Broadway and film acting veteran Danny Aiello, known for his roles in the classic films Do the Right Thing and The Godfather Part II, died Thursday night. He was 86 years old.
According to TMZ, Aiello's family said he passed away at a medical facility in New Jersey after coming down with a sudden illness. He was suffering from an infection and died shortly after his family visited, the outlet reports.
In the 1970s, Aiello decided that he would become an actor. He took a small role as a baseball player in the 1973 film Bang The Drum Slowly, with another notable actor: Robert De Niro.
Although most may know the actor for his breakout role as Sal the Pizza Guy in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, he also played Tony Rosato in The Godfather Part II. Aiello earned an Oscar nomination in the best supporting actor category for his role as Sal. "The nomination was so important to me," he wrote about the nomination in his 2014 memoir. "It told me, You're not only a working actor, but you've been accepted by your peers. For a guy who never set foot in an acting class and who only started his career in his mid-thirties, this was a supreme validation."
Spike Lee and many other Hollywood icons offered their condolences via social media. "I’m Broken. Just Found Out My Brother DANNY AIELLO Made His Transition Last Night," Lee wrote on Instagram. "Danny, We Made Cinema History Together With DO THE RIGHT THING. May You Rest In PARADISE."