Danny Aiello, best known for his Oscar-nominated role as Sal the pizza parlor owner in Do the Right Thing, has reportedly passed away at 86.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor died Thursday (December 12) after a brief illness.
Aiello began his acting career at age 35 and was noteworthy for his roles such as Cher’s suitor in Moonstruck, Mia Farrow’s husband in The Purple Rose of Cairo, a crooked cop in Fort Apache the Bronx, and a gangster in The Godfather: Part II.
Spike Lee, the director of Do the Right Thing, reacted to Aiello’s death on Instagram, labeling him as his “brother.”
“I’m [heart] Broken,” he captioned under a screenshot of him in his 1989 film. “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.”
It isn’t clear what exactly caused Danny Aiello’s death. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.