(written from a Production point of view)
Steven R. Schirripa (born 1957) is an Italian-American actor and writer who played Carmine in the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes "Storm Front" and "Storm Front, Part II" in 2004. Frequently seen in gangster roles, he is perhaps best known for his recurring role as Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri on the acclaimed HBO series The Sopranos.
Schirripa was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York and is a graduate of Brooklyn College. While working in Las Vegas as the entertainment director of the Riviera hotel and casino, Schirripa landed a bit part on Martin Scorsese's 1995 film Casino with Richard Riehle, appearing as a customer at the bar in the scene where Joe Pesci's character stabs a man with a pen. As a result of his experience on this film, Schirripa decided he wanted to become an actor.
His next film was the 1998 comedy Something About Sex (aka Denial), which starred Star Trek: Voyager guest actor Jason Alexander. He then made his television debut in a 1998 episode of the CBS medical drama Chicago Hope with Tom Wright.
Schirripa subsequently appeared in such films as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (which also featured Larry Cedar, Jenette Goldstein, Gregory Itzin, and Richard Riehle), Play It to the Bone (with Willie Garson and William Utay), and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (starring Joan Collins and featuring John Cho). He also continued performing on television, including a 1999 episode of Angel directed by James A. Contner.
Schirripa had a supporting role in the 2001 comedy film See Spot Run, along with Star Trek: The Next Generation guest actor Paul Sorvino. Schirripa was also seen in the 2005 hit romantic comedy Must Love Dogs, as were Brad William Henke and Christopher Plummer. Schirripa's other film credits have included 2001's Joe Dirt (with Brian Thompson and the aforementioned Richard Riehle), 2003's Stuey (co-starring Michael Nouri), and the 2008 direct-to-video animated feature Open Season 2, in which he voiced the role of Roberto.
In addition to his film roles, Schirripa's television work has included guest spots on Black Scorpion (with Robert Pine), George Lopez (with Autumn Reeser), Ed, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the original Law & Order (with Vyto Ruginis as his defense attorney). He also appeared in Peter Falk's last Columbo movie, 2003's Columbo Likes the Nightlife, and, in 2008, he had a recurring role on the ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. From 2004 through 2008, Schirripa co-hosted Spike TV's programming block Casino Cinema.
Some of Schirripa's live and reality television appearances include stints as a contestant on the game shows Million Dollar Password and Pyramid and being one of the celebrity judges on The Gong Show with Dave Attell. He has also been doing spots as "Steve the Judgmental Bastard" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Most recently, Schirripa and his Sopranos co-star Frank Vincent were seen as poker players in the next-to-last episode of Sci-Fi Channel's Stargate Atlantis entitled "Vegas." Star Trek: Voyager's Robert Picardo was a regular on this series at the time, but he did not have any scenes with Schirripa.