John "Johnny" Torrio (played by Greg Antonacci) is an established crime boss based out of Chicago and employer/mentor to Al Capone. After an assassination attempt on his life, his position is inherited by Capone. He is based on the historical figure of the same name although the depiction of Torrio in the TV series presents him as an older man than the historical Torrio.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Season 1[edit | edit source]
Torrio works with Chicago mob boss Big Jim Colosimo. Colosimo is reluctant to become involved in bootlegging and prefers to concentrate on his traditional business in gambling and prostitution. Torrio arranges for Atlantic City treasurer Nucky Thompson and New York organized crime figure Arnold Rothstein to meet shortly after the Volstead Act is passed in order to discuss bootlegging. The meeting takes place in Atlantic City with Torrio present to mediate. Nucky agrees to supply Rothstein with alcohol.
After the Atlantic City meeting Torrio arranges for Colosimo to be killed, using New York gangster Frankie Yale as a hit-man. Torrio's driver Al Capone works with Thompson's driver Jimmy Darmody to hijack the first shipment of alcohol intended for New York and delivers it instead to Torrio. ("Boardwalk Empire")
Torrio attends Colosimo's funeral and denies any involvement in his death when questioned by reporters. Torrio controls the Four Deuces brothel in Chicago. He installs Capone in the business as a bouncer and bartender. Capone beats up a persistent reporter at the Four Deuces. In New York, Rothstein finds out by interrogating Yale that Torrio had ordered Colosimo's killing. However, Rothstein blames Nucky for the hijacking. ("The Ivory Tower")
When he is identified as a perpetrator in the hijacking, Darmody leaves Atlantic City for Chicago and begins to work for Torrio. ("Broadway Limited")
Capone and Darmody become embroiled in a dispute over control of Greek Town with Irish-American gangster Charlie Sheridan. Capone meets with Greek speakeasy owner George Anastos who buys liquor from Sheridan. When Anastos is reluctant to switch suppliers Capone beats Anastos and tells him to send Sheridan to the Four Deuces if he has a problem. ("Anastasia")
Back at the Four Deuces, Torrio admonishes Capone for causing problems. He says that he is happy for Capone to branch out as long as it is profitable for him. Capone promises to resolve the issue and plans to negotiate with Sheridan when he arrives. Torrio leaves, complaining about a plantar wart on his foot. Capone is aggressive in the negotiation and demands a 50% share of Sheridan's businesses in Greek Town. Sheridan is initially incredulous but then claims to agree to the deal. However, Sheridan sends his men to attack Pearl, a whore at the Four Deuces and Jimmy's lover. ("Anastasia")
Torrio goes to Pearl's bedroom and asks how she is feeling. Torrio takes Jimmy into the corridor and says that Pearl is ruined as a prostitute because of her severe facial injury and needs to leave. Jimmy offers to cover her earnings so she can stay and Torrio wonders if he can afford $100 a day. Jimmy is shocked that Pearl was that profitable and shakes his head. Torrio says she can stay until Friday and walks away. ("Nights in Ballygran")
Torrio goes to the bar to talk to Jimmy and Capone. He is eating a soft boiled egg and complaining about a cracked molar. Jimmy asks if he has seen a dentist and Capone says that it is easier to remove a bad tooth yourself. Torrio does not comment and then says that he has arranged a sit-down with Sheridan to arrange to withdraw from Greek Town. Jimmy is shocked and glances at Capone, who asks why. Torrio says that Capone had a chance to develop business in the area but that he has caused too much aggravation by provoking Sheridan into a feud over the territory. Capone calls his errors in negotiating with Sheridan an oversight. Torrio asks if Capone wants to get them into a war and wonders why he brought Capone to Chicago from Brooklyn. He reminds Capone that he is supposed to be a driver and doorman. He wonders about Jimmy’s intelligence and then sends Capone to clean his car. ("Family Limitation")
With Capone gone Torrio complains further about Sheridan’s attack on the brothel and blames it on Capone. Jimmy diplomatically says that abandoning the territory could be a mistake because it will appear weak. He reminds Torrio that they are now supplying Anastos’ bar. Jimmy says they should talk to Sheridan and reach an understanding. Torrio wonders what Jimmy means and Jimmy raises his eyebrows. ("Family Limitation")
