Joseph R. Gannascoli

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Joseph R. Gannascoli
Gannascoli in 2011
Born (1959-02-15) February 15, 1959 (age 63)
Occupation(s)Actor, chef, spokesman
Years active1991–present
Diana Gannascoli
(m. 2005)

Joseph R. Gannascoli (born February 15, 1959) is an American actor and chef. He is best known for his portrayal of Vito Spatafore on the HBO series The Sopranos. Prior to acting, Gannascoli was a professional chef.

Early life[edit]

Gannascoli was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.[1] In the 1980s, he attended St. John's University for two years, majoring in communications.[1] He began his cooking career at Manhattan Market in 1981, before leaving to work at Commander's Palace in New Orleans, and then at various restaurants around the country.


Gannascoli learned culinary art and opened a restaurant, Soup As Art Restaurant in Brooklyn. He has worked in New Orleans, Los Angeles and New York, though he dabbled in acting at the time.[1]

Acting career[edit]

Gannascoli received his "big break" in acting from Benicio del Toro, whom he met on the set on Money for Nothing. After appearing in Ed Wood, Del Toro later cast Gannascoli in his directorial debut, Submission. He also introduced him to Sheila Jaffe and Georgianne Walken, who did casting work for the HBO TV series The Sopranos.

Gannascoli appeared in films including Mickey Blue Eyes and television shows including Law and Order before appearing on The Sopranos as a pastry shop patron named "Gino" in the season one episode "The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti". He later secured a recurring role as the nephew of Richie Aprile, Vito Spatafore, in the season two episode "The Happy Wanderer". Along with Dan Grimaldi playing identical twins Patsy and Phillip "Philly Spoons" Parisi and Saundra Santiago playing identical twins Jeannie and Joannie Cusamano, it was one of the three times that the show used a single actor for separate roles. Prior to the start of Season 6, Gannascoli was promoted to series regular. Gannascoli brought the idea to the writers of making his character gay from a true story of the Gambino crime family, in a book called Murder Machine.[2]

Gannascoli later appeared in other films including Men in Black III. He stars in the 2015 movie An Act of War.

In 2019, he appeared on an episode of the cannabis-themed competition cooking show, Bong Appétit: Cook Off.[3] He appeared with Vincent Pastore on Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back on January 21, 2020.[4]

Gannascoli is set to star in the pilot episode of "Bring on the Dancing Horses" with Kate Bosworth.


In January 2006, Gannascoli published a crime novel called A Meal to Die For: A Culinary Novel of Crime.[5]


Years Title Role Notes
1993 Money for Nothing Charlie DiSalvio
1994 Ed Wood Security Guard
1995 Never Talk to Strangers Carnival Attendant
1995 Submission Eddie Short
1996 Basquiat Guard at Hospital
1996 The Funeral Rocco Uncredited
1997 Blowfish Gino Calbrese
1998 Blunt Paramedic
1999 On the Run Burly Guy
1999 Mickey Blue Eyes Jimmy, Gina's Doorman
1999–2006 The Sopranos Gino the Bakery Customer / Vito Spatafore
2000 Two Family House Counter Guy
2004 The Kings of Brooklyn Trader the Hut
2005 Meet the Mobsters Abner Hunnicutt
2006 Beer League Giusuppe Primavera Uncredited
2008 College Road Trip Mr. Arcara
2009 Reality Horror Night Himself
2010 Corrado Frankie D'Onofrio
2010 Circus Maximus Uncle Vic
2011 The Reunion David Bass
2011 White Collar Salvatore Episode: "On the Fence"
2011 Delsin Himself
2012 Men in Black 3 New York Mets Fan #2
2012 Desperate Endeavors Neil Bates
2013 Chasing Taste Murphy
2013 Fratello Tony
2014 Rob the Mob Dom
2014 Leaving Circadia Nat
2014 Gilgamesh Senator Higgins
2014 Other Plans Gus
2015 An Act of War Frank
2017 Crossed Lines Cop
2017 Jason's Letter Principal (Pratt) Prattoli
2018 The Brawler John
2020 The One Frankie


  1. ^ a b c "Soprano’s Cast Member in Town to Promote Cigar Line and Chat About Film and Food", Chicago Press Release Services, May 11, 2010
  2. ^ "Gay 'Sopranos' mobster finds a bit of fame". April 10, 2006.
  3. ^ (December 8, 2019). "Bong Appétit video: Legalize Marinara". ViceTV.
  4. ^, Joseph Rejent | NJ Advance Media for (January 8, 2020). "Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back free live stream: How to watch online without cable". nj.
  5. ^ A Meal to Die For: A Culinary Novel of Crime,, accessed June 7, 2011.

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