The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads. The series also features Tony’s family members and Mafia associates in prominent roles and storylines, most notably his wife Carmela and cousin and protégé Christopher Moltisanti. The many conflicts in his life lead to an on-off professional relationship with psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi.
The series premiered on the premium cable network HBO in the United States on January 10, 1999 and ended its original run of six seasons and 86 episodes on June 10, 2007. The show has also been broadcast on A&E in the United States and internationally. The Sopranos was produced by HBO, Chase Films and Brad Grey Television. It was primarily filmed at Silvercup Studios, New York City and on location in New Jersey. The executive producers throughout the show’s run were Chase, Brad Grey, Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess, Ilene S. Landress, Terence Winter, and Matthew Weiner. Chase also served as showrunner and head writer.
A major commercial and critical success, The Sopranos is the most financially successful series in the history of cable television and is acknowledged as one of the greatest television series of all time and a seminal work of fiction. The series is noted for its high level of quality in every aspect of production and is particularly recognized for its writing, its cinematic style, and the performances of its lead actors. The show is credited with bringing a greater level of artistry to the television medium and paving the way for many successful drama series that followed. It also won a multitude of awards, including twenty-one Emmys and five Golden Globes.
A staple of 2000s American popular culture, The Sopranos has been the subject of much parody, controversy, and analysis, and has spawned books, a video game, high-charting soundtrack albums, and a large amount of assorted merchandise.Several members of the show’s cast and crew that were previously largely unknown to the public have had successful careers after The Sopranos.
David Chase born David DeCesare, 22 August 1945 in Garfield, New Jersey, is an American writer, director, and producer of television series.
Chase has worked in television for more than 30 years; he has produced and written for shows as The Rockford Files, I’ll Fly Away, and Northern Exposure. He has created two original series; the first, Almost Grown, aired for 10 episodes in 1988 and 1989. Chase is best known for his second original series, the influential and critically acclaimed HBO drama The Sopranos, which aired for six seasons between 1999 and 2007. A prominent figure in American television, Chase has won seven Emmy Awards.(more…)
IMDB Character Profile: David Chase
Anthony John “Tony” Soprano, Sr. is an Italian-American fictional character and the protagonist on the HBO television drama series The Sopranos, on which he is portrayed by James Gandolfini. The character was conceived by The Sopranos‘ creator and show runner David Chase, who was also largely responsible for the character’s story arc throughout the show’s six seasons. Bobby Boriello portrayed Tony Soprano as a child in one episode and Danny Petrillo played the character as a teenager in three episodes. The character is loosely based on real-life New Jersey mobster Vincent “Vinny Ocean” Palermo (born 1944), who is a former caporegime (capo) and de facto street boss of the DeCavalcante crime family of New Jersey. The DeCavalante Family is widely considered to be the model for the Soprano family; some incidents that the DeCavalcantes were involved in have been incorporated into Sopranos scripts.
In the series, Tony begins as a capo in the DiMeo crime family during the first season. Between the first and second seasons, he is promoted to acting boss, a title he retains until the sixth season (his uncle Corrado “Junior” Soprano is the official boss up until early on in season 6, but has little or no actual power). Throughout the series, Tony struggles to balance the conflicting requirements of his “two families”: his actual family—wife Carmela, daughter Meadow, son Anthony “A.J.” Soprano, Jr., and mother Livia — and the criminal organization he heads. He also struggles with depression and is prone to panic attacks. Because of this, he seeks treatment from Dr. Jennifer Melfi in the show’s first episode, and remains in therapy on and off up until the final episode of the series (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Tony Soprano
Carmela Soprano née DeAngelis, played by Edie Falco, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. She is the wife of Mafia boss Tony Soprano and the program’s most prominent female character.
Carmela is Tony Soprano’s high school sweetheart. The couple married at young age. Carmela attended Montclair State University for an unspecified period of time before dropping out. Carmela acts as a homemaker for the Soprano household, and works to create a semblance of legitimacy for her family. Tony trusts Carmela enough to confide in her, to a degree, about some of his Mafia dealings (notably the failed attempt on his life and the death of Richie Aprile). Tony’s work and constant infidelity have put a serious strain on the marriage and cause a period of separation. Carmela is an observant Roman Catholic and has difficulty rationalizing her husband’s profession and the flaws in their marriage (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Carmela Soprano
Season 1 – Trailer
Meadow Mariangela Soprano (born September 13, 1982), played by Jamie-Lynn Sigler, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos.
