Joseph R. Gannascoli | Biography

Quick Wiki

  • Full Name Joseph R. Gannascoli
  • Occupation Actor
  • Nationality American
  • Birthplace New York, USA
  • Birth Date Feb 15, 1959
  • Age 65 Years, 4 Months
Cast of the HBO series 'The Sopranos'

Joseph R. Gannascoli | Biography

Joseph R. Gannascoli lost about 140 pounds to reach 260 pounds before the shoot of the season 6 of the show 'The Sopranos'

Gannascoli found his career’s main break with the HBO TV series, 'The Sopranos.' He appeared as a recurring character Vito Spatafore in the show from 1999 to 2006. Since then, he has regularly appeared with notable roles in movies.

Joseph R. Gannascoli is an Italian-American TV and film actor, mostly recognized for his role, Vito Spatafore, in the HBO crime drama series, The Sopranos

Who is Joseph R. Gannascoli?

Joseph R. Gannascoli is an actor, author, and former restaurateur. He initially started his career as a professional chef in 1981. Gannascoli then worked in several restaurants across the USA like Manhattan Market, Commander’s Palace, and many others. He also owns a restaurant in Brooklyn named Soup As Art Restaurant. Gannascoli later left his cooking career to try his hands in acting.

Early Age

Joseph R. Gannascoli was born on 15 February 1959 in Brooklyn, New York. Information regarding his early life, parents, siblings, and life before attaining fame is not known yet.

Gannascoli attended a private Catholic University, St. John’s University in New York, for formal education. He took communications as a major subject. However, during his sophomore years, he dropped out and never graduated. Gannascoli later mastered the arts of cooking and began his career as a professional cook.

Movies and TV Shows

The actor’s first Hollywood appearance came as a supporting role in the 1993 crime-comedy film Money For Nothing. He then played similar minor roles in various other 90s films like Ed Wood (1994), Never Talk to Strangers (1995), The Funeral (1996), Mickey Blue Eyes (1999), among many others. 

Finally, Gannascoli found his career’s main break with the HBO TV series, The Sopranos. He appeared as a recurring character Vito Spatafore in the show from 1999 to 2006. Since then, he has regularly appeared with notable roles in movies. His works include the 2011 movie White Collar, 2012 action movie Men in Black 3, 2014 movie Rob the Mob, and 2015 thriller film An Act of War. Gannascoli’s most recent big-screen appearance was in the 2020 romantic film The One.

Besides cooking and acting, Gannascoli also holds credit as an author. He published his first work, ‘A Meal to Die For’ in January 2006. 

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Gannascoli has accumulated a net worth of $3 million from his multi-disciplinary career.

Weight Loss Journey

Gannascoli’s cooking career highly influenced his lifestyle, including his eating habits. At 47 years, he maxed his weight to around 400 lbs. However, in 2006, i.e., before the start of season 6 of his popular HBO show, The Sopranos, he lost about 140 pounds and got down to 260 pounds. 

For this drastic weight loss journey, Gannascoli used diet pills, stayed on severe healthy diets, and performed regular physical exercises. Moreover, Gannascoli went through different weight loss surgeries, including lap-band surgery and double hip replacement.

The actor also served as the spokesperson of the diet pill Stacker 2 of NVE Pharmaceuticals for several years. He took the pill during his weight loss journey. However, following a lawsuit against him, by the company, Gannascoli stopped endorsing their product. NVE Pharmaceuticals accused the actor of making huge payments and not promoting their product enough. On the other hand, Gannascoli accused the company of hating his gay mobster character in the TV series The Sopranos. He told the New York Post on 2 June 2006, “That was their problem. They were anti-gay.”

After ending a business relationship with Stacker 2, Gannascoli currently uses H7 Hoodia. He is also the official endorser of this dietary supplement.


On 11 June 2005, Joseph R. Gannascoli married Diana Benincasa. The couple share a daughter together, whose name has not been disclosed yet.

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