'Green Book' Actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. Dead at 60, Identified as Body Dumped in NYC

Frank Vallelonga Jr., who acted in the Oscar-winning film Green Book, was identified as the victim of a possible overdose in New York City. A body was found dumped in the Bronx on Monday and belonged to the 60-year-old actor, police said Thursday. Vallelonga's brother, Nick Vallelonga, won Oscars for co-writing and co-producing Green Book and also appeared in the movie.

Vallelonga's body was discovered outside a sheet-metal manufacturing plant in the early morning hours of Monday. His body was tossed out of a vehicle, police told the New York Post. His cause of death has yet to be determined, but law enforcement sources said the early investigation found signs of an overdose.

The day after Vallelonga's body was discovered, Steven Smith, 35, was arrested and charged with concealment of a human purpose. Smith was allegedly seen in surveillance footage throwing Vallelonga's body from his car. He allegedly confessed while being interrogated, a police spokesman said. Other details in the case remain unknown, but Vallelonga's body showed no signs of trauma.

"That dude was dead already," Smith allegedly told police, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the New York Daily News. "He overdosed. I didn't have anything to do with that."

Green Book told the story of Vallelonga's father, bouncer Frank Vallelonga, who was known as Tony Lip, and how he was hired to drive Black musician, Dr. Don Shirley, to his tour dates in the South in 1962. Vallelonga had a small part in the film as his real-life uncle, Rudy Vallelonga. Nick had a small role as a Mafioso.

Viggo Mortensen earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for playing Vallelonga Sr., and Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for playing Shirley. Linda Cardellini played Vallelonga's mother, Dolores. Nick wrote the screenplay with directors Peter Farrelly and Brian Hayes Currie. Green Book also won Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the 91st Academy Awards.

Vallelonga also appeared in episodes of The Sopranos, The Neighborhood, and Gravesend. Vallelonga Sr. also appeared in The Sopranos, Goodfellas, The Godfather, and Donnie Brasco. He died in 2013 at 82.

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"I loved the guy. He was a great guy," Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore said of Vallelonga in a Daily News interview. "The last time I saw Frankie he came to one of my acting classes in the city, about six months ago."