Christopher Moltisanti was born to Dickie Moltisanti, a soldier in the Soprano crew of the DiMeo Crime Family, and JoAnne Blundetto. Chris was a first cousin once removed to Carmela Soprano and a second cousin to Meadow Soprano and Anthony Soprano, Jr. Tony Soprano affectionately considered Christopher a nephew (they had a cousin in common growing up), and had looked out for him over the years, as Christopher never had a father figure growing up (his actual father, Dickie, was killed when Christopher was very young). Moltisanti was engaged to Adriana La Cerva before her murder. He may be based on Philadelphia mobster Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr.
Moltisanti shared very little of his uncle's internal conflicts regarding his life of crime. He was very loyal to his uncle—whom he once called "the man I'm going to Hell for"—and Soprano trusted him more than anyone else in the organization. Tony entrusted him with some sensitive jobs, including disposing the bodies of rival capos Richie Aprile and Ralph Cifaretto. Moltisanti acted as Tony's sounding board, issuing Tony's orders in order to protect Tony from potential racketeering charges. Tony was planning on making Moltisanti his successor.
Moltisanti had his share of problems, however; he was prone to violent and impulsive behavior, and had been distracted at times by lofty pursuits such as screenwriting, for which he displayed no talent. Some members of the crime family appeared to be jealous of his closeness to his uncle. In particular, his fast ascendance had led to friction between him and fellow mobsters Silvio Dante, Patsy Parisi and Paulie Gualtieri. He also had problems with drug use, eventually becoming addicted to heroin and being forced into rehab by his family (particularly his uncle), friends, and his fiancée, Adriana. His resolve was tested but he has kept clean, except for a few lapses. He also had, in the past, provided Tony's daughter with speed, when she requested some in order to study for an exam (his reasoning behind this was that if he refused, she would go elsewhere to a less reputable dealer and possibly be harmed). Moltisanti also loved expensive cars, having owned a Lexus LS400, Mercedes CLK 430, Land Rover Range Rover, Hummer H2, Johnny Sack's Maserati Coupé (which Sack sold after he was arrested), and died in a Cadillac Escalade EXT.
Tony and Carmela Soprano were connected to Christopher via two separate family relationships:
Chris's late father, Dickie Moltisanti, was Carmela's first cousin; Dickie's mother and Carmela's father were siblings. This makes Chris Carmela's first cousin once removed.
Chris's alcoholic mother, Joanne, whose maiden name is Blundetto is a sister to Al Blundetto; Al Blundetto's wife Quintina is Tony Soprano's mother Livia Soprano's sister. Thus Al and his wife Quintina Blundetto are Tony Blundetto's parents and are uncle and aunt to both Tony Soprano and Christopher Moltisanti. In other words Tony Soprano and Christopher are both first cousins to Tony Blundetto, but not to one another. However, Adriana once mentioned that Chris and Tony do have a distant blood relation.
Dickie Moltisanti was a soldier in "Johnny Boy" Soprano's crew and was very close to Tony Soprano. Tony reminisces that Dickie was like a big brother to him and so when Dickie died when Chris was still young Tony looked out for him affectionately referring to him as his nephew because his dad was like a brother to him.
Christopher Moltisanti's main goal in joining the mafia was to get noticed and to rise up through the ranks; he was overjoyed when he found his name printed in a local newspaper alongside other mobsters. He was Tony's driver initially, and helped him as an enforcer. He "made his bones" killing Emil Kolar in order to settle a dispute the family was having over the Triborough Towers garbage routes. He initially planned to place the body in a Kolar Bros. dumpster to send a warning, à la Luca Brasi from The Godfather. "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero convinced him to put it elsewhere as the mystery would be more effective and bring less heat to the crew. Moltisanti later complained that he did not receive enough recognition for his resolution of this problem. This murder haunted his dreams, and he has gone so far as to dig up and move Kolar's corpse.
Christopher Moltisanti's legitimate job at the time was a Union Safety Official position in a local union that Tony got for him in order to keep the IRS off his financial history.
