*(Harry Bellaver/costar) Sgt. Frank Arcaro, a New York City policeman of Italian
descent who worked with a variety of plainclothes detectives in solving assorted
murders, assaults, and muggings within the Big Apple. Frank Arcaro was promoted
to detective later in the series.
NEW YORK NEWS/CBS/1995
*(Melina Kanakaredes/costar) Angela Villanova, Italian-American investigative
reporter for the New York Reporter newspaper. Other cast included Anthony
DeSando as reporter Anthony Amato.
(Joe Rogan) Joe Garelli, the macho, electronic maintenance technician for WNYX,
an all-news radio station in New York City. He is extremely talented when it
comes to electronics but his social skills are sometimes lacking. His romantic
interest is African-American news co-anchor, Catherine Duke. Joe once said “I’m
Joe Girelli. I’m not afraid of anything.” (except alien abductions).
ONE DAY AT A TIME/CBS/1975-84
*(Bonnie Franklin) Ann Romano, an independent, Italian American divorcee living
in Indianapolis with her two teenage daughters Julie and Barbara Cooper
(Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli). Once Anne's volatile, old-world
father loudly proclaimed. "Your cousin Rosalie got a PH.D. You got a divorce!"
*(Richard Libertini) Richard Capparelli, a free-spirited New Age Italian police
detective working in an eccentric beach community of Venice, California with his
conservative black partner.
*(Tito Virolo) Papa Cellini, an Italian patriarch living in New York City with
his wife, Mama Cellini (Carla De Angelo/Cada Ruggeri). Other family members were
Carol Sinclair as Nita; and Aristide Sigismondi as Antonio.
*(Rhea Perlman) Mrs. Pearl Caraldo, a wisecracking Italian-American widow of a
longshoreman who enrolls in a prestigious university to better herself. Her foil
is a snobby British philosophy professor. Also featured were Carol Kane as Annie
Caraldo; and Dash Mihok as Joey Caraldo, Pearl’s grown son.
PENSACOLA: WINGS OF GLORY/SYN/1997-2000
**(David Quane) Captain Edward "Capone" Terelli, Italian-American Marine Fighter
pilot stationed at the Naval air station in in Pensacola, Florida.
THE PERRY COMO SHOW/NBC/CBS/NBC/1948-63
*(Perry Como) Perry Como, an easy-going crooner of Italian descent who hosted
this very successful musical variety program for more than a decade. Over the
years he has become a familiar face at Christmas time when he hosted his annual
Yuletide special. See also THE FRANK SINATRA SHOW and THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW for
other Italian-American TV singers.
*(Barry Newman) Anthony "Tony" Petrocelli, an Italian-American Harvard educated
attorney who chose to live and practice law in the fictional Southwestern town
of San Remo with his wife, Maggie (Susan Howard).
*(Matt Borlenghi/costar) Johnny, an Italian-American lawyer working for the
district attorney office who shared an Manhattan apartment with four other guys.
**(Sara Rue) Carmen “Carm” Ferrara, a student at Kennedy High School. She wants
to fit into the "popular" crowd at school but they resist her attempts,
especially Nicole Julian, the co-captain of the cheerleaders who uses every
opportunity to humiliate Carmen. Despite the drawbacks, Carmen has tried out for
the cheerleading squad and endeavored to become home coming queen. Her best and
"unpopular" friends included school reporter Samantha McPherson and Lily
*(Dean Stockwell/costar) Admiral Al Calavicci, a lecherous, cigar smoking naval
officer of Italian descent who was assigned to project Quantum Leap, a time
travel experiment that went awry. Al appeared as a holographic projection.
**(Val Bisoglio) Danny Tovo, Italian-American businessman who owned the marina
bar and eatery named “Danny’s Place” - the hangout of coroner Dr. Quincy and
RAGS TO RICHES/NBC/1987-88
*(Joseph Bologna) Nick Foley, (real name: Nicholas Folitini) a hard-nosed,
hard-living, self-made millionaire of Italian descent (born in Hoboken, New
Jersey) who owned Foley Foods, a large West coast food company. He shared his
Bel Air Mansion with a very hip English butler and five orphan girls whom he
reluctantly adopted (but grew to love).
