French name Gervais, is in honor of the Catholic martyr Saint Gervasius. Carlo's surname is somewhat ironic, in that Saint Gervasius is said to have been beheaded, and Carlo himself beheads the body of Dominic "Fat Dom" Gamiello after stabbing him to death. It is unknown whether or not this was an intentional reference by the show's creators.
Very little is known about Carlo's character. For all of his time on the screen, the audience knows virtually nothing about him. He shares this distinction with Patsy Parisi, another member of the group who has very little back-story and few lines relative to his frequent visual presence. He first appears in a meeting of Tony's crew in the first episode of Season 4, but there was no explanation as to where he came from and how he became part of the gang's inner circle. Carlo is not even directly referenced by name until the sixth season.
His personal life is also shrouded in mystery. Though Carlo has two sons, Jason (who is seen on the show) and James (who is not), Carlo's wife (if he has one) is never seen by the audience, or even mentioned, nor is Carlo ever seen with a comare or mistress. This is in stark contrast to the rest of Tony's crew, all of whom but Paulie have significant others or families who are regularly shown. Carlo rarely speaks, compared to the rest of the crew. The most detail of his life outside of his mob activities that the audience ever sees is shown in the episode "Kaisha", where his house and garage are shown for the only time in the series as he retrieves Dominic "Fat Dom" Gamiello's head from his refrigerator in order to dispose of it. A Jet Ski is seen in his garage; outside of this, nothing is known of his hobbies or interests.
It is only in Season Six that Carlo begins to emerge from the background and become a more important character. Gervasi was given all of Vito Spatafore's construction business in addition to the ports, after the revelation of Vito's sexual orientation and his subsequent downfall, but has suffered recent work stoppages. Gervasi was also outspoken about his disapproval of Spatafore's homosexuality, suggesting to Soprano that his cousin, Tommy knew a detective who might be useful in tracking down Spatafore. His notorious hatred of homosexuals surprised even the other mobsters, wishing that Spatafore be "dragged behind his car." When Soprano decided that Spatafore had to be killed to appease acting New York boss Phil Leotardo, and Silvio Dante asked if the hit should be assigned to anyone in particular, Soprano suggested Gervasi for the job because of his strong views. Tony compares him to Roy Bean. However, Spatafore was beaten to death by Phil Leotardo's men Gerry Torciano and Dominic "Fat Dom" Gamiello before Gervasi could act. Gervasi expressed admiration for Leotardo's commitment to his views, despite the killing of a made man being performed without Tony's permission. Silvio comments that he is as talkative about the subject as Jimmy Olsen. Carlo later avenged his family's honor by stabbing Fat Dom four times with a gigantic chef's knife for making jokes about Spatafore's murder and implying that Gervasi was also homosexual. The killing occurred in the back room of Satriale's pork store and Silvio also took part; Tony Soprano later discovered them waiting to dispose of the body and was angry because of the murder's possible repercussions. Gervasi took charge of disposing of Gamiello's body and drove to Connecticut to deposit his head in a storm drain, phoning Silvio to confirm that the last part was safely away and to ask about Tony's plans to blow up Leotardo's wire room.
Soprano later placed Gervasi in charge of Spatafore's construction business, but he was disappointed with Gervasi's earning capacity in this new role. Gervasi's son Jason attends Rutgers University and is involved in gambling and loansharking there.
Gervasi is later seen participating in the production of Cleaver with Christopher Moltisanti and Little Carmine. He appears to be acting as a consultant, suggesting that more graphic violence may bolster the film's success.
Gervasi's cousin, Burt switched sides during the Lupertazzi/Soprano war and was killed for his disloyalty by Silvio Dante. Carlo wasn't seen to react to the murder of his cousin, but it may have influenced his decision to cooperate with law enforcement. Gervasi accompanied Tony to a safe house to help protect him from Phil Leotardo's hitmen.
In the series finale, Gervasi's son was picked up by the FBI for drug-dealing. Gervasi failed to show up for a meeting with Paulie Gualtieri, which worried Tony Soprano that he may have been cutting a deal. Soprano's attorney confirmed that someone was, in fact testifying before a grand jury and that indictments were forthcoming. In the final scene, Tony told Carmela that Carlo was testifying, thus confirming that he turned informant, likely to keep his son out of jail.
Murders committed by Gervasi
- Dominic "Fat Dom" Gamiello: Stabbed in the stomach multiple times after deriding Vito's murder and also implying Gervasi was a homosexual.
Furio was one of two members of the DiMeo crime family born in Italy (the other being Michele "Feech" LaManna). Tony bargained with the Neapolitan Camorra mob boss Annalisa Zucca for Furio to come to New Jersey to work for him as part of an international car theft operation. This impulse to integrate Furio into his association emerged once he saw Furio beat a young boy for playing with firecrackers and consequently imitating the sound of gun shots. Tony Soprano saw that Furio had absolutely no inhibitions and a merciless wrath embedded by a sincere loyalty to his boss (Furio shields his boss with his own body when the firecrackers are first heard). In order to get Furio a visa, Tony got him a job as a mozzarella maker in the Nuovo Vesuvio Restaurant, enticing Artie Bucco with the idea that Tony will pay Furio's salary and he does not have to be on Vesuvio's payroll. Furio did not particularly excel at honest work, mainly because Artie imposed tougher standards on his kitchen workers than restaurants in Italy, such as hair nets and no smoking on duty. Upon his arrival in New Jersey, Furio became one of Tony's most feared enforcers, intimidating and beating up multiple people who owed Tony money as well as acting as Tony's driver and bodyguard, to the initial resentment of long time senior Soprano soldier Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero.
Furio was an extremely loyal and dedicated soldier for his boss Tony, but he does not appear to have been a violent individual outside of that context. On the contrary, his personality was rather passive and sometimes even childlike, and he generally behaved in a very calm and polite manner. He spoke respectfully at all times and was not known to lose his temper, nor did he ever become entangled in rivalries within the Soprano crew. He also displayed a great deal of sentimentality and nostalgia when talking of his native land of Naples and his former employment working in the olive garden of a rich man. Before his employment with the Italian mafia, he presumably worked as a master cheese maker. Furio was also known for his long hair, which he usually wore in a ponytail, and his penchant for elaborate, flashy silk shirts.
Furio's first assignment was to extract payment from a massage parlor owner whose wife had convinced him to withhold payment. In an earlier visit, Chris had acted in an intimidating manner and shoved a paintbrush dipped in paint into his nostril. Furio was less restrained - he fearlessly smashed up the place, and showed no hesitation about hitting the guests or the owner's wife. He then broke the owner's arm with a baseball bat and shot him in the kneecap - all of which made a positive impression on Tony. Furio was also one of the few people to know that Richie Aprile had been killed, as Tony tasked Furio and Christopher for assistance with dismembering Richie's body at Satriale's. Furio made collections from low-level associates Matthew Bevilaqua and Sean Gismonte and was not above taking a cut of his own. Furio's grabbiness with Matt and Sean would cause problems later, as they are convinced they are being used by Tony, and then attempt to murder Christopher by shooting him.
Furio's role in the overall plot of season 3 is minor. Most notably, in "Amour Fou", Furio is shot in the leg by Jackie Aprile, Jr. while Jackie and his friends Dino Zerilli and Carlo Renzi were robbing Ralph Cifaretto's card game in an attempt to gain some recognition amongst the crime family and possibly get made. Because of his injury, Furio walks with a cane for the next episode (the finale of season 3), but is fine several months later when season 4 begins. In that episode, Furio accompanies Vito Spatafore when Vito hunts Jackie down and executes him.
In the season 4 episode "Everybody Hurts", a sly Frenchman named Jean-Pierre Colbert cons Artie Bucco into temporarily lending him $50,000 for a business investment back in France. Artie borrows the money from Tony Soprano but when Artie goes to Jean Pierre's apartment to collect the money, he claims he doesn't have it and doesn't know when he's going to "get it." Artie and Jean-Pierre scuffle briefly, but Artie leaves bruised and bloodied. Furio is later tasked with reclaiming Tony's assumed debt from Jean-Pierre Colbert, which he does.