Another notable instance of Moltisanti's early criminal activity with the Soprano crew is his hijacking of Comley trucks with his friend Brendan Filone. These trucks were under the protection of Junior Soprano, and the hijacking prompted Junior to request a sit-down and demand compensation. The late Acting Boss Jackie Aprile Sr. ruled that that Moltisanti and Filone make restitution to Junior and leave Comley trucks alone. The two reluctantly complied and paid the $15,000 tribute to Junior, although Tony did take his cut, somewhere around $3,000. At a club with their girlfriends, Chris and Brendan planned another heist while high on crystal meth. However, on the night of the job, Christopher backed down because he had decided to throw his loyalty wholly in with Soprano and his crew. Brendan went through with the hijacking with two others, but it went sour and Brendan's associate dropped his firearm, causing it to fire and strike the driver, killing him. Brendan contacted Christopher for help. Christopher was reprimanded by Soprano for not using his leadership to prevent Brendan from undertaking the job. The pair were ordered to return the truck to Comley and they complied. Christopher was also extorting drug dealers for 10 percent of their income before Junior Soprano's crew took over his collections.
Junior was angered that his authority was flouted, however, and organized a mock execution for Moltisanti. Soprano's mother, Livia, held Moltisanti in high regard because he had once put up her storm windows, and this affection may have saved him from a worse fate. He was abducted from a hot dog stand and driven out to the New Jersey Meadowlands by two Eastern European thugs where they performed Junior's orders. Moltisanti was so terrified he lost control of his bowels. The less fortunate Brendan was shot in the eye by Mikey Palmice while in his bathtub. Later in the season Moltisanti confronted and killed Palmice under Tony's orders.
Christopher also assisted in the murder of Jimmy Altieri by luring him to a hotel room where he was shot by Silvio Dante.
Moltisanti was put in charge of the family's Webistics pump and dump stock scam. He received his stock broker licence by having someone take the exam in his name. Matthew Bevilaqua and Sean Gismonte were his subordinates in this operation. He also used them to break a number of bank safes to supplement his income. They betrayed him, however, attempting to kill him to get recognition and speed their promotion. While leaving the Skyways Diner, Moltisanti was shot by his two associates in a drive by. They crashed their car, however, and Moltisanti instead shot Sean through the head, killing him instantly. Matt ran away unscathed.
Moltisanti had to have his spleen removed and went through a traumatic recovery process with Adriana by his side. Soprano's ire at the shooters was such that he killed Matt personally. Moltisanti later told the crew that he had seen himself in either hell or purgatory after being shot and warned them that Brendan Filone and Mikey Palmice told him that three o'clock would be a significant time in their future.
Following the death of Richie Aprile, Soprano called Moltisanti and Furio Giunta to dispose of his body; they used Satriale's butchery facilities to dismember the corpse. At Meadow Soprano's graduation, Tony proposed Christopher for membership (becoming a made man).
Moltisanti became a made man in 2001 alongside Eugene Pontecorvo. He noticed a crow on the windowsill at the ceremony and took this as a bad omen. As the newest member of the Family, Moltisanti got control of a betting shop and was charged with a minimum weekly dues payment to his capo: Paulie Gualtieri. Friction was created early on between Chris and Paulie. Chris was short on payments he was suppose to kick up to Paulie and Paulie would humiliate Chris by checking him for wires and taking advantage of Chris being a lower level mobster having to pay for meals. This created a gradually building tension between the two that peaked during the Pine Barrens incident. They later agreed that to bury the hatchet due to their mutual friendship for each other. Moltisanti's other early work involved robbing a charity concert at Rutgers, and working with Jackie Aprile, Jr. and his friend Benny Fazio, who was just out of prison, He also opened the Crazy Horse Nightclub in Long Branch, New Jersey with Furio Giunta as a partner.
He and Paulie Walnuts finally resolved their issues while stranded in the Pine Barrens. They had been tasked with making Silvio's collections while he was ill, and Paulie's temper had gotten them into a fight with a Russian named Valery. Believing they had killed Valery, they drove him out to the Pine Barrens. When they opened the trunk of their car, however, they found him still alive. Paulie made Valery dig his own grave, but he escaped by hitting Moltisanti with the spade and running away. The two mobsters pursued him, but became hopelessly lost and were stranded overnight in a broken down vehicle in the dead of winter. They almost came to blows, but resolved to trust one another. They were rescued the next day by Soprano and Bobby Baccalieri.
Moltisanti was present when Jackie Aprile, Jr. and friends tried to rob a card game run by Pontecorvo. Moltisanti and Acting Capo Albert Barese killed Aprile's friend Dino Zerrilli as he tried to escape. A contract was put on Aprile and he was eventually found in the Boonton Projects. Vito Spatafore shot Aprile in the head ending his life. At Aprile's funeral Christopher was arrested on a gambling charge along with Patsy Parisi and Silvio Dante only to get released a couple hours later.
