Danny Aiello, Who Starred in ‘Do the Right Thing,’ Dies at Age 86

Updated: 2019-12-13 12:10:17

Longtime actor Danny Aiello, who appeared in films such as “Do the Right Thing,” “Moonstruck,” and “Godfather: Part II,” died at age 86, it was reported.

His agent confirmed to Fox News on Friday that he died Thursday night.

TMZ first broke the news of the story, and it said that he was dealing with an infection related to the treatment he was receiving. He died right after his family visited him at a medical facility.

Danny Aiello, an honoree at the Hoboken International Film Festival, with Ken del Vecchio at opening night in Middletown on June 3, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Agent Jennifer De Chiara told USA Today: “The world has lost one of its greatest actors who also happened to be a wonderful human being,” she said.

He starred opposite Robert De Niro in “Bang The Drum Slowly” in 1973, appeared alongside Cher in “Moonstruck,” and had a brief appearance in “Godfather: Part II,” according to his IMDB. He also appeared in 1994’s “Leon: The Professional,” 1991’s “Hudson Hawk,” 1989’s “Harlem Nights,” and many other films.

According to a Hollywood Reporter writeup on his career, “Aiello also portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald killer Jack Ruby in Ruby (1992), starred for Paul Mazursky as a flailing Hollywood director in The Pickle (1993) and played it for laughs alongside Ellen Burstyn, Olympia Dukakis and Diane Ladd in The Cemetery Club (1993).”

In 2016, he said that “Do the Right Thing” director Spike Lee continuously approached him about the role, which he rejected.

“I [finally] said to him, ‘If you give me an opportunity to add something to this character…I know this character, I may know him better than you,” he added. He said Lee listened to his recommendations, allowing him to give bits of dialogue.

His other films include “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Fingers,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” “City Hall,” and “Prince of Central Park.”

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