America seems to love the HBO series The Sopranos. So much so that they waited two long years for its return – something almost unheard of in television land. However, the show may be short-lived as many of the stars are having real life run-ins with drama.
The star of the show, James Gandolfini, just recently collided with a taxi while riding his scooter in New York City. But, his wreck is nothing compared to what some of the Soprano actors have gone through:
- Robert Iler, who portrays A.J. Soprano, had a run-in with the law at a very young age. In 2001, when he was only 16, Robert and others were charged with second degree robbery and marijuana possession. By pleading guilty, he was sentenced to three years probation.
- Vincent Pastore was arrested for assaulting his fiancée on April 2, 2005. He was sentenced to perform community service and ordered to take anger management classes.
- John Ventimiglia (Chef Artie Bucco) was arraigned on May 1, 2006 for drunken driving and drug possession. Arrested for drunk driving near his home in Brooklyn, police found a baggie in his pocket that contained cocaine residue.
- Louis Gross, who plays bodyguard Perry Annunziata, was charged with breaking and entering into a woman’s home on April 18, 2006. His claim was “I don’t know nothing. I am innocent. I’m always innocent.”
- Perhaps the saddest story of a Sopranos run in with the law is that of Lillo Brancata Jr. Adopted at age four, he was discovered while swimming at Jones Beach and cast in The Bronx Tale. His second role was in one of my favorite movies, Renaissance Man, where he played Private Donnie Benitez. Never lacking for roles, Brancata, unfortunately, preferred heroin as much as acting and was arrested for possession in June 2005. Then in December 2005, on the prowl for money and drugs, Brancato and friend Steven Armento were breaking into a Bronx home when off duty policeman Daniel Enchautegui tried to stop them. A fight ensued in which Enchautegui was killed and Brancato was critically injured. He has since recovered, but now faces second degree murder charges.
Maybe being a bad guy is good television, but when it creeps over into real life, it is sad.
What do you think about the Soprano stars and their run-ins?