Meadow is the first-born child of Tony and Carmela Soprano. She attended Columbia University, performing well in her classes after a poor first-year performance and volunteered regularly at the South Bronx Law Center. Since her graduation, Meadow studied for medical school as she was interested in being a pediatrician, but she had second thoughts and considered a career in the legal profession.
Meadow was often resentful of her lineage, stemming from a string of failed relationships first with Noah Tannenbaum, a fellow student that was African-American and Jewish, who met with Tony’s disapproval, only to leave after his own father seemed concerned with the Soprano family heritage. This was followed by a romance with Jackie Aprile, Jr., the son of Tony’s deceased friend and fellow mobster, Jackie Aprile, Sr.. Jackie Jr. made Meadow happy for a while but cheated on Meadow and became increasingly involved in organized crime. This led Jackie to lead a robbery of a card game in which one man was killed and two other wounded (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Meadow Soprano
Anthony John “A.J.” Soprano, Jr. (b. July 15, 1986), played by Robert Iler, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Usually just called “A.J.“, he is the son of Carmela and Tony Soprano. He is a prototypical underachiever and is a constant source of stress and anxiety for his parents. While he is the only son of the Don, it becomes obvious he lacks potential for a career in his father’s organization.
Anthony is the chaotic younger brother of his more accomplished sister, Meadow. As a chronic underachiever with many doubts about life, A.J. is diagnosed as borderline ADD. Additionally, he crashed his mother’s car, smoked marijuana at his own confirmation, got drunk on stolen communion wine, vandalized his school swimming pool, and was finally expelled after cheating on a test. As a result, his parents arrange to send him to militar school, until they discover that he suffers from the same panic attacks that plagued his father and grandfather. Instead, he is sent to another private school. His birthday is July 15 (more…)
HBO Character Profile: “A.J.” Soprano
Season 2 – Trailer
Livia Soprano (née Pollio), played by Nancy Marchand, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. She is the mother of Tony Soprano. A young Livia, played by Laila Robins and later by Laurie J. Williams is sometimes seen in flashbacks. David Chase has stated that the main inspiration for the character was his own mother.
Livia Soprano, the family matriarch, seemingly derives little pleasure from life other than making the people around her miserable, especially her three children, Tony, Barbara and Janice. On her son’s wedding day, she tells her new daughter-in-law Carmela that Tony would eventually be bored with her, and even tries to manipulate her brother-in-law, Junior, into putting out a hit on her own son after he tries to put her in a nursing home by mentioning that Tony is seeing a psychiatrist, and she later tells Junior that Tony looks exactly like her cousin Cakey after he had a lobotomy, saying that his old mother said it was better Cakey have died than go on living like that. It is later discovered that the FBI had bugged Green Grove (Livia’s nursing home), and the recordings of Livia conspiring with Junior were played to Tony. While she was in hospital, she received a visit from Artie Bucco. She then tells him that Tony burned down his restaurant, presumably, in another attempt to have Tony killed. Tony’s plot for revenge is foiled when Livia suffers a stroke (said to be induced by repressed rage) and is taken into a hospital. However, while Tony originally attempts to suffocate her with a pillow, he then quickly changes tactic when he hears his mother had suffered a stroke. He then publicly threatens to kill her, informing her that he had heard her conspiring with Junior, thanks to the FBI tapes, saying, “I’m gonna have a nice, long, happy life, which is more than I can say for you”. However, Tony sees Livia smirking at him, and, when Tony points this out, he has to be restrained by the hospital staff. When she gets out, Tony settles for acting as if she were already dead, attempting to end all contact and financial support. Tony’s hostility toward Livia never diminishes, although he seems to be more accommodating of her toward the end of the second season after arriving at her house to visit Janice (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Livia Soprano
Corrado John Soprano, Jr., played by Dominic Chianese, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Usually referred to as “Junior” or “Uncle Jun’“, he is the mentor and surrogate father for capo Tony Soprano. A younger Corrado sometimes appears in flashbacks and is played by Rocco Sisto. Junior is regarded as arrogant, selfish, and impulsive as a boss. In Mafia jargon, he “ate alone.” Junior was very envious of others who held an advantage or position of superiority over him (especially towards his own family).
