'The Sopranos' and 'Goodfellas' actor John 'Cha Cha' Ciarcia dies, aged 75
Actor also owned a popular New York restaurant frequented by DeNiro and Scorsese
Ciarcia was known to New Yorkers as the "unofficial mayor of Little Italy", where he owned a popular restaurant frequented by Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese. During a varied working life, he also managed the pre-fame boxing career of Taxi actor Tony Danza.
Ciarcia had a small role in Scorsese's classic 1990 film Goodfellas and also appeared in the films Death To Smoochy, which was directed by Danny DeVito, and A Brooklyn State Of Mind, whose cast included Danza. He regularly co-hosted The Wise Guys Show on Sirius Radio with his Sopranos co-star Vincent Pastore.
His family announced in The New York Times that Ciarcia died on November 21 following a short illness. He is survived by his wife, singer Karen King, and a large extended family, who hailed him as "a great friend to many and a real lover of his neighbourhood and the city of New York".
After hearing of his death, Danza paid tribute to Ciarcia on Twitter, writing: "New York is not the same without him".
My dear friend Cha Cha has passed away. New York is not the same without him. pic.twitter.com/BGdXMlsg7g— Tony Danza (@TonyDanza) November 25, 2015