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Christopher Moltisanti
Christopher Moltisanti.jpg
First appearance "Pilot" (episode 1.01)
Last appearance "Kennedy and Heidi" (episode 6.18)
Made in America (still image) (episode 6.21)
Cause/reason Murdered by Tony Soprano
Created by David Chase
Portrayed by Michael Imperioli
Episode count 80 (counting photo in Made in America)
79 (not counting photo)
Information
Aliases Chris Maccaviti (episode 2.05)
Chris Moltivani (episode 5.11) Chrissy
Gender Male
Age 41 (Deceased)
Date of death 2007
Occupation Union safety official, stockbroker, Night club owner, Movie producer
Title Associate in season 1-2,Soldier in season 3-5,Capo in season 6
Family Joanne Moltisanti (mother)
Richard "Dickie" Moltisanti (father)
Carmela Soprano (cousin)
Tony Blundetto (cousin)
Spouse(s) Kelli Lombardo Moltisanti (wife)
Adriana La Cerva (late fiancee)
Children Caitlin (daughter)
Relatives Tony Soprano (cousin - by marriage)
Janice Soprano (cousin - by marriage)
Barbara Soprano Giglione (cousin - by marriage)
Al Blundetto (uncle)
Pat Blundetto (uncle)
Meadow Soprano (second cousin)
A.J. Soprano (second cousin)
Hugh De Angelis (great uncle)

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.

Contents

Biography

Christopher Moltisanti was born 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 him with sensitive jobs, including disposing of the bodies of rival capos Richie Aprile and Ralph Cifaretto. Moltisanti acted as Tony's sounding board, issuing Tony's orders in order to protect 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 had been distracted at times by lofty pursuits such as screenwriting. Some members of the crime family appeared to be jealous of his closeness to his uncle. In particular, his fast ascent had led to friction between him and fellow mobsters Silvio Dante, Patsy Parisi and Paulie Gualtieri. He also had problems with drug use, eventually becoming addicted to heroin and being forced into rehab by his family (particularly his uncle), friends, and his fiancee, Adriana. He also had, in the past, provided Tony's daughter with speed, when she requested some in order to study for an exam (his reasoning behind this was that if he refused, she would go elsewhere to a less reputable dealer and possibly be raped and murdered). Moltisanti also loved expensive cars, having owned a Lexus LS400, Mercedes CLK 430, Land Rover Range Rover, Hummer H2, John Sacrimoni's Maserati Coupé (which Sack sold after he was arrested), and died when he crashed his 2007 Cadillac Escalade EXT, which he had purchased after the Maserati was seized by the government. Chris frequently wore FILA tracksuits and tank tops.

Christopher's catchphrase on the show was, "I'm sorry, T!" ("T" being shorthand for Tony.) He was notorious for frequently being late to meetings, irresponsible in his business dealings, and generally less "together" in his affairs than the rest of Tony's crew, due to his chronic drug and alcohol abuse, and so was constantly in the position of having to apologize to his uncle and boss for his shortcomings. Christopher committed the first killing of the whole series and the victim was Emil Kolar

"Nephew" to Tony Soprano

Tony and Carmela Soprano were connected to Christopher via two separate family relationships:

Chris's late father, Dickie Moltisanti, was Carmela's first cousin; Dickie's mother and Carmela's father were siblings. This means Chris is Carmela's first cousin, once removed.

Chris's alcoholic mother, Joanne, whose maiden name is Blundetto is a sister to Al Blundetto; Al Blundetto's wife Quintina is Tony Soprano's aunt, Livia Soprano's sister. Thus Al and his wife Quintina Blundetto are Tony Blundetto's parents and are uncle and aunt to both Tony Soprano and Christopher Moltisanti. In other words Tony Soprano and Christopher are both first cousins to Tony Blundetto, but not to one another. However, Adriana once mentioned that Chris and Tony do have a distant blood relation.