He harbored resentment towards his younger brother “Johnny Boy” Soprano when he became “made” before him, as well as his own nephew Tony Soprano for his fast ascendancy as a star of the family in which he had spent his whole life working. Although Junior never directly murders anyone himself on the show, in Season One, he orders the murders of six people, including Christopher Moltisanti’s best friend and partner-in-crime Brendan Filone and the unsuccessful hit on Tony after he believed Tony was conspiring against him. He also ordered a mock execution on Christopher in response to his and Brendan Filone’s second hijacking of his trucks, even though they returned the truck’s contents (expensive Italian suits).
Mikey Palmice, who was also his chauffeur and later consigliere after Junior ascended to boss, performed all of Junior’s hits. In the Season Six premiere “Members Only”, during an episode of dementia, Junior thinks Tony is his old enemy Pussy Malanga, who had at the time been dead for six years and shoots him once in the abdomen. Junior vaguely recalls the shooting, and it is apparent it was not Tony he thought he was shooting but Malanga. His excuses range from he was confused, the gun accidentally went off while he was cleaning it, to maybe he wasn’t acting alone (in reference to the JFK assassination).
The Junior Soprano character may have been loosely based on the real life presumed boss of the Gambino crime family, Peter Gotti, with similarities in look, age, inheritance of the leadership from his nephew, John A. Gotti, and his relationship with long time girlfriend Marjorie Alexander (more…)
HBO Character Profile: “Junior”
Season 3 – Trailer
Janice Soprano Baccalieri, played by Aida Turturro, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. She is Tony Soprano’s elder sister. A young Janice has appeared in flashbacks, played by Madeline Blue and Juliet Fox.
After graduating high school, Janice joined an ashram in Los Angeles, changing her name to “Parvati Wasatch” in 1978. “Parvati” also travelled across Europe and Sri Lanka, married a Québécois, bore him a son Harpo (“Hal”, later revealed to be living on the streets), worked as a furniture mover, and worked at an espresso bar in Seattle (where operating the steamed milk machine supposedly caused her to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, for which she claimed disability benefits) before finally moving back to New Jersey. Her relationship with Tony is often strained, as he still holds her responsible for abandoning the family and leaving him to deal with their abusive mother, Livia, alone.
While in New Jersey, she became engaged to her high school boyfriend, Richie Aprile, then recently released from prison. After becoming engaged, Janice drastically refashioned her appearance from that of an aging hippie (which possibly reflected her regression to her high school persona), to that of an upscale, materialistic, northern New Jersey Italian housewife – which reflected her increasing identification with the Soprano crews’ wives (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Janice Soprano
Christopher Moltisanti, played by Michael Imperioli, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He was Tony Soprano’s protégé and a Capo in the Soprano crime family.
Christopher Moltisanti was born on an unspecified date in 1966 or 1967 to Richard “Dickie” Moltisanti (their surname is Italian for “Many Saints” – David Chase frequently gives Sopranos characters ironic or symbolic names), a soldier in the Soprano crew of the DiMeo Crime Family, and Joanne Blundetto.
Chris was a first cousin once removed to Carmela Soprano and a second cousin to Meadow Soprano and Anthony Soprano, Jr. Tony Soprano affectionately considered Christopher a nephew (they had a cousin in common growing up; see below), and had looked out for him over the years, as Christopher never had a father figure growing up (his actual father, Dickie, was killed when Christopher was very young). Moltisanti was engaged to Adriana La Cerva before her murder.
Moltisanti was very loyal to his uncle — whom he once called “the man I’m going to hell for” — and Soprano trusted him more than anyone else in the organization. Tony often entrusted Christopher with sensitive jobs, including disposing of the bodies of capos Richie Aprile and Ralph Cifaretto. Moltisanti acted as Tony’s mouthpiece, issuing Tony’s orders in order to insulate Tony from potential racketeering charges. Tony was planning on making Moltisanti his successor.
