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‘The Sopranos’ Cast: Revisit the Stars Who Brought the Hit Drama To Life

Reunite with one of your favorite TV families as the 'hit' HBO series celebrates its 25th anniversary

For many of The Sopranos cast members, late star James Gandolfini is never far from their minds, even today, close to 11 years since his unexpected death. “There was a 25th anniversary party [recently], where I saw his son, Michael. I remember holding him on set as a little baby. And talking to Michael, I felt Jimmy there. I felt he was close to me,” Lorraine Bracco, who played Dr. Jennifer Melfi, shared with Empire magazine.

And despite his dramatic role, Gandolfini was one who liked to keep his co-stars in stitches. “He was so much fun,” Edie Falco, who played his onscreen wife, Carmela, added to Empire. “I remember shooting an intervention scene when he flipped backwards on an apple box and his feet went up like a very large toddler. He couldn’t stop laughing. I couldn’t stop laughing. That was him. That was Jimmy.”

the sopranos cast emmy win
The Sopranos Cast at 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2007)Getty

The Sopranos cast, which won an impressive 21 Emmys in its six-season run from 1999 through 2007, remains one of TV’s most talked-about series. And that would still be true without taking into account its infamously cryptic and love-it-or-hate-it final scene, which still has fans buzzing. (A booth from the Bloomfield, New Jersey, ice cream shop where the final moments were shot recently sold for more than $82,000 in an online auction.)

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With rumors of a new Sopranos incarnation starring Gandolfini’s son, Michael, being circulated online (though that’s believed to be highly unlikely), it’s clear that fans are still hungry for more. In June, they’ll at least get a new documentary that’s premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Scheduled to attend that showing of WISE GUY: David Chase and The Sopranos are Chase, the series’ creator, and many from The Sopranos cast, including Falco, Michael Imperioli, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and more.

“It’s like heaven. It’s extraordinary being with these people,” Chase told The New York Times of a reunion the cast held earlier this year in Little Italy to mark the show’s 25th anniversary. But why should they have all the fun? Pull up a chair and a plate of pasta, then have your own reunion with some of The Sopranos cast members, below.

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
1999/2012 Getty

As multilayered Mafia boss Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini made audiences an offer they couldn’t refuse: to fall in love with his character despite his dark dealings. Gandolfini was more than up to the job, as his star turn in The Sopranos cast earned him, among other accolades, three consecutive Emmy-award wins for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

The New Jersey native and son of Italian immigrants (just like his character) did time as a bouncer and a stage actor after earning a communications degree in college. On Broadway in 1992, he starred opposite Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin in A Streetcar Named Desire. Roles in film and TV followed, including 1993’s True Romance, 1995’s Get Shorty and 1998’s A Civil Action. While riding high as Tony on HBO, he also appeared in such films as 2001’s The Mexican, 2004’s Surviving Christmas, and 2006’s Lonely Hearts, co-starring John Travolta and Salma Hayek.

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man standing with arms crossed
James Gandolfini in ‘The Sopranos’ (1999)Getty

When he was cast as Tony, Gandolfini, still a relatively unknown character actor, was as surprised as anyone. “I thought, ‘I can do this,’ but I thought they would hire someone a little more debonair, shall we say. A little more appealing to the eye,” he admitted to Newsweek.

In his post-Sopranos career, Gandolfini produced several projects and continued to act on the big screen in 2012’s Killing Them Softly and Zero Dark Thirty, 2013’s Enough Said, and 2014’s The Drop, the latter of which was released after the star’s tragic death while on vacation in Rome at age 51 in 2013. “He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes,” Chase said in a statement.

Gandolfini left behind son Michael, now 25, whom he had with his first wife, Marcella Wudarski, and daughter Liliana, now 11, whom he shared with wife Deborah Lin.

Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano: The Sopranos cast

Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano: The Sopranos cast
1999/2024 Getty

Edie Falco wowed audiences and critics alike in her role of Carmela Soprano, Tony’s long-suffering better half, winning three Emmys and several other awards for her performance, just as Gandolfini did.