Dickie Moltisanti was a soldier in "Johnny Boy" Soprano's crew and was very close to Tony Soprano. Tony reminisces that Dickie was like a big brother to him and so when Dickie died when Chris was still young Tony looked out for him affectionately referring to him as his nephew because his dad was like a brother to him.

Season One

Christopher Moltisanti's main goal in joining the mafia was to get noticed and to rise up through the ranks; he was overjoyed when he found his name printed in a local newspaper alongside other mobsters. He was Tony's driver initially, and helped him as an enforcer. He "made his bones" by killing Emil Kolar in order to settle a dispute the family was having over the Triborough Towers garbage routes. He initially planned to place the body in a Kolar Bros. dumpster to send a warning, à la Luca Brasi from The Godfather. "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero convinced him to put it elsewhere as the mystery would be more effective and bring less heat to the crew. Moltisanti later complained that he did not receive enough recognition for his resolution of this problem. This murder haunted his dreams, and he twice had to dig up and move Kolar's corpse.

Christopher Moltisanti's legitimate job at the time was a Union Safety Official position in a local union that Tony got for him in order to keep the IRS off his financial history.

Another notable instance of Moltisanti's early criminal activity with the Soprano crew is his hijacking of Comley trucks with his friend Brendan Filone. These trucks were under the protection of Junior Soprano, and the hijacking prompted Junior to request a sit-down and demand compensation. The late Acting Boss Jackie Aprile Sr. ruled that Moltisanti and Filone make restitution to Junior and leave Comley trucks alone. The two reluctantly complied and paid the $15,000 tribute to Junior, although Tony did take his cut, somewhere around $3,000. At a club with their girlfriends, Chris and Brendan planned another heist while high on crystal meth. However, on the night of the job, Christopher backed down because he had decided to throw his loyalty wholly in with Soprano and his crew. Brendan went through with the hijacking with two others, but it went sour and Brendan's associate dropped his firearm, causing it to fire and strike the driver, killing him. Brendan contacted Christopher for help. Christopher was reprimanded by Soprano for not using his leadership to prevent Brendan from undertaking the job. The pair were ordered to return the truck to Comley and they complied. Christopher was also extorting drug dealers for 10 percent of their income before Junior Soprano's crew took over his collections.

Junior was angered that his authority was flouted, however, and organized a mock execution for Moltisanti. Soprano's mother, Livia, held Moltisanti in high regard because he had once put up her storm windows, and this affection may have saved him from a worse fate. He was abducted from a hot dog stand and driven out to the New Jersey Meadowlands by two Eastern European thugs where they performed Junior's orders. Moltisanti was so terrified he lost control of his bowels. The less fortunate Brendan was shot in the eye by Mikey Palmice while in his bathtub. Later in the season Moltisanti confronted and killed Palmice under Tony's orders.

Christopher also assisted in the murder of Jimmy Altieri by luring him to a hotel room where he was shot by Silvio Dante.

Season Two

Moltisanti was put in charge of the family's Webistics pump and dump stock scam. He received his stock broker licence by having someone take the exam in his name. Matthew Bevilaqua and Sean Gismonte were his subordinates in this operation. He also used them to break a number of bank safes to supplement his income. They betrayed him, however, attempting to kill him to get recognition and speed their promotion. While leaving the Skyways Diner, Moltisanti was shot by his two associates in a drive by. They crashed their car, however, and Moltisanti instead shot Sean through the head, killing him instantly. Matt ran away unscathed.

Moltisanti had to have his spleen removed and went through a traumatic recovery process with Adriana by his side. Soprano's ire at the shooters was such that he killed Matt personally. Moltisanti later told the crew that he had seen himself in either hell or purgatory after being shot and warned them that Brendan Filone and Mikey Palmice told him that three o'clock would be a significant time in their future.

Following the death of Richie Aprile, Soprano called Moltisanti and Furio Giunta to dispose of his body; they used Satriale's butchery facilities to dismember the corpse. At Meadow Soprano's graduation, Tony proposed Christopher for membership (becoming a made man).

