David Proval as Richie Aprile
|First appearance||"Toodle Fucking-Oo" (episode 2.03)|
|Last appearance||"The Test Dream" (episode 5.11)|
|Created by||David Chase|
|Portrayed by||David Proval|
|Occupation||Carting consultant of Barone Sanitation/Fishmonger|
|Title||Capo of Aprile Crew in the DiMeo/Soprano Family (1980s–1990, 2000)|
|Family||Jackie Aprile, Sr (younger brother) (deceased)
Rosalie Aprile (sister-in-law)
Jackie Aprile, Jr. (nephew) (deceased)
Adrianna La Cerva (niece) (deceased)
Vito Spatafore (nephew) (deceased)
Bryan Spatafore (nephew)
|Spouse(s)||Janice Soprano (ex-fiancée)|
|Children||Richie Aprile, Jr. (son)|
Richard 'Richie' Aprile, Sr., played by David Proval, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Richie was a capo and the older brother of former DiMeo crime family acting boss Jackie Aprile, Sr.
Richie was one of the most ruthless characters on the show; he was impulsively violent, callous, irascible, and greedy. He made his first appearance in season two, recently released from a ten-year prison sentence, and soon began to cause trouble. Feeling disrespected by Beansie Gaeta, Richie ran him over with his car, leaving him unable to walk. There was continual tension between Richie and Tony Soprano, who was younger and had been subordinate to Richie before his prison term, but who was now boss of the family. He also rekindled an old relationship with Tony's sister Janice Soprano.
Richie Aprile, the older brother of acting DiMeo crime family boss Jackie Aprile, Sr., was a capo in the DiMeo crime family before being sent to prison for ten years. While Richie was in prison, Jackie died and before his release, Richie came back to a very different family with Tony Soprano as the boss. Richie had known Tony since before he became a made man; Tony himself recalled having to pay for dinners for Richie and others as a newly made man. Tony and Richie had gotten along in the old days; Richie intervened on Tony and Jackie's behalf when old-school mobster Feech La Manna wanted them killed for robbing his card game. There was no love lost between them upon Richie's return.
Impetuous and irascible, Richie still saw Tony as his younger brother's friend and subsequently had difficulty accepting orders from someone who was once subordinate to him. Because of Richie's belligerent narcissism, he automatically felt he was entitled to inherit everything he wanted for having paid his dues in prison. Tony recognized that Richie's absence was on account of his imprisonment. Tony promised to give Richie his due, an offer which Richie immediately rebuffed by saying that what is his is not Tony's to give.
Richie was arguably the most ruthless of all Mafiosi cast in the series. His tensions with Tony developed throughout Season 2. One of Richie's first actions as a free man was to confront his old partner Peter "Beansie" Gaeta and try to claim money from him. When Beansie failed to pay Richie at Richie's welcome back party, Richie tracked him down again and threatened to shoot him. Later, Richie waited for Beansie by his car, and when he went to get in, Richie rammed Beansie with his car, crushing Beansie between the two vehicles. Richie then puts the car in gear and drives over the paralyzed Beansie again. Richie was later forced by Tony to make amends by building Beansie a ramp for his wheelchair, Richie sends a construction crew to tear up Beansie's house, never putting in the ramp. Richie comments to Paulie and Silvio: "I'll build a ramp up to your ass, drive a Lionel up in there".
Richie loaned money to Tony's childhood friend Davey Scatino and eventually cut him off when Scatino started to miss payments. Scatino managed to get a seat at Tony's high-stakes executive game despite owing Richie money. However Richie turns up and when he finds Davey playing there he flew into a rage. Tony intervened because he could not lose face by allowing one of his players to be harmed and sent Richie home. Tony later punished Richie for his disruptive behavior at the executive game, for which Richie feigned apologies by presenting Tony with an "old school" leather jacket. After the game, Scatino was so heavily indebted to Tony and Richie that both men took over Scatino's sporting goods store, Ramsey Sports and Outdoor, in what became known as "the Scatino bust out".
Richie disliked Tony's protégé Christopher Moltisanti because of his violent relationship with Richie's niece, Adriana La Cerva, and warned Christopher of the consequences should he ever hit her again. Christopher's two young associates, Matthew Bevilaqua and Sean Gismonte, learned of Richie's dislike for their boss, and therefore they shot Christopher, hoping to impress Richie. The shooting went wrong and Christopher survived. Richie had nothing to do with planning the hit and when he learned of it, he refused to help Bevilaqua afterward and chased him off his premises.
Richie and Janice Soprano, Tony's sister, used to date in high school. When Richie left prison, he and Janice resumed their old relationship and eventually became engaged. Janice frequently encouraged Richie to defy Tony, because she wanted to be married to the boss. One night while having sex, which ended abruptly when Janice said "Oh baby, you're the boss... it should be you," Richie became upset and told Janice he needed to be loyal. Janice's response "Tell that to Paul Castellano," a reference to the real life slaying of the Gambino boss by John Gotti.
Richie acted as a mentor to his nephew, Jackie Aprile, Jr., and saw his potential as a mobster. Richie brought him along to meetings to discuss Mafia business. Richie told Janice that he wished he had a son like Jackie Jr.
In the end, Richie was preparing, with the approval of Tony's Uncle Junior, to take over the family as boss. Richie approached acting capo Albert "Ally Boy" Barese to ask for his support in his takeover bid but he declined. After weighing his options, Junior realized he was better off with Tony in charge and tipped him off about Richie's plans. Silvio Dante advised Tony that there was nothing to gain from leaving Richie alive, so Tony instructed Silvio to have Richie killed. However, this would prove unnecessary.
After returning home one night, Richie and Janice got into an argument over Richie's son's possible homosexuality. Richie was enraged by the thought but Janice dismissed the idea and said it wouldn't matter if he was. Furious, Richie punched her in the face before settling down for dinner. A shocked Janice left the room but quickly returned with a gun and shot Richie twice, killing him. Distraught, she called Tony, who had Chris and Furio Giunta dismember Richie's corpse with the meat-cutting equipment at Satriale's Pork Store, and sent Janice off to Seattle to lie low. Only the four of them know what really happened to Richie. Carmela knows of Richie's death but did not press Tony for the specifics. In "Funhouse", Tony joked to Silvio and Pussy that Richie was "in the Bermuda Triangle". Everyone else has been told that he became an FBI informant and entered witness protection. Conversations with Silvio (in "All Happy Families...") and Paulie (in "Made in America") indicate that they also know of Richie's true fate. Later, when she had been compromised, the FBI heavily implied to Richie's niece Adriana that her uncle had not entered witness protection, regardless of what she had been led to believe.
In the season 5 episode "The Test Dream", Richie briefly appears in Tony's dream riding in the backseat of a car driven by Artie Bucco. Sitting next to Richie is also the deceased, former Aprile Crew capo Gigi Cestone.
- Appears in: "Toodle Fucking-Oo", "Big Girls Don't Cry", "The Happy Wanderer", "D-Girl", "Full Leather Jacket", "From Where to Eternity", "Bust Out", "House Arrest", "The Knight in White Satin Armor", "The Test Dream".