Bob Lupone 'Sopranos' Actor, Broadway Star Dead At 76

"The Sopranos" actor and broadway legend Robert "Bob" LuPone has died.

The Tony-nominated actor passed following a 3-year battle with pancreatic cancer, according to his rep.

The MCC Theater, an off-broadway space Bob founded, released a statement, saying he "lived fearlessly and with great curiosity, good humor, a boundless passion for connection, and a whole lot of heart. We will miss him deeply and always."

Fans of "The Sopranos" will remember his work as Dr. Bruce Cusamano -- the family physician and next-door neighbor to Tony. He also starred in "Sex and the City," "Guiding Light," and "All My Children," for which he got a Daytime Emmy nom.

Bob, the brother of Patti LuPone, was born in 1946 in Brooklyn -- he graduated from Juilliard School in '68 with a degree in dance. His Broadway debut was the same year, in a production of Noel Coward’s "Sweet Potato."

He later was nominated for a Tony award for his work in the original run of "A Chorus Line" ... even convincing the director to play the role of Zach after the original cast member left the show. He received a best-featured actor Tony nomination for the role.

WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM?

Bob is survived by his wife Virginia, his son Orlando, his sister Patti, and his brother, William.

He was 76.

RIP

Tony Sirico 'Sopranos' Star Dead at 79

Tony Sirico, one of the main stars of "The Sopranos," is dead ... TMZ has confirmed.

Tony played Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri, one of Tony Soprano's main guys for every season of the HBO hit show. His brother Robert announced his passing on Facebook saying "It is with great sadness, but with incredible pride, love and a whole lot of fond memories, that the family of Gennaro Anthony "Tony" Sirico wishes to inform you of his death."

Robert says Tony passed Friday morning. Sources connected to the family tell us Tony had been living in an assisted living home in Fort Lauderdale, FL for a couple years, and had been in failing health.

Of course, Tony will be most remembered for his 'Sopranos' role -- he won 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast.

Fun fact: He'd actually auditioned for the role of Tony Soprano's Uncle Junior -- which, of course, ultimately went to Dominic Chianese. Instead, David Chase gave him the Paulie role. He had one rule about his acting gigs ... he never played "rats."

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He also got a lot of voice acting roles on animated hits like "Family Guy" and "American Dad" -- and played a mobster or gangster in tons of movies, including "Goodfellas," "Mighty Aphrodite," "Gotti," "Cop Land" and "Mickey Blue Eyes."

Sirico was a big supporter of the U.S. military -- he and James Gandolfini once traveled to Iraq for a rally for the troops there. He continued to support the Wounded Warrior Project organization too.

He's survived by his 2 children, Joanne and Richard, several grandchildren and his siblings.

Tony was 79.

RIP

Peter Bogdanovich Famed Director Dead at 82

Peter Bogdanovich -- the filmmaker behind big movies like "The Last Picture Show" and "What's Up, Doc?" -- has died.

Peter passed away Thursday at his home in Los Angeles as a result of natural causes ... his daughter, Antonia Bogdanovich, told The Hollywood Reporter.

PB vaulted to fame when he directed the critically-acclaimed 1971 black-and-white classic, 'Last Picture Show,' which earned 8 Oscar nominations ... including one for best director. He also famously directed movies like "Mask" and "Paper Moon" plus "Daisy Miller" and there's even a musical on his Hollywood resume, "At Long Last Love."

While he was known for his work behind the camera, Peter also appeared on-screen ... most notably in a recurring role playing Dr. Melfi's therapist, Elliot Kupferberg, on "The Sopranos."

Peter was twice married, but both marriages ended in divorce, he was known for dating 'Last Picture' star Cybill Shepherd, and also Dorothy Stratten ... back in 1980 when the Playboy Playmate was infamously murdered by her estranged husband.

At the time of the murder, Peter railed against Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, blaming Hef and the "Playboy sex factory" for Dorothy's demise.

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Peter was 82.

RIP

'Sopranos' Actor Joe Siravo Dead at 66

"The Sopranos" actor Joseph Siravo, the actor who played Tony Soprano’s father in several flash-back scenes, has died.

