By Nicholas Fonseca
Updated November 22, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
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Now we know why Joe Pantoliano wasn’t one of the four Sopranos actors who recently teamed up to get a salary hike for next season. On the Nov. 10 episode, his Ralphie Cifaretto joined the HBO show’s exclusive club of decapitated capos — at the hands of James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano, no less. The 51-year-old actor has flirted with death before: He’s been banged, bruised, and blasted in films like The Fugitive, U.S. Marshals, The Matrix, and Memento. ”My favorite whacking of all time, though, is in Bound,” he says, citing the 1996 lesbian crime noir in which his character (another mobster) was gunned down into a pool of white paint. ”Visually, it was just beautiful.” At least that time he managed to keep all his appendages.

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The Sopranos

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