Driving under the influence has another Hollywood star in the spotlight this week. Joseph Gannascoli, who played a gay mafia character on the Sopranos' was allegedly drinking and driving when he was stopped by police officers in Tampa Florida.
Gannascoli of East Rockaway, N.Y., was arrested at 3:05 a.m. at 3629 W Kennedy Blvd., just east of Dale Mabry Highway. His blood-alcohol level was listed as 0.111. After making a wide turn he started to straddle the lane marker. He kept driving and straddled another lane marker before a Tampa police officer pulled him over according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Gannascoli's breath had a distinct smell of alcohol, the officer noted, and his eyes were bloodshot and watery. He was unable to properly perform a field sobriety test, police said.
Bail was set at $500. Jail records show he was released at 9:37 a.m.
Gannascoli played the character Vito Spatafore on the HBO drama “The Sopranos.” In the series, Gannascoli’s character was a mobster who was killed because he was gay.
His acting credits include appearances in Ed Wood, Blowfish, Mickey Blue Eyes and 976-Wish.
He is best known for his 41 episodes of The Sopranos and one episode of Law & Order. Before appearing as mobster Vito Spatafore in season two, Joseph R. Gannascoli appeared as a pastry shop patron named "Gino" in the season one episode "The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti". He is later introduced formally as the nephew of Richie Aprile, Vito Spatafore, in the season two episode "The Happy Wanderer".
It was reported in 2008 that the maker of Stacker 2 filed a lawsuit claiming Joseph Gannascoli hasn't been doing enough to promote their product after receiving about $316,000 from the company to exclusively endorse their weight loss products.
Gannascoli once praised Stacker 2 diet pills for helping him shed 140 pounds and then publicly claimed that hoodia a competing diet industry weight loss herb was the secret to his slightly slimmer size.
Gannascoli who also had his own line of marinara sauce has been out of the celebrity spotlight the past few years. His DUI arrest has catapulted him back into the news in one of the worst possible ways for anyone other then a Hollywood star. Plan to see more of him when his first court appearance is set.