Sheridan flirts with the blonde coat check girl at a hotel, surrounded by three bodyguards. Torrio, Capone and Jimmy enter. Sheridan’s men stop them while Sheridan tells them about his success and being able to own the hotel which used to bar pets and Irishmen in his childhood. Torrio sarcastically calls him an inspiration and Sheridan instructs his men to search them. Torrio complains that Sheridan is not showing more trust given that Sheridan attacked Torrio’s business. Once given the all clear, Torrio’s group hand their overcoats and hats to the coat check girl. Sheridan tells them to tip her well because of her beauty. Jimmy pauses when he hands over his things and then thanks her; she replies, "Anytime." Capone asks to search Sheridan and his men and Sheridan refuses, saying that they are all carrying weapons and will not proceed without them. Capone is unhappy with the situation but Torrio agrees to continue. Jimmy tells Capone to relax. ("Family Limitation")
Sheridan apologizes for the attack but says that he will not be threatened. Torrio characterizes their actions as expansion not threats. Jimmy tells Sheridan that Pearl was only eighteen. Sheridan counters that Capone broke the jaw of George Anastos. Torrio asks if they can agree to call it all a misunderstanding. Sheridan accepts and apologizes to Jimmy. Jimmy looks around at Sheridan’s men and asks why Liam is not there to apologize. Sheridan says that Liam acted on his orders and that he takes responsibility for Liam’s actions. Torrio says that it is over and asks to move on. Sheridan opens with an offer of a three block territory in Greek Town. Jimmy shifts in his chair, crosses his legs and exposes his trench knife in its holster. One of Sheridan’s men notices and shouts, they all draw their weapons. Sheridan’s second retrieves the knife and Sheridan chastises his other men for their inattention in the search. Jimmy apologizes and claims he forgot that the knife was there. Sheridan holds the knife to Jimmy’s throat and threatens to give him a reminder. Sheridan notices a metal stud on the base of the handle. Jimmy elucidates that it is called a skull crusher and can be used to crack walnuts. Sheridan says that he will try it out and pockets the knife. He puts his guns away and returns to discussing business. ("Family Limitation")
The meeting over, Torrio says he needs to use the bathroom. Capone says that they will bring the car around. Sheridan tips the coat check girl and notes that the blonde has been replaced. The new girl says that the blonde is on a coffee break and then hands Capone and Jimmy their coats, revealing her face; it is Kitty from the Four Deuces. She nods to Jimmy and he thanks her. She ducks behind the counter as he turns and shoots two of Sheridan’s men. Sheridan’s second moves to draw a pistol and Capone pulls a shotgun from under his coat and kills him. Jimmy shoots Sheridan in the abdomen and Torrio emerges, telling them to wrap it up. Sheridan feebly grabs Torrio’s coat on his way past but Torrio shakes him off. Jimmy tells the others to go and then grabs Sheridan and puts his pistol under his chin. He tells Sheridan that Greek Town belongs to them now and then fires. He retrieves his knife from the corpse and then gets into the car. Capone cackles as he runs out of the hotel. ("Family Limitation")
Scozione is back on the door at the Four Deuces after being shot in the shoulder; behind him some of the prostitutes are singing a song. He tells two customers that the bar is closed for a private party. Inside Torrio is singing Jimmy’s praises. Jimmy says that the Irish would have come for revenge if they had not killed them. Torrio is pleased that Jimmy is going to stay in Chicago and says he needs more men like Jimmy, complimenting his courage and comparing him to the character Rugierro from the opera “La Liberazione de Rugierro”. Capone makes a toast to Jimmy but then tells the story of frightening Jimmy by shooting his pillow. He goes on to say that Jimmy was famous for scrubbing latrines in the war. Jimmy counters by asking how Capone got his scars and jokes about the Lost Battalion that Capone was part of. The two share a hate filled stare as their audience laughs. Capone later apologizes to Jimmy in private, blaming heavy drinking. ("Family Limitation")
