With this past year marking fifteen years since the final episode of The Sopranos, it’s only inevitable that time will have taken some of our beloved actors and actresses from the show. It’s unfortunate, but we are lucky enough to live in a universe where we’ve been blessed with their talent on such an award-winning show. There’s comfort in knowing that most of the people on this list got to see their hard work pay off and their show become an international sensation before passing. Here are twenty actors and actresses from The Sopranos that have unfortunately passed away.
James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano)
It’s not a Sopranos list if it doesn’t have the king of the Sopranos himself. James Gandolfini was one of the biggest names in Hollywood by the time the show cut to black, and the world of film and TV definitely misses his talent. Between his ability to display complex emotions from a sociopath, the heavy breathing, and the way he’d move his food around with the fork in scenes, Gandolfini, you are sorely missed.
Tony Sirico (Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri)
An actual real-life mobster, Tony Sirico played the iconic Paulie Walnuts and absolutely killed his role. He definitely had some of the most iconic lines in the show and had a lot of memorable scenes, especially with Chrissy and Ralphie. Sirico was running with the Colombo crime family before eventually getting pinched and turning to acting, and boy, are we glad he did. Sirico passed away in 2022 at the age of 79.
Robert LuPone (Dr. Cusamano)
Tony was friendly with, yet occasionally tormented, his neighbor, Dr. Bruce “Cooze” Cusamano, played by Robert LuPone. LuPone graduated from the renowned Julliard school and focused on dancing, theater, and acting. He debuted on Broadway in 1968 and would even be nominated for a Tony. LuPone would eventually pass away from pancreatic cancer complications in late 2022.
Nancy Marchand (Livia Soprano)
While she didn’t technically pass after the series finale, it didn’t feel right to exclude Tony’s mom from this list. Nancy Marchand played an excellent Livia Soprano and brought a lot of comedy and tense moments to the show thanks to her dynamic with her son and brother-in-law, Junior Soprano.
Marchand was already a renowned actor thanks to her time on the late-70s to early-80s sitcom Lou Grant for which she was nominated four times for Best Supporting Actress in a drama, winning three. She would even be nominated for Best Supporting Actress in The Sopranos another four times but would only get the Golden Globe. Nancy passed away partially through The Sopranos, which led to some odd CGI in the second episode of the 3rd season before Livia Soprano passed in the show as well.
Frank Vincent (Phil Leotardo)
Frank Vincent was no stranger to portraying mobsters, appearing in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas and Casino, among other films, before landing the role of Phil Leotardo in The Sopranos. Vincent did a great job playing one of New York’s captains and eventual boss. His most memorable quotes involve how he did twenty years in the can and his disproval of Vito Spatafore’s sexuality. Vincent passed away from a heart attack at the age of 80 in 2017.
Greg Antonacci (Butch DeConcini)
Greg Antonacci was Phil Leotardo’s right-hand man, playing Butch DeConcini a member of the New York family. While he was the right-hand man, he would eventually betray Phil and plan a hit to take him out and restore peace between New Jersey and New York after Phil suggested that Butch could be killed for failing to kill Tony. Antonacci would pass just a week after Frank Vincent in 2017.
David Margulies (Neil Mink)
Neil Mink was Tony’s lawyer and was only in the show for a total of eight episodes. He’s the guy that tells Tony that Junior’s release might be bait by the FBI and in the last episode that Carlo is going to testify against him and Tony will be indicted. David Margulies died in January of 2016 from cancer at the age of 78.
Frank Vallelonga a.k.a Tony Lip (Carmine Lupertazzi Sr.)
Frank Vallelonga, who often went by his stage name Tony Lip, played the initial boss of the New York crime family, Carmine Lupertazzi Sr. Most fans probably don’t know that the 2018 film Green Book is actually based on Tony Lip’s early life. In the 1960s, he was tasked with driving Don Shirley around the south and protecting him on his concert tour. Shirley was a black pianist, and Lip would have to protect him on more than one occasion. Tony Lip died at the age of 82 in 2013.
John Heard (Vin Makazian)
Depending on when you watched The Sopranos, you might have immediately pointed at Vin Makazian and went, “Holy crap, that’s the dad from Home Alone!” and you would have been right. John Heard has had numerous roles over the years, one of which was the corrupt cop Vin Makazian who would often feed information to Tony in exchange for money. John Heard died at the age of 71 from a heart attack.
