John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, guest actor on “The Sopranos
” and owner of a bustling Italian restaurant in New York’s Little Italy, died Nov. 21 at Nyu Langone Medical Center following a brief illness. He was 75.
Dubbed the “unofficial mayor of Little Italy,” Ciarcia’s acting career included film appearances alongside long-time friend Danny DeVito
” and “Death to Smoochy
,” in addition to his guest role on HBO’s “The Sopranos
Decades ago, Ciarcia served as the boxing manager to Tony Danza
, who he later co-starred with in “A Brooklyn State of Mind
Both DeVito and Danza, along with his other high-profile showbiz pals including Robert DeNiro
and Martin Scorsese
, would later become regulars at Ciarcia’s Mulberry St. restaurant, Cha Cha’s In Bocca Al Lupo. The Brooklyn-born restaurateur also once owned a Coney Island
bar, which failed to recuperate following the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy.