Dominic Chianese is a multi-talented American actor, singer, and musician. He is best known for playing Corrado ‘Junior” Soprano on HBO crime drama series “The Sopranos” from 1999 to 2007. He also played a classic role in “The Godfather Part II” as Johnny Ola. He made a guest appearance on the series “Broadway Empire” as Leander Whitlock. He is also a philanthropist who received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of his efforts. Chianese is also an accomplished singer/musician. Dominic has won two Screen Actor Guild Awards in 1999 and 2011 for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series”
As of March 2020, Dominic Chianese has an estimated net worth of $15 million. He has been in the entertainment industry since 1972. He was a part of various hit television shows and movies and made a huge part of fortune from his career as an actor. He played a memorable role in Junior Soprano in “The Sopranos” for 55 episodes.
His movie Godfather II was a huge success that made $47.5 million. He also made significant money through Active Adults, The Family, Second Sight, If Lucy Fell, Cradle Will Rock. Outside of acting, he has a side career as a tenor. He made substantial income through his records. The 90-year-old is still accepting roles and his net worth figures are still growing.
Dominic Chianese was born on February 24, 1931, in the Bronx, New York. His father worked as a bricklayer. His grandfather immigrated from Naples to the USA in 1904. He attended The Bronx High School of Science. He attended a professional acting class at HB Studio in Manhattan. Before acting he used to play rhythm guitar at restaurants and open microphone events to make money. He has Naples ethnicity.
Personal Life and Wife
Chianese has been married multiple times. He married Vincenza Jean Vecchio in 1958 but the couple split up after few months of togetherness due to personal differences. In 1961, he married Merle Molofsky. They had three children together named Dominic Chianese Jr., Alexander John Gwozdz Chianese, and Leah Espy Chianese.
Regardless this marriage does not sustain long either and they divorced. On 8th June 2003, he married Jane Pittson in a private ceremony. He is a father of three more children, namely Rebeca Scarpatti Chianese, Sarah Chianese, and Dominica Roskelly Chianese. His son Chianese Jr. is also an actor and appeared in 3 episodes of last season of “The Sopranos”.
Chianese started his career from the theatre. He performed at Broadway, off-Broadway and regional theatre. In 1964, his first television break came when he got the role in CBS popular series “East Side/West Side” on the recommendation of George C. Scott. In 1981, he appeared in 40 episodes of American soap opera “Ryan’s Hope” as Alexei Vartova. He made single episode appearances in following shows; Kojak (1976) as George, Tales from the Dark Side (1986) as a father, L.A Law (1989), Law & Order (1995-1997), Cosby (1997), Hope & Faith (2004), Blue Bloods (2010), Broadway Empire.
His other TV credits include A Time for Miracle (1980), “The Lost Capone” (1990), Gotti (1996), and Crimes of Fashion (2004). In 2010, Dominic appeared in the seven episodes of thriller TV series “Damages” as Stuart Zedeck, and in the following year he was seen in 2 episodes of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”.
In 1974, Dominic Chianese played one of his career critically acclaimed roles of Johnny Ola in the American epic crime film “The Godfather Part II” directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is a second film in The Godfather trilogy, an adaptation of Puzo’s novel “The Godfather”.
Chianese portrayed a cunning and manipulative Sicilian mobster and henchman of Hymen Roth who helps him in his business dealings. The Godfather got eleven nominations at 47th Academy Awards and won the Best Picture Award. The film won six Oscars Awards. The film was ranked as the 32nd-greatest film in American Film History and still holding the spot after 10 years.
In 1999, he got his hands on the first regular character in “The Sopranos” as a 70-year old uncle of Tony Soprano “Corrado “Junior” Soprano. He is a leader of the DiMeo crime family and suffers from dementia.
Introduced as selfish and mendacious his character got better in the later seasons. Some of his songs were featured on The Sopranos. He sang Salvatore Cardillo’s classic melody “Core ‘N grato” aka “Ungrateful heart” on season’s finale 3rd episode “Army of One”.
Post Sopranos he appeared in another Gangland hit series presented by HBO“ Boardwalk Empire” (2011-2013) as Leander Cephas Whitlock for 12 episodes. It is a period drama centers around political figure “Enoch L. Johnson in 1920s to 1930s.
He also acted in a bunch of movies, he stumbled on the most notable role of his career as Johnny Ola in critically acclaimed series “The Godfather Part II” in 1974. He also appeared in “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975) as Mr. Wortzik, All the President’s Men (1976) as Eugenio, On the Yard (1978), Fingers (1978), Firepower (1979), and Justice for all (1979) as carl Travers.
In 80’s he appeared in several movies such as “Fox Apache, the Bronx” as Mr. Corelli, and “Second Sight” (1989) as father Dominic. In 1990, Chianese appeared in minor film roles like, “Out for Justice” (1991), “Q&A” (1990), “The Public Eye” (1992), “The Night We Never Met”.
In 1996, Chianese played himself in the documentary “Looking for Richard” directed by Al Pacino and appeared briefly in the following films “If Lucy Fails”, “Love is All There Is” and “The Mouse”. He played considerable roles in movies such as Silvano in “Cradle will Rock” (1999), Frank Wilson in Unfaithful (2002), Stan Marshak in King of the Corner (2004), Count Lupo “When I will be Loved” (2004), Lenny Sugarman in The Last New Yorker (2007), Tommaso Pensara in Adrift in Manhattan (2007), Mr. Poppers Family ( 2011), Vinnie Caprese in The Family (2013) and Bart in Active Adults (2017).
He starred as one of the main cast members on NBC’s drama series The Village (2019) alongside Daren Kagasoff and Michaela McManus and in Umberto D (2019).
Dominic Chianese Books and Albums
In 2018, Chianese launched his biography “Twelve Angels: The Woman who Taught Me How to Act, Live and Love” with co-author Mathew Sargent.
Chianese is a highly skilled musician. In 2000, he released music CD “Hits” consists of American and Italian songs. In 2003 he released a record “Ungrateful heart” comprised of 13 songs. In 2013, he also released the record Bella Napoli
Net worth of related celebrities
Find out the net worth of co-stars of Dominic Chianese:
- Jamie-Lynn Sigler, co-star from The Sopranos
- Aida Turturro, co-star from The Sopranos
- Drea De Matteo, co-star from The Sopranos
- Edie Falco, co-star from Sopranos
- Tony Sirico, co-star from Sopranos
- Ted McGinley, co-star from Hope & Faith