*(James Luisi) Lt. Frank Marciano, Los Angeles police detective of Italian
descent who recruited seven young gang leaders to form the Renegades, a special
undercover police squad of crime fighting youths; Also featured was Paul Mones
as J. T., the leader of the Romans, an Italian street gang.
**(June Chadwick) Lt. Joanna Parisi, an Italian-American police detective who
interacted with California-based private detectives Nick Ryder and Cody Allen.
Also featured were Cesar Romero as Angelo; an oceanographer; and Ava Lazar as
Giovanna, Angelo's daughter. Gianni Russo as Straightaway, a local restaurateur;
and Anne Francis as Mama Jo, the skipper of the all-female crew charter boat,
the "Barefoot Contessa."
**(Sebastian Roche) Longinus, an evil 400-year-old Roman centurion unable to die
who uses his sorcerer powers to aide in the downfall of a Celtic kingdom during
the year 400 A.D. in Ireland. Roche is actually a British born actor.
ROOM FOR ROMANCE/CBS/1990
*(Dom Irrera) Roman Carciofi, an Italian concierge and counter man who followed
the romantic goings-on in a Manhattan highrise apartment building. Roman was
replaced by Aldo (Don Novello).
THE SECOND HALF/NBC/1993-94
*(John Mendoza) John Palmaro, a newly-divorced 42-year-old Italian-American
sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Post. Also featured were Jessica Lundy as
Denise Palmaro, John’s sister; Ellen Blain as his fourteen-year-old, Cathy;
Brooke Stanley as his nine-year-old, Ruth; Joe Guzaldo as his friend and
coworker, David Keller; and Wayne Knight as Robert Piccolo, John‘s editor.
*(Gil Gerard) Sgt. Jake Rizzo, Italian-American plainclothes police detective
who adopted a karate-kicking oriental youth as a favor to the boys grandfather.
Magda Harout played Jake's mother who was not above using guilt to get what she
wanted. Jake's father (now deceased) was a shoemaker.
**(Cartoon Character) Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico (voice of Joe Mantegna), a
cigar-smoking Mafia don living in the fictional town of Springfield. Tony and
his gang of thugs are often seen playing cards in the back room of some
building. Tony can be heard saying such things as "Why, I'd be delighted to sell
you some illegally smuggled goods."; "How do you know you don't like bribes if
you've never taken one? Here."; "Then it's decided. Our website name will be
crime.org." According to local law enforcement Chief Wiggum, Fat Tony is a
"cancer on this fair city. He is the cancer and I am the...uh..what cures
cancer?" When Tony is confronted with an interrogation, he plays dumb and
responds with statements like "What's a murder," or "What's a truck?"
S.O.F. (SPECIAL OPS FORCES)/SYN/1998
**(David Eigenberg) Nick Delvechio, a native New Yorker of Italian descent with
a wise-ass personality. Hired by the DEA, Nick specialized in deep cover
operations. He later resigned from the D.E.A. and was recruited by the Special
Ops Forces group.
*(James Gandolfini) Tony Soprano, Italian-American mobster (a waste disposal
firm operator) living in suburban New Jersey who begins to see a therapist Dr.