Soprano made Moltisanti his main contact in his criminal dealings to insulate himself from prosecution. He then bonded his nephew to him by having him murder Lt. Det. Barry Haydu. He told Moltisanti that Haydu had murdered his father, and gave him the detective's address. Moltisanti surprised Haydu in his home and restrained him in order to question him. Haydu denied any guilt, but Moltisanti killed him anyway.
He was made acting capo of his crew when Gualtieri was imprisoned on a gun charge and was awarded a no-show job at the Esplanade construction site. His promotion irked Parisi, who had seniority. The two came to blows over Parisi's continued theft from the construction site, despite orders from Soprano. Silvio was actually the guiding force behind Parisi's actions, as he was also jealous of Moltisanti's promotion. Moltisanti was also entrusted with traveling to meet an aging family of hitmen with Silvio while organizing a hit on Johnny Sack. When Sack resolved his dispute with Ralphie, the hit was called off.
Moltisanti's drug use spiraled out of control following his temporary promotion. When Soprano called upon him to dispose of Ralphie's body, Soprano realized that Moltisanti was high. Although they were able to successfully conceal the body, Soprano decided his nephew needed help. Later, Moltisanti was car jacked by a Latino gang while trying to buy heroin. After Moltisanti physically abused Adriana, Soprano organised an intervention. When Soprano learned that Moltisanti had accidentally killed Adriana's dog, Cosette, by sitting on it when high, he became very angry. He insisted Moltisanti go into rehab and assigned Patsy to guard him.
Following Moltisanti's successful rehabilitation, Soprano entrusted him with the planned hit on Carmine Lupertazzi; Moltisanti contracted the job out to Credenzo Curtis and Stanley Johnson, some associates from the days of his heroin usage. When the job was called off and Soprano urged him to make sure it couldn't be traced to them, Moltisanti had Benny and Peter "Bissell" De La Rosa murder the hired help while he stood by.
Moltisanti got into an argument with Paulie Walnuts while hanging out telling past stories including the Pine Barrens tale. Paulie called Chris "Tony's Little Favorite." They later agreed to stop fighting before things got out of control.
Moltisanti was put in charge of a cigarette smuggling operation. Moltisanti was partnered with Paulie and told to split the difference. While Moltisanti was travelling to North Carolina to pick up some cigarettes, Tony and Adriana were involved in a car accident, and rumors began to spread about how the crash had been caused by Adriana performing oral sex on Tony. Moltisanti found out, got drunk, started a fight with Vito Spatafore and pulled a gun on Tony in the Bada Bing. Following this incident, Tony was ready to kill Moltisanti when their cousin Tony Blundetto stepped in and saved his life. Blundetto arranged a meeting with the doctor who treated Tony and Adriana following the crash to explain that both passengers must have been upright and in their seatbelts when it occurred. Moltisanti reconciled with both Spatafore and Tony.
Moltisanti later travelled to his uncle Pat Blundetto's farm alongside Soprano and Tony Blundetto. They helped Pat move bodies hidden on the farm as Pat was planning to move away. While there, Moltisanti recalled being bullied by the two Tonys and their behavior seemed to repeat itself when they ribbed him over his addiction problems.
Throughout this time, Moltisanti maintained a turbulent and sometimes violent relationship with Adriana. He indulged her aspirations for a career in the music business by allowing her to produce a demo and later giving her a club to run. They became engaged before his drug addiction forced him into rehab. Years later, however, after he learned that Adriana was reluctantly providing information to the FBI, he turned to Soprano rather than accept her plea to join her as a government informant. He relayed the news at a difficult meeting in Soprano's basement. Soprano's immediate reaction was to check him for a wire. Soprano then deceived Adriana by convincing her that Moltisanti had attempted suicide and that he was sending Silvio Dante to transport her to the hospital, only for her to be driven into the woods and executed. Moltisanti later relapsed into heroin use and wept to his uncle out of grief for Adriana.
Blundetto almost started a war with the Lupertazzi crime family by killing Phil Leotardo's brother Billy. Following this Tony had Moltisanti go into hiding because he feared Leotardo might seek revenge on Blundetto's family. Eventually Tony was forced to kill Blundetto himself.
