Danny Aiello Fans Devastated After 'Do the Right Thing' Actor's Sudden Death at 86

Fans are in mourning after veteran actor Danny Aiello, known for his roles in The Godfather Part II, Do the Right Thing, and Moonstruck, died Thursday at the age of 86. After Aiello's family confirmed his passing to TMZ Friday morning, fans took to social media to react to the news and pay their respects.

"RIP Danny Aiello.... He played Sal, perfectly..... was nominated for an Academy Award for that role... (for those wondering, the winner that year was Denzel for Glory)," one fan wrote.

"RIP Danny Aiello," a second person wrote. "He managed to exude warmth in every role and felt like your favorite uncle. And he didn't start acting until his 40s, a perfect case for never giving up. This one hurts."

"Danny Aiello Had a majestic leadership quality to his work. He always seemed to know what to do next. There was an authority that was both compassionate and sinister," another fan remembered the late actor. "Certainly one of the great Italian American actors to appear on the screen."

"I will remember Danny Aiello for the many things he did, always loved him as Louis the Chiropractor in the movie Jacobs Ladder, 1990," another tweeted. "If you've never seen Do The Right Thing, now would be a good time. RIP."

News of Aiello's death broke early Friday morning, with his family stating that he passed away at a medical facility in New Jersey Thursday night. He has reportedly been receiving treatment for a sudden illness at the facility and had suffered an infection related to his treatment.

The late actor had broken into the world of movies in the early 1970s when he landed a small part in the Robert De Niro baseball drama Bang the Drum Slowly. He went on to portray Tony Rosato in The Godfather Part II, in which he memorably said, "Michael Corleone says hello!"

Aiello was also well known for his roles in several popular '80s movies, including Fort Apache the Bronx with Paul Newman, Once Upon a Time in America, The Purple Rose of Cairo, and Moonstruck, where he played Johnny Cammarer.


He also portrayed pizza joint owner Sal in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, a role that earned him his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Aiello is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Sandy, and his children, Rick, Jaime, and Stacey Aiello.