Actor Vincent Curatola is recognized to television audiences for playing the intense, chain-smoking Johnny Sack on the HBO hit drama “The Sopranos” from 1999 to 2007. He shared two Screen Actors Guild nominations for his work on the series. Curatola also had a recurring role on “Third Watch” (4 episodes, 2004) and guest starred in “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Monk.” In addition, he acted in the films “Fun with Dick and Jane” (2005), “The Hungry Ghosts” (2009) and “Frame of Mind” (2009), to name a few. Curatola undertook several different careers before launching his acting career when he was in his 40s.
Curatola lives in New Jersey with his wife Maureen. He actively raised funds for the families of the victims of the World Trade Center disaster and is a keen supporter of fire, law enforcement, and rescue workers. He endorsed an anti-union group called the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and sits on the board of directors for the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation.
New Jersey Native
Childhood and Family:
Vincent Curatola was born on August 16, 1953, in Englewood, New Jersey. He was educated at Jesuit schools in Manhattan and then studied filmmaking at New York University. Vincent became interested in performing at an early age thanks to actors and entertainers like Tony Bennett, Duke Ellington, and Leslie Gore, who were on his paper route. However, he pursued other careers after college, including masonry. It was his wife, Maurice, who encouraged him to return to school and fulfill his longtime dream of becoming an actor. One of his acting teachers was Michael Moriarty.
After several years of training, Vincent Curatola began performing in off-Broadway productions and with theater companies and appeared in such productions as “Wait Until Dark” and Neil Simon's “Same Time, Next Year.” In 1991, he made the leap to television with a guest spot in an episode of the NBC hit series “Law & Order” called “Aria.” Two years later, he appeared in the Fox short lived series “Tribeca,” starring Robert DeNiro.
In 1995, Curatola wrote and starred in a short film titled “Dearly Beloved,” which he produced with his wife and the film's director Jeff Mazzola. In 1998, he had a featured role on the NBC television film “Exiled,” starring Chris Noth, Dann Florek and John Fiore. The film won a 1999 ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor in Made-for-Television Movie or Mini-Series and a 1999 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Television Feature or Miniseries.
However, Curatola did not enjoy a big breakthrough until he landed the role of Johnny Sack on the David Chase created dramatic series “The Sopranos,” which revolved around the New Jersey based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano. Starring James Gandolfini as Tony, the show premiered on HBO on January 10, 1999, and went on to gain major commercial and critical success. It ended on June 10, 2007. Playing a longtime boss of the Lupertazzi crime family, he jointly received Screen Actors Guild nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2003 and 2005.
In 2000, Curatola worked with Alison Woodward, Vincent Lamberti and John Hoyt in the thriller “Hot Ice,” which was directed and written by Karl Ernest. The same year, he also appeared for the second time in “Law & Order,” this time playing Joey Dantoni, Sr., in the episode “Trade This.” Three years later, he portrayed Dr. Weeble in the short film “I Am Woody” (2003), opposite John Hoyt, David Vadim and Daniel Margotta.
In 2004, Curatola portrayed the recurring role of Anthony Boscorelli in the NBC series “Third Watch” (4 episodes). The same year, he also received the supporting role of Dr. Platter in Randel Cole's film “2BPerfectlyHonest,” opposite Adam Trese, Andrew McCarthy and John Turturro. He then costarred as a mob boss in the movie “Meet the Mobsters” (“Johnny Slade's Greatest Hits,” 2005), opposite John Fiore and Dolores Sirianni, and had an unaccredited part in the Jim Carrey comedy “Fun with Dick and Jane” (2005), which was directed by Dean Parisot and written by Judd Apatow and Nicholas Stoller.
After “The Sopranos” left the airwaves in 2007, Curatola appeared with Luca Palanca, Peter Dobson and Kathrine Narducci in the film “Made in Brooklyn,” which premiered at the Brooklyn International Film Festival in June 2007. The film was released theatrically in the U.S. on November 17, 2010. He was next cast in the dramatic film “The Hungry Ghosts” (2009), which was directed and written by former “The Sopranos” cast mate Michael Imperioli. The film also reunited him with other costars like Sharon Angela, Steve Schirripa and John Ventimiglia. Still in 2009, Curatola played Lieutenant John Mangione in the drama “Frame of Mind” and Asa Taft in the Manish Gupta helmed feature “Karma, Confessions and Holi,” which starred Rati Agnihotri, Armin Amiri and Kulraaj Anand. In addition, he guest starred in “Life on Mars” (as Anthony Nunzio), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (as Marv Sulloway) and “Monk” (as Jimmy Barlowe). In 2010, he portrayed Anthony Blevvins in an episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” called “The Mobster Will See You Now.”
Curatola is set to play a role in the upcoming film “Cogan's Trade” (2012), directed by Andrew Dominik. The film will star Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Javier Bardem and Sam Rockwell.