Joseph R. Gannascoli

Joseph R. Gannascoli (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Joseph R. Gannascoli (born February 15, 1959) is an Italian-American actor and celebrity spokesman most notable for his portrayal of Vito Spatafore on the HBO series, The Sopranos.

Early life

Joseph R. Gannascoli was born and raised in Brooklyn.

In the 1980s he attended St. John's University for two years, majoring in communications.


Gannascoli's interests then turned to cooking. He learned culinary art and opened a restaurant, Soup As Art Restaurant in Brooklyn. He has worked in New Orleans, Los Angeles and New York, though he dabbled in acting.

Gannascoli received his "big break" in acting from Benicio del Toro, whom he met on the set on Money for Nothing. After appearing in Ed Wood, Del Toro later cast Gannascoli in his directorial debut, Submission. He also introduced him to Sheila Jaffe and Georgianne Walken, who did casting work for the HBO TV series The Sopranos.

Gannascoli would appear in other films, such as Blowfish, Mickey Blue Eyes and 976-Wish before appearing on The Sopranos as a pastry shop patron named "Gino" in the season one episode "The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti". He is later introduced formally as the nephew of Richie Aprile, Vito Spatafore, in the season two episode "The Happy Wanderer". Along with Dan Grimaldi playing identical twins Patsyand Phillip "Philly Spoons" Parisi and Saundra Santiago playing identical twins Jeannie and Joannie Cusamano, it was one of the three times that the show used a single actor for separate roles. Prior to the start of Season 6, Gannascoli was promoted to series regular.

In January 2006 Gannascoli published a crime novel called A Meal to Die For: A Culinary Novel of Crime.

Gannascoli markets a line of pasta sauces and other foods called "Sauce Boss", and a line of cigars called Cugine.

He was a member of the National Italian American Foundation in Washington, DC.

He also helped provide culinary skills to many restaurants in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, roughly on 13th avenue.

Personal life

Gannascoli is married to Diana Gannascoli, with whom he has a daughter, Viviana, born June 15, 2009.

Legal troubles

In the early morning hours of Friday, June 18, 2010, Gannascoli was arrested on a DUI charge by in Tampa, Florida. He registered a blood-alcohol level of .111 according The St. Petersburg Times. He posted a $500 bond and was released later that day.

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