NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Veteran actor Danny Aiello has passed away. He was 86.
The native New Yorker died Thursday night reportedly at a medical facility in New Jersey where he was being treated for a sudden illness.
Aiello appeared in many films, including Do The Right Thing, Moonstruck, The Godfather Part II and Leon: The Professional, Hudson Hawk, and more. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Do The Right Thing.
In addition to the big screen, AIello had numerous TV roles and performed on Broadway.
Do The Right Thing director and co-star Spike Lee said he was heartbroken to learn of Aiello’s passing.
“We made cinema history together,” Lee wrote on Instagram.
Goodbye Dear #DannyAiello 💔
Danny was a Great Actor, But a
Genius Comedic Actor.We Laughed so much. Making #Moonstruck ..It was one of the happiest times in my life,& He Was apart of that Happy time.
— Cher (@cher) December 13, 2019
He was remembered by his Moonstruck co-star on Twitter.
“Danny was a great actor, but a genius comedic actor,” Cher wrote. “We laughed so much making Moonstruck. It was one of the happiest times in my life & he was a part of that happy time.”
I would like to thank all of those sending their condolences on the passing of my uncle, Danny Aiello. He was a terrific man, self made, coming from nothing to be an Academy Award nominated actor. He loved his family dearly, adored his wife of 64 years, my Aunt Sandy.
— Michael Kay (@RealMichaelKay) December 13, 2019
“I would like to thank all of those sending their condolences on the passing of my uncle, Danny Aiello. He was a terrific man, self made, coming from nothing to be an Academy Award nominated actor. He loved his family dearly, adored his wife of 64 years, my Aunt Sandy,” Michael Kay wrote on Twitter. “He loved sports, especially the Yankees and would have a running text message disalogue with me during games, dissecting everything happening on the field. He was one of a kind. When Jodi and I were married he sang at the reception and electrified the room. He could do everything. He was an Army veteran, then the head of the Greyhound bus drivers union, a bouncer at the Improv who became the emcee at the joint and then went into acting, without a lesson. I loved him deeply and I’m going to miss him very much. RIP Uncle Danny.”
All my life people asked – “are you related to Danny Aiello?” Finally met him in 1997. He wraps me in a bear hug and says “Tony! People keep asking if we’re related!”
— Tony Aiello (@AielloTV) December 13, 2019
He also enjoyed a singing career, releasing several albums.
— Otis Livingston (@OlivingstonTV) December 13, 2019
He is survived by his wife and three of his children. His son Danny died of cancer in 2010.