Ralph Cifaretto

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This article is about a fictional character from The Sopranos.

Ralph Cifaretto (sometimes Ralphie), played by Joe Pantoliano, was one of Tony Soprano's captains on the fictional HBO TV series, The Sopranos.

Ralph Cifaretto was an obnoxious, sarcastic and confrontational member of Tony Soprano's crew. A very tempermental man with drug and sexual issues, he once killed an exotic dancer carrying his child and became flippant about it with Tony, which led to Tony striking Ralph, something that one made man is not supposed to do to another. By way of making amends, Tony promoted Ralph to captain, something for which he had aspired for quite some time.

Ralph briefly pursued relationships with Rosalie Aprile, the widow of Jackie Aprile, and then with Janice Soprano; both of these relationships ended badly, possibly due to Ralphie's preference of paraphilia over "normal" sexual relations.

Ralph's mouth got him into trouble on several occasions. In the third season, his casual recounting to Rosalie's son, Jackie Jr., of a story about how Tony "made his bones" inspired Jackie to make a similar move, with tragic results. In the fourth season, his joke about Johnny Sack's wife brought on an assassination plot that came within seconds of succeeding. Later a prank telephone call to the mother of Paulie Walnuts also landed Ralph in trouble.

What ultimately caused Ralph's demise was his relationship with Tony, ironically coming at a time when he was attempting to become a better person. He purchased a race horse named "Pie-O-My" and worked with Tony to turn her into a winner. However, Ralph needed some money for his son's medical expenses, and Pie-O-My died in a suspicious stable fire (in theory, to collect on the insurance policy). A very angry Tony confronted Ralph about it. A fight ensued and Tony ended up fatally choking Ralph. Tony, with the help of Christopher, then dismembered and buried the body. It was then revealed that Ralph was bald and wore a hairpiece. However, Ralph's involvement in the stable fire was never established for certain.

The surname "Cifaretto" is somewhat peculiar and could be a reference to Cypher, Pantoliano's character in The Matrix.

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