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The Italians

    General 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cutelittleguidos.jpg
  • Affably Evil: Nino Schibetta, Antonio Nappa, and Frank Urbano.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Compared to the Aryans. They sell drugs, kill inmates, and commit other crimes, but they do most of it for financial reasons, compared to the Aryans’ fun-loving sprees of violence and sexual sadism. They also seem to be much less aggressive toward fellow Italians than the Aryans are to non-affiliated white inmates.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Homeboys, and later on, the Aryans.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: A favorite tactic of the gang as a whole.
  • The Mafia: This gang's apparently entirely made up of Family members on the inside. This is highlighted when they attempt to recruit Ralph Galino, who points out that just because he's Italian-American doesn't mean he's interested in being a wiseguy.
  • The Old Country: Nino Schibetta and Antonio Nappa are implied to be from Italy, the rest of the gang are first and second-generation Italian-Americans
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Subverted. Chucky Pancamo starts out as a more brute and muscular replacement to Joey D'Angelo in Season 1, as both are the gang's main enforcers and start out as The Dragon to the leader of the Italians. However, Pancamo goes through major character development and becomes an Ascended Extra, to the point of becoming a core character in the later seasons. D'Angelo is simply an Elite Mook who is injured and Put on a Bus shortly after.
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Leadership

    Nino Schibetta 

Nino Schibetta

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nino_schibetta.jpg
Played By: Tony Musante

Prisoner #95S604. Convicted December 12, 1995 - Two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Sentence: 120 years, eligible for parole in 70.

"What the fuck's wrong with this country? In the old days, murder was murder. You killed someone, it was business."

A mob boss and initial leader of the Italians.


  • Affably Evil: He's quite polite and cultured most of the time.
  • Badass Long Robe: Specifically a bathrobe. He wears a bathrobe in most of his scenes, and is certainly a badass character, given he's arguably the most powerful gang leader in Season 1 and one of the most effective leaders in the series.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Taunting Ryan was a BAD idea.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He inflicts theseand is also a victim of it.
  • The Don: Of his very own crime family. From what we see, he's just as powerful in Oz as he was on the outside.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His son and dead wife, as well as his various associates.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: For him, the drugs are just business and the killings are a practicality to be done as cleanly as possible. He can't stomach the more grotesque murders and sexual assaults that occur in Oz.
  • Honor Before Reason: His refusal to give up information on his gang.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: It is strongly implied that he's still in charge of his mob family from inside the prison. It's made explicit that he's given charge of all of the Family members inside Oz.
  • The Old Country: Implied to be Italian-born, along with his close friend Antonio Nappa.
  • Wicked Cultured: As expected of a Mafia Don, he appreciates the finer things in life and has the connections to access them from his prison cell. He's frequently seen dining on cheese and tomatoes.

    Peter Schibetta 

Peter Schibetta

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hqdefault_766.jpg
Played By: Eddie Malavarca

Prisoner #98S112. Convicted May 19, 1998 - Five counts of extortion: money laundering. Sentence: 35 years, eligible for parole in 20.

"And so because I got one quick shot of poison instead of ground glass, I'm not as good as Pop, right?"

The son of Nino, Peter is handed the Italian leadership but is unable to keep it.