Season Three

Moltisanti became a made man in 2001 alongside Eugene Pontecorvo. He noticed a crow on the windowsill at the ceremony and took this as a bad omen. As the newest member of the Family, Moltisanti got control of a betting shop and was charged with a minimum weekly dues payment to his capo: Paulie Gualtieri. Friction was created early on between Chris and Paulie. Chris was short on payments he was supposed to kick up to Paulie. Paulie would humiliate Chris by checking him for wires and taking advantage of Chris being a lower level mobster by having Chris pay for meals. This created a gradually building tension between the two that peaked during the Pine Barrens incident. They later agreed to bury the hatchet due to their mutual friendship. Moltisanti's other early work involved robbing a charity concert at Rutgers, and working with Jackie Aprile, Jr. and his friend Benny Fazio. He also opened the Crazy Horse Nightclub in Long Branch, New Jersey with Furio Giunta as a partner,and Adrianna as front operator.

Moltisanti was present when Jackie Aprile, Jr. and friends tried to rob a card game run by Pontecorvo. Moltisanti and Acting Capo Albert Barese killed Aprile's friend Dino Zerrilli as he tried to escape. A contract was put on Aprile and he was eventually found in the Boonton Projects. Vito Spatafore shot Aprile in the head ending his life. At Aprile's funeral Christopher was arrested on a gambling charge along with Patsy Parisi and Silvio Dante.

Season Four

Soprano made Moltisanti his main contact in his criminal dealings to insulate himself from prosecution. He then bonded his nephew to him by having him murder Lt. Det. Barry Haydu. He told Moltisanti that Haydu had murdered his father, and gave him the detective's address. Moltisanti surprised Haydu in his home and restrained him in order to question him. Haydu denied any guilt, but his involvement was clear by his repeated cries of 'I'm sorry!' and Moltisanti killed him.

He was made acting capo of his crew when Gualtieri was imprisoned on a gun charge and was awarded a no-show job at the Esplanade construction site. His promotion irked Parisi, who had seniority. The two came to blows over Parisi's continued theft from the construction site, despite orders from Soprano. Silvio was actually the guiding force behind Parisi's actions, as he was also jealous of Moltisanti's promotion. Moltisanti was also entrusted with traveling to meet an aging family of hitmen with Silvio while organizing a hit on Johnny Sack. When Sack resolved his dispute with Ralphie, the hit was called off.

Moltisanti's drug use spiraled out of control following his temporary promotion. When Soprano called upon him to dispose of Ralphie's body, Soprano realized that Moltisanti was high. Although they were able to successfully conceal the body, Soprano decided his nephew needed help. Later, Moltisanti was car jacked by a Latino gang while trying to buy heroin. After Moltisanti physically abused Adriana, Soprano organized an intervention. When Soprano learned that Moltisanti had accidentally killed Adriana's dog, Cosette, by sitting on it when high, he became very angry. He insisted Moltisanti go into rehab and assigned Patsy to guard him.

Following Moltisanti's successful rehabilitation, Soprano entrusted him with the planned hit on Carmine Lupertazzi; Moltisanti contracted the job out to Credenzo Curtis and Stanley Johnson, some associates from the days of his heroin usage. When the job was called off and Soprano urged him to make sure it couldn't be traced to them, Moltisanti had Benny and Peter "Bissell" De La Rosa murder the hired help while he waited in his car.

Season Five

Moltisanti got into an argument with Paulie Walnuts while hanging out telling past stories including the Pine Barrens tale. Paulie called Chris "Tony's Little Favorite." They later agreed to stop fighting before things got out of control.

Moltisanti was put in charge of a cigarette smuggling operation. Moltisanti was partnered with Paulie and told to split the difference. While Moltisanti was traveling to North Carolina to pick up some cigarettes, Tony and Adriana were involved in a car accident, and rumors began to spread about how the crash had been caused by Adriana performing oral sex on Tony. Moltisanti found out, got drunk, started a fight with Vito Spatafore and pulled a gun on Tony in the Bada Bing. Following this incident, Tony was ready to kill Moltisanti when their cousin Tony Blundetto stepped in and saved his life. Blundetto arranged a meeting with the doctor who treated Tony and Adriana following the crash to explain that both passengers must have been upright and in their seat belts when it occurred. Moltisanti reconciled with both Spatafore and Tony.