Prior to joining The Sopranos cast, the Brooklyn-born actor started off with small roles in films such as 1994’s Bullets Over Broadway before making an even bigger splash on TV, where she landed parts such as correction officer Diane Whittlesey — a character on the other side of the law than her Sopranos clan — on another HBO series, Oz.

During her Sopranos tenure, Falco privately battled breast cancer. Escaping into her character, she told NPR, “helped me to just keep moving, to not have it be this huge comma in my life where everything waited. I was able to pretty much keep up my schedule and go through what I needed to go through.”

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woman holding award; the sopranos cast
Emmy Award winner, Edie Falco (1999)Getty

After the show’s finale, Falco, now 60, appeared in recurring roles on 30 Rock and Law & Order True Crime, also landing the title role on the short-lived CBS cop show Tommy, playing LA police chief Abigail “Tommy” Thomas. Another Emmy win would come for her star turn on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, which ran from 2009 to 2015. After that, there was playing Pete Davison’s mom on his Peacock series Bupkis, as well as Hillary Clinton in American Crime Story.

On the big screen, Falco — who is mom to son Anderson and daughter Macy — recently suited up as General Ardmore in 2022’s Avatar: The Way of Water, and will return in that franchise’s third installment, due in 2025. “I wanted to be blue! I was excited I’d be blue and very tall. I didn’t get either of those things,” she lamented on The View about playing a regular ol’ human.

Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Jennifer Melfi

Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Jennifer Melfi
1999/2024 Getty

“I could never have played Tony’s wife. It would have depressed me. I think Edie [Falco] does such a great job in that part. I am so impressed with her talent,” Lorraine Bracco admitted in a piece she wrote for Interview magazine. The actor instead shined as Dr. Jennifer Melfi, Tony’s psychologist. “What’s so incredible for a mob show is [Tony’s] totally surrounded by strong women,” Bracco added, noting, “None of us are wusses, that’s for sure.”

The New York native began her career as a fashion model before taking on some European film roles in the 90s and making her way back to the States, where she had her breakthrough as mob wife Karen Hill in 1990’s Goodfellas, which earned her an Oscar nomination. Other credits include 1991’s Switch and 1995’s The Basketball Diaries, in which she played the mother of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character.

woman and man standing
Lorraine Bracco and James Gandolfini in ‘The Sopranos’ Getty

Once The Sopranos wrapped, Bracco appeared on TV’s Lipstick Jungle and Rizzoli & Isles as Jane, the mother of Angie Harmon’s character. She also narrated 2011’s I Married a Mobster for Investigation Discovery, and appeared in recurring roles on both Blue Bloods, starring Tom Selleck, and Jerk, starring Tim Renkow.

In real life, Bracco, 69, is mom to Margaux Guerard, 45, whom she had with ex-husband Daniel Guerard. She also has daughter Stella Keitel, 38, with actor Harvey Keitel, and was married to Stand and Deliver’s Edward James Olmos from 1994 to 2002.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Meadow Soprano: The Sopranos cast

Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Meadow Soprano: The Sopranos cast
1999/2022 Getty

Meadow Soprano, played by Jamie Lynn Sigler, often did her parents proud on the HBO series, and she’s equally as proud of the show and its legacy. “I wish we could just do one week of filming right now, because of my awareness of the world and what that [show] was and what we were a part of,” she recently said on the Inside of You podcast. “I just wish I could experience it, like one episode, give me one episode right now. Just drop me back in for a couple days.”

The Long Island native, who started her career at age 7, appeared in regional productions of shows such as Annie, The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella, in which she starred opposite Eartha Kitt. After skyrocketing to fame on TV’s The Sopranos, she landed appearances on Will & Grace and in Mariah Carey’s “Through the Rain” video, both done while she was on the hit series. In 2002, she released a book titled Wise Girl: What I’ve Learned About Life, Love, and Loss.

woman smiling; the sopranos cast
Jamie Lynn Sigler (2019)Getty

After moving on from The Sopranos, Sigler appeared on programs such as Entourage, Ugly Betty, and Guys With Kids. She also played Tonya Walsh on ABC’s Big Sky, co-starring Reba McEntire. One of her life’s most important roles, however, is as an advocate for multiple sclerosis, a disease she was diagnosed with when she was 20 while playing Meadow.

