• Vincent Pastore is an actor with over 170+ acting credits to his name, most notably his role as 'Big Pussy' on "The Sopranos".
• He was born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in New Rochelle, New York. He is of Italian-American descent.
• He made his acting debut in 1988 and got his most notable role in "The Sopranos" in 1999. He has had numerous roles in films and TV shows since.
• He has been in a long-running legal battle with his former fiancée Lisa Regina.
• He has an estimated net worth of $4 million, as of February 2023.
Who is Vincent Pastore?
An actor with an impreesive over 170-plus acting credits to his name, Vincent Pastore, gained international fame playing Salvatore Bonpensiero – also known as ‘Big Pussy’ – in the comedy crime-drama “The Sopranos”, which besides prominence brought him numerous accolades, awards and nominations. An interesting fact about him is that he hadn’t dreamed of becoming an actor, and only got into acting in his 40s after befriending the famous actor Matt Dillon and his brother Kevin.
To learn more about his life, his career beginnings, and what’s he up to now, let us tell you the naked truth about this versatile actor.
Early life, family, and education
Born under the zodiac sign of Cancer, on 14 July 1946, Vincent is today aged 76 (as of February 2023). Although born in The Bronx, New York City, USA, he was raised in New Rochelle, New York by his parents John Pastore and Lisa Regina, about whom nothing else is known, except that they’re both of Italian-American descent. Vincent hasn’t spoken about his siblings, although many of his fans believe that he isn’t an only child of his parents, so it is assumed that he respects their privacy.
Because of their resemblance, Vincent is thought to be related to stand-up comedian Joey Diaz, however, the truth is that the two are not half-brothers, as many assumed after they joked on Joey’s podcast.
When it comes to Vincent’s educational background, upon matriculating from high school in 1964, he enlisted in the US Navy as a sailor, then after returning home, he enrolled at Pace University, from which he graduated with a BA degree in 1970.
Acting career- beginnings
Following his college graduation, Vincent was in the club business for years. He was the owner of a nightclub in New Rochelle, where Matt and Kevin Dillon were often guests; they eventually convinced Vincent to try his luck as an actor.
Vincent made his acting debut playing Tony’s Dad in the 1988 horror movie “Black Roses”, followed by his role as Angelo in “True Love” in 1989.
He made his first television series appearance as Fireman in an episode of the series “H. E. L. P.” in 1990, then later that year had an uncredited role in the crime-drama “Q&A”, starring Nick Nolte and Armand Assante, followed by his role as Fat Tony in the crime-drama “Backstreet Dreams”.
Vincent had a small part as Man with Coatrack in the Oscar-awarded biographic crime-drama “Goodfellas”, starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta. The movie was based on the book “Wiseguy” by Nicholas Pileggi and followed the story of Henry Hill and his life in the Italian-American crime syndicate. It had over 80 award nominations and won 44, including the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (J. Pesci).
Vincent followed with supporting roles in “Men of Respect” (1990), “The Bet” (1992), “Carlito’s Way” (1993), and “The Ref” (1994).
His first notable role came in 1995, when he was cast to play Tony Scarboni, one of the three gangsters in “The Jerky Boys”. Vincent was next seen as Vinny in “Italian Movie”, in which he co-starred with his future fellow from “The Sopranos”, James Gandolfini.
In the following years, Vincent co-starred in “Walking and Talking” (1996), “All Over Me” (1997), “Mafia!” (1998), and “Mickey Blue Eyes” (1999).
To end the millennium, he was cast to play his most notable role, as Salvatore Bonpensiero in “The Sopranos”. From 1999 through 2007, Vincent was seen in 25 episodes of this worldwide-popular series about Tony Soprano, a New Jersey mob boss, who deals with professional and personal issues which leads him to seek the help of a psychiatric counselor.
The stars of the show were James Gandolfini, Edie Falco and Lorraine Bracco, and it had 309 award nominations and won 122, including 21 Primetime Emmys. Vincent was nominated for the Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, and shares with the rest of the crew the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Notable movie roles
Concurrently, Vincent co-starred in numerous movies, such as “Two Family House” (2000), “Made” (2001), “American Cousins” (2003), and “The Last Request” (2006).
