This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (April 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Janice Soprano Baccalieri, played by Aida Turturro, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. She is Tony Soprano's elder sister. A young Janice has appeared in flashbacks, played by Madeline Blue and Juliet Fox.
Aida Turturro as Janice Soprano
|First appearance||"Down Neck" (episode 1.07; appeared as a child)|
|Last appearance||"Made in America" (episode 6.21)|
|Created by||David Chase|
|Portrayed by||Aida Turturro|
|Occupation||barista, furniture mover, musician, employee at Kenny Rogers Roasters, housewife|
|Family||Johnny Soprano (father)|
Livia Soprano (mother)
Tony Soprano (brother)
Barbara Soprano Giglione (sister)
Carmela Soprano (sister-in-law)
Anthony Soprano, Jr. (nephew)
Meadow Soprano (niece)
Junior Soprano (uncle)
Bobby Baccalieri Sr. (father-in-law)
|Spouse||Eugène (1st husband) |
Richie Aprile (ex-fiancee)
Ralph Cifaretto (ex-boyfriend)
Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri (2nd husband)
|Children||Harpo (son) |
Domenica Baccalieri (daughter)
Bobby Baccalieri III (step-son)
Sophia Baccalieri (step-daughter)
As the oldest child of mobster Johnny Boy Soprano and Livia Soprano in a household financed by crime, Janice grew complacent of her family's criminal ties. For example, "Johnny Boy" took Janice to an amusement park where other mobsters and their daughters were. The mobsters used this as a cover to conduct criminal activities until they eventually get busted (and Janice witnesses a cop shoot a mobster). Both her brother and uncle recall times when even as a child, Janice had a very callous nature. At ten years old she is suspected of stealing money from Junior Soprano's wallet after visiting the Soprano home. She also had a rebellious side and as an adult, she gets a Rolling Stones tattoo on her breast and is placed on an Unwanted Persons list by Canada, which she was permanently banned from entering. While working at Kenny Rogers Roasters she once waited on NFL player Barry Sanders.
After graduating Sacred Heart High School (New Jersey), Janice joined an ashram in Venice, Los Angeles, legally changing her name to "Parvati Wasatch" in 1978. "Parvati" also traveled across Europe staying in Paris, France and Sri Lanka, married a French-Canadian Quebecer named Eugene, with whom she had a son named Harpo ("Hal") born in Seattle, Washington named after the song "Harpo's Blues" by Phoebe Snow. His father later took him back to Montreal and Janice states that she tried to petition the State Department to have him returned to her, but was unsuccessful. She worked as a furniture mover, and worked at an espresso bar in Olympia, Washington before finally moving back to New Jersey permanently. She is given a full disability pension. Since moving back home, she gradually refashions herself from an aging rebel to an upscale, materialistic, North Jersey Italian housewife.
Janice is also a chronic malingerer. Described by her sister-in-law, Carmela, "she has no work ethic". Janice claimed she developed carpal tunnel syndrome while operating the steamed milk machine at a Seattle espresso bar, in order to claim disability benefits. She conveniently claimed she had the Epstein–Barr virus to justify sleeping, as an escape from performing her duties as a wife and stepmother. She also took out a home equity loan on Livia Soprano's house, claiming to use the money to help finance care for her ailing mother.
Her relationship with Tony is often strained, as he still holds her responsible for abandoning the family and leaving him to deal with their abusive mother alone.
In season two, Janice returns to Newark, New Jersey, ostensibly to take care of her sick mother. Her high school boyfriend, Richie Aprile, is a DiMeo crime family Capo who is released from prison around the same time. When Tony and Richie begin feuding, Janice exacerbates the situation by telling Richie that he is being unfairly treated and even suggests making a move against Tony. Richie is initially reluctant to do so. Richie is causing problems for Tony that are only made more complicated by his engagement to Janice. Tony is unhappy with the engagement, and both Janice and Richie flaunt their status to Tony by planning an extravagant wedding and putting an offer on an expensive house in Short Hills, New Jersey despite him still having a no-show job working as a fishmonger.
Tony orders Richie killed after Uncle Junior had informed him of Richie's plan to "move against him". However, after an incident of domestic violence in which Richie punches her in the face, Janice shoots and kills Richie and calls on her brother to dispose of the body. She then moves back to Seattle and becomes briefly engaged to a 19-year-old.
In season three, Janice again returns to New Jersey following the death of her mother. After Livia's death, Janice becomes obsessed with acquiring her mother's valuable record collection, which Livia gave to her nurse, Svetlana, shortly before her death. Janice, feeling that she should rightfully have the records, absconds with Svetlana's prosthetic leg. She tells Svetlana that the leg would not be returned until she received the records. Svetlana, however, has friends connected with the Russian Mafia physically assault Janice until she reveals the location of the leg. Tony visits her at the hospital and angrily tells her that since she had been assaulted, he is now forced to retaliate and risk facing a war with the Russians or else lose respect. Bewildered by the sudden turn in her fortunes, she briefly becomes a born-again Christian. Janice's next phase is marked by a brief interest in a Christian music career, as well as an equally brief live-in relationship with narcoleptic boyfriend, Aaron Arkaway.