“I had such imposter syndrome on The Sopranos, but I was also a perfectionist. I thought I would be fired if I told people around me that I had MS,” Sigler, now 43, told SELF. “I thought I would never get hired. I thought people would just look at me and immediately limit or judge me, so I didn’t share anything, ever, that I was going through.”

“I sometimes think that MS may have hardened my body, but it’s softened my heart and slowed me down,” she added, noting how deeply she appreciates precious time with her sons Beau, 10, and Jack, 6, whom she shares with husband Cutter Dykstra.

Robert Iler as A.J. Soprano

Robert Iler as A.J. Soprano
1999/2023 Getty

Robert Iler, who was just 12 when he started playing A.J. Soprano, aka the underachieving Tony Soprano Jr., confessed that “I’ve probably not seen 80 percent of the episodes” during a 2020 podcast interview with co-stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirippa.

“The only thing I have done since Sopranos is [a couple of episodes of Law & Order] to get out of jury duty,” he also quipped, noting that he’d moved to Las Vegas to try his hand at being a professional poker player. He also spoke openly about his struggles with drug and alcohol addictions, though he reported he’s now clean.

These days, Iler, now 39, and his Sopranos sister host their own podcast titled Not Today, Pal with Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler, for which he bills himself as “a real-life Oscar the Grouch” to play off of Sigler’s “sweetheart” image. “I think [James Gandolfini] would…really love the fact that [Robert] and I are best friends and we’re still as close as we are, because the experience we all went through was really unique,” Sigler recently shared.

Aida Turturro as Janice Soprano: The Sopranos cast

Aida Turturro as Janice Soprano: The Sopranos cast
1999/2017 Getty

This Brooklyn-born actor — who’s the cousin of Do The Right Thing and Barton Fink’s John Turturro — played Tony’s sister, Janice Soprano. Aida Turturro made her film debut in 1989’s True Love, and also appeared in 1991’s What About Bob?, 1992’s Jersey Girl, 1996’s Sleepers, and 1999’s Deep Blue Sea. Her rise to fame came during The Sopranos’ second season in 2000, when she got to reunite with James Gandolfini, her co-star from 1994’s Angie, starring Geena Davis.

Most recently, Turturro had recurring roles on both Law & Order Special Victims Unit and The Blacklist, but she still misses her Sopranos co-stars dearly. “It’s hard to talk about Sopranos,” she recently told Edie Falco in a chat they had last year for Interview magazine. “The reason I loved it, besides the quality of it [and] the fact that the writing is good and the people were good, was the family we continued to be. I mean, I’m good family with you now, because we met as family.” And what does she arguably miss the most? “The dinner scenes were my favorite scenes,” Turturro, now 61, shared. “I’ll never forget watching Nancy Marchand [who played Tony’s mom, Livia] when she filmed them, because that woman would eat.”

Dominic Chianese as Junior Soprano

Dominic Chianese as Junior Soprano
1999/2012 Getty

After playing Johnny Ola in 1974’s The Godfather Part II, it was an easy jump for Dominic Chianese to play the sly Corrado “Junior” Soprano on the hit HBO series.

The Bronx native started his career on the stage, appearing in shows such as Oliver! in 1965, while he also did some TV roles. He’d re-team with his Godfather co-star Al Pacino for 1975’s Dog Day Afternoon, 1979’s …And Justice for All, and 1996’s Looking for Richard. “Al was my godfather,” Dominic told Closer Weekly. “He always hired his friends, and if it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into the movies.”

After The Sopranos, he starred as Leander on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and had a recurring role on CBS’s The Good Wife. A singer-musician since his teens, the father of six, now 93, has released several albums, including 2001’s Hits, 2007’s Ungrateful Heart, and 2013’s Bella Napoli, a collection of Italian classics. In 2018, he released a memoir, Twelve Angels: The Women Who Taught Me How to Act, Live, and Love.

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti: The Sopranos cast

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti: The Sopranos cast
1999/2024 Getty

Christopher Moltisanti was someone Tony Soprano referred to as his nephew, and Michael Imperioli played the part of his would-be-successor so well that, among other awards, he won an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Emmy in 2004.