Furio eventually began to fall in love with Tony's wife, Carmela, who also saw him as a dashing, sensitive man — Tony's polar opposite — but the two never truly became romantically entwined. Carmela tried to deflect her attraction by arranging dates for Furio. For a time, however, there was significant sexual tension between them. Carmela found excuses to visit Furio including assisting him in buying and decorating a house, and planning a house-warming party, but made sure she was never alone with him. At the house-warming they shared a sexually charged dance, Furio later claims he forgot his sunglasses at the Soprano house, just as a ploy to talk with Carmela.
When Furio's father died, he returned to Italy for the funeral. He sought the advice of his uncle, another Mafia member, telling him that Italy no longer felt like home and that he was in love with his boss's wife, feeling that they could truly communicate. His uncle made it clear he had to move on or kill his boss. Upon his return Furio withdrew from Carmela, presenting gifts to her children but not her. In the season 4 penultimate episode "Eloise", Furio witnesses Tony's infidelity first hand on a night out at a casino when Tony was dancing and being excessively flirtatious with a stripper. This enrages Furio to no end, as he thinks Carmela deserves better. A helicopter had been arranged to take them home and while Tony was urinating of the tarmac, Furio suddenly grabs him by his jacket and contemplates pushing Tony into the back rotor blades of the helicopter. "What the fuck you doin'?!" exclaimed Tony in a very inebriated voice. Furio then pulls him away and plays if off by telling Tony "You were standing too close..." Fortunately, Tony was so intoxicated he only seemed slightly fazed and didn't seem to recall the incident the following day. Faced with the possibility of being killed by a vengeful Tony — and with ongoing thoughts of killing Tony himself — Furio packed up, moved back to Italy and disappeared. Carmela later went by Furio's house and stared in awe at the fact it was empty and for sale. Carmela was devastated, and eventually revealed her feelings for him in an argument with Tony, to which Tony replies "If certain men see him, he's a dead man". (This is one of the only times in the show that Tony explicitly concedes to Carmela that murder is part of his business). In Season 5, it is said that Tony has men looking for him in Italy. However, it is never stated whether Furio was found, as this is the last time anyone spoke of him on the show. Furio's fate ultimately remains unknown.
Philip "Phil" Leotardo, played by actor Frank Vincent, was originally a captain in the Lupertazzi Crime Family, but following the death of the original Boss, Carmine Lupertazzi, the imprisonment and death of his successor Johnny Sacramoni and a brief power struggle with would-be boss Faustino "Doc" Santoro, Phil became the Boss of the Family. Phil was married to Patty Leotardo and was a second cousin of Marie Spatafore. Phil bears a resemblance to the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, leading to Tony Soprano and his family often referring to him as "The Shah". He expressed dislike for the nickname. Phil ultimately becomes the final antagonist of the series.
A prominent member and longtime captain of the Lupertazzi crime family, Phil Leotardo was one of the wiseguys who were sent to prison during the "Mafia Crackdown of the 1980s" and, after serving 20 years, was released as part of the "Class of '04" at the beginning of season 5. Phil was always good at his job; he had an alleged 27 hits to his credit. He quickly rejoined the Lupertazzi crime family, of Brooklyn, New York, once he was released from prison.
Phil got into a financial dispute with Tony Soprano, and when he tried to duck Tony, he was forced off the road, crashing into a parked truck and injuring his neck enough to wear a neck brace around for the next few weeks. Tony later compensated Phil for this by repairing Phil's car free of charge at the Bonpensiero Bros. Body Shop. Phil took full advantage of this and tried to wring as much work as possible out of the deal.
Following Carmine Sr.'s death, a power struggle between two factions ensued. One side was led by Carmine's underboss, Johnny Sack, while the other was ostensibly led by Carmine's only son and Miami Capo "Little Carmine" Lupertazzi, although it is likely that Consigliere Angelo Garepe and Capo Rusty Millio were the real power behind this faction, and Little Carmine, would be used as a "puppet" of sorts.
Phil became Johnny's right-hand man during the war, and carried out murders in order to weaken Little Carmine's resolve. Phil performed a mock execution of Lorraine Calluzzo, while she was tightly taped and gagged, shooting at her while holding a phone book in the path of the bullet, to persuade her to redirect her payments from Little Carmine to Johnny Sack. When she failed to comply Phil returned with his younger brother, Billy Leotardo, and Joe Peeps who killed Lorraine. When Peeps was later killed, Phil and Billy murdered Angelo Garepe in response. Phil coldly ignored Angelo's pleas to spare him because they knew each other. Acting only as Johnny's field marshal until that point, Phil became personally involved in the war when his brother Billy was murdered by Tony Blundetto, as revenge for the hit the Leotardo brothers carried out on Angelo, who was Blundetto's close friend.
Tony Soprano initially protected Blundetto against Phil. Phil stalked New Jersey looking for Blundetto hounding Christopher Moltisanti to his mother Joanne's home and badly beating Soprano associate Benny Fazio. When it became clear that Tony's men would not allow themselves to be imperiled for no good reason Tony was forced to act. Tony ultimately murdered his own cousin to save his family and give Blundetto a quick and painless death. Soprano did this because at an earlier meeting, Johnny Sack had made it clear that Phil would torture Blundetto if he got his hands on him.
Phil was, according to Johnny Sack, 'beside himself' that his opportunity for vengeance was stolen. However, at a meeting between the two bosses, Johnny and Tony made peace, but the moment was interrupted by Johnny's arrest by the FBI, while Tony escaped. With Johnny in Federal custody, Phil became acting boss of the Lupertazzi family, and on the surface was faithful in continuing the work of Johnny Sack. Even Tony Soprano commended his leadership skills.
Phil worked closely with Tony and Vito Spatafore, the husband of his cousin, on the two family's joint construction efforts. Phil mediated the dispute over the sale of Barone sanitation passing messages back and forth between Tony and Johnny Sack. Phil also resolved a dispute over the beating of Hesh Rabkin's son-in-law Eli by offering generous compensation.
However, due to Phil's "old-school" mentality, he developed contempt for formerly close friends who have displayed what he sees as "effeminate" qualities: particularly for Vito when his homosexuality was revealed, and even his own boss Johnny Sack for sobbing when forced to leave his daughter's wedding. At the wedding Phil also watched as Tony collapsed when asked to remove his shoes. Phil's homophobia is portrayed as excessive even by Mafia standards.
Distracted with all the duties of an acting boss Phil made elderly Lupertazzi mobster Albie Cianfalone his consigliere. Phil also placed Gerry Torciano in charge of his old Brooklyn, NY territory. Gerry received his button soon after being given his new responsibilities and Phil gave a speech at a celebratory dinner held at Nuovo Vesuvio. Phil used the opportunity to expound on his feelings about Vito's homosexuality.
Phil visited Marie to try to find out if she knew where Vito was, when she pleaded for mercy for her husband he told her they just wanted to get Vito help. Phil also harassed Tony about his efforts to find Vito.
Phil visited Tony at the Feast of St. Elzear and they planned a last minute hijacking together - Phil suggested they cut Johnny out of a share in the profits and Tony agreed. When Johnny was planning to give in to asset seizures to reduce his sentence he avoided using Phil to conduct any of his business. Once Johnny's allocution at his trial became public Phil again expressed his disappointment in the boss in front of his crew.
In the episode "Cold Stones", Phil played in the background for the majority of the episode, busy sorting out Johnny Sack's turning. Vito, who was back in New Jersey, met Tony and offered to buy his way back into the family. Tony refused, but didn't attempt to harm Vito. Phil and his associates later showed up to ask Tony Soprano about Vito Spatafore's whereabouts. Tony lied, delaying the inevitable.
Tony had arranged for Carlo Gervasi to execute Vito at the mall early in the morning on the pretense that Vito was supposedly meeting up with Tony, to straighten out the messy situation. The night before Vito was supposed to meet up with Tony, Vito returned to his hotel where Phil's soldiers Gerry Torciano and Dominic "Fat Dom" Gamielleo ambushed Vito with pool sticks when he walked in the door. After knocking him down on the floor, Phil ironically emerges from the closet. He slowly walks up to Vito who is being held by Gerry and Fat Dom and sits down on the bed. He looks Vito in the eye and says, "You're a fucking disgrace." And with that, Fat Dom and Gerry Torciano proceed to beat Vito to death with the pool sticks as Phil watches. After murdering him, they subsequently stick a pool stick up his rectum to signify their extreme disdain for homosexuality.
