‘Sopranos’ actor dies at 75: John Cha Cha Ciarcia
Published: December 2, 2015
‘Sopranos’ actor dies at 75: John Cha Cha Ciarcia, John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, guest actor on “The Sopranos” and owner of a bustling Italian restaurant in New York’s Little Italy, died Nov. 21 at NYU Langone Medical Center following a brief illness. He was 75.
Dubbed the “unofficial mayor of Little Italy,” Ciarcia’s acting career included film appearances alongside long-time friend Danny DeVito in “Hoffa” and “Death to Smoochy,” in addition to his guest role on HBO’s “The Sopranos.”
Decades ago, Ciarcia served as the boxing manager to Tony Danza, who he later co-starred with in “A Brooklyn State of Mind.”
Both DeVito and Danza, along with his other high-profile showbiz pals including Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese, would later become regulars at Ciarcia’s Mulberry St. restaurant, Cha Cha’s In Bocca Al Lupo. The Brooklyn-born restaurateur also once owned a Coney Island bar, which failed to recuperate following the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Ciarcia was also a frequent guest on radio program “The Wiseguy Show,” which is hosted by fellow former “The Sopranos” actor Vincent Pastore.
Danza tweeted a tribute to Ciarcia after news broke of his death.
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
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