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D o n a l d
M e t z g e r
|* WINNER - Sopranos Look-Alike Contest *|
World's Only 'Real-Life' Link Between The Sopranos and Goodfellas
James Gandolfini's Photo Double On The Sopranos
Available for Parties,
Promotions, Corporate Events, Fund Raisers, Etc.
I've been taken for James Gandolfini ever since the release of his early film,
Hardly a day goes by when I'm not ly the subject frequent stares and am told how much I resemble Tony
Soprano. "Yeah, I See The
Resemblance", were James's first words when we were introduced.
"Yeah, I See The Resemblance", were James's
first words when we were introduced.
As Tony's photo-double on The Sopranos , I drove his Cadillac Escalade in various scenes where you'd think he was behind the wheel. Also in Tony's place as a passenger in other vehicles such as the final season's episode in Christopher's SUV just before the roll over accident where Chris met his demise.
the Escalade the day the
I've appeared at the
I've appeared at thereal Bada-Bing club, Satin Dolls, in New Jersey on special event party nights like the club’s anniversary, new season premieres of The Sopranos on HBO, and lastly, for series finale. One of my most noteworthy corporate event appearances was Nextel's annual national sales meeting in Virginia. Their announcement was that the company had signed a deal with HBO to use Motorola phones on The Sopranos. As soon as the VP of Marketing got to that part of the meeting to an audience of about 400 people, “Tony Soprano’ came onto the stage and confronted him with that if the phones didn’t work, he’d be sleeping with the fishes. Some of my charity events include benefits for the New Jersey Widows of the World Trade Center Disaster and Covenant House.
On line at the Sopranos casting call in Harrison, New Jersey on July
22nd of 2000, I got stares from virtually everyone who walked by and was
asked for my autograph several times.
Some thought Gandolfini was actually there as a publicity stunt.
Next to me on line was Armando,
who resembled a bouncer. The fun
started when he and I walked up and down the stretch of what had grown to be
a crowd of thousands, hoodwinking many of them into thinking I was really
Gandolfini with his bodyguard.
At a signing for her new book “Wise Girl”, Jamie-Lynn Sigler did a double take when she first saw me. Autographing my copy, she wrote: “To Donald, I almost was fooled – I thought you were Tony – All the Best, Jamie”. Others personally acquainted with James Gandolfini such as the in-house attorney for his acting agency in Los Angeles and Dominic Chianese's daughter also thought I was him at first glance.
We all know there's actors on The Sopranos that were also in Goodfellas, but famous actors aside, I stand as the world's only 'real-life' link between The Sopranos and Goodfellas. My after school and Saturday job during high school was as the shoeshine boy at the real life Maury’s Wig Shop portrayed in Goodfellas ....... at the time of the infamous Billy Bats “Now Go Home and Get Your F**kin Shine Box” scene at Henry’s bar, The Suite, which was right next door. I was the Maury’s Wig Shop equivalent of young Henry working at the pizza shop, though I was never asked to firebomb cars. Shining Henry’s (and often Jimmy’s, Tommy’s, and the rest of the crew's ) shoes, go get lunch, serve drinks, feed the parking meters, etc. was the daily routine. On a typical Saturday afternoon, at the beginning of his manicure or at the end of a shine, Jimmy (Robert DeNiro’s character) would pull a $50 or $100 bill out of his pocket, ask me to take everybody’s lunch order, and then tell me to keep the change. Maury’s Wig Shop’s real name was “For Men Only” and did regular men’s haircuts in addition to the selling and servicing of hairpieces. Maury’s second in command, John, known to the customers as Danté, took the business over around the time Marty (Maury) was killed. He was a true Liberace look-alike, though he never worked as one. He kept the shop up for the next 27 years or so and in all that time it was the only place I ever got my haircut. My computer skills came into play in the latter of those years as I developed a system to run the salon: point of sale, tracking customer hairpieces, etc. I appropriately named the application “Maury’s Wig Shop”.
I’ve been a member of the personal computer industry since its
inception around 1979 and went into private consulting in 1985 as a software
designer and developer. For 3 years
following 9/11, I was part of the World Trade Center Disaster team
at the New York City Medical Examiner's Office as co-designer and
developer of the computer system that kept track of the human tragedy of 9/11.
Many there only knew me as "Tony", “Mr. Soprano”, "Ay Tone", or just “T” rather than by my real name, Don.
And some of the morgue workers went so far to tell me (jokingly
of course) to let them know if I ever need to make a body
Graduated the same high school that gave the world Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor), Jerry Springer, The Ramones, and Simon & Garfunkel. My great-uncle, Syd Cassyd, founded the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Emmy Awards.
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