  • Big Bad Wannabe: Tries to be like his father but is ultimately too inexperienced to pull it off and fails tragically.
  • Break the Haughty: His entire character arc is one humiliation after another. Rather than learn his lesson, he digs his heels in and becomes more and more reckless, eventually getting him killed by his own top enforcer.
  • Butt-Monkey: With emphasis on the butt part.
  • Defiled Forever: Treated like a joke by the other inmates after his rape, seemingly even more than the other prags. His brief position as the Italian leader likely exacerbated his fall.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He decides to kill all of Ryan O’Reily's loved ones on the mere suspicion that he was involved in Nino's murder. He's right, of course, but he has no real reason to know that.
  • Don't Tell Mama: After he is raped and hallucinates his father being alive he doesn't want him to know of the rape.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: He acts like a smug prick because he feels the need to live up to his Father's reputation and his family's traditions.
  • The Load: He's treated like this by the other Italians after he recuperates from the rape. He's forced to be second banana to his former top enforcer, his desire for revenge is largely ignored, and he's generally treated like an embarrassment. It's clear that the only reason he's being kept around at all is out of respect for Nino.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe. When Schibetta tries to recruit Said and the Muslims in his ill-conceived revenge plot against Schillinger, Said turns him down flat, saying that he will "always be known as one of Adebisi's bitches."
  • Pride Before a Fall: The first half of his character arc shows him using his father's reputation and blackmail on Glynn to dominate the prison. The second half has him pragged by Adebisi and turned into a snivelling wreck treated as a joke by the other prisoners.
  • Prison Rape: The only one committed by Adebisi onscreen. The rape itself and the trauma and loss of reputation that Schibetta suffers as a result are given much more spotlight than any other in the series.
  • Rape as Drama: It's his second rape at the hands of Schillinger and his buddies that gets this treatment. In that case, it's not so much the rape itself, but Warden Glynn's refusal to punish the rapists, and his endorsement of such assaults as a form of punishment and inmate control.
  • Rape Leads to Insanity: His attempts to regain his lost pride makes him suicidally reckless. Naturally, it does get him killed.
  • Revenge Before Reason: After Schillinger stabs Pancamo, Schibetta makes a point to pay him back. He jumps at the first opportunity, which happens to be when Schillinger is with 4 of his friends. They fend him off effortlessly and then rape him a second time.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He tries desperately to live up to his father's reputation, but he lacks Nino's patience and intelligence.

    Antonio Nappa 

Antonio Nappa

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Antonio_Nappa_3740.jpg
"Like God, man can finally create man in his own image and then sit back and watch all sorts of shit hit the fan."
Played By: Mark Margolis

Prisoner #98N744. Convicted June 4, 1998 - Murder in the second degree. Sentence: 80 years, eligible for parole in 50.

Replaces the Schibetta leadership, and is far more old-school and thoughtful than Nino or Peter.


  • Affably Evil: Witty, intelligent, respectful and reasonable. Nappa can be an easy guy to get along with.
  • Badass Grandpa: Nappa might be in his twilight years, but he's still a formidable badass.
  • Bald of Awesome: He commands instant respect from all of the Italian prisoners when he shows up.
  • Bald of Evil: Difficult as it to remember, he's still as bad as they come.
  • Cool Old Guy: Yes, he's a Mafia Don with a lot of blood on his hands, but he's a smart, witty old man with a sense of honor.
  • The Don: He's brought in specifically to take this role from the recently deceased Nino Schibetta.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Nappa is so disgusted with baby-killing Malcolm Coyle that he arranges his death; doing so had no benefit for Nappa and could have caused problems with the Homeboys. He had Coyle killed out of a sense of moral duty.
  • The Old Country: Along with Nino, he is implied to be from Italy proper, rather than a first or second-generation Italian-American like Ortolani or Pancamo. His name and accent certainly indicate it.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Like most of the Italians in Oz, he's vaguely racist and homophobic. Unlike most, this rarely turns into outright hostility; he's more genial with the Homeboys than Nino ever was, and he eventually befriends his transvestite cellmate Nat Ginzburg.

    Chucky Pancamo 

Chucky Pancamo

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Chucky_Pancamo_5380.jpg
Played By: Chuck Zito

Prisoner #97P468. Convicted June 4, 1997 - Sentence: 35 years, eligible for parole in 15.

The Italian muscle who slowly rises to become leader through circumstance.


