|First appearance||"Toodle Fucking-Oo" (episode 2.03)|
|Last appearance||"The Knight in White Satin Armor" (episode 2.12)(death)
"The Test Dream" (episode 5.11) (dream sequence)
|Created by||David Chase|
|Portrayed by||David Proval|
|Occupation||Carting consultant of Barone Sanitation/Fishmonger|
|Title||Capo of Aprile Crew in the Dimeo Family (1980s–1990, 2000)|
|Family||Jackie Aprile, Sr (younger brother) (deceased)Rosalie Aprile(sister-in-law)|
|Spouse(s)||Janice Soprano (ex-fiancée)|
|Children||Richie Aprile, Jr. (son)|
Richard Aprile, Sr., played by David Proval, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. Richie was a capo and the older brother of former DiMeo crime family acting boss Jackie Aprile, Sr. Richie was arguably one of the most ruthless characters on the show; he exhibited some of the same similar traits Ralph Cifaretto did, including being impulsively violent, callous, irascible, greedy, and narcissistic. He was sadistically violent and remorseless as demonstrated by his paralyzing of Beansie Gaeta. He almost instantly takes on a feeling of jealousy and resentment when he finds out Tony Soprano, someone who is younger and who was at one time subordinate to him, is the new boss of the DiMeo crime family after his release from prison. Richie is also embarrassed by his son Richard "Little Ricky" Aprile, Jr's participation in ballroom dancing contests, which some Mafiosi consider to be a sign of homosexuality. Richie couldn't raise him well, because he was sent to prison in his teenage years, and in 10 years he was grown up and wasn't like his father. (It was later stated in the episode "Cold Stones" that Richie had disowned his son when he found out he was gay.)
Richie Aprile, the older brother of acting DiMeo crime family boss Jackie Aprile, Sr. was a capo in the DiMeo crime family before being sent to prison for ten years. While Richie was in prison, Jackie died and upon his release, Richie came back to a very different family with Tony Soprano as the boss. Richie had known Tony since before he became a made man; Tony himself recalled having to pay for dinners for Richie and others as a newly made man. Tony and Richie had gotten along in the old days; Richie intervened on Tony and Jackie's behalf when old-school mobster Feech La Manna wanted them killed for robbing his card game. There was no love lost between them upon Richie's return. Richie is a die hard Yankees fan.
Impetuous and irascible, Richie still saw Tony as his younger brother's friend and subsequently had difficulty accepting orders from someone who was once subordinate to him. Due to Richie's belligerent narcissism, he automatically felt he was entitled to inherit everything he wanted for paying his dues in prison. Tony recognized that Richie's absence was due to his imprisonment and promised to work to give him his due, to which Richie immediately rebuffed that offer by saying that what is his is not Tony's to give.
Richie was arguably the most ruthless of the entire Mafioso cast in the series. His tensions with Tony developed throughout Season Two. One of Richie's first actions as a free man was to confront his old partner Peter Beansie Gaeta and try to claim money from him. When Beansie failed to pay Richie at his welcome back party, Richie tracked him down again and threatened to shoot him. Later, Richie waited for Beansie by his car, and when he went to get in, Richie rammed Beansie with his car, crushing Beansie between the two vehicles. Richie then puts the car in gear and drives over the paralyzed Beansie, then puts it in reverse and runs him over again. Richie was later forced by Tony to make amends by building Beansie a ramp for his wheelchair, to which Richie replies to by Paulie and Silvio: "I'll build a ramp up to your ass, run a Lionel up in there."
Richie loaned money to Tony's childhood friend Davey Scatino and eventually cut him off when Scatino started to miss payments. Scatino managed to get a seat at Tony's high stakes executive game and when Richie found him there he flew into a rage. Tony intervened because he could not lose face by allowing one of his players to be harmed and sent Richie away. Tony later punished Richie for his disruptive behavior at the executive game by saying that he is not allowed to collect a penny from David Scatino until his debt to Tony is retired, and Richie's debt is frozen until then, meaning no interest can be accrued. As Tony put it, "I'm going to get mine first, then you're going to get yours second." Richie feigned apologies. However, when driving home with Janice, she stokes Richie's temper by saying that Tony's tribute to him upon release from prison was merely ornamental.
After the game, Scatino was so heavily indebted to Tony and Richie that both men took over Scatino's sporting goods store, Ramsey Sports and Outdoor, in what became known as the "Scatino bust out".
Richie disliked Tony's protégé Christopher Moltisanti because of his violent relationship with Richie's niece, Adriana La Cerva. This friction contributed to a failed attempt on Christopher's life by two young associates,Matthew Bevilaqua and Sean Gismonte, hoping to impress Richie. Richie had nothing to do with planning the hit and refused to help Bevilaqua afterward.
Richie and Janice Soprano, Tony's sister, used to date in high school. When Richie left prison, he and Janice resumed their old relationship and eventually became engaged. Janice frequently encouraged Richie to defy Tony, because she wanted to be married to the boss. One night while having sex, which ended abruptly when Janice said "Oh baby, you're the boss... it should be you," Richie became upset, and told Janice he needed to be loyal. Janice's response "Tell that to Paul Castellano," a reference to the real life slaying of the Gambino boss by John Gotti.
Richie acted as a mentor to his nephew, Jackie Aprile, Jr. for a short time before his death; he brought him along to meetings to discuss Mafia business.
In the end, Richie was preparing, with the approval of Tony's Uncle Junior, to take over the family as boss. Richie approached acting capo Albert Ally Boy Barese to ask for his support in his takeover bid but he declined. After weighing his options, Junior realized he was better off with Tony in charge and tipped him off about Richie's plans. Tony then ordered Silvio Dante to have Richie killed, but this later proved to be unnecessary.
After returning home one night, Richie and Janice entered into an argument over Richie's son's possible homosexuality, a notion Janice both dismissed and defended. As soon as she did this however, Richie punched Janice in the face before settling down for dinner. Appearing in complete shock, Janice left the room but quickly returned with a gun and shot Richie first in the chest, then in the head. A distraught Janice called her brother Tony who had Chris and Furio Giunta dispose of Richie's corpse by dismemberment at Satriale's Pork Store and sent Janice off to Seattle to lay low. Apart from Tony and Janice, only Christopher and Furio know what really happened to Richie. Carmela knows of Richie's death but did not press Tony for the specifics. Everyone else has been told that he became an FBI informant and entered witness protection. Conversations with Silvio (in All Happy Families...) and Paulie (in Made in America) indicate that they also know of Richie's true fate. Later, during her involvement with them, the FBI heavily implied to Richie's niece Adriana that her uncle had not entered witness protection, regardless of what she had been led to believe.
In the season 5 episode The Test Dream, Richie briefly appears in Tony's dream riding in the backseat of a car being driven by Artie Bucco. Sitting next to Richie is also the deceased, former Aprile Crew capo Gigi Cestone.
- Richie holds a gun to Janice's head to increase their sexual experience when they perform intercourse.
- Richie gives Tony a brown leather jacket, which Tony gives to his maid's husband. Richie later sees this and becomes annoyed that Tony didn't appreciate his gift.
- The brown leather jacket that Richie gives to Tony, is that of respected mobster Rocco DiMeo, Richie brags to Tony how he beat the reputed mobster in a fight years before.
- Showing a tender side of his character, Richie cooks a dish of tripe italian-style, and takes it to Carmela as a thankyou gift.