Moltisanti had his share of problems; he was prone to violent and impulsive behavior, and he had been distracted, at times, by lofty pursuits such as screenwriting. Some members of the crime family appeared to be jealous of Christopher’s closeness to his uncle. In particular, his fast ascent had led to friction with fellow mobsters Silvio Dante, Patsy Parisi and Paulie Gualtieri. He also had problems with substance abuse, eventually becoming addicted to heroin and alcohol, and being forced into rehab by his family (particularly his uncle), friends, and his fiancee, Adriana (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Christopher Moltisanti
Season 4 – Trailer
Adriana La Cerva played by Drea de Matteo, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. She was the long-time girlfriend and, later, fiancée of Tony Soprano’s protégé, Christopher Moltisanti.
Adriana was known as a mobster’s dream girl, having grown up around wiseguys all her life by virtue of being the niece of Jackie and Richie Aprile. Growing up she saw and heard plenty, and wasn’t at all repulsed by the Mafia lifestyle. Adriana was initially portrayed as shallow and materialistic, interested in the things that Christopher’s money could buy: expensive cars, shoes, jewelry, drugs, designer clothing and furs. However, as the couple became closer, she always seemed to have Christopher’s best interests (as well as hers) in mind. She was very ambitious and wanted to have a business of her own. She was eventually set up as the manager of Christopher’s Crazy Horse club in Long Branch, New Jersey, which became quite successful (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Adriana La Cerva
Jennifer Melfi, M.D., is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. She is the psychiatrist of Mafia boss Tony Soprano. She is portrayed by Lorraine Bracco.
Like most of the primary characters in The Sopranos, Melfi is Italian-American. Her father’s family has roots in Caserta. She is a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine and lives an upscale lifestyle, living in a three-bedroom condominium in Essex Fells, New Jersey and shopping only at gourmet Italian shoppes(as revealed in “Meadowlands”). She is probably the person closest to truly understanding Tony Soprano. Over the years, Tony Soprano has been able to confide in Melfi many things that he has told no one else, not even his associates or his wife, Carmela. However, Melfi and Soprano have an unusual, on-again, off-again relationship. He inwardly fears Melfi’s prying into his life during their sessions, but he also fears the results of not dealing with the problem. As a result, she watches him go through frequent mood swings during their time together, sometimes acting playful, other times violent — sometimes acting responsive, other times being cold and distant. At times Tony also expresses frustration with the pace of his treatment and berates Melfi with short outbursts, when he feels she is not following his train of thought (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Jennifer Melfi
Season 5 – Trailer
Silvio Manfred Dante, often referred to as “Sil”, played by Steven Van Zandt, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He is the Consigliere to Tony Soprano in the Soprano crime family. Silvio has one of the lowest profiles on the show. He is usually a behind the scenes figure and tries not to draw much attention to himself. He does very well at maintaining a legitimate business image as the manager and owner of the Bada Bing strip club. Silvio usually keeps his cool in even the worst situations but has been known to unleash his terrible fury and excessive anger when necessary, revealing a temper comparable to his peers. Silvio is a movie and film connoisseur and has an encyclopedic mind for movie lines. Throughout the series, he is most notably known to quote the famous line from The Godfather Part III: “Just when I thought I was out…they pulled me back in.” Silvio usually gets in character and spouts the line for his friends as they get a really good kick out of his Al Pacino impression. Silvio is one of the most loyal mobsters in the Soprano crime family. He is notorious on the show for executing F.B.I. informants and traitors.
According to The Sopranos, A Family History, Silvio was born in November 1960; his father was Joseph “Beppo” Dante (Calabrian origin), a soldier who was “gunned down” in 1959. Silvio was a childhood friend of Tony and his early criminal activity often involved Tony, Ralph Cifaretto and Jackie Aprile, Sr. His original career plan was to be a professional singer, but this dream never materialized. Despite this, Silvio has maintained a connection to show business through ownership of numerous clubs in North Jersey over the years, and in backing aspiring young starlets who come up through his clubs. Silvio’s support was instrumental in ensuring Tony took over as Capo following his father’s death. Throughout his association with the Soprano crew Silvio formed friendships with Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero and Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Silvio Dante
Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri played by Tony Sirico, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He is a caporegime (captain) and later underboss in the Soprano crime family.
