John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, who played mobster Albie Cianflone on HBO’s The Sopranos, has died. He was 69. His family said that Ciarcia died November 21 at NYU Langone Medical Center following a brief illness.
Ciarcio also was a producer, celebrity manager, boxing promoter (for Tony Danza and others), radio host and owner of Little Italy’s popular Cha Cha’s In Bocca Al Lupo Cafe in NYC — known as “The Mayor of Little Italy.” But he is perhaps best known for his role as tough-guy Albie Cianflone, part of Phil Leotardo’s crew on The Sopranos. He joined the cast of the HBO mob drama in its sixth season. His film credits include the Danny Devito-directed Hoffa (1992) and Death To Smoochy (2002). He also appeared in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (1990) and Frank Rainone’s A Brooklyn State Of Mind (1998), which featured Danza.
Ciarcio also co-hosted Sirius Satellite Radio’s The Wise Guys Show. His cafe was a popular gathering place for his celebrity friends, including Scorsese, Danza, DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Robert De Niro, Danny Aiello, Joey Reynolds and Vincent Pastore, who played Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero on The Sopranos.
Ciarcio is survived by his wife, singer Karen King, along with a sister, four aunts, an uncle, five nephews, five nieces, three great nieces, three great nephews and one great-great niece.
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