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Joseph R. Gannascoli
Born February 15, 1959
Brooklyn, New York

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



Personal life

Gannascoli attended St. John's University for two years and majored in communications. Gannascoli is currently married to Diana Gannascoli, and markets his own original brand of marinara sauce. In recent interviews, he described himself as "psychotic," and regularly jokes about his weight.



Gannascoli learned culinary art and opened a restaurant, Soup As Art Restaurant in Brooklyn.

As an actor, Gannascoli has appeared in Ed Wood, Blowfish, Mickey Blue Eyes and 976-Wish. Gannascoli's television credits include 30 episodes of The Sopranos in a guest starring capacity and one episode of Law & Order. Prior to the start of Season 6 of The Sopranos, Gannascoli was promoted to series regular. Before appearing as mobster Vito Spatafore in season two, Joseph R. Gannascoli appeared 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".

In a May, 2008, interview with, Gannascoli revealed that he'd originally auditioned for the role of Bobby Baccalieri, but did not get it. That role ultimately went to Steven R. Schirripa. Gannascoli went on to say that he was the one who first proposed the idea of a gay mobster to two of show's writers in an effort to become more involved in the show.

Gannascoli participated in the weight loss reality television program, Celebrity Fit Club and lost over 32 pounds, 10.6% of his body weight. Gannasoli started Fit Club at 302 lb and finished the show at 270 lb.

He has published a crime novel called A Meal To Die For, loosely based on his life and regularly meets fans to sign copies of this as the start of the "Sopranos Location Tour" in Manhattan.

He also has a line of pasta sauces called " sauce boss " and extra virgin olive oil and spices available in King Kullen supermarkets in New York.

Gannascoli created a cigar named "cugine," made by Arganese Cigars. He has since parted ways with Arganese Cigars and the "cugine" brand is now being distributed by Alec Bradly Cigars. Gannascoli promoted his new alliance with Alec Bradly Cigarswas at the IPCPR show in New Orleans (August 8 - 12, 2009).

He was also a member of The National Italian American Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC.

Bright Steps Forward has named Joseph R Gannascoli as their national spokesperson. It is a non profit charity that raises money for kids with cerebral- palsey and autism and severe brain trauma, treatment consists of intense physical therapy and HBOT.

His web site is

External links


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