Giacomo "Jackie" Aprile, Sr., played by Michael Rispoli, was a fictional character on the HBO original series The Sopranos. He was the first Acting boss of the DiMeo Crime Family, after longtime reputed Boss Ercole DiMeo was sent to prison in 1995. He is based on DeCavalcante crime family acting mob boss Frank Amari.
According to Sopranos; A Family History, Giacomo Michael Aprile, Sr. was born in 1955, was a close friend and contemporary of Tony Soprano and they came up through the ranks of the DiMeo Crime Family together. Jackie's older brother, Richie Aprile, also stepped up in the same crime family. Jackie was also the brother of Liz La Cerva and uncle of Adriana La Cerva. Jackie and Tony, along with Silvio Dante and Ralph Cifaretto, were in a minor-league crew as kids. Around this time, Jackie had the idea to rob a card game held by then-capo Feech La Manna and, in Ralph's words, "step up to the A-league." Ralph contracted gonorrhea and was unable to rob the card game, however, Tony, Jackie and Silvio took it down. Although they had to give back some of the money, Tony, Jackie and Silvio were on the fast track to being made men.
Jackie's star rose considerably in the intervening years, during which he started a family. He married Rosalie Aprile, and they had three children together. Jackie never wanted his son Jackie Aprile, Jr. to get involved in his father's business, despite his success. At some point Jackie served time in jail in Lewisberg with the later identifyed informant Fabian "Febby" Petrullio. Tony said he did 'a couple of counts' in jail, suggesting it wasn't a very long sentence. He was considered to be an all-powerful figure in the crime family, as well in the mid-1990s, Jackie's success continued as he assumed more and more responsibilities as Acting boss while Ercole 'Eckley' DiMeo went on trial, becoming boss in all but name by 1995. This greatly aggrieved Corrado Soprano, who had believed with his brother Johnny dead and DiMeo on trial, that he would become Boss. Known as a well-respected leader of the family, people say that his reign over the DiMeo Family was peaceful. In 1997, upon DiMeo's conviction and sentencing of life imprisonment, Jackie became the official recognized Boss of the DiMeo family.
However, by 1999 (season one of The Sopranos) he had contracted intestinal cancer and was clearly fading fast. He made Tony his street boss so he could collect for him. In "46 Long" Jackie mediated a dispute between Tony and Junior. By "Denial, Anger, Acceptance" he was admitted to hospital and the crew visited him there. Gradually, Tony Soprano gained more control over the DiMeo family as Jackie's condition worsened. Tony brought a dancer from the Bada Bing! club to entertain Jackie in his hospital bed. Tony later made a promise to him that he would keep his only son Jackie Aprile, Jr. out of the family business. Jackie died of cancer in 1999. A war between Junior Soprano and his nephew Tony Soprano was anticipated, but right after Jackie's death, Tony met with his uncle and "let" him become Acting Boss. However, since Eckley DiMeo and Jackie Aprile had Tony picked to be Acting Boss, and the captains Raymond "Buffalo Ray" Curto, Lawrence "Larry Boy" Barese and Jimmy Altieri wanted Tony to be their leader, Junior was actually the Boss only in name, as Tony was the one who actually ran things.
It is thought that Jackie Aprile Sr. is loosely based on real New Jersey mobster and Acting Boss Giacomo "Jake" Amari, who died also of cancer and whose death similarly sparked a power struggle within the DeCavalcante crime family.