Dancing Too Tough for Sopranos Actor

The fourth season of Dancing with the Stars begins March 19, and sadly for Sopranos fans, Vincent Pastore will not be among the contestants. Pastore, who played Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero, dropped out of Dancing after a week of training.

“I didn’t realize just how physically demanding it would be for me,” Pastore said in a statement. “Unable to put forth my best effort, I felt it appropriate to step aside and give someone else the opportunity.”

Despite Pastore’s defection, there are still plenty of names in the cast, which features a skater (Olympic gold medal winner Apolo Anton Ohno), a boxer (Laila Ali), two singers (Joey Fatone, Billy Ray Cyrus), and Paul McCartney’s estranged wife, Heather Mills.

Update, 3/2: Dancing lost no time in finding a replacement for Pastore. John Ratzenberger (aka Cliff Claven on Cheers) had previously demurred on joining the show, citing a scheduling conflict. But today ABC announced that Ratzenberger will take Pastore’s place among the would-be hoofers. If he does as well on that as Cliff did on , he’ll go a long way.

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