Now here's a number that's hard to fuggedabout.
Character actor Frank Sivero, most recognizable from roles in "The Godfather Part 2," "Goodfellas" and "The Wedding Singer," has sued Fox Television Studios and parents company 21st Century Fox for $250 million, claiming that the character of wise guy Louie on "The Simpsons" is based on him—henceforth, he deserves several suitcases-full of cash for the use of his likeness. Seriously, that's a lot of simoleans.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by E! News, Sivero claims that he is the "originator of the idea and character of Louie," who is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and is part of mob boss Fat Tony's (Joe Mantegna) crew on the show.
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It's said in the complaint that Sivero used to live in an apartment complex with "Simpsons" writers back in 1989 and that executive producer James L. Brooks was "highly aware" of who he was and that he was in the process of developing his Frankie Carbone character for "Goodfellas." The Martin Scorsese-directed classic came out in 1990 and, a year later, Louie debuted on "The Simpsons" in an episode called "Bart the Murderer," per the suit. The character, which has sideburns and a head of coarse curly hair, went on to appear in 15 more episodes, the most recent being April 27, 2014.
"Louie's appearance and mannerisms are strongly evocative of character actor Frank Sivero...Also, according to Dan Castellaneta, he modeled his voice after Italian American actor Joe Pesci," the suit contends.
The lawsuit goes on to detail the cultural reach of "The Simpsons" beyond just the TV show–feature film, video games, merchandise, etc.–and claims that the title has grossed over $12 billion.
For his self-proclaimed role in the pop-culture phenomenon, Sivero's suit is demanding at least $250 million in damages for common law infringement of right of publicity, misappropriation of name and/or likeness, misappropriation of ideas, interference with prospective economic advantage and unjust enrichment.
Fox has not yet responded publicly to the suit.
While Louie is alive and kicking on "The Simpsons" for all intents and purposes, Sivero's Frankie Carbone was memorably found hanging from a meat hook in a freezer in "Goodfellas." The now 62-year-old actor also played Adam Sandler's brother-in-law in "The Wedding Singer" and had cameos in "Little Nicky," "The Aviator," "NYPD Blue" and more.