Richard Romanus, Star of “The Sopranos,” Dies at 80

Richard Romanus. Photo: Disclosure
Richard Romanus. Photo: Disclosure

Richard Romanus, known for his role in the acclaimed series “The Sopranos“, passed away at a hospital in Volos, Greece, on December 23, at the age of 80. The sad news was confirmed by the actor’s son, Robert, to The Hollywood Reporter. The cause of Romanus’s death has not yet been disclosed.

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Throughout his career, Romanus stood out for portraying tough characters, marking his presence in significant productions. His role as Richard LaPenna in “The Sopranos” (1999-2002) is one of the most remembered, along with his performance as Michael Longo in “Mean Streets” (1973) and Harry Canyon in “Heavy Metal” (1981). Romanus also had notable appearances in movies such as “Point of No Return” (1993), “Oscar” (1991), and “Sitting Ducks” (1980).

In the world of television, Romanus demonstrated his versatility in series such as “Mission: Impossible” (1989), “Strike Force” (1981-1982), “Hawaii Five-O” (1968), and “Foul Play” (1981).

Born in Barre, Vermont, on February 8, 1943, Romanus grew up in Connecticut. He graduated in philosophy in 1964 from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and even attended law school for a year before choosing an acting career. His acting studies were conducted at Carnegie Hall in New York, where he studied with renowned actor Lee Strasberg.

Romanus leaves a legacy in the entertainment industry, as well as family and friends who mourn his passing. He is survived by his son, from his first marriage to actress and singer Tina Bohlmann, with whom he married in 1967 and divorced in 1985; his younger brother, Robert Romanus, known for his work in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”; and his second wife, Oscar-nominated costume designer Anthea Sylbert, whom he married in August 1985. His talent and contributions to the world of cinema and television will be forever remembered.

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