Siravo succumbed to cancer after a long fight with the disease. One of his co-stars, Garry Pastore, broke the news ... “RIP my dear friend, who fought an incredible fight. I will miss you. See you on the other side.” The actor Kelli O’Hara also honored Siravo, noting on Twitter that “the stage and screen and I will miss you.”

Siravo was an accomplished actor with numerous credits, but the fan-favorite was clearly Johnny Boy on "The Sopranos." He appeared in dream scenes in 5 of the episodes.

He also starred in FX's "The People v. OJ Simpson:  American Crime Story" -- he played Fred Goldman, Ron's father.

Joe's credits include "For Life," "New Amsterdam," "Blue Bloods," "Third Watch," "Law & Order" and many others.

He also appeared in numerous movies, including "Maid in Manhattan," "Shark Tale" and "Motherless in Brooklyn."

Joe's 'Sopranos' co-star, Michael Imperioli, said, "His performance [as] Johnny Boy Soprano was spot on and he also made a perfect John Gotti in Nick Sandow's "The Wannabe. In my opinion, he was the best of all the actors who've played the Teflon Don."

Joe is survived by his daughter, son-in-law, sister and 2 brothers.

Joe was 66.

RIP

'Sopranos' Star Joseph Gannascoli Tourist Deaths in Dominican Rep. Don't Scare Me ... I'm Boozing It Up!!!

"WE'RE HAVING A BALL"

Joseph Gannascoli -- famous for playing Vito Spatafore on "The Sopranos" -- isn't the slightest bit worried about a rash of mysterious tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic ... he says come on down, the booze is fine!!! 

The actor is down in Punta Cana enjoying the final days of his vacation with his wife, daughter and family friends ... and he tells us there have been no signs of trouble in paradise. 

As we've reported ... at least 10 Americans have died while either staying at resorts in D.R. or shortly upon returning to the U.S. -- some from respiratory complications and many from heart attacks. 

Joseph tells us his resort, Royalton Bavaro, is PACKED with tourists on summer vacations ... but he says no one is walking around on eggshells. 

They might be stumbling, though, because Joseph says everyone is taking full advantage of the all-inclusive alcohol. Fears about tainted booze be damned.

Check out our clip ... sounds like Joseph never wants to leave the island. He's basically the anti-Rick Springfield

Michael Gandolfini Rocking That '70s Look ... Playing Young Tony Soprano

James Gandolfini's son is back in time to portray his famous pops ... and it's soooo groovy, man.

Michael Gandolfini was in Queens Friday on the set of the 'Sopranos' prequel ... "The Many Saints of Newark." Michael is playing young Tony Soprano. Looks like he's having a far-out time working alongside costars Alan Taylor, Alexandra Intrator and Gabriella Piazza.

Gotta admit ... 19-year-old Michael's making the bell bottoms and butterfly collar work for him. The movie focuses on the Jersey gangster's formative years, and it's set to be released September 2020.

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You'll recall Michael couldn't stop grinning ear to ear back in February at the thought of playing his late father's most iconic role ... especially after beating out some tough competition.

Michael Gandolfini It's Exciting to Step into My Dad's Shoes

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BADA BING!
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James Gandolfini's son couldn't stop grinning ear to ear at the thought of playing his late father's most iconic role, and his smile says it perfectly -- Michael Gandolfini's up for the challenge.

Michael spoke to Adam Glyn while out in NYC Monday night -- hanging out with "The Deuce" star Chris Bauer -- and talked a little bit about the upcoming 'Sopranos' prequel. Michael's playing young Tony Soprano in "The Many Saints of Newark."

It's easy to see why Michael got the role ... for starters, the resemblance is uncanny. And, he reportedly beat out stiff competition because he mastered his father's iconic character's mannerisms. Can't beat the genes, baby!

Awesome to see Michael carry on James' legacy. As we reported ... James died of a heart attack in 2013 while on a boys' trip with Michael in Italy.