Moltisanti later travelled to his uncle Pat Blundetto's farm alongside Soprano and Tony Blundetto. They helped Pat move bodies hidden on the farm as Pat was planning to move away. While there, Moltisanti recalled being bullied by the two Tonys and their behavior seemed to repeat itself when they ribbed him over his addiction problems.

Throughout this time, Moltisanti maintained a turbulent and sometimes violent relationship with Adriana. He indulged her aspirations for a career in the music business by allowing her to produce a demo and later giving her a club to run. They became engaged before his drug addiction forced him into rehab. Years later, however, after he learned that Adriana was reluctantly providing information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), he turned to Soprano rather than accept her plea to join her as a government informant. He relayed the news at a difficult meeting in Soprano's basement. Soprano's immediate reaction was to check him for a wire. Soprano then deceived Adriana by convincing her that Moltisanti had attempted suicide and that he was sending Silvio Dante to transport her to the hospital, only for her to be driven into the woods and executed. Moltisanti later relapsed into heroin use and wept to his uncle out of grief for Adriana.

Blundetto almost started a war with the Lupertazzi crime family by killing Phil Leotardo's brother Billy. Following this Tony had Moltisanti go into hiding because he feared Leotardo might seek revenge on Blundetto's family. Eventually Tony was forced to kill Blundetto himself.

Season Six

Moltisanti was promoted to capo in the DiMeo Family sometime between 2004 and 2006, in keeping with Tony's long term plan to raise his nephew through the ranks until he is his sole contact to the rest of the family, through which all orders are issued, and eventually boss of the family. He used Moltisanti to organize the sensitive hit on Rusty Millio. Christopher initially questioned Soprano's decision to contract the job out to their friends in Naples, but later decided it was a smart move. He used his Italian speaking associate Corky Caporale to communicate with the hitmen and provide them with weapons and instructions, while paying him off with heroin. Moltisanti's readiness for the responsibility of leading his own crew is unclear as he has been distracted by the lure of a Hollywood career, relapsed into drug use, and displayed unresolved feelings over his murdered fiancee.

Moltisanti's crew got involved in a credit card fraud scam; his AA sponsor James "Murmur" Zancone and Benny Fazio take numbers from local businesses and sell them on to associates Ahmed and Muhammad. He wonders about whether these men have links to terrorism. The use of numbers from Nuovo Vesuvio led to a violent dispute between his associate Benny Fazio and Soprano's friend Artie Bucco. Soprano blamed Moltisanti's trip to Los Angeles for the dispute not being settled quickly.

Moltisanti married Kelli Lombardo in 2006 after learning that she was pregnant with his child. They made an offer on a new home together. He had a belated bachelor party with the Soprano crime family at Nuovo Vesuvio where "Larry Boy" Barese made a toast to his future. When he later delivered Corky's final payment, including more heroin, however, he watched his friend inject the drug and could not resist following suit. He spent the night at the Feast of St. Elzear festival with a stray dog.

Moltisanti took a road trip to Pennsylvania with Soprano just before the feast. On their way home they spotted some bikers robbing a strip mall and took part of the haul for themselves. This led to a firefight (started by the bikers immediately after Christopher shot out one of the tires on the bikers' van so the bikers wouldn't be able to pursue them) in which Moltisanti shot one of the bikers as Soprano drove away. Later, the two got drunk on the wine they had stolen, and Moltisanti recalled telling Soprano of Adriana's treachery. The two expressed their love for and loyalty to each other — though when the two later tried to recreate their camaraderie sober, it fell flat and ended in an awkward silence. Months later, Moltisanti was back in AA meetings.

