Actor Danny Aiello, who was a part of the industry for umpteen years and hailed from New York has passed away at the age of 86. Aiello most known and prific acting credits continue to be his Oscar-nominated turn as Sal the pizza-joint owner in Do the Right Thing and for portraying Cher's lovelorn suitor in Moonstruck.
Aiello's literary agent, Jennifer De Chiara, told USA Today the actor died Thursday night. "The world has lost one of its greatest actors who also happened to be a wonderful human being."
Aiello, who didn't start acting until he was 35, often played loathsome types, as in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), where he starred as Mia Farrow's gruff, drunken husband. In a similar vein, he battled with Paul Newman in Fort Apache the Bronx (1981), portraying a crooked cop who tosses a kid off a roof.
In The Godfather: Part II, Aiello played gangster Tony Rosato (his line, "Michael Corleone says hello," said as he garrots Frankie Pentangeli, was improvised), and he appeared as the neighborhood bookie who takes bets from Allen's character in The Front.
Aiello was married to his wife, Sandy, for more than 60 years. The couple had four children: sons Rick, Danny III and Jaime and daughter Stacy.