According to The Sopranos, A Family History, Peter Paul Gualtieri, son of Gennaro Gualtieri (although Paulie’s biological father was later revealed to be a World War II era soldier named “Russ”), has been a troubled street kid from the age of nine. He dropped out of school after the 9th grade and spent time in and out of juvenile correctional facilities during his early youth. When he was 17 he officially became an enforcer/bodyguard for “Johnny Boy” Soprano, Tony’s father and captain in the DiMeo crime family. His mother, later discovered to be his aunt, worked at a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop during Paulie’s childhood and early adulthood, but has since retired. Paulie’s grandfather, who immigrated to the United States in 1910, is from Ariano Irpino, a municipality in the province of Avellino, in the Campania region of Italy. Paulie’s grandfather and Tony’s paternal grandparents were from the same province in Italy. Paulie spent four years in the US Army Signal Corps, where he was eventually drummed out through Section 8 (discharged because of psychiatric reasons). Although Paulie did not have a long military career, he still is proud of it, and few of the other Sopranos characters had military experience. Afterwards, he spent more time in and out of prison on various criminal charges. Eventually, he worked his way up through the DiMeo crime family, reaching the rank of Captain, and almost six years after Anthony “Tony” Soprano became Boss of New Jersey, Paulie was promoted to Underboss, and Christopher Moltisanti was put in charge of Paulie’s crew, which earlier was Tony’s crew. Paulie got his nickname “Paulie Walnuts” due to hijacking a truck in the early 1990s which he believed to be filled with television-sets, but only contained walnuts. His surname is taken from real life DeCavalcante crime family mobster Frank Gualtieri, who served under Vincent Palermo (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Paulie Walnuts
Sopranos-Paulies last ever scene?
Ralph “Ralphie” Cifaretto, played by Joe Pantoliano, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Ralph 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 Corrado “Junior” Soprano. Cifaretto is characterized as cunning and an excellent earner but also unstable and prone to sudden outbursts of violence, often for no reason and at the worst possible moment (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Ralph “Ralphie” Cifaretto
Richard ‘Richie’ Aprile, Sr., played by David Proval, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Richie was a capo and the older brother of former DiMeo crime family acting boss Jackie Aprile, Sr. Richie was arguably one of the most ruthless characters on the show; he exhibited character traits similar to Ralph Cifaretto, including being impulsively violent, callous, irascible, greedy, and narcissistic. He was sadistically violent and remorseless as demonstrated by his paralyzing of Beansie Gaeta. He almost instantly takes on a feeling of jealousy and resentment when he finds out Tony Soprano, someone who is younger and who was at one time subordinate to him, is the new boss of the DiMeo Crime Family after his release from prison. Richie is also embarrassed by his son Richard “Little Ricky” Aprile, Jr’s participation in ballroom dancing contests, which some Mafiosi consider to be a sign of homosexuality. Richie couldn’t raise him well, because he was sent to prison in his teenage years, and in 10 years he was grown up and wasn’t like his father.
Richie Aprile, the older brother of acting DiMeo crime family boss Jackie Aprile, Sr., was a capo in the DiMeo crime family before being sent to prison for ten years. While Richie was in prison, Jackie died and upon his release, Richie came back to a very different family with Tony Soprano as the boss. Richie had known Tony since before he became a made man; Tony himself recalled having to pay for dinners for Richie and others as a newly made man. Tony and Richie had gotten along in the old days; Richie intervened on Tony and Jackie’s behalf when old-school mobster Feech La Manna wanted them killed for robbing his card game. There was no love lost between them upon Richie’s return (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Richard ‘Richie’ Aprile, Sr.
Furio Giunta, played by Federico Castelluccio, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He was an Italian mobster working for Tony Soprano.
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 associate Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Furio Giunta
Philip “Phil” Leotardo, played by actor Frank Vincent, is a fictional character on the HBOTV series The Sopranos. He was originally a captain within the Lupertazzi Crim 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 (more…)
HBO Character Profile: “Phil” Leotardo
Gloria Trillo portrayed by actress Annabella Sciorra was Tony Soprano’s girlfriend in Season 3 of The Sopranos. Tony first met Gloria at Dr. Jennifer Melfi’s office, as Gloria was another patient of Dr. Melfi’s. Dr. Melfi accidentally scheduled them for the same time period, and Tony gave Gloria his time slot, which impressed Gloria.
Tony later saw Gloria again at a Mercedes dealership, where Gloria worked as a sales-woman. They went out for a drive in one of the Mercedes cars and that outing ended up in Gloria and Tony beginning their relationship (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Gloria Trillo
John “Johnny Sack” Sacramoni, played by Vince Curatola, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He was the longtime underboss and later the boss of the powerful Brooklyn-based Lupertazzi crime family.