Season Six Part 2

Christopher calls Tony to wish him a belated birthday while he is celebrating it at the Adirondacks but Tony, disgusted, hangs up on him.

Christopher premiered his film Cleaver in 2007 at a private screening with other Soprano family members and friends and is looking to have it distributed nationwide. He also seems to be distancing himself from the criminal lifestyle and staying away from the Bada Bing strip club where he might go back into drug and alcohol use. In general, his relationship with Tony has cooled and it is clear when Tony begins grooming Bobby Bacala for the position Christopher once held, that their relationship will never be the same. Given Chris's resentment towards Tony about Adriana's death, and his continued desire to enter the movie business, he and Tony continue to drift apart. When he relapsed to drinking after yet another confrontation with Paulie Walnuts, he became very angry with the crew and left. He later ended up at the home of his "friend" J.T. Dolan, looking for someone to talk to. When JT foolishly made explicit mention of Christopher's membership in the Mafia, Moltisanti shot Dolan in the head and left, adding to his murder count.

Christopher had a daughter with his wife Kelli, named Caitlyn.

Christopher was killed by Tony in the episode "Kennedy and Heidi". The two were injured in a serious car accident while driving back from a meeting with Phil Leotardo and the New York crew. The song he listens to before the accident is "Comfortably Numb," performed live by Roger Waters, Van Morrison and The Band. The song describes the lifeless feeling achieved while taking drugs; Christopher has a substance abuse problem himself. Christopher lost control of Tony's Escalade EXT, nearly side-swiped an oncoming car, ran off the road, and rolled several times before coming to a stop in a ditch. Christopher was not wearing a seat belt and the crash led to severe internal injuries, as evidenced by the blood he was coughing up. Christopher then pleaded with Tony to help him avoid getting in trouble for driving under the influence, mumbling about drug tests. Tony stumbled out of the car to help Chris after noticing that a branch had impaled the baby seat in the back where Chris' daughter could have been sitting. Chris' ongoing irresponsibility and increasing fears that he would turn State's witness infuriated Tony, leading him to make an impulsive executive decision. Tony suffocated his nephew by pinching his nostrils shut, leading Christopher to asphyxiate to death on his own blood. Whether or not Christopher would have survived if Tony had called for help is unknown, although it is mentioned in the episode that "the doctors said he could have made it, but he didn't." Throughout the remainder of the episode, Tony displayed the proper decorum for the family in mourning yet could barely restrain his relief that he was finally free of the burden Christopher had placed upon him for so long; he had also described Christopher as an "emotional strain" and "sniveling little drug addict." Tony's fear that Christopher could potentially turn on him at the drop of a hat due to his weakness as a drug addict was also finally laid to rest along with Christopher. In a dream, Tony admits to Dr. Melfi that he did in fact murder Christopher as well as other friends and family members before, specifically mentioning his cousin Tony Blundetto and his best friend Big Pussy Bonpensiero. In the final episodes of the series, Christopher is shown through an old picture of him hung in the meat store to honor him; a cat brought back from the hideout in which the crew was hiding spent its time staring at the photo.

Clandestine knowledge

Because of his close relationship with Tony, he is the only one who knows what really happened to Ralph Cifaretto; he is also one of the few (along with Carmela Soprano and Furio Giunta) to know Richie Aprile was murdered by Janice Soprano and his former fiancee Adriana La Cerva was shot by Silvio Dante. Christopher, aside from Silvio, is also the only other person to know about the aborted plan to hit New York boss Carmine Lupertazzi.

Luxury vehicles owned by Moltisanti

Killings committed or assisted by Moltisanti

  • Mikey Palmice: Executed in the woods by Paulie and Christopher for shooting Brendan & conspiring to kill Tony with Junior. (1999)
  • Carlo Renzi: Shot and killed by Christopher during poker game robbery. (2001)
  • Det. Lt. Barry Haydu: Executed in his home by Christopher after Tony informed Christopher he was the man who was contracted to kill his father many years ago. (2002)
  • J.T. Dolan: Shot in the head by an inebriated Christopher after Dolan persistently refused to listen to Christopher's personal problems. (2007)

Christopher has helped dispose of several people murdered by other people throughout the series, mainly Tony.