Jennifer Melfi (played by Lorraine Bracco) to relate his troubles about his
mistress, his wife, his kids and his professional life as a mafioso. Other cast
included Nancy Marchand as Tony's selfish, spoiled, mother, Livia; Edie Falco as
his wife, Carmela; Robert Iler as Anthony Jr., Tony's son who has attention
deficit disorder; Michael Imperioli as Tony's hotheaded nephew, Christopher
Moltisanti; Dominic Chianese as Tony's power-mad Uncle Jr.; Jamie Lynn Sigler as
Meadow Soprano, Tony‘s brash teenage daughter; Aida Turturro as Janice Soprano;
Stevie Van Zandt as Silvio Dante, manager of a strip club and Tony Soprano's
closest friend; Tony Sirico as Paulie Walnuts; Joseph Badalucco, Jr. as Jimmy
Altieri; John Ventimiglia as Artie Bucco; Kathrine Narducci as Charmaine Bucco;
Vincent Pastore as “Big Pussy” Bompensiero; Anthony DeSando as Brendan Filone;
Lillo Brancato as Matt Bevilaqua; Robert Lupone as Dr. Cusomano; David Proval as
Richie Aprile; Michael Rispoli as Jackie Aprile; Al Sapienza as Mikey Palmice;
Drea De Matteo as Adrianna; and Sharon Angela as Rosalie. The same year this
cable TV series debuted, a similar plotline hit the movie theaters in Analyze
This, a black comedy starring Robert DeNiro as a mobster who seeks the
services of a psychologist (played by Billy Crystal). The same theme had already
appeared on National Lampoon's the Don's Analyst an original movie that
aired on The Movie Channel in the Fall of 1997. It starred Kevin Pollack and
Robert Loggia with a tagline that read "The Godfather wants to get in touch with
his feelings...NOW!" The Sopranos series was created by David Chase (his last
name was originally DeCesare) who grew up in New Jersey in an Italian-American
**(Tracy Nelson) Jennifer DiNuccio, attractive teenager who goes to Weemawee
Central High School in the town of Weemawee Heights. Also appearing is Jon
Caliri as Vinnie Pasetta, the class loverboy.
*(Richard Castellano) Joe Girelli, a 260-pound, beer drinking building
superintendent working in a walk-up apartment in New York City. Living in the
multi-ethnic apartment house was his Italian-American family including Ardel
Sheridan as his wife, Francesca; Margaret Castellano as his daughter, Joanne
(Richard Castellano's real daughter); Bruce Kirby, Jr. as his son, Anthony; and
Phil Mishkin as Frankie, Joe's big-shot lawyer brother.
T. J. HOOKER/ABC/1982-87
**(Adrian Zmed) Officer Vince Romano, a uniformed policeman of Italian descent
who worked for an fictional Southern California police force. On one episode the
script mentioned he was raised in South Philadelphia. Later in the series, James
Darren joined the cast as Officer Jim Corrigan.
*(Tony Danza/costar) Tony Banta, a sincere but dumb Italian-American cabdriver
working for the Sunshine Cab Company in New York City whose dream in life was to
become a successful boxer. However, there was one problem. He continually got
knocked out. Danny DeVito appeared as Louie DePalma the diminutive, sleazy cab
dispatcher who tried to get into the pants of any woman within sight of his
lecherous grasp. Paisano Tony Danza [born April 21, 1951 as Tony Iadanza] was
raised in a tough Italian-Irish neighborhood in Brooklyn.
*(Debi Mazar) Deb DeAngelo, a street smart single Italian-American woman with a
pronounced Brooklynese accent who used her past experiences from 27 jobs to work
for an Upper East Side employment agency that specialized in offbeat jobs and
upscale clients. Nancy Cassaro played Deb's close friend Anne Marie.
**(Gino Conforti) Nino, the owner of Nino’s Italian Restaurant in Manhattan that
is frequented actress wanna-be Ann Marie (“That Girl”) and her reporter
boyfriend Donald Hollinger.
THAT ‘70s SHOW/FOX/1998-2006
**(Laura Prepon) Donna Pinciotti, 17-year-old Italian-American female with long
red hair who lives in Wisconsin during the late 1970s (1976 to be exact). She
hangs out with a group of teenagers, one of which, is Eric Forman, her next-door
neighbor and romantic interest. Don Stark and Tanya Roberts played Donna’s
parents Bob, a discount store owner and Midge, a housewife.
**(Jason Wiles) Maurice Louis "Bosco" Boscorelli, glory-hungry, hot-headed New
York cop. "Bosco’s attitude gets him in trouble," says Wiles, "but he’s the guy
you’d want there in a crisis because he gets the job done." Other cast includes
Kim Raver as Kim Zambrano, a NYPD police officer who “is thrill seeking and
compassionate, a dedicated adrenaline junkie with a streetwise smarts but
self-destructiveness when it comes to men.” Kim Raver is fluent in French and
German (learned from her German born mother).
**(Jordon Charney) Frank Angelino, a bearded Italian-American businessman and
owner of Angelino's, an Italian restaurant located in Santa Monica, California.
