Controversial former Philadelphia Police Commissioner and Mayor Frank Rizzo will get a scene in the much-anticipated Martin Scorsese mob “supergroup” movie, The Irishman, currently in production in New York and New Jersey. Bit-player actor Gino Cafarelli (Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos) is cast as the physically imposing and notoriously brutish politician known for his brash persona and tumultuous relations with minorities during the civil rights movement. The Irishman centers around the relationship between iconic Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa and east coast hit man Frank (The Irishman) Sheeran, who reported to mob dons in Pennsylvania, including Philly Godfather Angelo Bruno.

Rizzo was the City of Brotherly Love’s police chief in the late 1960s and mayor of Philadelphia for most of the 1970s. Throughout the 1980s, he became a popular talk-radio host in the region, before dropping dead of a massive heart attack back on the campaign trail in 1991 while running for re-election to the mayor’s seat.

In the 2004 best-selling book, I Heard You Paint Houses, which chronicles Sheeran’s life and serves as the source material for The Irishman, Sheeran dubiously claims to have been the man who killed Hoffa. The strong-willed labor leader disappeared on the afternoon of July 30, 1975 from a suburban Detroit restaurant parking lot en route to a lunch meeting with a pair of mob captains. At the time of his death, Hoffa was feuding with the mafia over his desire to recapture power in the Teamsters after a stint in prison where he had relinquished control of the union in a bid to gain his freedom. Hoffa’s remains have never been found and nobody has ever been arrested for his murder.

Shortly following his unverified confession, Sheeran died of natural causes in December 2003. Robert De Niro will play Sheeran in The Irishman. Al Pacino will portray the fiery and outspoken Hoffa in his first-ever collaboration with the legendary Scorsese.

Sheeran was the leader of Teamsters Local 326 in Delaware and worked day-to-day as muscle for Northeast Pennsylvania mafia boss Russell Bufalino. The role of Bufalino is being played by Joe Pesci. Philly mob lord Angelo Bruno will be depicted on the big screen by Harvey Keitel.

Bruno was assassinated in 1980, the same year Frank Rizzo left the Mayor’s office. A $100,000,000 Netflix production, The Irishman is slated for a late 2018 theatre run and an early 2019 streaming release.


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