Check out the clip ... Michael's got Boss written all over him.

'Sopranos' Star Vincent Pastore Thrilled Michael Gandolfini's Playing Young Tony ... 'Jimmy's Smiling in Heaven'

PERFECT MAN FOR THE JOB
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"The Sopranos" prequel movie's on the way, and fans are stoked James Gandolfini's son will play a young Tony ... but perhaps none more than the show's very own "Big Pussy."

We got actor Vincent Pastore, who played Salvatore Bonpensiero on the series, leaving Papa John's Deli in the Bronx ... and he's over the moon about 19-year-old Michael Gandolfini landing the role his dad made famous in the upcoming film, "The Many Saints of Newark."

Vincent tells us the casting choice is beautiful, and his old pal Jimmy is looking down from heaven and smiling. He points out this isn't a case of Hollywood nepotism ... "little Michael" won the role after an extensive interview process.

Pussy says the timing of the news is perfect too, with 'Sopranos' recently celebrating its 20th anniversary. He's still close with his former castmates and tells us they just got together for a reunion ... and he's clearly happy to add Michael to the family.

As for who might play "Little Pussy" in the prequel, Pastore has a couple ideas. They might not be up for the challenge, though.

Steve Buscemi Wife of 30 Years Dies ... Funeral Held at Family Home

Steve Buscemi's wife died earlier this week and a moving funeral was held at their NYC home ... TMZ has learned.

We're told Jo Andres died either last Monday or over last weekend. On Monday, friends and family began arriving at their Brooklyn home. It appears the funeral service -- at the home -- was held last Tuesday and the burial was Wednesday.

We're told there were around 20 people at the service, including Steve's co-star from "The Big Lebowski" John Turturro and Aida Turturro from "The Sopranos." Steve's brother Michael and Steve's son Lucian were also there.

FDNY blocked off the street Wednesday as the wicker casket was removed from the home. As you know, Buscemi was a volunteer FDNY firefighter on 911.

The company that showed up to do the prep work for the funeral specializes in home funerals and "natural burials" ... where the body is not embalmed and typically the final resting place is in a "natural setting." Everything is biodegradable and one of the purposes is to preserve the environment.

Steve and Jo were married for 30 years. They had a son, Lucian, who's 29.

We do not know the cause of death.

Jo was 65.

RIP

Annabella Sciorra Construction Co. Sued For Cementing Her Condo!

Two construction companies that worked on 'Sopranos' star Annabella Sciorra's home are getting sued for allegedly causing more than $100k in damages.

Central Construction Management and B&Z Industries worked on Annabella's condo back in December 2015, and according to the lawsuit, they screwed up by allowing wet cement into her crib.

Annabella -- who also starred in "Jungle Fever" and "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" -- filed a claim with her insurance company, Pacific Indemnity, and got $112,034.97 for the damages. Now Pacific Indemnity is trying to recoup that dough by suing the construction companies.

In docs, obtained by TMZ, Pacific says it's pretty clear the blame lies squarely on the construction companies due to negligence and failure to provide reasonable protection.

Annabella made headlines last year as one of Harvey Weinstein's most vocal accusers. Before that, she was probably best known as Tony Soprano's, ummm ... ill-fated mistress, Gloria. Spoiler alert!

The role scored Annabella an Emmy nomination.

'Sopranos' Star Frank Pellegrino Dead at 72

Frank Pellegrino -- best known for his role as the FBI Chief gunning for Tony Soprano on the HBO hit show -- died after losing his battle with cancer.

Frank -- who also co-owned the popular Italian restaurant Rao's in East Harlem -- died in New York Tuesday. The restaurant, founded in 1896, was famous for celebrity drop-ins ... including Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Jay Z.

Frank appeared in "Goodfellas" and 'Law & Order' but he burst onto the scene beginning in 1999 when he was tapped as FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso on 'Sopranos.'

He was 72.

James Gandolfini Rolex Theft a Total 'Sopranos' Deja Vu

There's an eerie 'Sopranos' coincidence surrounding James Gandolfini and the paramedic on trial for stealing his Rolex the day he died.

