Richard "Dickie" Moltisanti, was a soldier in the Soprano Crew and the main character of The Many Saints of Newark. He married Joanne Moltisanti (née Blundetto) and they had a son, Christopher. Dickie was also a cousin of Carmela Soprano (née DeAngelis). After a brief time during which he acted as a mentor to young Tony Soprano, Dickie was murdered in 1972.
The Many Saints of Newark
In his early life, Richard Moltisanti grew up in a rough upbringing. His abusive father "Hollywood Dick" Moltisanti would regularly beat him and his mother. Dickie was in the U.S. Navy during the early years of the Vietnam War, and later served time in prison.
In 1967, Moltisanti was a soldier in the DiMeo crime family alongside Johnny and Junior Soprano. They, along with Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri, Silvio Dante and Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero, ran the New Jersey numbers racket. For a time, he worked with an African-American associate named Harold McBrayer, who he apparently played baseball with. When a gang banger called Overalls robs their operation for $600, Dickie orders Harold to kill him. This gang hit forces their working relationship into an unceremonious end. Dickie later gave Harold $500 as a gesture of good will to skip town, freeing him of his debt to the mobster.
Dickie Moltisanti and a young Tony Soprano met his father "Hollywood Dick" Moltisanti and his new step mother Giuseppina Moltisanti as they get off the boat from Italy. Dickie seems infatuated by his father's new wife, and they bond over dinner. After his father beats Giuseppina, Dickie confronts him in their garage. When his father denies hitting Giuseppina and insults his mother, Dickie beats him to death in a rage. While disposing the body, he is almost caught by Tony Soprano, but Dickie angrily orders him to go home.
At Hollywood Dicks funeral, Junior Soprano takes Dickie aside and confides in him they he considers them brothers. He promises to grant Dickie any favors he requires. Dickie visits his uncle Salvatore "Sally" Moltisanti in prison, his father's identical twin. Dickie informs his uncle that his father is dead, and promises to visit him more. Dickie regularly seeks consul with Sally and gives him gifts from the outside, but these are often sent back by his notoriously hard to please uncle.
In 1972, Harold McBrayer returns to New Jersey and begins taking over Newark's numbers racket, beginning a war with the DiMeo Crime Family. When McBrayer murders fellow capo Buddha Bonpensiero in a gang hit, Dickie attends his funeral. While there, Junior Soprano slips down the stairs of the mortuary and breaks his hip. Dickie breaks into hysterical laughter at Juniors plight, mocking him as he struggles to get back onto his feet. This insult is apparently enough for Junior to order his death.
Dickie Moltisanti begins seeing Giuseppina as his comare. Giuseppina has aspirations of opening a beauty parlor, but this puts her into conflict with Dickie. After leading her on, Dickie eventually agrees to go into business with her as a partner, allowing her complete control over the business. Shortly after, while walking on the beach together, Giuseppina confesses to have been seeing Harold behind Dickies back. Enraged, Dickie drowns her in the waves.
Around Christmas that year, Dickie is unloading TV trays in his driveway, when he is shot from behind by an assassin hired by Junior Soprano. At his funeral, Junior stares coldly at his corpse, content that Dickie's death will never come back to him.
In 2002, Tony Soprano told Christopher that Dickie's killer was Detective Lt. Barry Haydu, who had just retired from the force. Tony delivered Haydu to Christopher Moltisanti as a part of his process of bonding Chris to him and slowly easing him up the family hierarchy. However, when confronted by Christopher, Haydu denied ever having heard of Richard Moltisanti and claimed that someone was "obviously" setting him up. Despite his repeated claims of being unfamiliar with Dickie, Chris puts an end to Haydu’s life.
Tony Soprano remembers Dickie as a "stand up guy" and describes a lot of his positive qualities to Christopher. Dickie once took on a whole crew from New England and brought the war home to their turf. Tony apparently believes that Dickie was killed because of a beef with Jilly Ruffalo, a man he was in prison with; Dickie gouged out Jilly's eye in revenge for Jilly having murdered his cellmate.
According to Christopher, Dickie also struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction. Unlike his son, however, these vices don't seem to affect his business decisions.
Murders Committed By Dickie Moltisanti
- "Hollywood Dick" Moltisanti - Beaten to death in a rage for abusing his new wife Giuseppina the same way he abused Dickie and his mother. (1967)
- Unnamed Gangbanger - Shot in self-defense after being ambushed by Harold McBrayer. (1972)
- Giuseppina Moltisanti - Drowned in a rage for having an affair with his African-American rival, Harold McBrayer. (1972)
Murders Ordered By Dickie Moltisanti
- "Overalls" - Murder ordered for robbing their operation for $600. (1967)
- Cousin Cyril - Murder ordered in retaliation for a hit against a DiMeo soldier. (1972)
- Dickie appears as the protagonist of the film The Many Saints of Newark, which is a prequel to the events of The Sopranos. He is portrayed by actor Alessandro Nivola
- When Christopher confronts Detective Barry Haydu in "For All Debts Public and Private", he tries to escape while pleading “I’m sorry" for unknown reasons . Some viewers think he is saying it to Chris to avoid being shot, and interpreting it as confirmation of his role in Dickie's death, which remains unconfirmed.