A New York policeman was shot dead yesterday as he tried to stop a former Sopranos actor and an accomplice from allegedly breaking into a house in a search for drugs.
Lillo Brancato Jr 29, who played Matt Bevilacqua, a doomed small-time mobster in the 1999-2000 season of the mafia television drama, is the latest in a line of Sopranos stars to have had real-life and violent run-ins with the law.
The police officer, Daniel Enchautegui, was shot in the chest allegedly by Mr Brancato’s accomplice, Steven Armento. But as he lay dying in his driveway he shot and seriously wounded both men.
Mr Brancato, who got his acting break in the 1993 Robert De Niro film A Bronx Tale, was last night critically ill in hospital after being shot twice by Mr Enchautegui. Mr Armento was shot four times and was in a serious condition.
In 2002, Robert Iler, who plays Tony Sopranos’s son AJ, pleaded guilty to taking part in a mugging. Richard “Richie Blue Eyes” Maldone, who played Albert Barese, a mafia boss, was arrested in 2003 and charged with buying drugs.