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 and compatriot of New Jersey Soprano boss 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 (more…)
HBO Character Profile: John “Johnny Sack” Sacramoni
Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero, played by Vincent Pastore, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Not to be confused with fellow New Jersey mobster “Little Pussy” Malanga, Big Pussy was one of the men who worked for Tony Soprano and the two were close friends.
The son of Lino Bonpensiero, Salvatore Bonpensiero started out as a cat burglar, and was affectionately known as “Big Pussy” because of this early career (“Pussy” in reference to a “pussy cat” since he was a cat burglar). It is also very likely that he started out solely with the nickname “Pussy,” then he got the nickname “Big Pussy” so as to avoid confusion with another crew member, “Little Pussy” Malanga. The name confusion is referenced in the first episode when Tony’s confidante Herman “Hesh” Rabkin mistakenly believes that Junior plans to whack Big Pussy Bonpensiero. Tony corrected Hesh by saying that Junior planned to whack Little Pussy Malanga; that if Junior was to attempt an attack on Big Pussy that would result in an automatic mob war since “Big Pussy” was highly respected by everyone, even outside the DiMeo crime family and was also both made and a “good earner”. This showed in particular Bonpensiero’s high status in the Soprano crew and his closeness to Tony, referring to him as “my pussy” (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero
Pussy:”Sit on this cocksucker”
Herman “Hesh” Rabkin, played by Jerry Adler, is an advisor and friend to Tony Soprano on the HBO television series, The Sopranos.
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 (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Herman “Hesh” Rabkin
Vito Spatafore, Sr., played by Joseph R. Gannascoli, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He 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 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.(more…)
HBO Character Profile: Vito Spatafore, Sr.
Arthur “Artie” Bucco, Jr., played by John Ventimiglia, is a fictional character on the HBO television series The Sopranos. He is a restaurateur and childhood friend of Tony Soprano. Artie appears throughout the series, from the first episode to the penultimate episode.
Artie is a longtime childhood friend of Tony Soprano; they went to elementary and high school together. He works as the owner and head chef of Nuovo Vesuvio, a local upscale restaurant. He sometimes wishes he could be involved in the work that Tony does but he doesn’t have the “image” or the know-how. His wife, in turn, is frequently concerned about his attraction to “the business,” often warning him about his occasional attempts at involvement, or even when he hints that he may wish to. David Chase has stated that Artie’s character is based on a man named Daniel Somers, who was Chase’s roommate at NYU, who was known to be a self-loathing man, and like Artie, enjoyed basking and wallowing in his own self-pity (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Arthur “Artie” Bucco, Jr.
Tony vs Artie food fight
Michele ”Feech” La Manna played by Robert Loggia, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos.
An original gangster who was “made” in Italy, Feech came over to America in the 1950s and settled in Northern New Jersey where he became involved with the DiMeo crime family, then under the leadership of boss Ercole ‘Eckley’ DiMeo. Paulie Walnuts calls him “The King of Breadsticks” because he owns a bakery and catering company. A contemporary of Giovanni “Johnny Boy” Soprano and Corrado “Junior” Soprano, Feech had become one of the most respected and feared capos in the DiMeo family by the 1970s. However, his status did not prevent a young Jackie Aprile, Sr. and Tony Soprano from robbing his card game, and thereby solidifying their status as rising stars in the organization. Despite Feech’s anger at having been robbed, Jackie’s older brother, Richie Aprile, then a high-ranking earner and soldier in the family, intervened on Tony and Jackie’s behalf and got Tony and Jackie a pass. They were also helped by the fact that both Tony’s father and uncle were powerful capos under DiMeo (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Michele ”Feech” La Manna
Anthony “Tony” Blundetto, played by Steve Buscemi, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He is Tony Soprano’s cousin who is released from prison at the beginning of the show’s fifth season. Tony Blundetto first appears as a calm, composed, and reformed criminal ready to pursue a straight, non-criminal, civilian life. However, it doesn’t take long for him to realize that civilian life isn’t what he wants and he turns back to crime, dragging the DiMeo Crime Family into the Lupertazzi Crime Family’s power struggle, which ultimately leads to his death.
