“Last year I made bail so fast, my soup was still warm when I got home.”
Silvio Dante didn’t always want to be a mobster. His dream as a youth was to make it big as a singer. But while the spirit was willing, the pipes were weak; Silvio ended up managing topless dancers instead. He’s operated several clubs in Asbury Park and currently owns the Bada Bing, where he regularly regales his associates with a legendary impression of Al Pacino. Silvio’s a family man in the literal sense as well: he and his wife, Gabriella have a teenage daughter, Heather, a soccer star her father refers to as “the principessa.”
Silvio’s function in the Soprano crew is as consigliere to Tony, a task to which he’s well suited. Like the other members of Tony’s inner circle, he’s been around the business his entire life. Unlike Tony’s other confidantes, however, Silvio is not a slave to his impulses. He’s an even-tempered, reasonable man; capable of seeing a situation from all angles and giving Tony a solid read of it. Case in point: when Tony got himself into political hot water by striking another made man – thereby breaking one of the mob’s cardinal rules – it was Silvio who eventually talked him into resolving the situation nonviolently.
All that is not to say that Silvio is incapable of violence. When a Bing dancer once failed to show up for work, Silvio retrieved her by her hair. At times he’s advised Tony to eliminate rivals by having them killed, and he personally participated in the murder of Pussy Bonpensiero. But, outside of a poker game – he’s infamous for becoming abusive when he’s losing – Silvio rarely loses control of himself.
It was Silvio who handled family business during Tony’s coma, and during that time he revealed to his wife that he had been considered for “the big chair” when the job went to Tony. But the pressures of the role soon take their toll on Silvio; he ends up in the hospital from the stress.