The public knows him as the character Tony Darvo in the movie Midnight Run, but Richie Salerno was born into the world of the Brooklyn Mafia during the heyday of the New York mob and for a time it looked like he’d get caught up in a life of crime. After all, some of the most notorious figures in the gangster world he knew as uncles, aunts, cousins and family friends. During a stint in prison for theft, Richie turned his life around using the tailoring skills he learned from his father and butchering abilities he picked up from his father-in-law to ingratiate himself with the warden and guards which got him through one hundred and twenty months without a scratch.
As luck would have it, after his release he scored an audition for a film Serpico directed by Sidney Lumet, best known for “12 Angry Men” and “Dog Day Afternoon.” That audition turned into a career of long standing as a character actor in major Hollywood films.
Now, Richie has written a memoir of his journey from the mean streets of Brooklyn and as a child of the mob to the silver screen.
“Richie Salerno has an amazing story to tell and he does in From The Mob To The Movies, taking readers from the streets of Brooklyn to Hollywood. Truly a must read.” – Dennis N. Griffin, award-winning author of A ‘FAMILY’ BUSINESS and THE RISE AND FALL OF A ‘CASINO’ MOBSTER
From The Book:
*WARNING: Following excerpt contains explicit language
Anyway, after we heard how the judge sentenced a child molester who happened to be the fire chief to five years of probation, I had said to Rags, “This judge sounds like he gives people a break. So maybe we got a chance?”
Some fucking chance. When it was my turn in the barrel, I got seven and a half years for armed robbery.
Then he had the balls to ask, “Do you have anything to say?” As if words were going to help me at that point. But he asked, and I had that chutzpa thing going, for better or worse.
“Your Honor, how is it that a man who just molested two six-year-old girls only gets sentenced to five years of probation, but I get seven and a half years year for robbing a guy who has been molesting his family his whole life?”
“Bailiff! Remove this man from my courtroom!”
“Your Honor! Tell me this guy I robbed, if I’d a fucked him in the ass like your fire chief did with those kids, I would’ve got a slap on the hand and you’d have sent me home like you did with him? You know, the fire Chief?”
Spittle erupted from the judge’s mouth and he pounded his gavel. “Remove this thing from my courtroom!”
“Your Honor! Why are you getting so pissed off? It was you who asked me if I had something to say.”
“Remove him now, Bailiff!” In the blink of an eye, five Bailiffs swooped down on me. Nevertheless I got the last word in. “Your Honor, I heard the fire chief was your brother-in-law. Is that right?”
Sure it was. Sometimes the streets and the courts operate by the same rules.