Joe Santos (Angelo Garepe)
Angelo Garepe was a crucial part of the show, even if his death caused more turmoil than his actions while alive. If you don’t remember, Garepe was best friends with Tony Blundetto while in prison. Tony B would eventually kill Phil’s little brother, Billy, in revenge for the murder of Garepe. Joe Santos died from complications after suffering a heart attack at the age of 84.
Frank Albanese (Pat Blundetto)
Frank Albanese played different mobsters during his near forty years of acting and had a small part on the Sopranos as Pat Blundetto, Tony B’s and Chris Moltisanti’s uncle. He appeared in four separate episodes and was responsible for alerting Tony to Janice’s possible plan of taking the rest of Junior’s money after his mind had deteriorated. Frank passed away from prostate cancer at the age of 84 in 2015.
John Costelloe (Jim “Johnny Cakes” Witowski)
Who could forget Vito’s love interest while on the lam in New Hampshire, Jim “Johnny Cakes” Witowski. The two started off rough, but eventually, Vito moved in with Jim and spent a lot of time together. Jim even got Vito a job as a contractor– even though he failed miserably at it. Remember that scene where he’s trying to estimate the time of day by the angle of the sun? John Costelloe sadly took his own life in 2008.
Joseph Siravo (Johnny Soprano)
Joseph Siravo had the honor of playing Tony’s father, Johnny, in a number of flashback scenes to Tony’s troubled youth and his relationship with his parents. Joseph Siravo passed away from cancer in April 2021 at the age of 66. Besides his time on The Sopranos, he played a number of mobsters in different movies and a few other non-mafia-associated roles.
Robert Loggia (Feech La Manna)
If you’re on parole and a friend asks if he can keep a bunch of stolen TVs in your garage, just say no. Although, the alternative was getting clipped, so maybe the stolen TVs weren’t the worst thing for Feech La Manna, played by Robert Loggia. Loggia was only in four episodes but served as a point of contention for Tony since he still saw him as a child, a similar problem Tony had with Richie Aprile.
Denise Borino-Quinn (Ginny Sacrimoni)
Probably the healthiest relationship on the show was that of Ginny and Johnny Sacrimoni. John never seemed to have a gumar or was abusive towards his wife. The scene where he describes her to Tony as “rubenesque” and the look in his eye is something we could all take notes from. Ginny was played by Denise Borino-Quinn, a New Jersey native. Denise passed away in 2010 from liver cancer at just 46.
Paul Mazursky (Sunshine)
“Victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan.” Though he was only in two episodes, Sunshine was still a fairly memorable character thanks to his banter at the poker games he ran before he was killed at one in a heist gone wrong by Jackie Junior. It was actually almost certainly Jackie that ended up shooting Sunshine at that game. Paul Mazursky was a talented director and screenwriter as well, getting nominated for several awards thanks to his film, An Unmarried Woman. Mazursky suffered a cardiac arrest and died in 2014 at the age of 84.
Frank Pellegrino (Frank Cubitoso)
Frank Pellegrino played Frank Cubitoso, who was the FBI chief constantly trying to bring Tony Soprano and the rest of the mobsters down in the show. He definitely had some great scenes and dialogue, specifically with Tony. Another actor that commonly played mobsters or members of law enforcement, Frank was also in Goodfellas and Law & Order. Frank passed away from lung cancer at the age of 72 in 2017.
Brian Tarantina (Mustang Sally)
New York City native Brian Tarantina played Mustang Sally, the guy that brutally beat Vito’s brother Bryan Spatafore with a golf club. That episode was the only one Tarantina played in as he was eventually murdered by Robert Baccalieri, his own godfather– familial godfather, not mafia godfather. Tarantina died of an accidental overdose in December 2019.
Peter Bogdanovich (Elliot Kupferberg)
Peter Bogdanovich definitely had a long filmography before starring as Dr. Elliot Kupferberg, Dr. Jennifer Melfie’s own therapist. Melfie often discussed her inner turmoil in treating Tony Soprano. Their conversations together offered a lot of insight into the morality of treating a mob boss when therapy has been proven only to enable sociopaths and not be therapeutic. Peter died from complications of Parkinson’s in January 2022 at the age of 82.
Paul Herman (Peter “Beansie” Gaeta)
In a show filled with tragic endings, Beansie’s ending is near the bottom of those who are left alive by the end of the show. Beansy was paralyzed thanks to Richie Aprille’s anger at the fact that he went to jail while Beansy lived a successful life on the outside. Paul Herman died in March 2022 at the age of 76.
John Caciari, Aka Cha Cha died also known as the mayor of Little Italy