Anthony “Tony” Blundetto is introduced in the second episode of season 5, “Rat Pack”. He is cousin to Tony Soprano and Christopher Moltisanti. To distinguish between them, they were called “Tony Uncle Johnny” (Soprano) and “Tony Uncle Al” (Blundetto) when they were kids, after their fathers’ first names. Blundetto, Soprano, and Moltisanti all grew up and played on a farm owned by their uncle, Pat Blundetto. The two Tonys would often bully Moltisanti (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Anthony “Tony” Blundetto
Robert “Bobby Bacala” Baccalieri, Jr., played by Steve R. Schirripa, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He 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 later to Tony. Before his death, he was thought to be the heir to the job of boss, if Tony were whacked or arrested. Bobby was the son of Bobby Baccalieri, Sr., a highly respected mobster (whom Tony Soprano referred to as “a real terminator”), who fronted as a barber. Bobby’s father returned from retirement for one last job before his death from lung cancer, 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 (committing murder). Bobby was married to Karen Baccalieri until her death and they had two children, Bobby III and Sophia (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Bobby Baccalieri
Bobby Bacala Wise guy moment
, played by Peter Bogdanovich, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos.
Dr. Jennifer Melfi’s therapist, who tries to convince her numerous times to refer Tony to another colleague. Elliot calls Dr. Melfi “Jen” in their sessions. Elliot also counsels Melfi following her rape.
Elliot has a daughter, Saskia, who is a lesbian and student at Columbia University, which Meadow attended.
Elliot once unknowingly encountered Tony Soprano in the parking garage at Columbia University, while both were visiting their daughters. He followed Tony in his car in the hopes of taking Tony’s parking space when he left but annoyed Tony by driving too closely, describing him later to Melfi in a therapy session as “this Bluto-type guy.” (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Dr. Elliot Kupferberg
, played by actor Robert Funaro, is a fictional character in the HBO television series The Sopranos. His jobs include 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 (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Eugene Pontecorvo
Season 6 – Part 1 – Trailer
Charmaine Bucco, played by Kathrine Narducci, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. She is the wife of Artie Bucco and a childhood friend of Carmela and Tony Soprano.
Charmaine is an old friend of Carmela Soprano’s and married Tony Soprano’s school friend Artie Bucco. 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 are also partnered in the restaurant business and own their own restaurant, Vesuvio (inherited from Artie’s father), with Charmaine as manager and Artie as head chef. References have been made to Charmaine’s education – also in The Test Dream, Tony reveals that Charmaine is a licensed notary public. Also, in discussion with Charmaine in relation to a business venture with Tony in the Season Four episode Everybody Hurts, Artie suggests that the business idea would never pass Charmaine’s “incredibly high Wharton School of Business standards” (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Charmaine Bucco
Pasquale “Patsy” Parisi, played by Dan Grimaldi, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Patsy 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 (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Pasquale “Patsy” Parisi
Carmine Lupertazzi, Sr., played by Tony Lip, was the fictional Boss of the Brooklyn-based Lupertazzi crime family on the HBO TV series, The Sopranos.
Carmine Lupertazzi was an old school mafioso of Corrado “Junior” Soprano’s generation. He kept a low-profile for most of his criminal career while operating out of his social clubs and restaurants. Carmine was arrested and acquitted of labor racketeering charges in the 1980s. It was around this time that Carmine’s longtime Consigliere, Angelo “Angie” Garepe and longtime Lupertazzi family captain Philip “Phil” Leotardo were convicted of various racketeering charges and sent to prison for 20 years each. During Carmine’s tenure, the New York organization maintained close ties to New Jersey’s DiMeo/Soprano crime family.
Carmine was intelligent, calm, and an opportunist, even in his old age. Despite being a loving father and grandfather, grooming his own son, namesake “Little” Carmine Lupertazzi, by making him a capo in the crime family that bears his name, he remained foremost a ruthless mobster, making threats and ordering murders. He had a sometimes contentious relationship with his Underboss, John “Johnny Sack” Sacramoni: during different episodes in the fourth season, Johnny and Carmine each authorized Tony Soprano to put a “hit” on the other, although in neither case was the killing actually carried out (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Carmine Lupertazzi, Sr.