The New York native played Spider in 1990’s Goodfellas and he also acted in several Spike Lee films. He returned as Christopher to narrate some scenes in The Sopranos’ 2021 prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark. More recently he appeared in the wildly popular second season of HBO’s The White Lotus.

The practicing Buddhist (“I started going to Buddhist teachings in 2007, the year The Sopranos ended. I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” he quipped to The Guardian) also has deep roots in live theater. Most recently, he won positive reviews for his 2024 Broadway turn in the revival of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, with The Hollywood Reporter saying his character, Peter, “is played with icy composure and blithe insincerity by Imperioli in top form.” The actor, 58, shares three children with wife Victoria Chlebowski.

Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva

Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva
1999/2022 Getty

Drea de Matteo won an Emmy for her portrayal of mob moll Adriana La Cerva, Christopher’s fiancé, a role she fully threw herself into, both physically and mentally. “I couldn’t even do my accent if I didn’t have the right thing going on visually,” she told Variety. “I had to really be immersed in the wardrobe and the hair and makeup before I could say my lines properly with the accent.”

The Queens, New York-born star studied acting at NYU before landing her career-making role on The Sopranos, which was originally only to be a one-episode gig until she impressed the producers. When her time with the show was over, she starred on Matt LeBlanc’s Friends spinoff Joey, playing that title character’s sister. She also scored recurring gigs on Desperate Housewives, Sons of Anarchy, Shades of Blue, and A Million Little Things.

In 2021, de Matteo detoured into the spirits business, releasing Gangster Goddess Broad-Cast Pinot Noir with a friend. “Wine has always been the drink of the gods to me … sexy, ancient, natural and mysterious,” de Matteo told Unfiltered of the project, adding, “And professionally? Who doesn’t like to drink a nice red wine after a hard day’s work?”

The actor, now 52, shares two children with musician Shooter Jennings: daughter Alabama, 17, and son Waylon Albert, 13.

Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante: The Sopranos cast

Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante: The Sopranos cast
1999/2024 Getty

Silvio Dante, Tony Soprano’s eventual advisor, was played by musician Steven Van Zandt, who’s arguably best known for his years playing guitar in the E Street Band alongside another well-known “Boss,” Bruce Springsteen. “I know those dynamics, okay? I know bein’ the only guy who’s not afraid to tell the boss the truth. That’s the job. That’s the gig,” Van Zandt, who’s also headed his own band, Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul, told CBS News. “If you’re the guy’s best friend, or the consigliere, or the underboss, somebody has to be the one to occasionally bring bad news.”

The musician’s Sopranos role was his first foray into acting, but the part helped him land other roles after the series ended, including the Norwegian show Lilyhammer (which he co-wrote) and 2019’s The Irishman, a film directed by Martin Scorsese. Van Zandt, now 73, released a memoir in 2021 titled Unrequited Infatuations.

Tony Sirico as Pauly “Walnuts” Gualtieri

Tony Sirico as Pauly “Walnuts” Gualtieri
1999/2019 Getty

The Brooklyn native, Tony Sirico, starred as gangster Pauly “Walnuts” Gualtieri, and he had life experience that served him well on the series: a life of crime, including armed robbery, extortion, felony weapons possession and some time in Sing Sing prison. “I started running with the wrong type of guys, and I found myself doing a lot of bad things,” he admitted in the 1989 documentary The Big Bang.

Sirico discovered a desire to act while behind bars, and his career got a boost in 1974 when he appeared as an extra in The Godfather: Part II, which eventually led to him playing Tony Stacks in 1990’s Goodfellas. Later on, he’d appear in a string of Woody Allen films, including 1994’s Bullets Over Broadway, 1995’s Mighty Aphrodite, 1996’s Everyone Says I Love You, 2017’s Wonder Wheel, and others.

His Sopranos role, however, was his defining one. “If I’m with five other Paulies and somebody yells, ‘Hey, Paulie,’ I know it’s for me,” he told The New York Times. Post Soprano parts included a stint on Steven Van Zandt’s Lilyhammer, and a role voicing Vinny, a tough street dog, on Family Guy.

The actor and father of two died in 2022 at the age of 79.

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