  • Ambition Is Evil: Averted. He rises to power through sheer luck as opposed to any ambition or power playing.
  • Ascended Extra: Went from being a heavy that followed Peter Schibetta around without saying much to a very prominent character.
  • The Big Guy: Definitely one of the more physically imposing of the Italians and their representative for the boxing tournament.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Much more subtle than most examples, but he's still hams it up on occasion.
  • The Brute: He plays this role to two generations of Schibettas and Antonio Nappa before eventually taking over himself.
  • Brooklyn Rage: He fits the stereotype, but he's just as likely to be from anywhere else in the country.
  • The Ditz: Noticeably less intelligent than O'Reily or Adebisi.
  • The Dragon: Starts out as this to Peter Schibetta and Antonio Nappa.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Becomes the leader of the Italians partway through Season 3 and keeps it until the end of the series. Also, one of the few gang leaders to survive the end of the show.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite not being on the best terms with Tobias Beecher for most of the series, the two form an alliance over their mutual hatred of Vern Schillinger.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Seems genuinely sorry for Tobias when his son was murdered and angry that Hank Schillinger got off, even it only came out as a "That sucks!".
  • Faux Affably Evil: Compared to Schibetta and Nappa, Chucky's outward geniality is much more superficial. Makes sense considering his background as an enforcer, which requires much colder blood than your traditional Don.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Beecher discovers this when he tries to call off the hit on Schillinger's son. Pancamo's already made it happen startlingly fast.
  • The Worf Effect: As fearsome as he is, he gets his ass handed to him by Adebisi in the fourth season — both physically and by getting Out-Gambitted as Adebisi takes power in Em City.
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    Frank Urbano 
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Played By: Antoni Corone

Prisoner number 02U672, Francis Urbano AKA Frank the Fixer. Convicted January 7, 2002 - Murder in the first degree. Sentence: Life, up for parole in 25 years

Enforcer for the Italians under the leadership of Chucky Pancamo and later leader himself when Chucky is hopitalised following an encounter with the Aryans.

  • Affably Evil: Reasonably so; he is affable enough with Tobias Beecher when Beecher requests the Italians no longer protect Adam Guenzel.
  • Badass in Charge: Singlehandedly takes on the Aryans in the gym under orders to protect Adam Guenzel, gets the Italians back in charge in the drug trade and effectively restores the Italians' position as a feared group within Oz as a result.
  • The Dragon: To Chucky Pancamo.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Becomes the leader of the Italians after Pancamo is stabbed by James Robson and never really loses his position of authority within the Italians even after Pancamo resumes his leadership.

Soldiers

    Dino Ortolani 

Dino Ortolani

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dino_ortolani_bfd8b3ac_a6d5_4f99_b736_bd27e915a62_resize_750.jpeg

Played By: Jon Seda

Prisoner #96C382. Convicted December 12, 1996 - One count of murder in the first degree, assault with a deadly weapon. Sentence: Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

A hot-tempered and self-destructive Italian who becomes Beecher's sponsor.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: His wife outside the prison notwithstanding, he acts like this toward Dr. Nathan.
  • And I Must Scream: In his final moments, he's heavily drugged by the guards following one of his violent outbursts, leaving him completely immobile. It's heavily implied that he's aware of what's happening when the Homeboys set him on fire.
  • Berserk Button: A man making sexual advances in the shower is enough to send him reeling into a homicidal rage. According to McManus, this is a pretty regular occurrence.
  • Death Seeker: Since he's in the can for life without a chance for parole, he considers himself a dead man walking.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Writer Tom Fontana had to argue for this, as it was unheard of to focus on one major character, only to kill him in the first episode.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Interestingly, he crossed it before the series even starts. The first episode is spent trying to coax him back from over it.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Literally anything can set him off. O'Reily throwing half-hearted insults his way prompts Ortolani to beat him half to death.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's pretty much a walking Italian gangster stereotype, easily offended and ready to throw a punch at anything with a pulse.
  • Kill It with Fire: How he meets his end, courtesy of Johnny Post.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The only remotely good thing he does his perform a Mercy Killing at the request of his new friend in the AIDS Ward. Of course, this gets him sedated and thrown into Ad Seg, which led directly to his death.
  • Papa Wolf: Wouldn't allow his kids to see him in OZ.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: He REALLY doesn't like gay men, but his time working in the AIDS ward whittles this away a bit.

