Yesterday the acting community lost another fantastic star as actor Danny Aiello, who was featured in iconic roles like Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, The Goderfather Part II and Moonstruck passed away yesterday at 86. He died last night while being cared for in a New Jersey medical facility, according to Deadline. Aiello reportedly passed from a sudden illness and his death was initially confirmed by gossip celebrity news program TMZ, who stated that this was due to an infection. Fox News would later receive confirmation about actor’s passing through Aiello’s literary agent.
Aiello’s industry breakthrough was in a supporting role for Bang The Drum Slowly, a baseball drama where he would star opposite of Robert De Niro. Aiello would eventually follow up that role with a scene-stealing performance no less than a year later in 1974, where he portrayed made man Tony Rosato in The Godfather Part II. After his work with Francis Ford Coppolla, the roles would continue to pour in front of him, including Once Upon a Time In America, Harlem Nights and Hudson Hawk.
Perhaps Aiello’s most renowned performance to date was his role as pizzeria owner Sal Frangione in Spike Lee’s breakout magnum opus Do the Right Thing, which landed the actor his first and only nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1989. From all of us at mxdwn, he will be missed.