Phil soon returned to routine business, apparently not expecting a response from New Jersey. Yet not long after the murder, Fat Dom was murdered by an enraged Carlo during a visit to Satriale's when he made one too many jokes at Vito's expense, and the body quietly disposed of. Next, Leotardo himself received a shock from Tony Soprano's official response; while on a date with his Ukrainian housemaid, Leotardo approached one of his Brooklyn businesses, only to be blown off of his feet by a bomb planted in the wire room the building had housed.
After an unsuccessful attempt by Little Carmine Lupertazzi to broker peace between the families, Leotardo and his crew plotted revenge. Although Phil balked at the idea of killing Tony himself, captain Butch DeConcini seemingly persuaded him to target someone important to the DiMeo family. However, their planning was cut short when Phil suffered a late-night heart attack and was hospitalized during Christmas 2006. There, Tony paid him a visit, relating the fear and regret Tony had felt during his own near-death experience, and asking for peace in the interests of business. Tony's words seemed effective, even moving Phil to tears. As of 2007, a healed Phil expressed a wish to spend more time at home with his (blood) family, in keeping with the sentiment offered to him by Tony. He had decided to step down as boss and leave the Lupertazzi crime family with his protégé Gerry Torciano in charge. Yet Phil did not strongly back Torciano as successor, and Lupertazzi underboss Doc Santoro soon made his own bid for power by having Torciano murdered.
After deciding to get back in the game, Phil waited, working under Doc Santoro until the old man's arrogance got too much to handle. As Phil sat down to dinner with Doc to acknowledge him as boss, Doc humiliated Phil by literally taking food from his plate. Knowing that he had broad support, including Tony's, Phil ordered a hit on Santoro. Driven by Butch DeConcini, Phil's crew murdered Santoro and an associate outside a massage parlor, leaving him dead on the sidewalk. After the assassination, Phil was permanently elevated to Boss of the Lupertazzi Family, with Cianfalone cemented as Consigliere and DeConcini as Underboss.
Phil rejects Tony's offer of compromise on an asbestos removal project. After Tony viciously beats one of Phil's men, Coco, for threatening his daughter, Phil refuses to meet with Tony and then launches a war against the DiMeo family, ordering that New York is to "decapitate" New Jersey and do business with what's left, instructing that hits be made on Tony, Bobby, and Silvio Dante. Bobby is killed and Sil is wounded so badly that he falls into a coma.
In the Sopranos series finale, "Made in America," Butch DeConcini and Albie Cianfalone arrange a sit down with Tony and Paulie, where they express their dissatisfaction with Phil's leadership and agree to a ceasefire of the war. Butchie says he will not reveal the location of Phil, but then says "You do what you got to do." This following a recent phone conversation with Butchie and Phil, where Phil expressed great disappointment with Butchie and his inability to find Tony Soprano. Shortly thereafter, Leotardo is shown talking to his wife through a car window at a Raceway gas station when he is suddenly shot in the head by Walden Belfiore, a soldier in the Gervasi crew of the DiMeo crime family. Leaving the grandchildren in her Ford Expedition, Leotardo's wife rushes to Phil's side in a panic. Unattended and still in drive with the engine running, the large SUV idles forward and a wheel rolls over and crushes Phil's skull, leading a witness to exlaim "Oh Shit!" and another to vomit. Leotardo's murder was the 92nd murder on the series.
Murders committed & ordered by Leotardo
- Angelo Garepe: Killed by Phil in retaliation for the murder of Joe Peeps, he was ambushed by Phil and his brother Billy, and shot to death in the trunk of Phil's Lincoln Town Car.
- Lorraine Caluzzo : Phil was the lookout at her killing when she was shot and killed by Phil's brother Billy in the early power struggle between New York's families in Season 5 (they also killed Lorraine's boyfriend, Jason Evanina, though this wasn't necessarily planned or ordered).
- Vito Spatafore: Ordered his death through Gerry Torciano and Dominic "Fat Dom" Gamiello, beating Vito to death in his motel room with pool sticks as Phil sat on the end of Vito's bed and silently watched.
- Bobby Baccalieri : Ordered hits on the three top members of the DiMeo (Soprano) Crime Family, Bobby Baccalieri, Silvio Dante, and Tony Soprano, during the War of 2007. Two assailants shot Bobby multiple times in the head, chest, and torso in a model store.
- Phil Leotardo's murder of Angelo Garepe referred back to the death of actor Frank Vincent's character, Billy Batts, in Goodfellas; both were beaten, thrown into a car trunk, and shot while pleading for their life.
- Phil Leotardo's murder of Vito referred back to the death of Nicky Santoro in Casino, where Frank Vincent watches Nicky being beaten to death.
- Phil believes that his family name, Leotardo, originally derives from the famous Italian name Leonardo. When Phil's grandfather came to America from Sicily, the immigration office at Ellis Island obliviously misspelled the name. Related to that, Phil idolizes Leonardo DaVinci as a great Italian.
- Phil's home is located at the intersection of Marlborough/Dorchester in Brooklyn. The street signs can be seen in "The Second Coming" episode, when Tony and Little Carmine attend Phil's residence to broker peace but are ultimately turned away. In reality, this house is located in northern Newark.
Little Carmine Lupertazzi
Little Carmine is introduced in 2002 when Tony Soprano visits him in Miami to seek his counsel in regard to settling a dispute with Carmine Sr. While Little Carmine is initially viewed as a pompous blowhard whose constant malapropisms convey his poor intellect, he later becomes a thorn in the side of Carmine's underboss, Johnny Sack, and ultimately, instrumental to Tony Soprano in his taking down of Phil Leotardo.
In 2004, Carmine Lupertazzi Sr. has a massive stroke and dies a few days later. Little Carmine immediately comes up to New York from Florida for the funeral, and quickly becomes embroiled in a power struggle with Johnny Sack. Since Little Carmine is the son of the former boss, he has some claim, albeit tenuous, to the throne, and this angers Johnny to no end. Even Tony has no faith in Little Carmine's capacity to run New York, jokingly referring to him as "Brainless the Second." Despite his inexperience (Johnny describes Little Carmine as an "idiot" who spends his time "fixing wet t-shirt contests" in Miami Beach) Little Carmine finds backers in Carmine Sr.'s recently paroled, former consigliere, Angelo Garepe, and long-time Lupertazzi Capo Rusty Millio. Angelo and Rusty, along with Rusty's right-hand man Eddie Pietro, pull most of the strings during the war between Johnny and Little Carmine.
However, after a cycle of bloodshed that escalates into war, Little Carmine ultimately finds it difficult to stomach the continuing violence, and abdicates. His decision was heavily influenced by the murder of Angelo Garepe, one of the kingmakers who backed him. After Little Carmine's capitulation, Johnny Sack became the boss of the Lupertazzi Crime Family, and was arrested soon after by the FBI who were acting on information given to them by Johnny's trusted ally and consigliere Jimmy Petrille. With Johnny in federal custody during his trial, Phil Leotardo has become the acting boss in New York. In 2006, Little Carmine is brought in as an investor to a movie project that Christopher Moltisanti looks to get involved in. Little Carmine was instrumental in organizing a meeting with Sir Ben Kingsley to court his interest in the project but he eventually passed on a role.
Little Carmine is not shown with other Lupertazzi crime family members and appears to be keeping a low profile amongst the family. His other backer Rusty Millio was murdered because Johnny feared Rusty would back someone else to take over as boss while he was in prison - Johnny no longer seemed to consider Little Carmine a threat.
Johnny Sack, soon after being convicted of racketeering, develops lung cancer and dies in a prison hospital. After this, Tony Soprano approaches Little Carmine about taking control of the family. Little Carmine remarks '"You never thought you'd mutter those words.'" Little Carmine appears to have realized people generally do not consider him to be as clever or respected in the family business as his father, and despite his frequent malapropisms, he is at least smart enough to know what others think of him. Carmine then proceeds to tell Tony about a dream he had after his father died. In the dream, Carmine Lupertazzi was disappointed in Little Carmine. While Tony took this as a sign that Carmine wanted Little Carmine to succeed him as boss of the family, Little Carmine told Tony that the dream meant that Little Carmine did not have a full life. He also said that he had a near panic attack one day and his wife told him she wanted him to live a long and healthy life and not leave her a wealthy widow. In expressing this, he told Tony that he did not want to succeed Johnny Sack as the boss of the Lupertazzi Crime Family, that his interests and what made him happy were outside of the organization. This seems to make Tony quite envious of Little Carmine's situation.
