Do The Right Thing actor Rick Aiello has died aged 65 after a year and a half battle with pancreatic cancer.
This comes 11 years after his brother Danny Aiello III died of the same illness in 2010. And it also comes just a year and a half after their father, Moonstruck actor Danny Aiello, died at age 86 of an infection following an illness.
The news of Rick’s death was shared by TMZ on Tuesday after a conversation with a relative of Aiello.
Sad loss: Do The Right Thing actor Rick Aiello has passed away at the age of 65 after a year and a half battle with pancreatic cancer. Seen with his father Danny Aiello in 2008 in NYC
Rick died Monday night in Warwick, New Jersey, his mother Sandy told the website.
Sandy was married to Danny Aiello Sr. from 1955 until his death in 2019.
Rick started acting in 1984 when he had a small role as Michael in the movie Silent Madness.
In the 1989 film Do The Right Thing, he played Police Station Long opposite his father. He then had a small role as a police officer in the TV movie The Preppie Murder and appeared as Lenny on 21 Jump Street.
Not too long ago: This comes just a year and a half after their father, Moonstruck actor Danny, died of an infection following an illness at age 86. Seen in 1989
Parents: Rick died Monday night in Warwick, New Jersey, his mother Sandy told the website. Sandy was married to Danny Aiello Sr. from 1955 until his death in 2019. Seen in 2014
Rick had a bigger role in the 1991 film One Good Cop as Knudson.
He reprized his role as Office Long in 1991’s Jungle Fever and then played Cliff Howard in 1992’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
Throughout the 90s, Rick popped up on the TV shows Renegade, Marker, Strange Luck, NYPD Blue, Diagnosis Murder, and Clueless.
His biggest role was as police officer Teddy Naples in Dellaventura, a CBS television detective drama series. He had a recurring role.
In 2004, he starred in She Hate Me as Rocco Bonasera.
Son and Father: Danny and Rick in Do The Right Thing in 1989 for director Spike Lee
He often played police: seen as a police officer Teddy Naples in Dellaventura, a CBS television detective drama show, in New York in 1997
Then in 2006 he worked on The Sopranos – a show his father often appeared on – as Ray-Ray D’Abaldo in the episode Bedfellows. Two years later, he reprized his role in the episode Ten Counts.
Rick’s last appearance was as Dr Drummond in 2016’s Nobody’s Perfect. He has over 60 acting credits to his name.
Rick is survived by his wife, Arlene Anne Urichich, and their two children.
Danny Aiello Sr died in 2019 in New Jersey after an illness. He was best known for Moonstruck, Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo.
Breakthrough role: Aiello played Johnny Cammareri, the hapless lover dumped by Cher in Norman Jewison’s 1987 hit comedy
The popular character star, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Sal in Do The Right Thing.
TMZ reported that his family had visited him at the treatment center where he was being treated for a ‘sudden illness’ and had ‘an infection related to his treatment’, and that he died shortly after they left.
His publicist, Tracey Miller, confirmed his death and issued a statement: “The family is asking for privacy at this time.”
Legend: Aiello is best known for his role in the 1989 film Do The Right Thing (pictured). He earned a host of Best Supporting Actor awards for playing Sal and was also nominated for an Academy Award
Sandy described her husband as “very deep” and “a person hard to fathom” in a 1990 interview with People.
“He was very macho,” she said. “He was the kind of man most mothers wouldn’t want their daughters to see. But he was so cute and so sweet. He still is.’
Daniel Louis Aiello Jr. was born on June 20, 1933 of Italian parents. His father, a laborer, left the family of seven children and Daniel started working at the age of nine selling newspapers, working in a supermarket and bowling alley, polishing shoes and loading trucks.
In his teens he joined a street gang and, according to himself, was involved in burglaries and safe-breaking. He dropped out of high school before graduating, married in 1955 and enlisted in the military.
One of his first roles was working with Robert De Niro in the 1973 baseball drama, Bang the Drum Slowly.
Papa Don’t Preach: Aiello played Madonna’s father in the iconic video for her 1986 hit
He played Tony Rosato in Godfather Part II and recited the infamous line, “Michael Corleone says hello!”
Recognizable, if not famous, for his burly build and husky voice, he was an ex-union chairman who started acting at age 30 and remained a reliable player for decades, whether mean or cuddly or something of both.
His breakthrough came as the hapless lover dumped by Cher in Norman Jewison’s hit comedy Moonstruck. His disillusionment contributed to laughter, and while he was not nominated for a supporting role Oscar (Cher and Olympia Dukakis won in their categories), Aiello was inundated with movie offers.
For Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing in 1989, Aiello earned a host of Best Supporting Actor awards and was also nominated for an Academy Award.
The ebullient Aiello became a favorite of several directors, including Woody Allen, who featured him in the Broadway play The Floating Light Globe and the Broadway films Danny Rose, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Radio Days.
Partner in crime: He played Tommy ‘Five-Tone’ Messina alongside Bruce Willis in the 1997 action comedy Hudson Hawk