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Chuck Zito: Inside the life of a New York tough guy

chuck zito
Chuck Zito. Photo: Shutterstock

Chuck Zito bio

From the streets of New York City to the set of Sons of Anarchy, Chuck Zito has done it all.

The Bronx-born tough guy was born on March 1, 1953.

His grandparents emigrated to America from Italy in the early 1900’s.

Chuck was the 2nd of three children to Charles Zito, Sr. and Gloria Frangione.

In addition to being a former president of the New York chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, Chuck was also a boxer, martial artist, celebrity bodyguard, stuntman and an actor.

Chuck Zito fight

Chuck’s father was a professional boxer in the ’30s and ’40s and never got knocked out in 228 fights.

Chuck then followed in his father’s footsteps and began to box when he was a teenager.

He competed in several amateur boxing matches, with mixed results.

In 1973, Chuck competed in his first Golden Gloves competition and fought 4 times (Winning his first two), but he never trained enough to turn pro.

Chuck Zito Hells Angeles

In 1979, Chuck founded the New Rochelle Motorcycle club. His club later merged with the Ching-a-Ling Nomads to create a larger group.

Chuck later left the Nomads and joined the infamous biker club Hell’s Angels.

The New York chapter of the Hell’s Angels was partially established by Mr. Zito himself, and he went on to become the club’s president.

chuck zito hells angeles new york
Chuck Zito’s Hells Angels’ clubhouse in East Village, New York.

After 25 years of being a hard-core Hells Angel, Chuck left the group in 2005 to focus on his acting career.

Chuck Zito bodyguard

In 1980, while attending a motorcycle show, Zito assisted some of the bodyguards for actor Robert Conrad.

This inspired him to start his own bodyguard business, naming it Charlie’s Angels Bodyguard Service, a reference to his Hells Angels association.

Chuck initially provided protection for actress Lorna Luft and later was hired by her half-sister Liza Minnelli.

Liza then recommended his services to her celebrity friends which quickly allowed Chuck to develop contacts throughout Hollywood.

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Some of those celebrities include Jean-Claude Van Damme, Pamela Anderson, Mickey Rourke, Joan Rivers and Sylvester Stallone.

Chuck Zito prison

Chuck Zito has been in both a U.S. and Japanese prison.

In 1985, Zito was indicted as part of the FBI’s Operation Rough Rider and was charged with trafficking amphetamine.

Zito was in Japan working as Jon Bon Jovi’s bodyguard when he was charged.

In Japan, he spent for months in a Tokyo prison before being extradited to the United States.

He then spent a further six years in a variety of American prisons.

Chuck has always denied that he has ever been involved in drug trafficking and claims to have never touched drugs altogether.

Chuck Zito Oz

Chuck’s acting career took off in 1998 when he was offered a role in the HBO series Oz.

Originally auditioned to be a biker on the series, creator Tom Fontana felt he’d be a better fit with the Italians.

On that show, he plays the role of a prisoner called Chucky Pancamo.

Pancamo is a member of the “Wise Guys”, a collection of Italian-American inmates connected to the Mob.

Nicknamed, ‘The Enforcer’, Pancamo is introduced in the show’s second season.

Chuck Zito Sons of anarchy

chuck zito sons of anarchy
Chuck Zito on the set of ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ in Los Angeles.

Mr. Zito is probably best known for his role as Frankie Diamonds in the fifth season of “Sons of Anarchy.”

He also appeared in SOA creator Kurt Sutter’s Discovery Channel documentary series, Outlaw Empires.

The 64-year-old currently lives in New Rochelle, New York.

Chuck Zito’s autobiography “Street Justice” is currently available for readers to purchase on Amazon.