Little Carmine and Tony both turned to a neutral party, George Paglieri, to broker a secret negotiation between Tony and "The Little Guy" Butch DeConcini, the acting/street boss for Phil Leotardo in hiding. Tony, attending with Paulie Gualtieri, and Butch, with Albie Cianfalone, came to a decision that ended Phil's war between New Jersey and New York. Phil, though his specific location was not betrayed, was abandoned to Tony's revenge by the Lupertazzi administration, and restitution was offered to the Sopranos for the hit on Bobby Baccalieri.
It is believed that the inspiration for Little Carmine's character is John A. Gotti, who was also groomed by his father to take over the reins, despite showing little of the intelligence, tactical brutality, or stomach needed for the job. At the same time, Little Carmine ultimately becomes representative as someone able enough to both remain a kingmaker, and enjoy life while staying out of prison, and in some respects is more of a Michael Corleone character who remains above the dirty street details of the mafia lifestyle.
Pasquale "Patsy" Parisi, played by Dan Grimaldi, is the accountant for Tony Soprano's crew, and is often seen calculating the group's finances in the Bada Bing or Satriale's offices. He, like his brother, is also Tony's cousin on his mother's side. He also acts as a soldier, performing various enforcement tasks for the family. In addition to that, he also procures fine Italian suits for his friends and associates. Patsy is something of a "dark horse" character; he has very little back-story compared to the other members of the crew, and relatively few lines, but visually he is very frequently present on screen. He shares this characteristic with Carlo Gervasi, another high-up member of Tony's crew who is frequently seen but about whom little is known to the audience. Patsy has the distinction of being the only mobster in Tony's group with eyeglasses, giving him a scholarly appearance. He is also never seen smoking cigarettes or cigars, and appears to be in better physical shape for his age than most of the crew — in the episode "Christopher", he single-handedly climbs up a metal utility pole to take down an effigy of Christopher Columbus during a Native American protest. He has an organization, the North Ward Emergency Merchants Protective Cooperative that is used to extort storeowners along with Burt Gervasi.
Patsy had an identical twin brother, Phillip "Philly Spoons" Parisi (whom Dan Grimaldi also played), who had a hit taken out on him by Tony and was killed by Soprano soldier Gigi Cestone. He was born eleven minutes after his brother Pasquale. He is described by Patsy after his death as a "sweet" and "gentle man" who was never "heavy" (violent) with anyone. He is fluent in English and Italian. At the time, Philly was acting capo of Junior Soprano's crew and Patsy was a member. He is from Bloomfield, New Jersey. Patsy never had concrete evidence about his brother's murder but it occurred soon after a brief and bloody war between Junior and Tony, and Philly was known to be talking about Tony's actions. It was this killing that prompted Tony to move Patsy to keep an eye on him. Patsy took the killing very hard, which brought on a problem with alcoholism and considering killing Tony — in March 2001 a drunken Patsy was observed by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents outside the Soprano family home leveling a gun at Tony through his window on his birthday. He reconsidered though, and only urinated in the Sopranos' pool. Patsy also openly vented his feelings of loss to the Soprano crew in front of the men responsible for his brother's death, Gigi and Tony, at a dinner in the back of Satriale's. However, he eventually put his grief behind him.
Patsy still has questionable loyalties. When Patsy's then capo Paulie Gualtieri was in prison in 2001, Tony promoted Christopher Moltisanti to acting captain over Patsy (who had seniority). Patsy didn't take this well, eventually getting into a fight with Christopher. Once Paulie was released and moved up to Underboss, Christopher took over as capo of the crew permanently; Patsy eventually seemed comfortable working with him.
In the penultimate episode "The Blue Comet", Patsy is nearly killed by two men sent to murder Silvio Dante. Patsy manages to hold them off, but Silvio is badly wounded and put into a coma, and Patsy runs into the woods fleeing for his life. He survives and later celebrates his son's engagement to Meadow Soprano with Tony and his family, seeing a great opportunity to get closer to Tony.
As a soldier
Throughout his time with the crew, Patsy has never been seen to commit murder. However, he showed a certain skill for intimidation when warning off Tony's ex-comàre, Gloria Trillo.
Early in the series, Patsy was involved in a smuggling run of luxury clothing, supplying Carmela with a fur coat and Tony's cousin Brian with Italian suits. Patsy and Benny Fazio work with Angie Bonpensiero, handling her money on the street and providing stolen car parts for her auto body repair shop. Patsy helped Paulie intimidate Jason Barone when he was considering selling Barone sanitation following his father's death. He was present when Tony won the respect of the crew by beating up Perry Annunziata at Satriale's. With the revelation that Vito Spatafore was homosexual, Patsy was one of the few crew members not to bay for blood — he laughed at Christopher's jokes and his statement "I could care less" earned derision from Paulie Gualtieri.
Despite not being considered one of Tony's "inner circle," Patsy is viewed as a reliable and trustworthy soldier by Tony. When Christopher Moltisanti is forced to go into rehabilitation for his heroin addiction, Patsy is entrusted with watching him to ensure he does not try to escape. It was implied Tony authorized Patsy to eliminate Christopher should he have escaped, however in Whitecaps, Patsy reports to Tony that Christopher graduated drug rehab, making murder unnecessary.
Patsy makes collections in the North Ward neighborhood. He has been having problems in the area with franchised businesses that refuse to pay him, and the selling of Caputo's poultry (a longtime local store) by Tony annoyed Patsy. Patsy was accompanied on his rounds by newly made man Burt Gervasi. Patsy helped Paulie organize the Feast of St. Elzear in co-ordination with the local church. Patsy genuflected upon entering the church for a meeting with the priest—he takes his Catholicism seriously despite his lifestyle.
Pasquale Parisi is a second generation Italian-American, his family's from San Bassano di Puglia, in the Puglia region of southern Italy.
Patsy is married to Donna Parisi but has been shown with other women while the crew are out with their girlfriends. There is some suggestion that at one point in time Pasquale and Ralph Cifaretto shared a mistress. He has two sons— Patrick in the legal field and Jason who attends college and is involved with sports betting. In the episode Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood, Tony mentions a daughter of Patsy's, but she is never referenced again. In Season Six, Patsy seems pleased that Patrick is dating Meadow Soprano and tells Tony that "wedding bells are in the air" and that they are not too young to be grandfathers. He also previously expressed his pride in Jason's computer and gambling skills. It is also interesting to note that while his eldest son Patrick appears to be an upstanding citizen, pursuing a career in law and dating Meadow Soprano, a like-minded individual, his younger son Jason appears to be a complete sociopath. He is sadistically violent and as he is already involved in sports betting at a young age looks like he is an ideal recruit for the next generation of the DiMeo crime family.
As the series comes to an end, it is implied that Patsy will be much closer to Tony and will be promoted because of the vacant spots in the mob leadership (the death of Bobby, Silvio's coma, and the betrayal of Carlo Gervasi) as well as the engagement of Meadow and Patrick.
Patsy Parisi is the show's only minor character to appear in more than half the episodes.
Eugene Pontecorvo, played by Robert Funaro, was a made man in the Soprano crew, whose jobs included running a low stakes poker game, a sports betting agency, and a "no work" job at the Esplanade construction site.
Eugene Pontecorvo was introduced on the show as an associate in the Soprano crime family in the episode "Proshai, Livushka". Eugene subsequently becomes a made man in the following episode "Fortunate Son" along with Christopher Moltisanti. Like Vito Spatafore and Benny Fazio, he is initially introduced as a small character, whose role slowly increases throughout the series. His first act on the show is seen in "Proshai, Livushka" when he and Bobby Zanone assault a garbage sanitation man for threatening to rat out Ralph Cifaretto. Eugene Pontecorvo also appears in a flashback to 1995 in the episode "...To Save Us All From Satan's Power" as a bodyguard of Junior Soprano's, along with Gigi Cestone. He, along with Vito Spatafore and Donny K., found Gigi Cestone dead on the toilet in the Aprile Crew hangout after suffering a constipation-induced heart attack.
