Slain Philadelphia mob boss Phil (The Chicken Man) Testa was memorialized in song by Bruce Springsteen back in the 1980s. Now, he’ll get the Hollywood treatment and appear on the silver screen. Seasoned character actor Larry Romano will play Testa in The Irishman, the much-anticipated upcoming Martin Scorsese-helmed movie about the relationship between mob hit man, Frank (The Irishman) Sheeran and iconic labor union boss Jimmy Hoffa.

Romano, 54, is best known for his recurring role on the hit late 1990s-early 2000s CBS sitcom The King of Queens and co-starring roles in the Sylvester Stallone 1989 prison film Lock Up, the 1996 Al Pacino political thriller City Hall and the Pacino and Johnny Depp classic mob-flick Donnie Brasco. Testa, blown to bits by a nail bomb planted underneath his porch in March of 1981 — part of an unsuccessful palace coup launched against his regime –, was one of Sheeran’s direct superiors in the mafia. He was 56 at the time of his death.

Native Garden Stater Bruce Springsteen opens his 1982 song Atlantic City with the line “Well, they blew up the Chicken Man in Philly last night and they blew up his house too.” Testa helped spearhead the darker side of 1970s and 80s casino boom in Atlantic City and got his nickname for his involvement in the wholesale chicken industry. The Philadelphia mafia has traditionally controlled underworld affairs in “AC” and parts of North Jersey. Sheeran was a Teamsters boss in Delaware and worked for Pennsylvania dons Russell Bufalino and Angelo Bruno, who preceded Testa as Godfather of the Philly mob and like the Chicken Man met a violent end (assassinated the year before Testa was) and will appear as a character in The Irishman.

Larry Romano (L) at the height of his TV fame

Hoffa, the stubborn, hard-nosed former president of the Teamsters, vanished from a suburban Detroit restaurant parking lot on the afternoon of July 30, 1975 on his way to a purported peace conference with mobsters representing both mafia factions in Michigan and New York. In the years preceding his kidnapping and murder, Hoffa, 62, engaged in a growing beef with the same organized crime figures whose support and accompanying muscle he rode to the union’s presidency in the 1950s. Nobody has ever been charged or even arrested in the case.

Scorsese has collected a star-studded ensemble for his adaption of Charles Brandt’s 2004 best-selling book, I Heard You Paint Houses, in which Sheeran claims to have been the man who shot and killed Hoffa on his deathbed. Robert De Niro will play Sheeran and Pacino is cast as Hoffa. Harvey Keitel will play Bruno and Joe Pesci is portraying Bufalino. Cameras are already rolling on the 100-million dollar Netflix production expected to have a limited theatre run next year. De Niro, Pesci and Keitel are frequent Scorsese collaborators, however The Irishman will be the first time Scorsese and the equally-beloved Pacino work together.

The Chicken Man near the end

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