Danny Aiello, Do The Right Thing actor, dies at 86

Danny Aiello, Do The Right Thing actor, dies at 86
By: WNG BBC Posted On: December 13, 2019 View: 126

Danny Aiello, Do The Right Thing actor, dies at 86

Veteran film actor Danny Aiello, known for his roles in the movies Do The Right Thing The Godfather Part II, has died aged 86.

He also played Madonna's father in the 1986 video for Papa Don't Preach.

His family said with "profound sorrow" in a statement that he died after a short illness.

A veteran of stage and film, Aiello was best known for playing the pizza parlour owner Sal in Spike Lee's 1989 Do the Right Thing.

The role earned him a best supporting actor Oscar nomination.

"It is with profound sorrow to report that Danny Aiello, beloved husband, father, grandfather, actor and musician passed away last night after a brief illness," the family said, in a statement to the BBC from his literary agent Jennifer De Chiara.

"The family asks for privacy at this time. Service arrangements will be announced at a later date."

In The Godfather Part II, Aiello had a relatively small part as small-time gangster Tony Rosato but he made the role his own by uttering the famous line, "Michael Corleone says hello!" during a raid on gang rival Frank Pentangel.

Aiello's big acting break came in the early 1970s in the baseball drama Bang the Drum Slowly, starring Robert De Niro.

His other credits include Fort Apache the Bronx, Once Upon a Time in America, again with Robert de Niro, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Hudson Hawk and Moonstruck, in which he played the fiancé of Cher's character, Loretta.

Aiello also had a stage career on Broadway, appearing in shows including Gemini, The Floating Light Bulb, Hurlyburly, and The House of Blue Leaves and Wheelbarrown's Close.

In July 2011, he appeared Off Broadway in the two-act drama The Shoemaker, written by Susan Charlotte and directed by Antony Marsellis.

As well as acting, Aiello had a singing career, releasing several big -and style albums including Live from Atlantic City in 2008.

In 1990 he told People magazine: "You know, I've only been in this business 17 years.

"For actors, that's no time at all. Everything is happening so damn fast. It's like a beautiful dream that never seems to end."

He is survived by his wife, Sandy Cohen, and their three children.


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