The paramedic, whose trial started Monday in Rome, is Claudio Bevilacqua. That name might sound familiar to hardcore 'Sopranos' fans ... since Tony offed a Matt Bevilaqua in a 2001 episode of HBO's hit show.

On the show, Bevilaqua robbed Tony's crew and demanded a watch from one of the guys. The boss eventually catches up with Bevilaqua and delivers some mob justice.

Adding to the creepy life imitating art thing -- Bevilaqua was played by Lillo Brancato, who eventually did time in real life for attempted burglary.

The whole thing is just weird. Check out the TV heist.

BEVILAQUA IN "THE SOPRANOS"
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Ex-Sopranos Star RELEASED FROM PRISON After Burglary Conviction

Lillo Brancato Jr. -- who starred in "The Sopranos" and "A Bronx Tale" -- has been released from prison on parole ... 8 years after he was involved in the killing of an off-duty NYPD officer.

Brancato was sentenced to 10 years in prison back in 2009 after he was convicted of attempted burglary in a 2005 incident that resulted in the death of Officer Daniel Enchautegui.

Brancato was acquitted of murder, but his co-defendant was found guilty of shooting and killing the officer and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Brancato was considered a rising star in Hollywood before the incident ... playing Calogero Anello in 1993's "A Bronx Tale" and Christopher Moltisanti's mob lackey Matthew Bevilaqua in "The Sopranos."

The 37-year-old actor was released on parole early this morning. So far, he has yet to comment.

Cops are FURIOUS with his release ... in fact, the NYC Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (a police labor union) released a scathing statement saying:

"It is our firm belief that Lillo Brancato is guilty of the murder of police officer Daniel Enchautegui even though he was only convicted of attempted burglary."

"The entire law enforcement community will be watching and the minute he steps out of line, we’ll be sure that he is returned to prison to finish out the rest of his sentence."

'Family Guy' Death Strong Evidence ... Brian's DEAD FOR GOOD

Brian Griffin is dead and he's not coming back ... at least that's the way it appears ... because TMZ has learned, the dog that's replacing him on "Family Guy" has already been booked for several upcoming episodes.

As we reported, former "Sopranos" star Tony Sirico will be voicing Vinnie -- pictured above -- after Brian was killed off in Sunday night's episode.

There's been a lot of hopeful speculation that Brian's death was a one-episode gimmick -- and that the dog will inevitably come back -- but that doesn't seem likely. A rep for Sirico tells us, Vinnie the Dog has already been voiced for another 6 or so episodes.

We're told there's probably even more to come after that, too. Translation: Brian's not coming back ... at least for a very long time ... and probably never.

Sirico doesn't exactly have a clear conscience about all of it though -- his rep says the actor feels horrible that Brian was killed off because the death of any character is sad ... especially a fan favorite ... but c'est la vie.

As for why Brian got the chop, a producer for the show said they just wanted to shake things up.

James Gandolfini 'Sopranos' Stars Flock to Funeral

Family is forever ... "The Sopranos" cast has just arrived in full force for James Gandolfini's funeral today at a church in New York.

Among the stars ... Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy), Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Melfi), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Meadow), Joe Pantoliano (Ralph Cifaretto), Steve Buscemi (Tony Blundetto), Edie Falco (Carmela), Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti), and show creator David Chase.

Other celebs in attendance include Alec Baldwin, John Turturro and New Jersey guv Chris Christie.

As we reported, Gandolfini passed away last week from an apparent heart attack. He was 51.

Viva la famiglia.

James Gandolfini's Widow First Photos Out ... Running Errands

James Gandolfini's widow was spotted out in public for the first time since his death, and her distraction of choice was shopping.

Deborah Lin, Gandolfini's wife of nearly 5 years, took a solo trip to a mall near their L.A. home on Friday, and went shopping at several stores ... including Bloomingdales. She also went to the bank.

According to a family spokesman ... they're working with the Italian government to get James' body back to the U.S. by next week -- and his funeral would be in New York no later than June 29.

Old news is old news!
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