Benito "Benny" Fazio, Jr., played by Max Casella, is a fictional character on the HBO television series The Sopranos. Initially an associate of Christopher Moltisanti, Benny began working for the Soprano crime family with Chris under Capo Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri and continued to work for Chris after the latter's elevation to Caporegime of the old Soprano crew. He is a made man, and his rank is "Soldier". Where Benny lacks in stature, he makes up for in tenacity and cunning.
Benny debuted in the third episode of Season 3 (2001), with his release from county jail and renewed association with friend Christopher Moltisanti. Benny belongs to the crew run by Paulie Gualtieri and later Moltisanti. He began working for Christopher just after Christopher became a made man and they quickly became close comrades. Benny's star began to rise due to his association with Christopher, as well as the fact that he is the godson of DiMeo capo Larry Boy Barese.
In 2001, Benny and Chris often hung out at the "Ooh-Fa Pizzeria" until Chris decided it was beneath his status as a made man. This brought them into contact with Jackie Aprile, Jr. and his friend, Dino Zerilli. Jackie informed them of an opportunity to rob a charity Jewel concert at Rutgers University. Benny accompanied Chris when he robbed the concert and fired at a security guard that caught the robbery in progress; no one was hurt and Chris and Benny made a clean escape with Jackie driving.
In 2002 (Season 4), Benny was awarded one of the "no-work" carpenter jobs at the esplanade construction site and was often found there following this. He was assigned the important task of killing two would-be assassins contracted by Tony to whack New York boss Carmine Lupertazzi after the hit was called off. Benny and Petey LaRosa ambushed and killed the hitmen - two black heroin dealers (Credenzo Curtis and Stanley Johnson) - who were set up by Christopher Moltisanti.
Over time, Benny became a trusted associate and came to be known by boss Tony Soprano, acting both as a driver and as a guard of his house during his separation with Carmela. Benny also worked with Christopher as part of Tony's scheme to get Feech La Manna sent back to prison — they pretended to mention a truck of stolen electronics only in passing, but knew Feech would want to get involved. He did, and stored the truck in his garage, but his new, by-the-book parole officer had been tipped off and came to investigate.
However, in late 2004, Benny was seriously beaten by New York capo Phil Leotardo. The crisis brought on by Tony Blundetto was reaching a head and Phil severely beat Benny to send a message to Tony. Phil knew of Benny's friendship with Chris and position as driver to Tony; Phil and Benny had been present together at meetings between Tony and Johnny Sack. Tony, feeling guilty about Benny's fractured skull, offered to give Benny his button when he recovered, as a consolation, meaning he would become a made man.
By 2006, Benny appeared to have recovered from the attack fully. His responsibilities included driving acting boss Silvio Dante while Tony was in the ICU, guarding Tony's ICU room and chasing down Vito Spatafore to his comare's beach house following the revelation that he was homosexual. Benny took the duty seriously and the slight personally, warning Vito to never come back as he sped away. Benny was partnered with Patsy Parisi in a business relationship with Angie Bonpensiero and was responsible for assisting her auto body shop business and handling money she invested in loan sharking.
It was revealed that Benny is married to Jen Fazio with a son on the way. However, Benny began an affair with Martina, the newest hostess at Nuovo Vesuvio's, much to the irritation of owner and head chef Artie Bucco who had his eyes on her.
Benny was involved in Chris' credit card fraud scheme with Mohammed and Ahmed, using his relationship with Martina to get account numbers used at Nuovo Vesuvio and selling them on through Soprano crew associate James "Murmur" Zancone. Benny was also responsible for paying Chris' tribute to Tony while Chris visited L.A. Tony had Benny deliver the money straight to Artie to cover his tab at Artie's restaurant, ironically paying Artie back with money drained from his own business.
American Express investigated Vesuvio's role in the credit card fraud and pulls his ability to accept their cards, prompting Artie to identify Martina as the criminal in his staff. Artie confronted Benny at his home; the scuffle that followed sent Benny to the hospital. Despite orders from Tony to make peace with Artie, Benny later gets revenge after Artie insults him at a family dinner that Tony insisted he organize at Vesuvio. Benny was there to celebrate his parents' anniversary and Artie offers him a "Martina", saying it's an Albanian martini, adding that "...they go down real easy". Enraged, Benny follows Artie to the kitchen and holds his arm in a pot of boiling tomato sauce, burning him very badly, and also rams his head into the large metal counter. Benny later attended Chris' belated bachelor party, also at Nuovo Vesuvio which was hosted by Artie, but the two refrained from initiating further violence.
Benny was also able to exact some revenge for his beating by Phil Leotardo. Tony assigned Benny the task of watching Phil's wire room in Sheepshead Bay when the Soprano crew bombed it. Benny was pleased to report to Tony that Phil and his girlfriend arrived just before the explosion and was knocked down (but relatively unharmed) by the blast. By 2007, Benny was a made man making his own collections, with a rank of "Soldier".
Benny was later present at a card game where Little Paulie Germani is thrown out of a window by Christopher Moltisanti. Benny, shocked by what Chris has done, called an ambulance. He has also accompanied Paulie Gualtieri and Silvio to the Bada Bing and was in Atlantic City with Tony and crew while Tony gambled away a lot of money. After Chris's death in the episode "Kennedy and Heidi" Benny remarked he was out making his collections when he heard of the tragedy. Following Moltisanti's death, Benny is saddened, as the two were close, but consoled himself with the thought that Chris had persevered to battle his drug problem. Benny also helped guard Tony while he was on the lam from Phil Leotardo. Benny and several of Tony's other crew members were checking gas stations to find Phil Leotardo after receiving some intel from Agent Harris. Benny is last seen acting as the getaway driver when Walden Belfiore shot Phil Leotardo to death at a Raceway Gas Station.
Murders committed by FazioEdit
- Credenzo Curtis: order of Tony Soprano and Christopher Moltisanti. (2002)
- Stanley Johnson: order of Tony Soprano and Christopher Moltisanti. (2002)
- In season 5, he drives a Chevrolet Camaro which he crashes into the side of a building while trying to escape from Phil Leotardo. In season 6, he is shown to be driving a Chrysler 300.