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‘GoodFellas’ actor sues Fox, saying he created a ‘Simpsons’ character

Actor Frank Sivero, shown in 1997, has filed a lawsuit claiming "The Simpsons" used his likeness for mobster character Louie without compensating him.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
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“The Simpsons” has had a hit put on its head in the form of a huge lawsuit.

“GoodFellas” actor Frank Sivero sued Fox Studios on Tuesday for $250 million, claiming he was not compensated for “The Simpsons” using his likeness for mobster character Louie, a henchman of Fat Tony, who appears in numerous episodes dating to the early 1990s, according to court documents first obtained by Deadline.

The lawsuit claims that the “Simpsons” character “was created and developed by Sivero, who based this character on his own personality.” Sivero has appeared in numerous mobster films, including “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part II.”

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What’s more, the suit claims two writers for “The Simpsons” were living in the same apartment complex as Sivero when he was cast in “GoodFellas” and was working to develop his character, which was not specifically described in the movie script.

“Both writers knew who Sivero was, and they saw each other almost every day,” according to the lawsuit.

Sivero did not return calls for comment.

The critically acclaimed “Goodfellas” was released in 1990, and “Simpsons” character Louie made his first appearance in the episode “Bart the Murderer,” which aired Oct. 10, 1991.

Although the lawsuit acknowledges that “over the years, ‘The Simpsons’ were known for basing characters on the television series on those of real life people and real life characters,” it argues the Louie character has inflicted damages to Sivero in the form of lost wages.

Louie has been voiced by two actors. Neither is Sivero.

“Louie’s appearance and mannerisms are strongly evocative of character actor Frank Sivero,” according to the suit.

Multiple calls to Fox Studios for comment were not returned.

Follow Ryan Parker for breaking news at @theryanparker and on Facebook.


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