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Dominic Chianese ( ; born February 24, 1931) is an Americanmarker film, television and theatre actor, perhaps best known for his role as Corrado "Junior" Soprano on the HBO TV series, The Sopranos.

Early life

Chianese was born in the borough of The Bronxmarker, New York Citymarker, the son of a bricklayer. He graduated from Bronx High School of Sciencemarker in 1948. He worked as a bricklayer with his father and attended night school during the 1950s, graduating with a bachelor's degree in speech and theater from Brooklyn Collegemarker in 1961. His earliest stage work occurred in 1952 with a Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company of singers, actors and musicians called The American Savoyards, under the direction of Dorothy Raedler.


After a decade of doing college and off-broadway theatre, Chianese attended his first professional acting class at HB Studios in Manhattanmarker, with renowned teacher Walt Witcover. Drama and musical theater became Chianese's passion. His first Broadway showmarker was Oliver! in 1965. He has continued to perform in Broadway theatre, off-Broadway, and regional theatre. To supplement income in the dry periods, he played rhythm guitar and sang in taverns and restaurants. Chianese's first television credit occurred when George C. Scott recommended him for a role in the acclaimed series East Side, West Side. In 1974, Francis Ford Coppola cast Chianese as Johnny Ola in The Godfather, Part II, which sparked a film career, culminating in several films (and plays) with Al Pacino.

Before getting the call for Godfather II, Chianese was working for the Drug Commission of New York State as a recreational worker in a rehab center. He was teaching guitar to women who were serving time for drug-related crimes.

Chianese has appeared in 4 movies with his friend Al Pacino:

Chianese is a musician, having released a CD (fittingly titled Hits) in 2000, where he sings American and Italian songs. He even performed Salvatore Cardillo's sentimental classic "Core 'ngrato" ("Ungrateful Heart"), on the third-season finale of The Sopranos.

His son Dominic Chianese Jr. is also an actor and appeared in the final season of The Sopranos as a member of the fictional Lupertazzi crime family.



  1. Dominic Chianese Biography (1934?-)

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