I tried to become a family man. I got married, but it didn't work out. After 22 months we got an annulment. Then I married an Italian girl, which resulted in an immediate annulment. I had two annulments by the time I was 23.
For TV I don't think I could have gotten a better part than Uncle Junior because of the intimacy of the character based on David Chase's brilliant writing.
My father was an American who could cuss in Italian and make an aria out of it. It was wonderful to watch. But then again, he was a Gemini. I believe in that stuff.
I don't like the way Uncle Junior dresses. He loves it.
Uncle Junior is a criminal, which makes him a villain, so it makes people want to watch him. My whole life as an actor has been preparing for something like this.
When I started really singing I was 17, 18 years old. I used to go around trying to be a singer in the Bronx. My knees would shake but I learned by doing.
I went to Brooklyn College and met this beautiful Jewish girl named Merle, with dark hair, exotic looking and brilliant. So we got married and had three children.
The radio was my big influence. Comedy came from the instinctual feel I had for language.
The anger that Uncle Junior has comes from my background. My father was the son of an Italian immigrant, and I've seen the fire of the Italian temperament. It can be explosive sometimes in ways that are both funny and tragic.
I've always wanted to play Don Quixote in some way. It's a great role. I think the idealism of the man shows that hope that we have in the human breast to achieve something.
I had to audition for the part of Jnior, and I wanted the role terribly because I knew it was a great character. This guy is a wonderful, funny, mean old guy.
They would wake me up when I was sleeping, and say sing a song for our friends. I had a sweet voice, I had a nice little tenor voice. God knows what I sang, but my whole family would admire me.
I enjoyed my grandparents very much. My mother and father would always allow me to stay with them.
I had no idea what they were saying in Italian as a child, they spoke too quickly on the radio. But I realized that language was very funny.
Im the kind of guy, when the marriage is breaking up, who doesnt want to yell in front of the kids. So I left, but it was very hard.
I went on tour in the play H.M.S. Pinafore.
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