Carmine Lupertazzi Sr, played by Tony Lip, was an old school mafioso of Corrado "Junior" Soprano's generation. He kept a low-profile for most of his criminal career while operating out of his social clubs and restaurants. Carmine was arrested and acquitted of labor racketeering charges sometime during the 1970s or 1980s. It was around this time that Carmine's longtime Consigliere, Angelo "Angie" Garepe and longtime Lupertazzi family captain Philip "Phil" Leotardo were convicted of various charges and sent to prison for 20 years. During Carmine's tenure, the New York organization maintained close ties to New Jersey's DiMeo/Soprano crime family.
Carmine was highly intelligent, calm and an opportunist, even in his old age. Despite being a loving father and grandfather, grooming his own son, namesake "Little" Carmine Lupertazzi, by making him a capo in the crime family that bears his name, he remained foremost a ruthless mobster, making threats and ordering murders. He had a sometimes contentious relationship with his Underboss, John "Johnny Sack" Sacramoni: during different episodes in the fourth season, Johnny and Carmine each authorized Tony Soprano to put a "hit" on the other, although in neither case was the killing actually carried out.
In 2004, Carmine's health began to fail and he suffered a stroke. After some time comatose in the hospital, Lupertazzi died, leaving a large power vacuum in the Lupertazzi crime family. The heir apparent for his position was his son, Little Carmine, a fact that became a point of consternation for Johnny Sack, who also sought the position Carmine left behind.
Carmine once told Tony Soprano that "a Don doesn't wear shorts", considering it undignified. Though he regarded Tony and the entire New Jersey crime family as nothing more than a "glorified crew", Lupertazzi did show some respect for Tony, at one time saying he would be proud to call Tony his own son. This was most evident when he showed genuine concern for Tony's health after hearing rumors that he was seeing a psychiatrist and having panic attacks.
In the episode "Rat Pack", Tony sits with Junior and makes conversations with both Robert "Bobby Bacala" Baccalieri and Michele "Feech" La Manna, when they suddenly are called up with the information that Carmine has passed during the night. As Bobby sees Carmine as a great man, he also shares that Carmine was the one who invented "point shaving", a way to cheat the points on basketball games and make huge profits on it. This is also confirmed by Junior, who replies that no one had beaten them after the "spread", and that he had bought a black Fleetwood. Junior must also have been in on the plot.
- Some people might get Carmine confused with the similarly looking Raymond Curto.