Moltisanti was promoted to capo in the DiMeo Family sometime between 2004 and 2006, in keeping with Tony's longterm plan to raise his nephew through the ranks until he is his sole contact to the rest of the family, through which all orders are issued, and eventually boss of the family. He used Moltisanti to organize the sensitive hit on Rusty Millio. He initially questioned Soprano's decision to contract the job out to their friends in Naples, but later decided it was a smart move. He used his Italian speaking associate Corky Caporale to communicate with the hitmen and provide them with weapons and instructions, while paying him off with heroin. Moltisanti's readiness for the responsibility of leading his own crew is unclear as he has been distracted by the lure of a Hollywood career, relapsed into drug use, and displayed unresolved feelings over his murdered fiancée.
Moltisanti's crew got involved in a credit card fraud scam; taking numbers from local businesses and selling them on to associates Ahmed and Muhammad. He has wondered about whether his business associates have links to terrorism. The use of numbers from Nuovo Vesuvio led to a violent dispute between his longtime associate Benny Fazio and Soprano's friend Artie Bucco. Soprano blamed Moltisanti's trip to Los Angeles for the dispute not being settled quickly.
Moltisanti married Kelli Lombardo in 2006 after learning that she was pregnant with his child. They made an offer on a new home together. He had a belated bachelor party with the Soprano crime family at Nuovo Vesuvio where "Larry Boy" Barese made a toast to his future. When he later delivered Corky's final payment, including more heroin, however, he watched his friend inject the drug and could not resist following suit. He spent the night at the Feast of St. Elzear festival with a stray dog.
Moltisanti took a road trip to Pennsylvania with Soprano just prior to the feast. On their way home they spotted some bikers robbing a strip mall and took part of the haul for themselves. This led to a firefight in which Moltisanti shot one of the bikers as Soprano drove away. Later, the two got drunk on the wine they had stolen, and Moltisanti recalled telling Soprano of Adriana's treachery. The two expressed their love for and loyalty to each other — though when the two later tried to recreate their camaraderie sober, it fell flat and ended in an awkward silence. Months later, Moltisanti was back in AA meetings.
Christopher premiered his film Cleaver in 2007 at a private screening with other Soprano family members and friends and is looking to have it distributed nationwide. He also seems to be distancing himself from the criminal lifestyle and staying away from the Bada Bing strip club where he might go back into drug and alcohol use. When he relapsed to drinking after yet another confrontation with Paulie Walnuts, he became very angry with the crew and left. He later ended up at the home of his "friend" J.T. Dolan, looking for someone to talk to. When that didn't work out, he shot Dolan in the head and left, adding to his murder count.
Christopher had a daughter with his wife Kelli.
Christopher was killed by Tony in the episode "Kennedy and Heidi". The two were injured in a severe car accident while driving back from a meeting with Phil Leotardo and the New York crew. The song he listens to before the accident is "Comfortably Numb," performed live by Roger Waters, Van Morrison and The Band. The song describes the lifeless feeling achieved while taking Illegal substances; Christopher has a substance abuse problem himself. Christopher lost control of his Escalade EXT, nearly side-swiped an oncoming car, ran off the road, and rolled several times before coming to a stop in a ditch. Christopher was not wearing a seat belt and the crash led to severe internal injuries, as evidenced by the blood he was coughing up. Christopher then pleaded with Tony to help him avoid getting in trouble for driving under the influence, mumbling about drug tests. Tony stumbled out of the car to help Chris after noticing that a branch had impaled the baby seat in the back where Chris' daughter could have been sitting. Chris' ongoing irresponsibility and increasing fears that he would turn State's witness infuriated Tony, leading him to make an impulsive executive decision. Instead of calling for help, Tony suffocated his nephew by pinching his nostrils shut, leading Christopher to choke to death on his own blood. Whether or not Christopher would have survived if Tony had called for help is unknown, although it is mentioned in the episode that "the doctors said he could have made it…but he didn't". Throughout the remainder of the episode, Tony displayed the proper decorum for the family in mourning, yet could barely restrain his jubilation that he was finally free of the burden Christopher had placed upon him for so long. In the final episodes of the series, Christopher is shown through an old picture of him hung in the meat store to honor him. A cat brought back from the hideout in which the crew was hiding would spend its time staring at the photo.
Because of his close relationship with Tony, he is the only one who knows what really happened to Ralph Cifaretto; he is also one of the few to know Richie Aprile was murdered by Janice Soprano and his former fiancee Adriana La Cerva was shot by Silvio Dante.