Diehard New Yorker Steve Buscemi was an independent film icon, both as a perennial favorite of respected filmmakers like the Coen Brothers, and as a writer and director in his own right. Throughout the decades of prolific work that followed his rise from the East Village arts boon of the 1980s, Buscemi stayed close to his roots in avant-garde film, but he also made a dent at the multiplex in character roles in big budget comedies and action films. Buscemi's predilection for off-kilter criminal minds, inept underachievers, and sad sack loners was only boosted by his non-traditional looks, lending his characters an air of realism. In addition to career-making roles in "Reservoir Dogs" (1992), "Fargo" (1996), "Con-Air" (1997) and "Ghost World" (2001), Buscemi gained prominence as a director following his feature debut, "Trees Lounge" (1997). From 2000-04, he was highly regarded for his work directing and acting on HBO's megahit series "The Sopranos" and, following his demise on the show, resumed his average of five film appearances a year. In 2010, he toplined the Martin Scorsese-produced HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," receiving critical kudos for his layered performance in the Prohibition-era series. With an ever-growing résumé of memorable parts and no lack of quality filmmakers knocking down his door, the quirky Buscemi became one of the most dependable character actors of his generation.