His roles followed one another, in the next few years, and since the list is too long to mention each of them, we will highlight some of his most notable, such as his portrayal of Don Vito Perspirino in the 2010 crime-drama “Pizza with Bullets”, which won the Garden State Film Festival Award for Wave of Excellence for Filmmaking.
Vincent was cast to play Mayor Avenoso in the 2012 romantic drama “Surviving Family”, which brought him the Northeast Film Festival, US Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film. He followed with roles in “Day of Redemption” (2013), “Tumbleweed: A True Story” (2014), “Staten Island Summer” (2015), and “Blood Circus” (2017) before his role in the 2018 short comedy “St. Joseph”, which follows the story of two very different Italian families, and which had 31 award nominations and won 21.
"PIZZA WITH BULLETS" TOMORROW SCREENING VIRTUALLY!!Some of you may remember a film I did called PIZZA WITH BULLETS…
Posted by Ronnie Marmo on Friday, March 27, 2020
For his performance, Vincent won the New York City International Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Short Film and was nominated for the Hollywood Dreamz International Film Festival and Writers’ Celebration Award – Supporting Actor.
Worth mentioning is his portrayal of Vinny Bombayo in the 2020 movie “Booze, Broads, and Blackjack”, which brought Vincent the MLC Award for Memorable Mobster Flavor Individual Performance, and the Actors Award, Los Angeles for Best Actor in a Crime Film.
In the following year, he was seen as Amadore Condimento in “Made in Chinatown”, an action comedy also starring Raymond J. Barry and Chris Caldovino, which followed the story of a young Chinese boy who wants to become an Italian Mafia Don – for this, Vincente won the Newark International Film Festival Award for Best Actor.
Most recently, Vincent was seen as Dominic Gambini in the 2022 crime-drama “The Black Caesar”.
Notable TV series roles
After his role in “The Sopranos”, Vincent mostly guest-starred in various hit series, such as “General Hospital”, seen as Maximus Giambetti 10 episodes in 2008. He followed with his role as Yamaguchi in the series “Pair of Kings” (2010-2012), also in 10 episodes during this period.
Vincent was cast to play Fat Larry in the 2019 series “Wu-Tang: An American Saga”, a biographic drama about Bobby Diggs, who strives to unite young African-American men torn between crime and music; the series had nine award nominations, including the Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music, and won two.
Another worth mentioning is his recurring role as Donnie Sisto in the series “Gravesend”, in which he made an appearance in six episodes between 2021 and 2023.
Love life and wife
Vincent has been the subject of numerous rumors and concerning his love life, and has even ended up in front of a judge after allegedly hitting his then-fiancée, Lisa Regina. They met in early 2003 while taking acting classes together, and were often spotted together at red-carpet events. The two announced their engagement in July 2003; Lisa filed a lawsuit against Vincent in 2009, alleging that the actor hit her after a verbal altercation in April 2005. Vincent denied these allegations, claiming that Lisa is a ‘gold-digger’ (she sued him in a $5.5 million civil suit), although he admitted that he yanked her hair and screamed at her but did not hit her. The trial is still in process (as of February 2023).
It is known that Vincent was married to Nancy Burke and that they have a daughter together, Renee, however, it isn’t clear when the two married and how long this marriage lasted.
It seems that Vincent is currently single.
What is he doing now?
Vincent’s fans will be pleased to hear that even in his mid-‘70s, he has 14 upcoming projects, some of them completed, while the others are currently in development. He will be seen as Big Joey in the announced biographic drama “Spinning Gold”, written and directed by Timothy Scott Bogart, which is set to be released in April 2023.
As mentioned, Vincent had numerous film roles and appeared in several TV series, but his role in “The Sopranos” appears to have brought him the most money in addition to fame. According to sources, the salary for the cast of this series was in the range of $30,000 to $100,000 per episode. As of February 2023, his net worth has been estimated at over $4 million.