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What Michael Imperioli Has Been Doing Since The Sopranos Ended

His character may have been killed off at the end of The Sopranos, but Michael Imperioli has continued to find work in the years since the show's finale.

The son of two amateur actors, Imperioli has appeared in television and film since the late 1980s. He spent the better part of a decade building a solid career as a character actor in supporting roles — showing up in films like Goodfellas, The Basketball Diaries, and Clockers, as well as making appearances on shows like NYPD Blue and Law & Order

Imperioli hit the big time in 1999, when The Sopranos began airing on HBO. Playing Christopher Moltisanti, the protégé to Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and an eventual caporegime in the Soprano crime family, Imperioli won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2004. He's spent years since the show ended in 2007 trying to find that outrageous level of success yet again.

Imperioli has appeared in more than 15 movies in the time since his Sopranos character was unceremoniously bumped off, showing up in the Academy Award-nominated 2009 adaptation of best-selling novel The Lovely Bones and in Spike Lee's 2013 remake of the South Korean action-drama Oldboy

While he has popped up in quite a few films, it's clear that the small screen is where Imperioli makes his bread and butter. Starting in 2008, Imperioli began playing Detective Ray Carling on the short-lived ABC sci-fi police drama Life on Mars. The show was well-received by critics but didn't stick around the small screen for long, though Imperioli soon bounced back by booking the lead role on another police procedural, Detroit 1-8-7. Starring as Detective Louis Fitch on Detroit 1-8-7, Imperioli had his shot to lead a primetime drama for the first time in his career. Sadly, that opportunity was over shortly after it began: ABC pulled the plug on the show after just 18 episodes. 

Though he has yet to find as steady a gig as The Sopranos, Imperioli keeps landing work — playing Rick Rath on 11 episodes of the cult Showtime hit Californication, and being part of the regular cast on failed shows Mad Dogs and the Zach Braff-starring Alex, Inc. Never one to stay down for long, the actor continues hunting for that next steady gig, with his latest role being a — wait for it — detective on the upcoming 2020 NBC drama Lincoln, which is based on Jeffery Deaver's Bone Collector series of novels. Perhaps Lincoln will be the show Imperioli can call home for more than a year. We'll just have to wait and see.