Actor Steve Schirripa will speak Monday evening, Feb. 13, in Mitchell Hall.

Feb 13: 'Evening with Steve Schirripa'

Actor Steve Schirripa of 'Secret Life of the American Teenager' to speak


3:35 p.m., Jan. 12, 2012--"An Evening with Steve Schirripa," the actor who stars on ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager and was a regular on HBO's The Sopranos, will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 13, in Mitchell Hall on the University of Delaware campus in Newark.

Schirripa will appear in a format similar to that of the popular television series Inside the Actors Studio. UD's Peter X. Feng, associate professor of English with expertise in film and literature, will conduct the interview and that will be followed by a question-and-answer session with members of the audience.

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The 20th annual June Lecture Series at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UD in Wilmington will be held June 6-9. Titled 'June a la Carte,' this year's program focuses on great political documents, feminism, world politics and a Newark cuisine sampler.

The event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the University's Department of English.

Seating will be on a first come, first seated basis. For additional information, contact Nina Warren at or 302-831-2362, or see the department's website or Facebook page.

Schirripa, whose daughter Bria is a sophomore at UD, said he hopes the talk will "provide insight to people who are interested into getting into the entertainment business."

Schirripa said he came to acting "late in life" -- starting in his 30s -- and in a roundabout way. He was running a comedy club in Las Vegas when performers began asking him on stage and, once in the limelight, he  "kind of got the acting bug."

He began taking lessons, going to auditions and getting small roles. The experience was important in helping him learn how to hit his marks, to understand the positioning of the cameras and to understand the terminology.

A trip home to his native New York City for a wedding brought an audition that led to Schirripa's first major role as Bobby Baccalieri in the HBO hit The Sopranos. "I read for the role, and the rest is history," he said.

Schirripa spent six seasons as a member of the cast and said the set of The Sopranos was "fantastic," noting it was "like going to work with good friends every day."

After The Sopranos finale, Schirripa said he was looking for work on a project that was not mob-related and joined the cast of ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager. He portrays Leo Boykewich, the father of teen Ben Boykevich, and has appeared in 85 episodes.

He is also host of the Investigation Discovery Nothing Personal program, which concerns murder-for-hire plots.

In addition to work in front of the camera, Schirripa has taken up the pen with a series of Goomba books and has written two young adult books with the title character Nicky Deuce, one of which will be made into a movie by Nickelodeon.

Schirripa said he has been to the UD campus on several occasions and has found it a "terrific school" with "a beautiful campus and great academics."

Schirripa said he is looking forward to a return visit on Feb. 13 to discuss the entertainment industry. "I'm not an expert, but I've been making a living at this for the last 12-14 years," he said. "Maybe I can help someone find the right path."

About Steve Schirripa

Schirripa was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the Brooklyn College graduate’s acting odyssey began while serving as the entertainment director of the Riviera hotel in Las Vegas. There he worked with such comedians as Drew Carey, Kevin Pollack and Bruce Baum and his cameo roles in their comedy specials led to episodic work on the big and small screen.

In addition The Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Sopranos, Schirripa has appeared in a range of programs including Ugly Betty, Joey, Enterprise, Law and Order, My Wife and Kids, Ed, the George Lopez Show and The King of Queens

As a regular popular guest on the talk show circuit, Schirripa was approached by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to be a special correspondent and to date he has appeared on the show over a dozen times. He is also a correspondent for The Today Show and a regular film critic on The Showbiz Show.

Schirripa recently won best supporting actor in the New York Independent Film Festival for his role in What Are the Odds.  He also stars in Duane Hopwood, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and can be seen in the Newline feature film High Roller.

Schirripa can also add published writer to his list of credits with the best seller A Goomba's Guide to Life, published by Clarkson Potter, his first in a series of three Goomba guidebooks.  This comical book, co-written by Charles Fleming, includes chapters on growing up in Brooklyn and great goombas in history.  His second and third books -- The Goomba's Book of Love and The Goomba Diet -- are currently in stores. 

He also has written two books for young adults -- Nicky Deuce: Welcome to the Family, which is being made into a movie by Nickelodeon, and Nicky Deuce: Home for the Holidays.

For a flier about the event, click here.

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