Nucky and Eddie take a taxi to the Four Deuces brothel on Wabash Avenue. Nucky is surprised when the doorman, Scozione, is carrying a shotgun and insists on frisking them both. Johnny Torrio comes downstairs and tells Scozione to stop. Nucky notes that Torrio held his objection until after the task was completed. Torrio tells Nucky that they take precautions as standard and that it is a new world. He shows his guests into the bar and Nucky deadpans that Charlie Sheridan would agree with Torrio. Torrio says that Jimmy was responsible for planning the attack on Sheridan. Torrio orders two rums and then feigns remembering that they are out of stock. Nucky says that McCoy will have another shipment soon. Torrio tells Nucky that women are enamored of the Mary Pickford cocktail, a combination of rum and grenadine. Nucky observes that the grenadine masks the taste of bootleg rum. Torrio brings up the convention and Nucky is distracted by Eddie enjoying the attention of one of the prostitutes. Nucky then says that he is a politician and that there are things that cannot be bought in a “cat house”. The barman brings their drinks and Torrio offers a toast. Nucky asks if Torrio knows any gossip about Daugherty. Torrio says that he has not heard of Daugherty or even Harding but when Nucky mentions their origins in Ohio recommends speaking with Judge Graves. Graves is drinking with the madam, Regina and Torrio calls him over before making introductions. Nucky offers Graves a visit to Atlantic City at his expense and Torrio pulls out a chair for him. Nucky asks about Harding and Graves describes him as a puppet for the “fast money boys” from Cleveland. Nucky asks for Graves’ assessment of Harding’s chances and Graves says that they are improved by having Daugherty as a campaign manager. Nucky calls Daugherty cagey and Graves counters that Daugherty knows how to treat his friends. Graves reminds Nucky that the political machine in Ohio has generated five presidents since the American Civil War. Regina shows in an African American prostitute named Belle and introduces her to Graves. Graves excuses himself and Torrio tells Nucky that he brings girls in especially for Graves. ("Hold Me in Paradise")
Jimmy drags an unruly customer downstairs and warns him to respect the prostitutes. He threatens to castrate the man if he sees him again and has Scozione throw him out. Jimmy limps into the bar and halts when he sees Nucky. He asks why Nucky is there and Nucky dismissively says that he has been visiting Chicago since before Jimmy was born. Torrio jokes that Nucky set the Chicago fire. Jimmy licks his lips, taken aback. Nucky comments that he looks well and notes his new suit. Jimmy respectfully says that Torrio has been very helpful. Nucky notices Eddie still enjoying the ministrations of one of Torrio’s other employees and instructs him to call a cab. Jimmy offers to drive them back to the hotel and pats Eddie on the shoulder as he passes. Nucky comments that it would be like old times and then tells Jimmy that they have been managing to get along without him, including his family. Jimmy asks how they are and Nucky tells him to ask them himself. Jimmy says that he writes to Angela weekly and never gets a reply. Nucky tells him to consider sending them money the next time he thinks about buying something for himself. ("Hold Me in Paradise")
When Nucky's brother is shot he asks Jimmy to return to Atlantic City with him. Torrio plays cards with his men (Al Capone, Gino and Antonio) in the bar at the Four Deuces. They banter in Italian as they play. Jimmy comes into the bar and watches from next to the piano, unable to understand what they are saying. Feeling like an outsider Jimmy decides to return to Atlantic City. ("Hold Me in Paradise")
Torrio profits from his expansion into bootlegging and is impressed with the collections made by his subordinate, Jake Guzik. Torrio clashes with Capone over his practical jokes and lack of professionalism. He is later impressed when Capone pledges to be mature in his approach to the business.
Torrio is again called upon to arrange a meeting between Thompson and Rothstein to negotiate an end to their dispute over bootlegging. Rothstein needs Thompson's political connections to escape prosecution for rigging the World Series.
