'Sopranos' star Joseph Siravo dies at 66

"Sopranos" star Joseph Siravo died Sunday at age 66 from colon cancer. Photo courtesy of ATA Management
"Sopranos" star Joseph Siravo died Sunday at age 66 from colon cancer. Photo courtesy of ATA Management

April 12 (UPI) -- Joseph Siravo, who played the father in flashback scenes in The Sopranos, died Sunday. He was 66.

Siravo died "after a long, courageous battle with colon cancer," his management said in a statement, describing him as an "acclaimed actor, director and teacher."


Along with his notable role as Tony Soprano's father, Johnny Soprano, in several flashback scenes in HBO's The Sopranos, which ran for six seasons, Siravo also starred as "Vinne Taglialucci" in Carlito's Way, and "Fred Goldman," father of murder victim Ronald Goldman, in American Crime Story: The People Vs. OJ Simpson. He also played mobster John Gotti in the 2015 film The Wannabe, Gene Gotti in the 1998 made-for-TV film Witness to the Mob, and the role of Niko in seasons one and two of the NBC show The Blacklist.

"His performance [as] Johnny Boy Soprano was spot on and he also made a perfect John Gotti in Nick Sandow's The Wannabe," Siravo's co-star in The Sopranos Michael Imperioli told TMZ. "In my opinion, he was the best of all the actors who've played the Teflon Don."


Siravo also performed work on Broadway in Tony Award-winning productions of Oslo and The Light in the Piazza. He also played Angelo DeCarlo in the First National Tour of Jersey Boys, and had Off-Broadway credits in Mad Forest, Up Against the Wind, Dark Rapture and Gemini.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and Master of Fine Arts from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. A native of Washington, D.C.'s metro area, he grew up attending plays in the area's Arena Stage, which inspired his dream of working in the theater.

Siravo had a "lifelong love of and passion for Shakespeare," management's statement said, and he received rave reviews for his portrayal of "Claudius" in the Long Wharf Theater's 2004 production of Hamlet.

"He was also a coach, mentor and teacher of the Shakespeare canon," the statement said.

Siravo is survived by his daughter, Allegra Okarmus, grandson Atticus Okarmus; his sister Maria Siravo and brothers Mario Siravo, Ernest Siravo and Michael Siravo.

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Betty White attends the media preview for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's Beastly Ball fundraiser at the Los Angeles Zoo in Los Angeles on June 11, 2015. The actress died December 31. She was 99 years old. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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