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Costelloe's suicide shocks his family, pals

Published: Friday, December 26, 2008, 15:25 [IST]

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New York (ANI): The family and friends of Brooklyn actor John Costelloe, who portrayed the gay-fireman lover Johnny Cakes on 'The Sopranos', are shocked that he has killed himself. The late actor's Sunset Park home still remains sealed with police stickers, more than a week after he ended his own life. The former FDNY firefighter had shot himself in the head in his basement bedroom on December 16.

"It's beyond me. This is too much for me to handle right now," the New York Post quoted the rugged actor's father Michael, 77, as saying. Costelloe's friends are still finding it hard to believe that he has passed away. "He was a great guy. Everyone's completely in shock," said firefighter and former colleague Matt Dwyer, 37."I saw him three weeks ago when he stopped by, and he seemed to be in good spirits," he revealed.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Joseph Gannascoli, one of Costelloe's long-time friends who played mobster and closeted homosexual Vito Spatafore in the hit HBO series, said: "I was shocked when I heard, and it still hasn't really sunk in. I never detected anything troubling about him. I enjoyed all the time I ever spent with him."

'Gang of Seven' playwright Jim Neu, who cast Costelloe as a fast-talking hustler, revealed that he and the director had gentrly quizzed the late actor what was bothering him, but he did not open up. "He didn't seem like the kind of guy who would reach out. There couldn't have been a more supportive and friendly group. If he wanted to reach out to people, we were right in front of him. I wish he did," Neu said.

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