Mr. Angelino hired Jack Tripper as a chef when he graduated from culinary
school. Mr. Angelino's character appeared during the 6th and 7th season. A
knife-wielding Hispanic kitchen worker named Felipe (Gino Conforti) resented
Jack for getting hired as chef, because he had been working at Angelino's for
six years and felt he deserved the chance of being chef over Jack. In 1982 Mr.
Angelino and landlord Ralph Furley put up the money to open Jack's own eatery, a
French cuisine eatery called Jack's Bistro. Christina Hart appeared as
Angelino's grown daughter Francesca Angelino, whom Jack dated (against Frank's
TO ROME WITH LOVE/CBS/1969-71
**(Peggy Mondo) Mama Vitale, an Italian housekeeper working for an American
college professor and his family while they lived in Rome, Italy. Other
neighbors included Vito Scotti as Gino Mancini; and Gerald Michenaud as Nico.
*(Tony Musante) David Toma, an Italian-American undercover street detective
working out of Newark, New Jersey. The series was based on the real-life
undercover detective David Toma. When Tony Musante left the series, the program
was changed to BARETTA starring Robert Blake as Tony Baretta, a similar
streetwise undercover cop.
THE TONY DANZA SHOW/NBC/1997
*(Tony Danza) Tony DiMeo, a recently separated Italian-American sportswriter
with an old world mentality living in New York City with his two daughters after
his wife deserted the family. Also featured were Ashley Mallinger as Tony’s
daughter Mickey DiMeo, a 17-year-old delinquent; and Majandra Delfino as Tony’s
other daughter Tina, an 11-year-old pubescent poetry writing neurotic.
TOP OF THE HEAP/FOX/1991
*(Joseph Bologna) Charlie Verducci, an Italian-American apartment building
manager living in Chicago who was always looking for a get rich scheme. Matt
LeBlanc played his dim-witted, ex-boxer son, Vinnie who worked at a country club
managed by Alixandra Stone (Rita Moreno), an Hispanic female that Charlie
Verducci was trying to impress.
*(Dan Hedaya) Nick Tortelli, an Italian-American TV Repairman who lived in Las
Vegas with his new wife, Loretta, a former showgirl. Nick was the sleaze ball
ex-husband of Carla Tortelli, the waitress on CHEERS. Also featured were Timothy
Williams as Nick's dumb son, Anthony; and Mandy Ingber as Annie, Anthony's young
*(James Remar) Frank Cisco, Italian-American owner and operator of Total
Security, a private security firm based in Los Angeles.
**(Richard Foronjy) Detective Lou Barbini, an Italian-American police officer
who worked homicide on the streets of the Pacific Northwest (The series was
filmed in Portland, Oregon). Also featyured were Philip Casnoff as Sergeant
James Vitelli of the Internal Affairs Division; and Anthony DeSando as Detective
**(Bruce Gordon) Frank Nitti, an Italian-American mobster who took over the
reigns of the Chicago underworld when Al Capone was arrested on tax-evasion in
the early 1930's. His activities were closely monitored by Federal agent Eliot
Ness and his squad of Treasury agents, who hope to put Nitti behind bars for his
illegal operations. Although the program was quite popular with the general
public, the use of Italian characters in criminal roles aroused the wrath of the
Italian-American League to Combat Defamation. Their group threatened to boycott
advertisers over their concerns. On March 17, 1961, the pressure group settled
the matter with ABC. They network agreed there would be no more fictitious
hoodlums with Italian names and more emphasis was to be given concerning the
great contributions made by Italian Americans. Reportedly, the advertising
agency of Liggett & Myers did withdraw sponsorship from the ABC program. One
positive Italian image seen on the series was that of Federal Agent Enrico Rossi
(Nick Giorgiade), a Chicago barber who turned states evidence on the Chicago
mobsters and later was recruited by the elite group of federal investigator's
known as "The Untouchables," headed by Eliot Ness.
*(Vitorrio Rossi/costar) Dino Moroni, a local fence and street hood who let his
friend Victor Torres, take a fall for an armed robbery charge. Dino was now the
target of investigation of the Montreal Tribune newspaper who recently hired
Victor Torres to get the dirt on Moroni.
