'Sopranos' Role for Granny
Last month's open casting call in suburban New Jersey for a role on next season's HBO Mafia series "The Sopranos" was not for naught. A Philadelphia grandmother beat out some 20,000-plus other aspirants and shot an episode of the Emmy-nominated program last week. "I'm an Italian-looking person," Marie Donato, 50, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, admitting that she's "still in shock" over ending up in the hit series. It remains to be seen if her role (which she is contractually bound not to discuss) will expand with the series, which is scheduled to return for its third season in March. Donato, whose only previous acting experience was in a Christmas play in elementary school, lives in South Philly with her husband, a retired sanitation worker. Meanwhile, in another casting call, CBS claims that it has so far received 49,124 applications -- to fill 16 slots -- for its upcoming "Survivor 2: The Australian Outback," to debut Jan. 28, 2001. That's more than eight times the 6,100 applications that were received for the first "Survivor."
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