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

December 13, 2019 Updated: December 13, 2019
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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.

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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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Ric Ocasek

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Musician Ric Ocasek and model Paulina Porizkova attend the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Beat the Odds Program at Guastavino’s in New York City on Dec. 6, 2010. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Eddie Money

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Musician Eddie Money performs onstage during the iHeart80s Party 2017 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Jan. 28, 2017. (Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Peter Fonda

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Peter Fonda in a 2009 photo. (Glenn Francis of www.PacificProDigital.com via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

Beth Chapman

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Duane ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman (L) and Beth Chapman attend the Vettys Presidential Inaugural Ball at Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington on Jan. 20, 2017. (Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images)

Doris Day

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Actress and animal rights activist Doris Day poses for photos after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award she was presented with at the annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Jan. 28, 1989. (AP Photo)

John Singleton

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John Singleton attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif., on March 4, 2018. He died in late April after a stroke. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

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Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London in Los Angeles, on Feb. 7, 2019. The rapper was shot dead in late March. (Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Luke Perry

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Undated file photo of Luke Perry. (Newsmakers)

Peter Tork

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Peter Tork of the Monkees died at 77 in Feb. 2019. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Albert Finney

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British actor Albert Finney died in Feb. 2019 at the age of 82. (Lucy Nicholson/AFP/Getty Images)