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John Ciarcia (1940 - 2015)

Getty Images / Cindy Ord

John Ciarcia (1940 - 2015)

John "Cha-Cha" Ciarcia, a tough-guy actor on "The Sopranos" who also owned a popular restaurant in New York City's Little Italy neighborhood that his celebrity friends frequented, has died. He was 75.

No cause of death was announced, but Ciarcia died Nov. 21 after a brief illness at New York University's Langone Medical Center, according to relatives who published his obituary in The New York Times.

Ciarcia, who decades ago served as actor Tony Danza’s boxing manager, was actor Danny DeVito's best man at his wedding to fellow actor Rhea Perlman in 1982.

Ciarcia, a native of Manhattan, New York, owned Little Italy's Cha-Cha's in Bocca al Lupo Cafe on Mulberry Street.


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Also known as the Mayor of Little Italy, Ciarcia enjoyed hosting celebrity friends including not only Danza, DeVito and Perlman, but also the motion picture director Martin Scorsese and actors Robert DeNiro and Danny Aiello.

Ciarcia's movies included "Hoffa," "A Brooklyn State of Mind," "Mamamia," "Death to Smoochy" and "Goodfellas."

He played Albie Cianfione on HBO's "The Sopranos," and he co-hosted "The Wise Guys Show" on Sirius-XM satellite radio.

He is survived by his wife, the singer Karen King; a sister, Marie Gentile; four aunts; an uncle; and many nieces and nephews.

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