Season 2[edit | edit source]
Torrio comes into the bar and finds Al Capone on the phone. He wonders who Capone was talking to. Capone admits that it was Jimmy Darmody but sidesteps questions about the reason for the call. Torrio tells Capone that he is meeting with his bootlegging connection George Remus regarding his next shipment. He jokes that Romulus could not make it. Capone does not understand and assumes that Torrio means that Remus has a partner. Torrio pauses and then offers Capone some advice – whatever he is up to in Atlantic City keep Torrio out of it. ("Two Boats and a Lifeguard")
After surviving an assassination attempt Nucky Thompson invites Torrio and Arnold Rothstein to a meeting at the Atlantic City Armory. Nucky thanks them for coming and apologizes for the setting. Rothstein understands the need for privacy and Torrio asks how they can help. Nucky confuses Torrio by asking him to get his subordinates in line. Nucky explains that his attacker, Vito Scalercio, is connected to Capone. Torrio reveals Capone’s frequent phone conversations with Jimmy and Rothstein confesses that Jimmy visited him in New York. Nucky complains that he has not been told earlier. Rothstein admits that it was the day after Nucky’s arrest and reassures Nucky that he turned down Jimmy’s offer to supply alcohol. Nucky asks if Rothstein will vouch for Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky; Rothstein defers. Rothstein tells Nucky about one of Waxey Gordon’s men being killed on the way to make a delivery in what Luciano called an attempted hijacking. Nucky tells his associates that “the pups have grown fangs.” Nucky asks for advice and rejects Torrio’s suggestion that he kill Jimmy because he is under federal surveillance. Rothstein turns away as the others talk, deep in thought. Torrio suggests retirement and Nucky admits that all of his capital is tied up in land. Rothstein suggests inaction; the others are disbelieving. Rothstein explains that in his experience as a gambler when no move is available the best action is to wait until an opportunity arises and to then bet heavily. ("Two Boats and a Lifeguard")
Season 3[edit | edit source]
Torrio is about to leave for an extended stay in Naples on December 31, 1922, but tries to settle a turf dispute with north side Irish gangster Dean O'Banion before leaving. The sit-down goes badly when O'Banion mocks Al Capone's deaf son. Torrio asks Capone not to start a war and Capone makes it his New Year's resolution. ("Resolution")
While Torrio is away, Jake Guzik is assaulted by one of O'Banion's men, Joe Miller, while Guzik is making his collections at a bar. When Guzik returns to the brothel, Al sees Jake's bruises and Jake tells Al what happened. Al goes back to the bar and beats Joe Miller to death.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
- Anne Torrio: Wife
- Nucky Thompson: Business associate, main connection to politics (deceased)
- Big Jim Colosimo: Boss, murderer (deceased)
- Al Capone: Protégé and employee
- Ralph Capone: Employee
- Frank Capone: Employee (deceased)
- Jake Guzik: Business associate
- Jimmy Darmody: Ex-employee (deceased)
- Gino: Employee
- Scozione: Employee
- Antonio: Employee
- Regina: Employee
- Pearl: Employee (deceased)
- Odette: Employee
- Lucky Luciano: Associate
- Meyer Lansky: Associate
Victims[edit | edit source]
Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]
- "Fuckin' micks- no offense. They crawl up from the bog, come into my house, and spill blood?"
- "Your boy Jimmy? My boy."
- "I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF A FUCKIN' MEETING!"
- "The last time we was all together there was another man as well. Big Jim Colosimo... He was a good man, Jim, don't get me wrong, but he didn't look ahead."
- "My point is to survive in a business like ours you gotta look to the future. And to do that sometimes you gotta let go of the past" (A Return to Normalcy)
- "Kill the prick."
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|Season one appearances|
|Boardwalk Empire||The Ivory Tower||Broadway Limited||Anastasia|
|Nights in Ballygran||Family Limitation||Home||Hold Me in Paradise|
|Belle Femme||The Emerald City||Paris Green||A Return to Normalcy|
|Season two appearances|
|21||Ourselves Alone||A Dangerous Maid||What Does the Bee Do?|
|Gimcrack & Bunkum||The Age of Reason||Peg of Old||Two Boats and a Lifeguard|
|Battle of the Century||Georgia Peaches||Under God's Power She Flourishes||To the Lost|
|Season three appearances|
|"Resolution"||"Spaghetti and Coffee"||"Bone for Tuna"||"Blue Bell Boy"|
|"You'd Be Surprised"||"Ging Gang Goolie"||"Sunday Best"||"The Pony"|
|"The Milkmaid's Lot"||"A Man, A Plan..."||"Two Imposters"||"Margate Sands"|
|Season four appearances|
|"New York Sour"||"Resignation"||"Acres of Diamonds"||"All In"|
|"Erlkonig"||"The North Star"||"William Wilson"||"The Old Ship of Zion"|
|"Marriage and Hunting"||"White Horse Pike"||"Havre De Grace"||"Farewell Daddy Blues"|
|Season five appearances|
|Golden Days for Boys and Girls||The Good Listener||What Jesus Said||Cuanto|
|King of Norway||Devil You Know||Friendless Child||Eldorado|