Actor who portrayed Tony Soprano’s dad dead at 66
Actor Joseph Siravo was not a Jersey guy. But he might as well have been. He just passed away at age 66 and Sopranos fans will mourn him.
There were several times throughout the HBO series that he appeared portraying Tony Soprano's father in flashback scenes. He may not have done a ton of appearances on the show but he certainly left an impact.
One moment that always stuck with me was when young Tony misses the bus to school and moments later sees his father beating the hell out of some guy on the street. Tony is shown as an innocent boy taking it all in and witnessing his father in a completely different way. And it haunts him.
Siravo was also in the national tour of Jersey Boys, playing a member of the Genovese crime family in the hit musical. There's also the time he was in a TV drama called Made In Jersey.
So yes, if life were to imitate art he'd be a Jersey guy indeed.
Another role he had was playing real-life mob boss John Gotti. Sopranos' Anthony Imperioli says of all the portrayals, Joseph Siravo played Gotti the best.
Siravo battled cancer for years. He endured multiple rounds of treatment after having been diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer in 2017 and then was discovered with colon cancer.
He passed away at home with his daughter Allegra Okarmus. She shared that he left behind his baby grandson and that the role he prized most was that of Nonno Joe.
Here's a scene from The Sopranos with young Tony and his dad played by Siravo. The actor had a way to make any scene tense; even when nothing would end up happening you felt something could at any moment.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.