'Mean Streets' actor Richard Romanus dies at 80

By Jen Krausz on
 January 1, 2024

Richard Romanus, an actor known for playing in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets and in The Sopranos, died Dec. 23 in Greece at age 80, according to his son.

Romanus played tough-guy loan shark Michael Longo opposite Robert De Niro’s Johnny Civello in the 1973 film Mean Streets, directed by Scorsese.

Civello flat-out tells Longo he won't pay back the money he borrows in the film, but Longo gets his revenge in the end.

He also had key roles in 1970s to early 80s movies Hey Good Lookin’ and Heavy Metal.

He appeared in four episodes of The Sopranos TV show in 1999-2002 as Richard LaPenna, the on-again, off-again husband of Lorraine Bracco’s Jennifer Melfi.

He studied acting with Lee Strasburg at New York's Carnegie Hall in the late 1960s before beginning to get film and TV roles.