Joseph R. Gannascoli

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Joseph R. Gannascoli
Gannascoli filming the White Collar episode
"On the Fence" in Manhattan's West Village on June 7, 2011.
Born (1959-02-15) February 15, 1959 (age 59)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Other names Joe Gannascoli
Occupation Actor, spokesman
Years active 1991–present
Spouse(s) Diana Gannascoli (m. 2005-present)
Children 1

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

Early life[edit]

Gannascoli was born and raised in Brooklyn.[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 in New York City before leaving to work at Commander's Palace in New Orleans, and then at various restaurants around the country.


Gannascoli's interests then turned to cooking. He 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.[1]

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. He brought the idea of making his character gay from a true story of the Gambino crime family, in a book called Murder Machine.[2] It was the only suggestion David Chase ever used.[citation needed]

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

Other ventures[edit]

In January 2006 Gannascoli published a crime novel called A Meal to Die For: A Culinary Novel of Crime.[3]


Years Title Role
1993 Money for Nothing Charlie DiSalvio
1994 Ed Wood Security Guard
1995 Never Talk to Strangers Carnival Attendant
1995 Submission Eddie
1996 The Funeral Rocco (uncredited)
1996 Basquiat Guard at Hospital
1997 Blowfish Gino Calbrese
1999 Mickey Blue Eyes Jimmy, Gina's Doorman
2000–2006 The Sopranos Bakery Customer/"Gino"
2005 Meet the Mobsters Abner Hunnicutt
2006 Beer League Giusuppe Primavera (uncredited)
2000–2006 The Sopranos Vito Spatafore
2011 White Collar Salvatore
2012 Men in Black 3 New York Mets Fan #2
2014 Rob the Mob Dom
2015 An Act of War Frank
2017 Jason's Letter Principle (Pratt) Prattoli


External links[edit]