Most people identify Louis Lombardi with the tv series The Sopranos where he played the undercover federal agent Skip Lipari responsible for Vincent Pastore’s character demise, but there’s more to this well-versed character actor than meets the eye.
Born in 1968 in the Bronx, New York from an Italian-American family (the name Lombardi has Calabrese origins), Louis grew up in a strong household of Italian women including his mother, grandmother, and aunts. The Italian traditions of family values, love for cooking and love for the arts would later play an important part in every aspect of Lombardi’s life. 
On the screen he has always made an impact and made his characters unforgettable no matter how small the part was. He started out in 1993 with the Sundance Film Festival darling, Amongst friends, which led him to the role of the singing chop-shop owner in Beverly Hills Cop III. Tiny roles but enough to get the attention of director Oliver Stone who wanted him in his seminal film Natural Born Killers.

That represented the first studio picture for Lombardi which opened the doors for award winning films like Ed Wood and The Usual Suspects. But it was the tv series The Sopranos that gave him the first bite at notoriety. When the series started casting, every Italian-American actor on the East Coast auditioned for a role and as the show grew bigger and the ratings went up, turning the show in one of the staples in tv-programming, it became clear to Lombardi that his career was taking off. It wasn’t until another tv-series, 24, came along that Lombardi became one of the most recognizable faces on tv. On 24 he played the social inept, computer systems analyst Edgar Stiles.
Profoundly shy, quite the opposite of the actor playing him, the character was a sweet man who sent an entire viewership in tears when he was killed off. Edgar was meant as the counterpart of another popular character on 24, the computer geek Chloe. Fans hoped for a romance between the two, but their relationship was actually more complex and made for great television. They were both super smart characters who had problems showing their emotions.
And yet the scene where Lombardi’s character dies is a deep emotional one which sparkled a strong reaction from fans, who started sending desperate e-mails to the creators of the show. Lombardi and I met sometimes after that episode aired at the Roosevelt Hotel and he struck me as a very positive guy, he himself was surprised to learn his character had to go, but he understood how important it was to shock the audience. Although most of his fan base was made of women I told him how that scene was able to affect me as well. After the departure from 24, he started making guest appearances on other popular shows, such as Entourage and Las Vegas.
The time off in between gave him the opportunity to cultivate his other true passion, food. His Italian upbringing had taught him the importance of preparing a great meal for the whole family, one to actually sit down and enjoy together. That was the inspiration for his directorial debut Doughboys, which he also wrote and starred in, a film about two Bronx brothers who run a bakery. He then created a gourmet food line that carries his namesake and the year he was born as the established date, even though the brand is new. The food line includes pastas, pasta sauces, olive oils and olives imported directly from Calabria.
He’s very proud of this accomplishment and he even participated at the most recent Taste of Italy at the Pico House in Downtown, Los Angeles.
There he promoted the brand and offered a little taste of his marinara and vodka sauces, which he guarantees to be two of the best sauces on the market. His main goal is to bring families back to the table like it is in Italy and like it was in his family while he was growing up. Eating together at the dinner table is an opportunity to share how each other day went, the so called slow food culture, as opposed to the fast food American families are accustomed to. A tradition he’s been passing to his young daughter and that he now wants to share with the world.  
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