Eugene reveals his mean streak once again in the episode "Eloise" when he and another associate are sent to intimidate a juror who is on Junior Soprano's trial. He pays for the man's candy and drink at a check out counter in the store, intimidating him by expressing "I know you'll do the right thing", implicating he knows he will be a deadlock juror and thereby hinder Junior's conviction.
Although mild-mannered, Eugene has a tendency to lose his temper, similar to Ralph Cifaretto. In the episode Unidentified Black Males, while he and Little Paulie Germani are engaging in what initially began as a harmless banter at the Esplanade construction site, Little Paulie goes too far in Eugene's mind when he conveys through an innuendo that Eugene is a homosexual. Eugene responds by smashing a glass Snapple bottle over Little Paulie's head, causing a severe gash over his eye, and kicks him repeatedly in the head. Vito instructs an overwrought Eugene to take the rest of the day off. When Eugene asks "what about him (Little Paulie)?", Vito responds with "What? I thought I saw a couple of niggers running that way." It's also a reference to the episode's title, "Unidentified Black Males".
In Season Six's premiere episode "Members Only", Eugene inherited 2 million dollars from his deceased aunt. He begins developing serious stress with his home life due to his wife pushing him to talk Tony into their retiring to Florida with the money and also his son's incessant drug-use. He states to his friends that, "The only thing I ever found in the street was my first wife," showing that he has already had at least one failed marriage. Eugene has a talk with Tony about him and his family moving to Florida permanently. Tony says he'll consider it, but he states Eugene took an oath indicating it's highly unlikely he'll approve. Christopher Moltisanti assigns Eugene the task of taking out a guy named Teddy Spirodakis in Boston who owed Christopher money and failed to pay him. Eugene is reluctant, but has to follow Christopher's order due to his rank of capo. Chris assures Eugene he will put in a good word for him to Tony as a favor for doing the hit. Eugene drives to Boston and finds Teddy eating dinner at a fast food restaurant and shoots him repeatedly in the head. Eugene then walks out calmly.
It is revealed Eugene has been an informant for the F.B.I., though it is unclear for how long. After Raymond Curto dies of a massive stroke while giving potentially damaging information to Agent Robyn Sanseverino about Tony discussing a murder, the F.B.I. informs Eugene they also refuse his notion to move to Florida, as they need him in Jersey to help build a case against Tony in the wake of Curto's death.
Silvio informs Gene that Tony denied his request to move. With Tony and the Feds both hindering Eugene's chance to escape the mafia life and his stress caused by his unstable home life, Eugene sees no way out and hangs himself in his basement.
Murders committed by Pontecorvo
- Teddy Spirodakis: Killed at a diner by Eugene on orders from Christopher Moltisanti for failing to pay his debts. (2006)
The character Hesh Rabkin may be a composite character inspired by music mogul Morris "Mo" Levy, founder of Roulette Records, who had connections to the Mafia and owned a string of racehorses and Gaetano "Corky" Vastola who was a member of the Mafia in New Jersey and worked with Roulette Records.
Hesh is a loan shark and an advisor to Tony (the same role he performed for Tony's father, mob captain "Johnny Boy" Soprano). Despite Hesh's long-standing closeness to the Sopranos, as a member of the Jewish faith, he is not and never can be a made man. Nevertheless, Tony frequently seeks out Hesh's advice on a number of issues. When Tony was estranged from his therapist he sought out Hesh as a sympathetic ear but found his listening skills not quite up to his standards, and often Tony gets annoyed in several scenes because Hesh keeps talking. Hesh has the lowest profile out of anyone in the crime family. He is frequently seen in the back room of Satriale's Pork Store and the Bada Bing nightclub, playing cards with Tony's crew or eating with them.
Hesh is an intelligent and shrewd businessman, having made his fortune in the recording industry by founding "F-Note Records" during the 1950s and 1960s by bringing many young black musicians to prominence, getting royalties by having his name added as a co-writer on many songs. Apart from an unabashed greedy streak, Hesh is largely cool-headed and good-natured. He is also unique among Tony's inner circle in that he is well educated. Outside of business, Hesh's passions include his stable of horses and a penchant for statuesque black women. Hesh has a son-in-law named Eli who is also involved in his loan-shark business. Hesh has an encyclopedic knowledge of Soprano criminal activities.
Hesh first appeared in the pilot working with Tony on setting up a scam to defraud HMO medical insurance companies through their debtor Alex Mahaffey. Hesh accompanied Big Pussy to a waterfall to intimidate Mahaffey into participating, although both did it in a non-threatening way, and Mahaffey knew that non-cooperation would end his life, making threats unnecessary. Later, Hesh advised Tony against getting involved with the Teitlemanns, a family of Hasidic Jews, in a dispute over ownership of their hotel. Hesh's predictions of their obstinacy proved correct. Hesh was able to help Tony end a particularly arduous "negotiation" with a novel torture threat.
In "A Hit Is a Hit" Hesh helped Tony's nephew Christopher Moltisanti to realize that his partner and girlfriend Adriana La Cerva had little aptitude for work in the music business. Chris also made contact with Hesh on behalf of Massive Genius -- a rapper who claimed Hesh owed compensation to the widow of a black musician he allegedly defrauded. When Hesh refused to pay, Massive threatened litigation; Hesh shrewdly threatened a countersuit of his own, alleging that the samples used in Massive's music infringed on his copyrights.
In "Christopher" Hesh helped Silvio in his Christopher Columbus day dispute by putting him in touch with a sympathetic Native American casino owner through his friend Jerry Schwartz. Hesh also sold Ralph Cifaretto the ill-fated racehorse Pie-O-My.
In the Season Five episode "In Camelot" Tony discovered that his father, Hesh and Phil Leotardo had been co-owners of a racetrack and that his father had promised a share to his comare Fran Felstein. Tony arranged a sitdown with Phil and Hesh to secure the share which they reluctantly gave up.
In the Season Six premiere "Members Only" Hesh and his son-in-law Eli were attacked by members of Phil Leotardo's crew - they had targeted Eli because they thought he was making collections on their turf without permission. The mobsters set fire to Eli's gas tank to get him and Hesh out of the car and then set about beating Eli. Eli was seriously hurt when he was the victim of a hit-and-run trying to escape the mobsters. Hesh was punched in the face. Hesh demanded and received restitution from Phil at a sit-down mediated by Tony. Hesh visited Tony in the hospital when he was recovering from his shooting.
In the final season Hesh gives Tony a $200,000 bridge loan to help Tony cover a string of gambling losses. Tony fails to repay the loan on time and starts berating Hesh about the vig on the loan which was $3,000 a week, leading to bad blood on both sides. When Hesh's girlfriend, Renata, dies of a stroke, Tony repays the loan out of loyalty but offers only brief and impersonal condolences to his once-close friend, suggesting that the financial dispute has strained their relationship. As of the end of the series, Hesh's fate remains unknown.
Operating out of his Construction Company or Social Club, Johnny Sack was a major player in the New York crime family formerly led by Carmine Lupertazzi. Johnny was Carmine's Underboss for many years, handling political payoffs and bid-rigging for the organization. He ultimately became boss after Carmine's death. Johnny was also a friend of Tony Soprano. Johnny Sack worked to maintain the peace with the other families, reasoning that peace between the families meant prosperity for all the families. He was not, however, above stirring up trouble in Iago-like fashion, sowing dissent and suspicion among the ranks of the Soprano crime family. In the last two seasons Sack showed his brutal side and shed much of his earlier pragmatism and aversion to violence, as he ruthlessly eliminated rivals and potential threats to his power.
But while Johnny Sack usually maintained his cool (he answered his phone by saying "speak"), he was very sensitive about his wife, Ginny who was obese. Johnny became violently angry when any remarks were made about Ginny's weight. He once ordered a hit put on Ralph Cifaretto for making one such off-color joke, although he later cooled down and called it off. This saved Ralphie's life, and also, although unknown to Johnny, his own, since Tony had obtained approval from Carmine to hit Johnny in order to protect the highly valuable Esplanade project to which Ralphie's involvement was key.
