Tribute to Danny Aiello (1933 – 2019)

Born Daniel Louis Aiello Jr. in Manhattan, New York on June 20, 1933, Aiello was one of six children. The son of a seamstress, Aiello joined the Army at age sixteen, lying about his age. Three years later he returned to NYC taking on various jobs as a union representative for Greyhound and as a bouncer at the famous comedy club The Improv. Aiello wouldn't break into the entertainment industry until the age of forty, when he finally landed a small part in 1973's BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY.

Over the next forty-four years Danny Aiello would go on to star in over seventy films including such acclaimed works as Woody Allen's THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO and Norman Jewison's MOONSTRUCK. He's probably most well known for his role as Sal Fragione in director Spike Lee's DO THE RIGHT THING. The part earned Aiello both Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Danny Aiello was also well regarded for his singing voice, releasing several big band albums including I Just Wanted To Hear The Words and Live From Atlantic City.

Danny Aiello is survived by his wife of sixty-four years, Sandy, and three children – Rick, Jamie, and Stacey. All of our hearts here at JoBlo go out to Aiello's friends and family.

Rest in peace.


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