    Don Zangi 

Don Zangi

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/capture_27.PNG
Played By: John Palumbo

One of the foot soldiers of the Italians, starts out as a silent Mook for Nino Schibetta, but becomes a prominent soldier and enforcer for the gang.

  • Ascended Extra: Literally. Starts out as a background character hanging around with Nino Schibetta and doing nothing. Later becomes a mid-tier character and close friend of Chucky Pancamo, and one of the few characters who has been in the pilot to survive until the end of the show.
  • Burger Fool: He never has a crime flashback and is strongly implied to have been working at a pizza restaurant before ending up in Oz. If this is true, he may be the only member of the Italian gang who wasn't a member of the Mafia.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: His job on the outside was a pizza delivery boy. It's mentioned several times, but never prominently brought up, only as a few quips in random conversation.
  • Elite Mook
  • The Mafia: Subverted, he is part of a gang of Mafiosos in prison, and most likely has connections, but is very young and as stated before, implied to be a simple pizza boy. He may or may not be a member of the Family at all. Zhangi is certainly not a made man.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Becomes this as the series progresses.
  • Noodle Incident: It's never stated or shown why he's in Oz or the nature of his connections to the rest of the Italians.

    Joey D'Angelo 

Joey D'Angelo

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/joey_dangelo_2.png

Played By: Goodfella Mike G

"I have a boss, he tells me what to do."

Nino Schibetta's right-hand man and initial enforcer of the Italians.


  • The Brute: Though nowhere near as much of a brute as Chucky Pancamo or Jaz Hoyt
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Last seen recovering from his injuries in the hospital, and is never seen after that. No explanation is given to his disappearance, as he was a prominent member of the Italian gang, and Nino's other thugs, Zhangi and Mario Seggio DID return to Em City. He makes a few appearances as a background character much later on, but that's about it.
  • The Dragon: Serves as this to Nino Schibetta in the first half of Season 1.
  • Elite Mook: He's somewhere between Pancamo and the average foot soldier on the pecking order.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Joisey: Has a typical appearance of a young New Jersey guido gangster, right down to his North Jersey accent and manner of dress.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Discussed in a deleted scene when he makes confession to Father Mukada. Mukada tries to get Joey to promise to sin no more, but Joey makes it clear that he'll do anything Nino tells him to, wrong or not.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Deals it out and is a victim of one as well.
  • Noodle Incident: How he got into Oz is never explained, all we know is he's one of Nino Schibetta's most trusted men, and is either a low-ranking thug or a mid-level made man. It's never really clear.
  • Put on a Bus: He gets a beatdown by the Homeboys and disappears after being sent to the hospital.
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    Gaetano Cincetta 

Gaetano Cincetta

An unseen hitman on the outside often in contact with the Italians


    Mario Seggio 

Mario Seggio

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mario_seggio.png

Played By: Todd Etelson

"You think sorry is gonna be enough?"

A background mob guy who doesn't say much


  • Flat Character: Only has one line of dialogue, he just usually hangs around Chucky, and joining the fights the Sicilians get into, he is seen playing Basketball with Chucky and some latinos, but that's about it.
  • Jerkass : Shoots Beecher a dirty look when he compliments his shirt, and the one time he does talk it's rude and condescending.
  • The Quiet One: So much so that Carmen Guerra seems surprised the only time Mario talks.

    Salvatore De Santo 

Salvatore De Santo

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/salvatore_desanto.jpg

"My-My Head is..."

A background mob character who's only prominence was his death


  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Dies crazy off his fucking mind due to Burr putting a high amount of LSD in his food
  • Frame-Up: Gets blamed for giving Hill drugs by Poet, causing Hill's Papa Wolf to order his death.
  • Ironic Death: Burr thinks it's this, that a drug dealer would die by a drug overdose
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