Johnny cultivated a friendship with Paulie Gualtieri, making use of him as a source of information about Soprano family business. The relationship began when Paulie felt sidelined by Tony over the esplanade construction project and proved most fruitful when Paulie was imprisoned in 2002 — a time when he felt particularly neglected by his friends. Johnny lied to Paulie — telling him that Carmine held him in high regard and often asked about him. This encouraged Paulie to place more faith in his friendship with Johnny than in the loyalty of his friends in the Soprano crime family. Through Paulie, Johnny learned about Tony's Frelinghuysen Avenue property windfall and HUD scam — allowing the Lupertazzi crime family to demand a piece of the action because their mutual interests made both projects possible. It was also Paulie who told John about the insult that Ralphie made about his wife. However, after a chance meeting with Carmine, Paulie discovered that Carmine didn't even know who he was. Angered by John's deceit, Paulie became one of his biggest detractors.
Johnny Sack sometimes chafed under Carmine's leadership of the family, particularly over Carmine's apparent plans to name his hedonistic and catachresis-prone son Carmine Jr. (aka Little Carmine) as his successor. During the abortive war with the Soprano crew over Tony's Frelinghuysen Avenue operation, he authorized Tony to arrange to have Carmine assassinated. Much to Johnny's chagrin, Tony accepted Carmine's offer of settlement and canceled the hit.
Following the (natural) death of Carmine in 2004, Johnny's crew engaged in a bitter war over the family leadership with Carmine's son, Little Carmine. More violence was threatened upon Tony Soprano's New Jersey family following the unauthorized murder of two of Johnny's men by Tony's cousin, Tony Blundetto, on Little Carmine's behalf. After both New York factions suffered heavy casualties, the conflict was brought to an end with Little Carmine surrendering control of the family. This was followed by a tentative reconciliation with Tony, who had personally taken the life of Blundetto to bury the hatchet. However, the moment was cut short when Johnny was promptly arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the family's consigliere, Jimmy Petrille, turned state's evidence. Even while in jail awaiting trial he remained in control of the Lupertazzi family.
In the sixth season, Johnny entrusted Phil Leotardo with the role of acting boss while he was in jail. Johnny's brother-in-law Anthony Infante acted as a back channel for communications to reach him while he was imprisoned. His wife remained supportive, often visiting him in prison. Johnny was portrayed as becoming more selfish while imprisoned — he commonly disregards the problems of others stating that his "situation" should take precedence. He ordered Phil to maintain a good relationship with Tony and avoid starting a war over any business disputes, particularly the new office park construction project - another shared venture like the esplanade project.
After the death of Dick Barone, while Tony was recovering from a gunshot, Lupertazzi front organization Cinelli Sanitation tried to buy Barone Sanitation, a Soprano front, from its naive new owner Jason Barone. John mediated negotiations about Tony's compensation for this from prison, through Phil. Phil told Tony that Johnny was in a panic state over his finances while in prison. Phil agreed to a solution with Tony, perhaps better than he had been expecting because of Tony's new outlook. Johnny later asked Phil to reach out to Tony to organize a hit on Rusty Millio, but Tony refused, saying he needed to set some boundaries.
Johnny was granted a release from prison to attend his daughter Allegra's wedding. However, he had to cover the cost of U.S. Marshals and metal detectors for the wedding and would have 6 hours maximum. Johnny seemed to enjoy the wedding despite covering its huge cost personally. When the time came for Johnny to leave the wedding he was reluctant to go — he wanted to wait until his daughter and her new groom left. However, the marshals blocked her limousine and dragged Johnny away in handcuffs, causing him to break down in tears. Later, his crew discussed this show as a display of weakness. Tony was the only one to stand up for Johnny, saying that when it comes to daughters, "all bets are off."
While at the wedding John took the chance to talk business, personally asking Tony to perform the hit on Rusty Millio because he was worried Rusty would again act as a king maker, and try to replace him while he was away. John hinted that he was worried that Phil might be the one nominated by Rusty. Tony agreed to take on the job and he contracted it out to a two-man crew flown in from Naples, Italy, Italo and Salvatore, who executed Millio and quickly returned to Italy.
Johnny again reached out to Tony for help, this time with his financial situation. Johnny elected to use his brother-in-law Anthony as a go-between instead of Phil. Johnny knew he faced asset seizures and wanted to secure some capital for his family — he planned to sell his share as a silent partner in a heavy equipment lending firm in New Orleans. Johnny had received the share when one of the owners, Paul Calviac, got into thousands of dollars of gambling debt with him. The deal was not without difficulties. Calviac was embittered and unwilling to sell any of the company facing huge profits following Hurricane Katrina, Anthony had trouble communicating in code with Johnny and Tony wanted more than the 7% of the sale that Johnny had suggested. Johnny eventually let Tony's brother-in-law, Bobby Baccalieri, buy his home at half price in order to ensure that Tony would enforce the sale.
Johnny's efforts to maintain control of his family ultimately proved futile. His lawyer, Ron Perse, floated the possibility of cooperating with the FBI, but John was quick to dismiss this. However, as the trial neared, Ron arranged a deal with the government on Johnny's behalf. Facing a massive asset seizure that would have left both him and beloved wife destitute and a case he could not possibly beat, Johnny pleaded guilty to 47 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) predicates for a reduced sentence of 15 years and a fine of 4.2 million dollars — effectively ending his position as boss (but still leaving Ginny enough money to live comfortably). As part of the deal, he was also required to give an allocution admitting his involvement in organized crime (although he did not reveal the names of any associates). Members of both the Soprano and Lupertazzi families were angered by his allocution, believing that John should have stood trial before admitting anything regarding La Cosa Nostra. Johnny was now serving 15 years in federal prison, and was considered persona non grata among his former associates.
During his incarceration, Johnny developed a highly malignant form of lung cancer brought on by a 38-year smoking habit. He died at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri not long after receiving a grim prognosis from an oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Before his death, John asked his brother-in-law how he'd be remembered, to which he responded, "well-liked and respected" but added he was a bit of a hot-head. John simply shrugged, as he knew that no one really knows the stress involved in being a boss, possibly foreshadowing the mayhem to follow in New York after his death. When news spread to the Bada Bing and Tony's crew that Johnny had passed he was given a touching salute from his friends and fellow boss, showing that despite his guilty plea Johnny was still a respected mobster and Cosa Nostra associate. A picture of John at a healthier age was put up next to portraits of Carmine Lupertazzi Sr. and Billy Leotardo on the wall in John's social club, now owned by Phil, to commemorate the late Don of New York.
Unusual for a Mafioso, it was implied that Johnny Sack was always faithful to his wife, whom he loved deeply. If so, this would make him one of the only two married wiseguys in The Sopranos to stay monogamous, along with Bobby Baccalieri.
John was a walking paradox. His enigmatic expressions while in deliberation were contrasted by his decisive expression when giving out orders. He was in control of those around him. It can be noted that Johnny Sack would rarely visibly display his rage or irritation, except when his wife's reputation was involved. In most other cases, Johnny chose not to show his feelings, but rather acted behind the scenes to take his revenge or undermine people. This would mean he was invisibly pulling strings in certain situations to sabotage people or deals. Also, his loyalty, even in an organized crime context, can be seen as flexible. Depending on the opportunity, he was prepared to either help or at least not try to prevent hits on Junior Soprano, Tony and Carmine.
When disputes between the Soprano and Lupertazzi families occurred, John was publicly almost always the voice of moderation. When Tony and Carmine both declined to back off in their dispute on the Esplanade deal, Johnny tried to convince Carmine to still change his mind and not resort to violence. For Johnny, it was the profit of all involved (including his own) that mattered most in such cases, not honor and respect.
Vito Spatafore, Sr., played by Joseph R. Gannascoli, was a member of the DiMeo Crime Family and a subordinate of Tony Soprano. He was married to Marie Spatafore with two children, Francesca and Vito, Jr., and was a closeted homosexual. This was revealed in the show's fifth season and later became one of the more prominent subplots in the sixth season.
