Vincent Pastore

Better known as Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero to fans of "The Sopranos," Vincent Pastore may look as if he were born to play gangsters. But the native New Yorker ran a nightclub for two decades before a couple of his patrons (Dillon brothers Matt and Kevin) persuaded him to try his hand at acting.

Born July 14, 1946, in the Bronx, Pastore made his film debut in the heavy metal horror-fest Black Roses (1988); he didn't gain extensive exposure, however, until 1995 with The Jerky Boys. From there, he honed his mobster persona in a variety of movie and TV projects, including the 1997 miniseries "The Last Don," before landing his career-defining role on "The Sopranos" in 1999.

Over the years, Pastore has continued to play toughs, voicing fishy wise guy Luca in the 2004 animated film Shark Tale and appearing as Arthur "Rack 'Em Up" Ross on the daytime soap "One Life to Live" (2003-04).