  • Jimmy Altieri: Lured by Christopher to his death, a bullet to the back of the head courtesy of Silvio Dante. Chrissy helped Silvio get rid of (or at least transport) the corpse, as he followed Silvio's orders to "get the piano dolly" to transport Jimmy's body. (1999)
  • Richie Aprile: Bagged up, carried off, and cut up in the basement of Satriale's as requested by Tony after he was shot by Janice Soprano during a spat. (2000)
  • Tracee: Ralph Cifaretto beat the stripper to death; Tony and his crew were horrified at Ralphie's actions and Paulie Walnuts told to Christopher to "get a sheet" from inside the strip club to cover up her corpse. (2001)
  • Valery: Possibly alive, he was shot in the head by Paulie in the woods when Chris and Paulie were chasing him. (2001)
  • Ralph Cifaretto: Decapitation of head and hands and placed in a bowling bag by Christopher after subsequently being beaten and choked to death by Tony. (2002)
  • Credenzo Curtis and Stanley Johnson: After being released from the Eleuthra drug recovery program, Tony gave Christopher the responsibility of hiring a couple of assassins to take out New York boss Carmine Lupertazzi, Sr. at the request of Johnny Sack. He chooses Curtis and Johnson, two African Americans from Irvington who he believes would be good at making it look like a carjacking. When Johnny comes to an agreement with Carmine and calls off the hit, Christopher is given the new task of eliminating the two hired hands. He meets with the hitmen in a parking lot and gives them the money for the hit that never happened. Benny Fazio and Petey LaRosa surprise the two hitmen when they suddenly appear, shoot and kill them in their car [for knowing too much]. (2002)
  • Raoul: Christopher threw a brick at him and then Paulie shot him. (2004)
  • "Black" Jack Massarone: Christopher volunteered to do the hit on Massarone after Tony suspected "Black Jack" of wearing a wire under his hat; it is unclear who murdered Massarone later in the episode, but there is strong evidence that Moltisanti was directly responsible for it. (2004)
  • Adriana La Cerva: Once she confessed to Christopher that she had been an FBI informant, divulging important information about the Soprano Crime Family, Christopher went to Tony's basement, distraught and in tears because he knew she would have to be killed. After checking Christopher for a wire, he agreed to Chris's request that he not murder his fiancee. However, Christopher did park Adriana's car (which contained a suitcase that he had stuffed with some of her personal belongings and clothes) at an airport's "Long Term Parking" lot in an attempt to make it look like she had fled. (2004)
  • Teddy Spirodakis: Chris asked Eugene to do him the favor of going to whack Spirodakis in exchange for Chris' putting in a good word to Tony for Eugene's retirement from the Family. (2006)

References to Imperioli's career

  • By far the most obvious reference to Imperioli's career is that both he and his character have an interest in film and television, and both are screenwriters.
  • Moltisanti shoots a bakery clerk in the foot in retaliation for slow service in Season 1 — a nod to the actor Imperioli's character in Goodfellas, Spider, who was shot in the foot for the same reason. When the bakery clerk was yelling in pain about his foot being shot, Christopher replied "It happens".
  • Christopher is in his fatal accident while listening to the The Departed soundtrack, which was directed by Martin Scorsese. Michael Imperioli got his big break in Scorsese's Goodfellas.
  • In the episode "Live Free or Die", after it is confirmed that Vito Spatafore is a homosexual, Christopher states "I wanna kill the fat faggot myself, it'd be a fucking honor. Cut off his braciole and feed it to him" in reference to Michael Imperioli's character d'Ambrosio in the film Dead Presidents having the exact same thing done to him by North Vietnamese. Braciole is an Italian-American dish made by rolling meat into tubes; thus, its slang connotation with penis.

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