Although Vito Spatafore wasn't introduced on The Sopranos until the Season 2 episode "The Happy Wanderer" as a nephew to fellow mobster Richie Aprile and later a cousin to Adriana La Cerva and Jackie Aprile, Jr, the actor who plays his role, Joseph R. Gannascoli, appears in the Season 1 episode, "The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti" as pastry shop patron named "Gino". Vito is inducted into the Aprile crew upon Richie's release from prison and quickly rises through the ranks to Capo after the deaths of capos Richie Aprile, Gigi Cestone and Ralph Cifaretto. Vito's character is based on Vito Arena, a homosexual mob associate in the Gambino crime family.
Assault on his brother
In the season 3 episode "Another Toothpick", Vito's brother, Bryan Spatafore, is violently beaten with a golf club by a young hot-head known as Salvatore "Mustang Sally" Intile and put into a coma. Vito is vindictive and demands someone render Sal's comeuppance. Tony Soprano enlists in the help of Bobby Baccalieri's father, Bobby Baccalieri, Sr., to perform the hit on Mustang Sally.
Whacking Jackie Aprile, Jr.
In 2001, in the season 3 finale episode "Army of One", after Jackie Aprile, Jr. had gone into hiding after he and his friends hit Ralph Cifaretto's card game, ending with Jackie, Jr. shooting and killing Ralph's dealer, Sunshine, in a panic, Ralph Cifaretto was pressured by Tony into setting things right by having Ralph order a hit on Jackie despite Ralph's wanting to give him a pass. Vito performs his first on-screen murder by shooting Jackie, Jr. in the back of the head. Although the cover story for Jackie, Jr.'s death was being "killed by African-American drug dealers", his sister doesn't buy the story, given the fact they grew up in the Mafia world and stating, "He was killed by some fat fuck in see-through socks. Take your pick. They all look alike."
Rise to capo
In 2002, in the Season 4 episode "Whoever Did This", Tony Soprano brutally strangles and beats Ralph Cifaretto to death after it is believed by Tony that Ralph is responsible for the death of their prized racehorse Pie-O-My. Vito is subsequently promoted to capo of the Aprile Crew, as he was second-in-command.
In 2004, in the Season 5 episode "Unidentified Black Males", it is disclosed to viewers Vito is in fact homosexual after he is caught performing oral sex on a security guard early one morning at the Esplanade construction site by Meadow's boyfriend, Finn De Trolio. Vito intimidates Finn into silence, conveying the impression that if Finn lets the word slip that the consequences could result in his own demise.
By the Season 6 premiere "Members Only" in 2006, Vito has lost over 160 pounds to appear for a weight loss commercial. After Tony was shot by Uncle Junior in the same episode, Tony was in a coma for two episodes. While Tony's recovery seemed uncertain, Vito hinted at the idea that he should take over as boss. At the time, Silvio Dante was acting boss, but Dante suffered an asthma attack from the stress of being boss. Vito informed DiMeo Family capo Larry Boy Barese that he was the best candidate for boss since he was the capo of the highest-earning crew in the family. While Tony was comatose, Vito also provided information to Paulie about the location of $1 million in drug money hidden by Colombian drug dealers. Paulie and an associate stole the money, although they were nearly killed by two Colombians guarding the stash. Paulie was seriously injured during the theft when one of the dealers kicked him in the groin, causing serious medical problems. Paulie demanded a higher cut because of his injury. Paulie and Vito also became angry when Silvio demanded a higher percentage of the cut go to Carmela in case Tony did not recover. Tony finally awoke from his coma, which made everyone ecstatic—except Vito who was hoping to step in and take Tony's place. His weight problems and attempts to lose weight resemble the health problems which were suffered by Colombo Crime Family capo Gerald Clemenza.
In the episode "Mr. & Mrs. John Sacrimoni Request", during the wedding of Johnny Sack's obese daughter, Allegra, Vito claimed he wasn't feeling well. He and his family left the wedding. But back at home, Vito informed his wife he was going to "make some collections". She found it odd that he would be making collections so late at night. Later, that evening while making a collection at a gay bar, two Lupertazzi Family associates, one named Sal Iaccuzzo, saw Vito dancing and kissing open mouthed with a gay man. The Iaccuzzo character was based on real-life Gambino Crime Family capo Matthew Ianniello, who was known to extort and own several nightclubs in New York City that catered to homosexual clientele. Vito tried to play it off as a joke, although the two men were not fooled.
Time in hiding
Petrified of the consequences if his homosexuality were made public, Vito went into hiding. He stayed at a bed-and-breakfast in New Hampshire and tried to pursue a new life away from the Mafia. Under the alias "Vince," he took an interest in antiques and claimed to be writing a book on Italian boxers. He contacted his family only once during a brief phone call. He also began drinking heavily.
He started a relationship with Jim Witowski (aka 'Johnny Cakes'), a short-order cook who worked at the restaurant where Vito regularly stopped for breakfast. Vito was impressed when he found out Jim was a volunteer fireman. When Jim first tried to kiss him, Vito pushed him away, called him a fag, and the two scuffled briefly. Several days later, Vito went back to the restaurant and apologized, saying, "Sometimes you tell a lie so long, you don't know when to stop." The two men reconciled. They drove on their motorcycles to a secluded spot by a nearby lake, where they picnicked and made love. Vito moved in with Jim shortly thereafter.
Vito continued to spend time with Jim, but Jim eventually saw through his story about being a writer. Vito confessed to some of his past but continued to lie, claiming he was a divorced construction worker. Jim arranged for Vito to work as a handyman, but Vito soon tired of the tedium of a working life. Vito's drinking worsened. Finally, Vito decided to return to his former life in New Jersey. He cooked a dinner for Jim and left the next morning while Jim slept.
Return to New Jersey
Vito drank while driving back to New Jersey, and crashed his car into a parked vehicle. When he failed to convince the owner to keep the accident from the police, Vito shot and killed the man. Vito returned home and remained conflicted about whether or not to reinitiate contact with his old mafia family.
Vito eventually approached Tony Soprano at a mall, while Vito's brother, Bryan, kept watch. Vito claimed that his homosexual behavior had been caused by medication. Wanting to "buy himself back" into the business, he offered Tony $200,000 and said he would run the family's Atlantic City prostitution and drug businesses. Tony was tempted by the offer, but realized this would bring him into open war with the Lupertazzis. Lupertazzi crime family boss Phil Leotardo, who disliked homosexuals, a cousin of Vito's wife Marie, demanded Vito's death, so Tony quietly arranged for Carlo Gervasi to make a hit on Vito. Meanwhile, Vito reunited with his family. He explained his absence to his children by claiming that he was an undercover CIA agent hiding out in Afghanistan, and warned them not to tell anybody. He later ran into Terry Doria, whom he agreed to loan $20,000 for child support.
That night, Vito returned to his motel room and was ambushed by Phil Leotardo and two of his soldiers, Gerry Torciano and "Fat Dom" Gamiello. Torciano and Gamiello duct-taped Vito's mouth shut and beat him to death while Phil Leotardo watched. It was later revealed that Vito was found with a pool cue stick in his anus, a message that he was killed because of his homosexuality.
Phil's unsanctioned murder of Vito proved to be a serious point of contention in his working relationship with Tony. The relationship was further strained when Phil correctly suspected the New Jersey mob in the disappearance of Gamiello, who had been killed by Silvio and Carlo Gervasi after making repeated wisecracks, in the wake of Vito's death, about the sexual orientation of New Jersey mobsters.
Phil Leotardo later told Vito's wife, Marie, that her husband was probably killed by two homosexual transients Vito had picked up at a bar. He told Marie that he loved Vito "like a brother-in-law," and suggested that Vito's death was probably for the best because a bisexual man would have made a poor role model for the children. However, a newspaper reported Vito was killed by mobsters after requesting to live an openly gay lifestyle. Vito's children read the story, destroying the illusion of their father being a CIA agent.
A year later Vito's son, Vito Jr. began to go through a rebellious phase in reaction to his father's murder and cruelty from his peers in light of his father's sexual orientation, entering the Goth subculture and performing various acts of vandalism. His mother, Marie, asked Tony Soprano for money so she could relocate her family to Maine, where no one would know them or what happened to Vito. Tony asked Phil Leotardo to also intervene, because of his involvement in Vito's death. Both paid separate visits to Vito Jr. and told him to start acting more like an adult. But Vito Jr. continued to act out, and later flatulently defecated in a shower at school.
