Danny Aiello was a storied actor with quite a distinguished career. But in the Hip-Hop Nation, he will always be best remember ed as Sal, proprietor of Sal’s Famous Pizza in Spike Lee’s landmark film Do The Right Thing.
TMZ reports that Aiello died on Thursday (Dec. 12) night. He was 86.
Reportedly, the New York native passed away at a medical facility in New Jersey where he was being treated for a sudden. His death was unexpected as he was dealing with a sudden illness.
Aiello’s first gig was in Robert De Niro’s Bang the Drum Slowly and other notable films in his filmography include The Godfather: Part II, Once Upon a Time in America, Moonstruck and we’re going to go ahead and throw Harlem Nights in there. He also played Madonna’s Papa in her “Papa Don’t Preach” video.
As for Do The Right Thing, the 1989 film earned him Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Academy.
Said Spike Lee on Instagram:
“I’m 💜 Broken. 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.🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿”
Rest in power Danny Aiello. Peep the reactions to his passing from the likes of Lee, Rosie Perez, Cher and more below.