HBO got serious about producing original television shows back in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the premium cable network started to see some early success with Oz. Then, in 1999, one drama series premiered and went on to change the game not only for HBO but for the entire TV landscape: The Sopranos.
In 2007, The Sopranos ended its run after six seasons, largely defining the careers of every person who was involved with the show. If you’ve ever wondered where the actors who played those beloved and complicated characters have been up to, this is your chance to find out!
10 JAMES GANDOLFINI
Tony Soprano himself. There was no doubt that it would be hard for James Gandolfini to live up to that character in anything else he did. However, the actor did land several roles after The Sopranos, both in movies and on TV shows.
For instance, in 2012 alone, James Gandolfini was seen as Mickey on the Brad Pitt project Killing Them Softly and as Pat in the David Chase movie Not Fade Away. Then, in 2013, Gandolfini took on the romantic dramedy Enough Said alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Unfortunately, James Gandolfini died in June of 2013 during a family trip to Rome. The actor was expected to receive an award a few days later at the Taormina Film Fest in Sicily. An autopsy revealed that he sadly died from a heart attack.
9 EDIE FALCO
Edie Falco may have become well known due to her portrayal of Carmela Soprano on The Sopranos, but the actress has not slowed down ever since the show ended.
In fact, after Sopranos, Edie Falco became widely recognized for portraying yet another iconic woman on TV: the titular character on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, which earned her six Emmy nominations and one win. Over the years, Falco has also been praised for her work on the television shows 30 Rock and Law & Order True Crime, as well as in the film Sunshine State.
As of today, Edie Falco is involved with Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, which are scheduled for 2021 and 2023 releases, respectfully. In these upcoming Fox movies (now under the Disney umbrella), Falco will play General Ardmore.
8 LORRAINE BRACCO
Before The Sopranos even premiered on HBO, Lorraine Bracco was already pretty well-known for playing Karen Hill in 1990’s Goodfellas (which earned her an Academy Award nomination). Then, Bracco became even more famous for portraying Tony Soprano’s therapist, Jennifer Melfi, over the course of six seasons.
Since the show ended, Lorraine Bracco has been featured in quite a few different projects, most notably as Angela on Rizzoli & Isles, the narrator on I Married a Mobster, Mayor Margaret Dutton on Blue Bloods, and Toni on Dice. Currently, the actress is involved with the filming of two different movies, A Ring For Christmas and The Birthday Cake.
7 MICHAEL IMPERIOLI
Like Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli was also in 1990’s Goodfellas. However, the actor had a much smaller role as Spider. Then, 1999 was a pretty big year for Imperioli, as he starred in the film Summer of Sam and began his run portraying Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos.
After the show ended, Michael Imperioli landed a pretty big role in 2009’s The Lovely Bones, which propelled then-child actress Saoirse Ronan’s career to new heights. On TV, Imperioli has been featured on series like Californication, Mad Dogs, and Alex, Inc. Most notably, the actor also had a three-year run as Odell Martin on Hawaii Five-0 between 2015 and 2018.
6 DOMINIC CHIANESE
Now 88, Dominic Chianese has left his mark on Hollywood forever. Between his portrayal of Johnny Ola in 1974’s The Godfather Part II, Eugenio Martinez in 1976’s All the President’s Men, and Corrado “Junior” Soprano on The Sopranos, Chianese has had quite the career.
And if you thought the actor slowed down after his time as “Junior,” you are very wrong. After The Sopranos, Dominic Chianese had a run as Leander Whitlock on Boardwalk Empire and as Judge Michael Marx on The Good Wife. Then, in 2019, he was cast as Enzo Napolitano on NBC’s The Village.
5 STEVEN VAN ZANDT
Steven Van Zandt is, first and foremost, known as a musician who goes by the stage names Miami Steve and Little Steven. As a guitarist, he is part of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. However, The Sopranos fans mostly recognize him as Silvio Dante.
Since the ending of Sopranos, Steven Van Zandt has mostly focused on his career as a musician, being involved with most of the album recordings and tours from Bruce Springsteen in the 2000s and 2010s. Van Zandt has also launched several educational and philanthropic efforts to support young people learning about the rock genre.
However, it is important to note that Steven Van Zandt made a big splash as the leading man on Netflix’s very first original series, Lilyhammer, which was largely considered an attempt from the streaming service to mimic HBO’s The Sopranos. The series went on for 3 seasons, despite not reaching the same success as House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black at the time.
4 ROBERT ILER
Robert Iler was pretty young when The Sopranos first aired, where he portrayed Anthony Soprano Jr, otherwise known as A.J. Soprano, on HBO. During his time on the show, Iler portrayed Charlie in 2002’s Tadpole and one of the bullies in 2003’s Daredevil. Then, in 2009, the actor was featured in an episode of Law & Order.
However, Robert Iler has not been entirely active as an actor during recent years.
3 JAMIE-LYNN SIGLER
Despite the fact that she will always be remembered as Meadow Soprano from The Sopranos, Jamie-Lynn Sigler has had quite an extensive career after being on the show.
Most notably, the actress portrayed a version of herself on Entourage, Natalie on Ugly Betty, Emily on Guys With Kids, and Sarah Gilcrest on Baby Daddy. On the big screen, Sigler was seen in 2012’s I Do and 2016’s Loserville.
2 TONY SIRICO
Tony Soprano’s chief henchman Paulie Gualtieri was portrayed by Tony Sirico, who had already reached a certain level of fame from his work in Goodfellas and in Woody Allen films such as 1995’s Mighty Aphrodite and 1998’s Celebrity.
After his time on The Sopranos, Tony Sirico went back to focusing on the big screen, resuming his collaborations with filmmaker Woody Allen. For instance, the actor was featured in 2016’s Cafe Society starring Steve Carell, as well as 2017’s Wonder Wheel starring Kate Winslet.
1 VINCENT PASTORE
Vincent Pastore has had quite a successful career playing mafiosos on television, The Sopranos’ Sal Bonpensiero being his best-known performance.
Among his various roles on TV and in movies, it is worth mentioning Vincent Pastore’s run as Maximus Giambetti on General Hospital, as Yamakoshi on Pair of Kings, and as Uncle Vito on Hawaii Five-0.
This hard-working actor is often involved with several different movies in any given year. For instance, in 2018 alone, Pastore was featured in about 8 different movies – most of them independent projects.