**(Natalie Raitano) Nikki Franco, Italian-American weapons and explosives
specialist and bodyguard who protects high profile celebrities for Vallery Irons
Protection in Los Angles. She has a Sicilian uncle Vincent Franco who is Mafia
“Godfather.” On one episode, Don Franco got shot and Nikki was given a ring and
status of a Don.
**(Joshua Grenrock) Tony Faguzzi, a fumbling basketball player (a.k.a. the
"Italian Stallion") who played for the Waverly High School in Eastfield,
WELCOME BACK, KOTTER/ABC/1975-79
*(John Travolta/costar) Vinnie Barbarino, a cool, Brooklyn High School student
and member of the Sweathogs, an unruly group of hard-to-educate teenagers.
Vinnie referred to his Italian-American mother as a "Saint" and answered
questions with the comeback phrase "What?... Where?" Later in the series, Vinnie
moved into his own run-down apartment and took a job as an orderly in a local
WHAT A DUMMY/SYN/1990-91
**(Kaye Ballard) Mrs. Trevi Travalony, a nosy Italian-American next-door
neighbor (with Psychic abilities) who was always popping in unexpectedly on a
family who secretly owned a vaudevillian dummy that talked.
WHO'S THE BOSS/ABC/1984-93
*(Tony Danza/costar) Tony Micelli, an Italian-American widower and ex-baseball
player who left the tough inner city of Brooklyn, New York to work as a male
housekeeper in Connecticut to give his daughter, Samantha (Alyssa Milano) a
better lifestyle. Tony became a father image to the son of his divorced female
employer, with whom he later fell in love. Occasionally, Tony visited his old
neighborhood to see such family acquaintances as Mrs. Carmilla Rozinni (Rhoda
Gemignani) who often cried "You're so thin! Manga, Eat!" Later in the series
Tony adopted a 5-year-old boy named Billy Napoli (Jonathan Halyalkar) after he
promised the boy's elderly grandmother (Vera Lockwood) that he would care for
the boy. Also featured were James Coco as Tony's ex-con father-in-law, Nick
Milano; Ana Obregan as Tony's cousin, Anna; Vito Scotti as Tony's uncle, Aldo;
Richard Grieco as cousin Maurio Micelli; Antonia Ray as aunt Rosa Micelli and
Louis Guss as cousin, Dominic Micelli.
**(Tony Shalhoub) Antonio Scarpacci, an Italian-American cabdriver who hung out
at an airport lunch counter at Tom Nevers Field on Nantucket Island. He once
mentioned that he came to America stowed away inside a small box with his five
cousins. To stay in this country, he engaged in a marriage of convenience with a
local woman named Helen Chappel. Once during a cab ride, Antonio shared this bit
of information "In Italy when three people with a shovel drive to a place with
soft ground, It's never a round trip." Tony Shalhoub is a first generation
American of Lebanese descent who grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His father Joe
Shalhoub, a sausage salesman, emigrated from Beirut in 1920.
*(Ken Wahl) Vincent "Vinnie" M. Terranova, an Italian-American FBI undercover
agent who went to jail for 18 months to establish his cover so he could
infiltrate the mob (Mafia types) in New Jersey. Gerald Anthony appeared as
Vinnie's priest brother. The series also featured a number of mobsters including
Stanley Tucci as Rick Pinzolo; George O. Petrie as Don Rudy Auippo; William Russ
as Roger Lococco; and Ray Sharkey as Sonny Steelgrave, an Atlantic City mobster.
*(Jack Scalia) Anthony "Tony" Wolf, an Italian-American ex-cop turned private
Detective who lived on a boat called the "Sea Wolf" anchored in San Francisco
harbor. Also featured were Joseph Sirola as Sal Lupo, Tony's, hot-headed father;
Mimi Kuzyk as Connie Bacarri, Tony's now divorced high school sweetheart; and
J.C. Brandy as her teenage daughter, Angeline.
YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS/NBC/1950-54
*(Sid Caesar) Giuseppe Marinara, a zany Italian filmmaker featured on recurring
skits on this popular variety program.
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