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Danny Aiello

Danny Aiello

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Also Known As: Danny Louis Aiello Jr. Died:
Born: June 20, 1933 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, producer, director, truck loader, pool hustler, station bus announcer, shoe-shine boy, union president, bouncer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Having left behind his working class life in his late thirties to become a performer, actor Danny Aiello became one of Hollywood's busiest and most prominent character actors without really leaving his beloved native New York City. After establishing himself on various stages around his hometown, Aiello made his film debut as a baseball player in "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973), before uttering one of the more famous lines as a would-be assassin in "The Godfather Part II" (1974). He went on to essay several stage roles that earned him critical plaudits before winning a Daytime Emmy for his role as a widowed father in the "ABC Afterschool Special: A Family of Strangers" (ABC, 1980). Aiello soon grabbed the attention of filmmaker Woody Allen, who cast him for a role in "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1984), while he was all but lost in the shuffle of Sergio Leone's epic crime saga, "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984). But he soon came to the fore with two of his career best performances: playing the lovelorn Johnny in "Moonstruck" (1987) and the sympathetic, but insensitive pizzeria owner Sal in Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" (1989). Following a turn as an angelic chiropractor in "Jacob's Ladder" (1990),...

Having left behind his working class life in his late thirties to become a performer, actor Danny Aiello became one of Hollywood's busiest and most prominent character actors without really leaving his beloved native New York City. After establishing himself on various stages around his hometown, Aiello made his film debut as a baseball player in "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973), before uttering one of the more famous lines as a would-be assassin in "The Godfather Part II" (1974). He went on to essay several stage roles that earned him critical plaudits before winning a Daytime Emmy for his role as a widowed father in the "ABC Afterschool Special: A Family of Strangers" (ABC, 1980). Aiello soon grabbed the attention of filmmaker Woody Allen, who cast him for a role in "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1984), while he was all but lost in the shuffle of Sergio Leone's epic crime saga, "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984). But he soon came to the fore with two of his career best performances: playing the lovelorn Johnny in "Moonstruck" (1987) and the sympathetic, but insensitive pizzeria owner Sal in Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" (1989). Following a turn as an angelic chiropractor in "Jacob's Ladder" (1990), Aiello's career hit a down slope, with numerous indies, the failed television series "Dellaventura" (CBS, 1997-98) and occasional bright spots like a leading role in the hit miniseries "Mario Puzo's 'The Last Don'" (CBS, 1997) on his Résumé. Despite the late slump in his career, there was no doubt that Aiello remained a talented and versatile character performer capable of tackling a wide array of challenging roles.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Henry & Me (2014)
2.
 Broken Sole, A (2007)
3.
4.
 Brooklyn Lobster (2005)
5.
 Mail Order Bride (2003) Tony Santini
6.
 Dinner Rush (2000) Louis Cropa
7.
 Mambo Cafe (1999)
8.
 Prince Of Central Park (1999) Noah Cairn
9.
10.
 Wilbur Falls (1997) Philip Devereaux
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1972:
First professional industry job was a substitute emcee at the Improvisation comedy club in NYC
1973:
Made his feature film debut in "Bang the Drum Slowly," starring Robert DeNiro
1974:
Had a bit part as small-time hood Tony Rosato in "The Godfather Part II"
1975:
Made stage debut in the Chicago production of "That Championship Season"
1975:
Broadway debut, "Lamppost Reunion"
1976:
Featured in the Paul Sorvino directed Broadway play, "Wheelbarrow Closers"
1978:
Early TV-movie credit, "The Last Tenant" (ABC)
1980:
Co-starred with Jan Michael Vincent in "Defiance"
1981:
Played a sadistic cop in "Fort Apache, the Bronx"
1981:
Cast in Broadway's "The Floating Light Bulb," written by Woody Allen
1984:
Again starred opposite Robert DeNiro in Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America"
1984:
First film with director Woody Allen, "Broadway Danny Rose"
1985:
Cast as a worthy foil to Hong Kong action superstar Jackie Chan in "The Protector"
1985:
Played Mia Farrow's husband in Woody Allen's "The Purple Rose of Cairo"
1985:
Made series debut as a regular in ABC's "Lady Blue"
1986:
Cast in an Off-Broadway revival of "The House of Blue Leaves"
1987:
Once again directed by Woody Allen in "Radio Days"
1987:
Played Cher's fiance in Norman Jewison's "Moonstruck"
1988:
Appeared in Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" music video
1989:
Had a pivotal role in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing" as Salvatore 'Sal' Frangione, the pizzeria owner
1990:
Had a memorable role in Adrian Lyne's "Jacob's Ladder" as Jacob's friend and chiropractor
1991:
Cast as the patriarch of a close-knit family in Lasse Hallström's "Once Around"
1992:
Played the title role of Lee Harvey Oswald's assassin in "Ruby"
1994:
Appeared in drag for the Robert Altman fashion-industry film, "Prêt-à-Porter"
1994:
Played a cafe owner who assigns jobs to a hitman, played by Jean Reno in "The Professional"
1995:
Played the title role in Christine Lahti's Academy Award-winning short film, "Lieberman in Love" (also aired on Showtime)
1996:
Played a hit man in the ensemble feature, "2 Days in the Valley"
1997:
Starred in the CBS miniseries, "Mario Puzo's 'The Last Don'"
1997:
Executive produced and starred in CBS drama series, "Dellaventura"
2003:
Featured in the comedy film, "Mail Order Bride"
2004:
Released the album, <i>I Just Wanted To Hear The Words</i>
2005:
Starred in director Kevin Jordan's family-inspired drama, "Brooklyn Lobster"
2006:
Portrayed a Shoemaker in "A Broken Sole," a trilogy of short films written by Susan Charlotte, dealing with 9/11
2006:
Played a gambling victim in the thriller, "Lucky Number Slevin"
2008:
Released the album, <i>Live From Atlantic City</i>
2011:
Reprise his role as a Shoemaker in the Off-Broadway drama, "The Shoemaker"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

James Monroe High School: New York , New York -

Notes

Some sources list Mr. Aiello's birth year as 1936.

Aiello launched the Web site Revolution Earth in fall 2000.

"I want to play a character that people can attach themselves to, that side where you could eat 'em up and say, 'God I'd love him to be my father, the image I'd love to follow the rest of my life.'" --Danny Aiello in The New York Times Magazine, January 21, 1990.

"When it got to the point where I couldn't get anything at all to pay the rent, I got a little hysterical and robbed produce stores and warehouses. I took the safes home, then out into the yard with a sledgehammer to open them. I had four kids and I was unable to support them. What was I going to do? I should have been put away for what I did." --From The New York Times Magazine, January 21, 1990.

"I want to bring something, I hope, that the American people would love. And I think they will love honesty, and I think that's what I'm going to bring to my character." --Danny Aiello about his role in "Dellaventura" to New York Post, July 7, 1997.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Sandy Aiello. Married on January 8, 1955.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Frances Pietrocova Aiello. Native of Naples, Italy; married at age 15; died in 1988.
father:
Daniel Louis Aiello. Teamster. Mostly absent from children's upbrining; reconciled with Aiello in 1993; died in April 1999 at age 96.
son:
Rick Aiello. Actor, former amateur heavyweight boxer, former nightclub bouncer. Born on September 21, 1955.
son:
Danny Aiello III. Actor, stunt coordinator, producer. Born in 1957.
son:
Jaime Aiello. Corporate headhunter. Born c. 1966.
daughter:
Stacey Aiello. Fashion industry sales manager. Born c. 1969.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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