Do The Right Thing actor Rick Aiello has died at age 65 after a year-and-a-half battle with pancreatic cancer.
This comes 11 years after his brother Danny Aiello III died from 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 from an infection after suffering an illness.
The news of Rick’s death was shared by TMZ on Tuesday after talking to an Aiello family member.
Sad loss: Do The Right Thing actor Rick Aiello has died at age 65 after a year-and-a-half battle with pancreatic cancer. Seen with his father Danny Aiello in 2008 in NYC
Rick died on Monday evening 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 film Silent Madness.
In the 1989 movie Do The Right Thing he played police office Long opposite his dad. After that he had a small role as a policeman in the TV movie The Preppie Murder and was seen as Lenny on 21 Jump Street.
Not long ago: This comes just a year-and-a-half after their father, Moonstruck actor Danny , died at age 86 from an infection after suffering an illness. Seen in 1989
Parents: Rick died on Monday evening 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 larger role in the 1991 film One Good Cop as Knudson.
He reprised his role as Office Long in 1991’s Jungle Fever then went on to star as 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 part was as police officer Teddy Naples in Dellaventura, a CBS television detective drama show. 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 cops: Seen as a police officer Teddy Naples in Dellaventura, a CBS television detective drama show, in 1997 in New York
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 reprised his role in the episode Ten Counts.
Rick’s last gig was as Dr Drummond on 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 New Jersey in 2019 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 in the treatment center where he was being treated for a ‘sudden illness’ and ‘suffered an infection related to his treatment’, and he died shortly after they had left.
His publicist, Tracey Miller, confirmed his death and released a statement: ‘The family asks 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 ‘hard person to figure out’ during an interview with People in 1990.
‘He was very macho,’ she said. ‘He was the kind of guy most mothers would not want their daughters to be seen with. But he was so cute and so sweet. He still is.’
Daniel Louis Aiello Jr. was born June 20, 1933, to 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 grocery store and bowling alley, shining shoes and loading trucks.
In his teenage years, he joined a street gang and, he claimed, engaged in burglary and safe-cracking. He dropped out of high school before graduating, got married in 1955 and joined the Army.
One of his earliest roles was working alongside 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 hit 1986 track
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 president who broke into acting in his 30s and remained a dependable player for decades, whether vicious or cuddly or some of each.
His breakthrough was as the hapless lover dumped by Cher in Norman Jewison’s hit comedy Moonstruck. His disillusion contributed to the laughter, and although he wasn’t 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, among them Woody Allen, who used him in the Broadway play The Floating Light Globe and the movies Broadway Danny Rose, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Radio Days.
Partner in crime: He played Tommy ‘Five-Tone’ Messina alongside Bruce Willis in the action comedy Hudson Hawk in 1997