Robert Lupone, an actor who played Dr. Bruce Cusamano, Tony Soprano's neighbor on HBO's The Sopranos, died on Saturday, August 27. He was 76. He is the brother of actress Patti LuPone and an accomplished actor in his own right with a string of impressive roles. The company he co-founded, MCC, first reported the news on August 27.
“We are saddened to announce that MCC's founding co-artistic director, Bob LuPone, died on Saturday, August 27, after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer,” read a message alongside photos of Robert at various stages of his career.
As fans mourn his passing and remember his life, here's what you should know.
1.He has showbiz in his blood.
Robert's great-great aunt was Adelina Patti, a 19th-century Italian opera singer, according to his Wikipedia page.
Robert recalled dancing with his younger sister in a 1998 interview. "She's wearing a white, fake silk [shirt] and white satin pants with tap shoes," he said.
"I'm glad to say that we've truly recovered from any difficulties," he said of the reunion. "What happened is a result of [Patti having] her own family and being a mother herself, both of us maturing and wanting to reconnect."
2.He was a gifted dancer.
According to Patti, Robert attended the Julliard School with dance greats Martha Graham and Jose Limon. “It all began when he saw me in a dance recital wearing a hula skirt. I was 4, he was 7.”
There is a Time, a "life-sized photo" of Robert performing in it at Julliard College, where she studied theater. "A few years later, as a student in the theater division, I would walk by it proudly as well as in wonder," Patti said.
Robert earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from the finest academy.
3.He was a husband and father.
According to the AP, Robert was married to his wife Virginia at the time of his death, and also had one son, Orlando.
4.In live theater, he was well-known.
Robert was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical after graduating in 1968. He also appeared in A Thousand Clowns, A View From The Bridge, The Magic Show, and Saint Joan.
He directed Reasons to be Pretty and Frozen at his MCC Theater in New York. Off-Broadway, he acted in Lennon and Twelfth Night, among others. According to his Wikipedia page, he was also director of the MFA Drama Program at The New School for Drama up until 2011.
5.He had an impressive resume of television credits.
Robert LuPone has appeared in a vast array of television programs, as well as in feature films. He has also appeared on soap operas All My Children and Guiding Light, as well as primetime dramas like Gossip Girl and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Billions, The Affair, and The Sopranos