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'Sopranos' actor Gannascoli arrested in Tampa on DUI charge

TAMPA — Actor Joseph Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos, was arrested early Friday in Tampa on a DUI charge.

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.

He was in Tampa for a public appearance for his cigar, the Cugine. Gannascoli was driving a 2010 Dodge sedan when he made a wide right turn onto Kennedy Boulevard from Armenia Avenue, according to an arrest affidavit.

After the turn, the report states, he started to straddle the lane marker. He kept driving and straddled another lane marker before a Tampa police officer pulled him over.

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, 51, was in 41 episodes of The Sopranos between 1999 and 2006, according to the Internet Movie Database website. The character he played was a mobster killed by other mobsters for being gay. He also had minor roles in films such as Mickey Blue Eyes and Ed Wood.

The actor has toured cigar shops across the country the past year to promote his Cugine cigar.

Gannascoli promoted the cigar at Soho Cigar, 212 S Armenia Ave., on Thursday night. Customers could meet the star, and buy autographed pictures and his cigar, according to Soho Cigar's website.

Also for sale was his book, A Meal to Die For: A Culinary Novel of Crime.

Gannascoli was supposed to appear in Key West for a similar promotion Friday.

'Sopranos' actor Gannascoli arrested in Tampa on DUI charge 06/18/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 18, 2010 9:56pm]
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