EXCLUSIVE | 'Godfather of Harlem': Who is Teddy Greene's character based on? Creator Chris Brancato spills the beans
Teddy played an aspiring musician in the show and was a great singer, Detested for being black, Teddy was targeted by Chin throughout the series
While 'Godfather of Harlem' had a major chunk of the spotlight on its lead character, Bumpy Johnson (Forest Whitaker), the show had brilliant subplots around the supporting characters. One storyline was the love story between Stella Gigante (Lucy Fry), the daughter of Vincent Chin Gigante (Vincent D' Onofrio), and Teddy Greene (Kelvin Harrison Jr).
Teddy played an aspiring musician in the show and was a great singer. Detested for being black, Teddy was targeted by Chin throughout the series. However, fans had one question: "Who is Teddy Greene's character based on?" Answering the question was the series creator, Chris Brancato in an exclusive with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW).
"Teddy Greene is, is a composite character who sort of incorporates Frankie Lyons, a popular young musician of the time. We were starting to walk that line between being entertainers and being civil rights advocates. And so there's a little Sam Cooke tossed in there, but Ted, he's fictional".
As pity as it is, Teddy is shot is the final episode by one of Chin's men. The character may have had a tragic ending, but he plays a pivotal role throughout the series with his love story being an integral plot point throughout the season.
The episode also ties up the Ernie (Rafi Gavron)-Stella-Teddy Greene love triangle. And Ernie is a man with serious doubts about his career as a Mafia man. He loves Stella and despite Chin Gigante's (Vincent D'Onforio) warning to leave Teddy alone, he goes to meet the couple. Teddy strikes it big and performs live, but it proves to be his last gig as one of Ernie's colleagues shoot Teddy dead point-blank. It is a bitter end for the Romeo-Juliet pair and for Ernie who starts accepting the fact that Stella would never be his.
(To lend an easy-to-read experience for our readers, the original interview has been split into multiple stories. Stay with us as we update our site with more of Brancato's valuable insights on 'Godfather of Harlem')