Monday, July 16, 2012

Where Are They Now?

A Bronx Tale

After recently seeing the hit 90's movie in its entirety (I'm ashamed to say it took me this long), I was inspired to do a little research into the whereabouts of the actors in the movie. Of course we all hear about Robert De Niro, but what about the others? Here are the tales of three specific cast members...

Lillo Brancato Jr.:

Brancato played Calogero Anello, a young boy who befriended a local gangster and as his father put it "hung around" the "wrong crowd." Despite being mistaken many times for Italian, Brancato is actually American born but of Colombian descent. Brancato was discovered by a talent scout while swimming at Jones Beach on Long Island, New York. The scout noticed a resemblance between Brancato and the director of A Bronx Tale, Robert De Niro (he was later casted as De Niro's son). After his success in the 90's from landing a role in the movie Brancato also appeared in Crimson Tide (with Denzel Washington), Renaissance Man (with Danny DeVito) , Enemy of the State (with Will Smith, Gene Hackman), as well as a recurring role in The Soprano's.

 Brancato has undoubtedly found success, but he also faced many hardships. In June of 2005, Brancato was arrested in Yonkers, New York on charges of seventh-degree misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance. As written on press reports, Brancato was originally pulled over for having a rear brake light out. Brancato gave police permission to look in a cigarette box inside his car and they found four bags of heroin within the box.

Only six months after this arrest, Brancato was arrested again but this in the Bronx, New York. Police suspected that he was involved in the murder of an off-duty police officer. The officer, named Daniel Enchautegui. Enchautegui allegedly approached Brancato and his accomplice, an ex-heroin addict, after he heard glass break. Enchautegui was shot and later died at Jacobi Medical Center. Brancato and his accomplice were arrested in the vicinity and they both sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Brancato was arraigned for second-degree murder in was found not guilty in December of 2008. He was however, convicted of first-degree burglary and received a 10 year prison sentence. He is currently serving out his sentence at the Hudson Correctional Facility and will not be eligible for parole until 2014. As reported by NY Post Brancato beat up an inmate who apparently took too long on the phone.

Francis Capra:

Francis Capra also played the role of Calogero Anello, but when he was younger (approx. age 9). This movie kicked off his acting career and since the 1993 film he has made various other appearances on screen. Capra was born in the Bronx, New York and is of both Dominican and Italian descent.

 He has had a recurring role in the TV show Veronica Mars as Eli Navarro, and he also appeared on NCIS, Judging Amy, Without A Trace, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home and many other TV shows/movies. Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Capra is he has some serious ink! Capra has about 18 tattoos, and two of them are on his face!

Taral Hicks:

Taral Hicks played the role of Jane Williams, the love interest of Calogero. Hicks has landed other small film roles such as Belly (with DMX), Just Cause (with Sean Connery and Laurence Fishburne), and The Preacher's Wife (with Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington). Hicks also had a career as a singer, and in 1997 she signed a deal with Motown Records. 

Hicks in A Bronx Tale

Hicks released her album titled "This Time" and produced a single "Ooh Baby," which was written by, produced and featured Missy Elliott.

In 2011 Hicks also co-starred in one of Tyler Perry's plays "Aunt Bam's Place" in Atlanta, Georgia. The play was just recently filmed for a DVD release this past June.

Here's an old track, "Distant Lover" by Taral Hicks:

VOGUE | Note: it's unfortunate what happened to Lillo Brancato Jr. It is reported that Brancato has said that he was first introduced to marijuana on the set of A Bronx Tale and shortly after this movie he went on to doing harder drugs such as crack and heroin. A line from the movie states "The saddest thing in life is wasted talent." Oh, the irony.

- Taking Hollywood by STORM

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