Actor Joe Pantoliano was born on September 12th, 1951, in Hoboken; he grew up in Cliffside Park where he went to high school. Pantoliano may be best known for his portrayal of Ralph Cifatretto on The Sopranos, but I will always associate him with his earlier 80s’ film roles. The first movie I saw him in is still the most memorable to me: he played Guido the pimp in Risky Business; I can’t see Pantoliano in any other role without hearing “time of your life, kid” in my head. He is the pimp of Lana (Rebecca DeMornay), the hooker Tom Cruise’s character falls for.

He also played Francis Fratelli in The Goonies; the Fratellis were the criminals chasing the Goonies and trying to get to the pirate’s treasure first. The final '80s film of his that I loved is Midnight Run, a vastly underrated movie in my opinion; Pantoliano plays Eddie Moscone, a bail bondsman who hires Robert DeNiro’s character to track down an accountant who skimmed money from a drug dealer and then skipped out on a $450,000 bond.

His Emmy awarding role on The Sopranos is probably what he is best known for, though; if you’re only a casual fan (like I am), Ralph is the character who beats his stripper/girlfriend/baby mama to death for disrespecting him. Later in the series, Tony Soprano kills Ralph with his bare hands; Tony thinks Ralph burned down the stable with his favorite horse for the insurance money. Pantoliano also had a sizeable role in The Matrix.

More recently, he has started a charity, “No Kidding Me, Too!” to combat the stigma associated with mental illness; he has been public about his own struggle with depression.

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