Danny Aiello, 'Do the Right Thing' and 'Moonstruck' Star, Dead at 86
By Antoinette Bueno
George Pimentel/Getty Images
Actor Danny Aiello has died at the age of 86.
Aiello, who is best known for his roles in 1989's Do the Right Thing and 1987's Moonstruck, died on Thursday night after suffering from an illness, his publicity company announced on social media on Friday.
"On behalf of the Aiello family it is with profound sorrow to report that Danny Aiello, beloved husband, father, grandfather, actor and musician passed away last night after a brief illness," the statement reads. "The family asks for privacy at this time. Service arrangements will be announced at a later date. ..#dannyaiello."
According to TMZ, Aiello died at a medical facility in New Jersey where he was being treated for a sudden illness. The late actor reportedly suffered an infection related to his treatment.
ET has reached out to Ariello's rep for comment.
Aiello's Moonstruck co-star, Cher, paid tribute to him via Twitter on Friday, naming their memorable characters in the film -- Johnny Cammareri and Loretta.
"Goodbye Dear #DannyAiello ?," she wrote. "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. Goodbye #JohnnyCammareri ?Loretta."
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. Goodbye #JohnnyCammareri 💋Loretta
Ariello's other notable films include 1974's The Godfather Part II, 1984's Once Upon a Time in America and 2006's Lucky Number Slevin. He earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, in which he played a pizzeria owner named Sal in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, as racial tensions come to a boiling point.
Lee Instagrammed about Aiello's death on Friday, and shared multiple photos with him.
"I'm ? Broken," he wrote. "Just Found Out My Brother DANNY AIELLO Made His Transition Last Night. Danny,We Made Cinema History Together With DO THE RIGHT THING. May You Rest In PARADISE."