Carmine “Little Carmine” Lupertazzi, Jr. is a fictional New York mobster in the HBO television series The Sopranos. He is played by actor Ray Abruzzo. Little Carmine is a Capo and the son of Carmine Lupertazzi, the leader of one of New York’s Five Families.
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 (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Carmine “Little Carmine” Lupertazzi, Jr.
Season 6 – Part 2 – Trailer
Benito “Benny” Fazio, Jr., played by Max Casella, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Initially an associate of Christopher Moltisanti, Benny began working for the Soprano crime family with Chris under Capo Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri and continued to work for Chris after his elevation to Caporegime of the old Soprano crew, He is a Made man, and his rank is “Soldier”. Where Benny lacks in stature he makes up for in tenacity and cunning.
Benny debuted in the third episode of Season 3, with his release from county jail and renewed association with friend Christopher Moltisanti. Benny belongs to the crew run by Paulie Gualtieri and later Moltisanti. He began working for Christopher just after Christopher became a made man in 2001 (Season 3) and they quickly became close comrades. 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 Boy Barese.(more…)
HBO Character Profile: Benito “Benny” Fazio, Jr.
Kelli Lombardo Moltisanti played by Cara Buono is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos.
Kelli was Chris’s girlfriend, she became pregnant and she planned to terminate the pregnancy, blaming herself for the lack of contraception. When she told Chris, he was actually overjoyed that Kelli was pregnant. Christopher bemoaned that his former fianceé Adriana could not have children and immediately suggested they go to Atlantic City and get married. Soon after their marriage, Kelli and Chris make an offer on a new home and move in. They also ate Sunday dinner with the Sopranos and Kelli complimented Tony on his (stolen) wine (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Kelli Lombardo Moltisanti
Paul “Little Paulie” Germani is a fictional character from the highly acclaimed television series The Sopranos. He was played by Carl Capotorto.
Little Paulie Germani is thought to be the nephew (later revealed to actually be a first cousin) and right-hand of Soprano family Capo/Underboss Paulie Gualtieri. Germani is an associate and later soldier in the Moltisanti crew. When his uncle was arrested and imprisoned for a gun charge, Germani was his eyes and ears in New Jersey. He was responsible for repeating the joke that Ralph Cifaretto told the crew about Ginny Sack having a “95 pound mole removed from her ass”. When the older Paulie told Johnny Sack about this he tried to have Ralphie killed. Germani also fed his uncle information about Tony Soprano’s business that was passed on to Johnny Sack, causing problems for Tony. Germani also helped to uphold his uncle’s interests in New Jersey taking part in a sit-down that awarded no-show and no-work jobs to the Gualtieri crew — Germani received a no-work carpenter job at the Esplanade construction site (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Paul “Little Paulie” Germani
Gabriella Dante, played by Maureen Van Zandt is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Gabriella is the wife of longtime Soprano family soldier and consigliere Silvio Dante. They have a daughter, Heather Dante, who played volleyball and soccer with Meadow Soprano. She is close friends with Rosalie Aprile and Carmela Soprano and can often be seen dining out with them, typically at “Nuovo Vesuvio”.(more…)
HBO Character Profile: Gabriella Dante
Rosalie “Ro” Aprile, played by Sharon Angela, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos.
Rosalie 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 (more…)
HBO Character Profile: Rosalie “Ro” Aprile
Giacomo Michael Aprile, Jr. (commonly referred to as Jackie, Jr), played by Jason Cerbone, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. In the episode “…To Save Us All From Satan’s Power”, Cerbone’s younger brother Matt played a younger Jackie Jr. in a flashback sequence.
Jackie Aprile, Jr. was born into North Jersey mafia royalty. His father, Jackie Aprile, Sr., was once the acting boss of the DiMeo crime family, and his uncle Richie Aprile was a capo first under Ercoli “Eckley” DiMeo, and then later under Tony Soprano. However Jackie, Jr. himself was kept away from the family business by Jackie Sr. and his father’s best friend, Tony Soprano. He only began getting involved with the criminal aspects of his family in 2000—season 2 of The Sopranos–after the death of his father and the release of his uncle from prison. Despite attempts to succeed at Rutgers, Jackie, Jr. drifted towards a life of crime as he began helping his uncle Richie run the Aprile crew (more…)
IMDB Character Profile: Jason Cerbone
“This Thing Of Ours” trailer