It’s Columbus Day and that means a celebration of all things Italian! We at chitownstarconnections actually have an Italian and that is our fearless tech and photographer, Jen. Her mother is pure Italian. So with great Italian pride, we present tv ‘s Italian characters.
You might as well start off with the show that put Jersey on the map, “The Sopranos” This fighting Italian family made Jersey and took it over. With such notables as James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli , and Jamie Lyn Sigler, this show ran for six seasons.
John Travolta started one of the largest stereotypes that Italian men were dumb and also pigs. His “Vinnie Barbarino” was the lady killer of the Sweathogs of “Welcome Back Kotter.” He would ask out two girls and then go up and down the ladder at Coney Island to each of them.
One of the greatest tv lovers of all time has to be Arthur Fonzarelli aka Fonzie or “the Fonz” . Fonzie was such a legend and larger than life. He was also a pal to his nerdy friends Potsie, Ralph , and Richie. His catch phrases of “Aay and Sit on It” became part of American slang. (By the way , Henry Winkler, is Jewish)
Bobby Cannavale was the Romeo to Will’s Juliet on “Will and Grace” Vince D’Angelo was a NY cop that was a little too sensitive for his own good. He met his beloved while he was in traffic court defending Karen from a traffic ticket. The two were instantly attracted to each other and Will finally met Mr Right.
Angie Harmon is a tough Boston cop on Rizzoli and Isles. Her partner and bff is Isles , a stuck up medical examiner which makes for some hilarious moments. Lorraine Bracco , late of “The Sopranos” plays Jane’s mom.
Tony Danza was Tony Micelli on “Who’s the Boss”. He was the Italian man with the heart of gold. He became the friend and eventually love of his boss, Angela , and the father to her son , Jonathan.
“The Golden Girls” just wasn’ t golden without Dorothy and her mother , Sophia Petrillo. Sophia was a spicy senior citizen who always spoke her mind. She loved to cook for the girls and tell stories of her youth in Sicily. They were played by the late Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur.
The Barrone family of “Everybody Loves Raymond” was another one of TV’s classic dysfunctional families. Mom only loved her son , Ray, while his brother , Robert , was ignored. Frank Barrone basically tolerated the nonsense of his wife. Debra could only wonder why she married into this bunch, but then she would look at her husband and know why.
Matt LeBlanc played the classic lover boy on “Friends” for ten years. As Joey Tribbiani , he bedded women, struggled as an actor, and loved to eat. There was no group of people more important to him than his five friends. “How you doin?” became the catch phrase of the show.
Here is Joey’s sister and her family. Drea De Matteo made a name for herself as Adriana on the Sopranos. In “Joey” , she had a son out of wedlock who was a genius and his father came back as well. Here is Gina, Jimmy (Adam Goldberg), and Michael played by Paola Costanza (Royal Pains)
Bonnie Franklin’s Ann Romano on “One Day at a Time” was the career woman who was trying to make a life for her and her daughters . Fresh from her divorce , she struggled with life and her two girls.
Lt Louie Provenza or GW Bailey once again thought that all his hard work would pay off , and once again , someone got promoted over him. This “Major Crimes” star was also on the classic series “MASH” as well as the popular “Police Academy” franchise .
Scott Baio was another seventies heart throb. As Charles “Chachi” Arcola , he was the Fonz’s cousin. He started out liking Joanie Cunningham and being a pest, who eventually became the love of her life.
Laverne DeFazio was played by Penny Marshall. Originally starting on the show “Happy Days”, Laverne was on a date with the Fonz . This resulted in “Laverne and Shirley” still seen as the classic working girls comedy even today. Laverne was loud , loose, and fun loving.
Max Cassela played Doogie Howser’s bff , Vinnie Delpino. Vinnie was a typical Italian man who liked girls and also aspired to be a film director. His hero was Martin Scorcese. Max later had a part as a hit man on “The Sopranos”, where he was naturally whacked.
Dr Dave Malucci or Dr Dave loved the ladies and fooling around with them in the ER. Erik Palladino played the lovable resident who caused trouble with the staff at County.
Mario Cantone was Charlotte’s gay gal pal on “Sex and the City” As Anthony Marentino , he helped Charlotte with her weddings and love life. Later he found the love of his own life with Stanford , who was Carrie’s gbff. Keeping it all in the family, Anthony’s brother in true Sex tradition, slept with Samantha.