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Richard Portnow
Born January 26, 1947 (1947-01-26) (age 63)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1980–present

Richard Portnow (born January 26, 1947) is a prolific American character actor who has appeared on The Sopranos and many other films, video games, and television shows such as Hannah Montana and Boston Legal.

Life and career

A veteran of stage, film and television with a variety of characters to his credit, Richard Portnow was recently named one of the "Actors We Love" from the actors' trade newspaper Back Stage West. It said, "Portnow knows exactly how to hook an audience with every character." This Brooklyn native has worked steadily for 20 years and has built a solid list of credits, appearing in some of the most highly regarded and successful films and television shows of the past two decades.

His entire family hails from Brooklyn, New York. His folks, Al and Flo, are gone, but he has a brother (Jay), a sister (Gayle), two nephews (John and Sam) and three nieces (Samara, Ilana and Maia). He graduated with a BA degree as a speech and theater major from Brooklyn College.

Portnow played the role of attorney Hal "Mel" Melvoin on the Emmy-winning HBO series The Sopranos (1999), the lawyer for Uncle Junior, whom he is able to keep out of prison and managed to get placed under house arrest instead. His rates for defending Corrado Soprano (Uncle Juniors's full name) are astronomical, but as Uncle June has said, "Mel, you're worth every penny". He has held this role since the show's inception in 1999.

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