Tony decided to help Marie Spatafore move to Maine, but gambled away the money he had intended to give her. Instead, Tony told Marie he would only pay for Vito Jr. to attend a "tough love" camp in Idaho. The camp's counselors abducted Vito Jr. from his bed at night before taking him to the camp, much to Marie's despair. Vito's homosexuality may have been a contributing factor in Phil Leotardo declaring war on the DiMeo Crime Family, as Leotardo implies that others do not respect him any longer due to Vito's "disgrace."
Murders committed by Vito Spatafore
- Jackie Aprile, Jr.: Shot in the back of the head in retaliation for murdering Sunshine, shooting at Christopher Moltisanti, Albert Barese and wounding Furio Giunta.(2001)
- Unnamed male civilian: Shot in the back of the head for intending to call the police and refusing a bribe to keep silent after a drunken Vito crashed his automobile into the man's parked car. (2006)
- Jimmy Altieri
- Jerry Anastasia
- Perry Annunziata
- Hector Anthony
- Augustus "Little Auggie" Aprile
- Jackie Aprile, Sr.
- Kelli Aprile
- Aaron Arkaway
- Dr. Ba
- Domenica Baccalieri
- Robert "Bobby" Baccalieri, Sr.
- Karen Baccalieri
- Albert "Ally Boy" Barese
- Lawrence "Larry Boy" Barese
- Richard "Dick" Barone
- Jerry Basile
- Matthew Bevilaqua
- Jason Blundetto
- Justin Blundetto
- Kelly Blundetto
- Louise Blundetto
- Pat Blundetto
- Quintina Pollio Blundetto
- Edward "Duke" Bonpensiero
- Kevin Bonpensiero
- Matt Bonpensiero
- Nils Borglund
- Lorraine Calluzzo
- Brian Cammarata
- Corky Caporale
- Vic Caputo
- Gigi Cestone
- Albie Cianflone
- Justin Cifaretto
- Charles Cinelli
- John Clayborn
- Joseph "Joey" Cogo
- Frankie Cortese
- Chief Frank Cubitoso
- Credenzo Curtis
- Ray Curto
- Dr. Bruce Cusamano
- Jeannie Cusamano
- Heather Dante
- Eric DeBenedetto
- Butch DeConcini
- Hugh De Angelis
- Mary Pellegrino De Angelis
- Peter "Bissel" LaRosa aka "Petey"
- Finn DeTrolio
- Cary De Bartolo
- Dominic Ercoli "Eckley" DiMeo
- Rocco DiMeo
- Thomas "Tommy" Di Palma
- J.T. Dolan
- Terry Doria
- Warren Dupree
- Benny Fazio, Sr.
- Connie Fazio
- Jen Fazio
- Fran Felstein
- FBI Tech
- Brendan Filone
- Tina Francesco
- Dr. Ira Fried
- Peter "Beansie" Gaeta
- Dominic "Fat Dom" Gamiello
- Angelo Garepe
- Burt Gervasi
- Carlo Gervasi
- Jason Gervasi
- Dov Ginsberg
- Tom Giglione
- Barbara Soprano Giglione
- Sean Gismonte
- Agent Ron Goddard
- Agent Ron Gosling
- Agent Frank Grasso
- Dante Greco
- Sammy Grigio
- Maria Nuccia Gualtieri
- Corky Ianucci
- George "Gus" Inzerillo
- Anthony Infante
- Salvatore "Mustang Sally" Intile
- Father Phil Intintola
- Rusty Irish
- Donny K
- Special K
- Dr. John Kennedy
- Svetlana Kirilenko
- Eli Kaplan
- Dr. Wendy Kobler
- Emil Kolar
- Dr. Krakower
- Liz La Cerva
- E Gary La Manna
- Jimmy La Manna
- Valentina La Paz
- Jason LaPenna
- Richard LaPenna
- Jimmy Lauria
- Billy Leotardo
- Richard Leech
- Patty Leotardo
- Agent Skip Lipari
- Nicole Lupertazzi
- Murf Lupo
- Kevan Lush
- Alex Mahaffey
- Vin Makazian
- "Little Pussy" Malanga
- Agent Joe Marquez
- Jack Massarone
- Massive Genius
- Jason Masucci
- Matush Gia
- Aida Melfi
- Joseph Melfi
- Harold Melvoin
- Gianna Millio
- Rusty Millio
- Neil Mink
- Jason Molinaro
- Joanne Moltisanti
- Richard "Dickie" Moltisanti
- Vic Musto
- Joey Marino
- Donnie Paduana
- JoJo Palmice
- Mikey Palmice
- Donna Parisi
- Phillip "Philly Spoons" Parisi
- Jason Parisi
- Timothy A. Feliciano
- David Pasquale
- Irina Peltsin
- Joe "Peeps" Peparelli
- Jimmy Petrille
- Fabian "Febby" Petrullio
- Eddie Pietro
- George Piocosta
- Jeremy Piocosta
- Devin Pillsbury
- Vinny "Pitts" Pittsadora
- Dr. Lior Plepler
- Ally Pontecorvo
- Deanna Pontecorvo
- Robby Pontecorvo
- Allegra Marie Sacrimoni
- Catherine Sacrimoni
- Ginny Sacrimoni
- Amy Safir
- Roberta "Bobbi" Sanfillipo
- Agent Robyn Sanseverino
- Faustino "Doc" Santoro
- Reuben "The Cuban" Santiago
- Richie Santini
- Joseph "Beppy" Sasso
- Hunter Scangarelo
- David Scatino
- Beppy Scerbo
- Dr. Douglas Schreck
- Marty Schwartz
- Blanca Selgado
- Dr. B Shah
- Charles "Chucky" Signore
- Julianna Skiff
- Chief Doug Smith
- Agent Smyj
- Corrado Soprano, Sr.
- Ercoli Soprano
- Harpo "Hal" Soprano
- Noah Tannenbaum
- Matt Testa
- Hillel Teittleman
- Shlomo Teittleman
- Maurice Tiffen
- Gerry Torciano
- Tommy Mack
- Waldemar Wyzchuck
- Agent Deborah Ciccerone Waldrup
- Agent Mike Waldrup
- Robert Wegler
- Lilliana Wosilius
- FBI on The Sopranos
- List of characters from The Sopranos - friends and family
- List of characters from The Sopranos in the Soprano crime family
- List of characters from The Sopranos in the Lupertazzi crime family
- ^ Muggy (June 30, 2006). "All About The Mafia and Organized Crime". mafiascene.com accessdate=7 October 2010. http://mafiascene.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=176898#p177517.
- ^ "Sts. Gervasius and Protasius". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- ^ The Sopranos location guide
- ^ Elizabeth, Mary (2001-05-19). "Tony Soprano's female trouble - Salon.com". Archive.salon.com. http://archive.salon.com/ent/tv/feature/2001/05/19/sopranos_final/index.html. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- ^ "Arthur Kempton; Identity theory interview". identitytheory.com. 2003-10-20. http://www.identitytheory.com/interviews/birnbaum130.php. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- ^ "Hip-Hop Happens; Culture". Vanity Fair. 2009-10-20. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2005/11/hiphop200511?currentPage=2. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- ^ "Real Life Sopranos - Crime Library on truTV.com". Crimelibrary.com. http://www.crimelibrary.com/gangsters_outlaws/mob_bosses/sopranos/6.html. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
The Sopranos Creator and crew Related articles Fictional universe CharactersPrimarySecondaryArtie Bucco · Charmaine Bucco · Johnny Sack · Bobby Baccalieri · Ralph Cifaretto · Furio Giunta · Vito Spatafore · Phil Leotardo · Tony Blundetto · Carmine Lupertazzi · Little Carmine · Patsy Parisi · Carlo Gervasi · Benny Fazio · Jackie Aprile, Jr. · Mikey Palmice · Brendan Filone · Matthew Bevilaqua · Sean Gismonte · Hesh Rabkin · Ray Curto · Dwight Harris · Rosalie Aprile · Eugene Pontecorvo · Little Paulie Germani · Larry Barese · Butch DeConcini · Albie Cianflone Category · Episodes
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