After the death of Jackie Aprile, Jr., Janice embarks on a clandestine relationship with Ralph Cifaretto in season four who is in a relationship with Jackie's mother, Rosalie Aprile. With the help of her feminist therapist, Janice soon reaches the conclusion that her affair with Ralph is a mistake, and after Ralph happily tells her that he is no longer seeing Rosalie Aprile and plans to move in with her; Janice responds by flying into a rage, pushing him down a flight of stairs and screaming at him to leave. Sometime later, Tony asks Janice about Ralph's bizarre sexual fetishes, of which he had recently become aware. She refuses to tell him anything at first, ostensibly to protect Ralph's privacy. When Tony offers her money, however, she immediately tells him everything he wants to know.
Following Ralph's disappearance, Janice sets her sights on the newly widowed Bobby Baccalieri, another of Tony's caporegimes, whose fidelity to his wife while she was alive, and obvious adoration of her after her death, makes him especially appealing. Initially, Janice serves Bobby's dinners (sometimes claiming other women's plates as her own) and informally dates him. Frustrated with Bobby's refusal to commit, she sends Bobby's children instant messages via her Mac, choosing a user name that appeared satanic, and indicating that she was watching them by referring to objects in their living room (which she could see from her window). This ploy scares them badly, in response to which she subsequently rushed over to help comfort them and curry favor with their bewildered father. Although mainly acting out of her desires, she does help Bobby by pushing him to do a task for her uncle Junior that he has been putting off due to grief. She also attends her uncle's racketeering trial and assists Bobby with taking care of Junior.
By the beginning of season five, Janice and Bobby are married. She is shown having a difficult relationship with her stepchildren. She attacks a soccer player's mother at Sophia's Peewee soccer match and injures her badly enough to require hospitalization, garnering her an assault charge and, to Tony's displeasure, unwanted TV news coverage mentioning his name and line of work. Bobby also insists that she attend anger management counseling. While it briefly has the desired effect, Tony, in doubt and jealous of Janice's new found peace of mind, intentionally provokes her with insults over her missing son, sending her once again into an angry rage.
By season six, Janice and Bobby have a baby girl together, Domenica. Janice encourages Tony to officially let Bobby take over Junior's old crew which causes the two to have an angry argument. One day when neither Janice or Bobby can look after a mentally-declining Junior, Tony angrily volunteers. Confusing Tony for an associate he ordered murdered years ago, he shoots Tony in the gut. Janice visits an unconscious Tony at the hospital, but instantly breaks down when seeing Tony's physical state. In the episode "Moe n' Joe", Janice is seen as a commanding force in the household, setting boundaries for both Bobby Jr and Bobby Sr. Janice confronts Tony about his treatment of Bobby, and Tony refuses to say what the siblings both knew: Tony blames Bobby (and Janice, to some extent) for his near-fatal shooting by Junior.
He angrily confides to Dr. Melfi that Janice "gets nothing" because she didn't have the scars he did from having to deal with and take care of their mother alone while Janice left New Jersey as soon as she graduated high school. Later in the episode, Tony lets go of his hostility and compensates Janice and Bobby by convincing an imprisoned John Sacrimoni to sell them his large house at half price. Tony also grows closer to Bobby, with Tony entrusting him with more responsibility and Bobby becoming a trusted money maker as a result.
Janice and Bobby inherit the late Bobby, Sr.'s cottage in northern New York state, to which they invite Tony and Carmela for Tony's 47th birthday. At the party, Janice gives Tony a gift of Soprano family home videos and tells Carmela an anecdote that embarrasses Tony when it is raised again during a heated, drunken game of Monopoly: Janice and Tony's father once angrily shot a bullet through Livia's beehive hairdo. Bobby later loses his temper and punches Tony in the face after Tony makes offensive remarks about Janice, leading to a fight which Bobby wins (much to Tony's chagrin). As revenge, Tony orders Bobby, who has never killed anyone, to go to Canada and carry out a contract killing. Defending Janice's honor increases Tony's regard for Bobby, as he is soon elevated into Tony's inner circle (largely displacing Christopher Moltisanti).
Janice suggests to Tony that he help pay to keep Uncle Junior — whose money has run out — in a private care facility, but is rebuffed by Tony, who makes it clear Junior is dead to him. Angered by Janice and Bobby's perceived disloyalty, Tony tells her that he is also going to exile Bobby from his life, although this is just an empty threat.
Soon after that conversation, Janice becomes a widow; Bobby is murdered by two of Phil Leotardo's hit men while buying a model train in a hobby store. Tony visits her afterwards, and after a brief conversation assures her that he is there for her if she needs him. Bobby III and Sophia's paternal grandmother wants to raise them, while Janice wants to keep them with her and Domenica. Their fate remains unknown, although the two have previously shown contempt for Janice.
Janice's other focus seems to be on whatever assets she might receive such as those from Uncle Junior, prompting Tony to make a deal with "Uncle Pat" ensuring Junior's estate will go into a trust that will benefit Bobby's children and not Janice. Tony also extracts a promise from Phil Leotardo's men to pay a settlement to Janice, after Phil's vendetta against Tony led to Bobby's murder.