NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York on Wednesday marked the loss of a restaurant legend, Frank Pellegrino Sr., who co-owned the exclusive Rao’s in East Harlem.

Pellegrino, also an actor who played FBI chief Frank Cubitoso on “The Sopranos,” passed away at Tuesday afternoon with his family by his side at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, his friend Bo Dietl told Page Six. He was 72.

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In addition to co-owning the famed Italian restaurant at 455 E. 114th St., Pellegrino had a lively acting career. He played Johnny Dio in “Goodfellas” and acted in “Cop Land,” “Mickey Blue Eyes” and several TV shows.

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Dietl, a former NYPD detective and New York mayoral hopeful, said of Pellegrino and his restaurant, “Rao’s may be over 100 years old, but the person who made Rao’s what it is was Frankie. It is a place that is so unique because of him and it not going to be the same without him. He was big-hearted and generous and always took care of people. What a shining star and a big personality, I will miss singing along with him every Thursday night.”

Rao’s had a reputation for being even harder to get into than scoring a ticket to “Hamilton” on Broadway. CBS2’s Tony Tantillo counted Pellegrino as a close friend.

“He had never been to Italy. I took him to Italy. We spent two weeks in Italy, and we’re sitting in front of the Colosseum — beautiful view, looking at the people of Rome; the Colosseum,” Tantillo said, “and I go, ‘Frank, isn’t this beautiful? You’re in Rome.’ He looked at me with those eyes of his and says, ‘Anthony, I’d rather be in East Harlem.’ Now that’s New York to the bone.”

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Pellegrino was diagnosed with cancer last year but still made appearances at his restaurant, which is famously a haunt for many celebrities, including Woody Allen and Leonardo DiCaprio.