Danny Aiello Remembered by Cher, Spike Lee and More: ‘Part of the Happy Time’

Aiello died Thursday at the age of 86

Last Updated: December 13, 2019 @ 9:05 AM

Shortly after reports started to surface that “Do the Right Thing” actor Danny Aiello had died on Thursday at the age of 86, celebrities took to social media to share their condolences.

“We Laughed so much. Making ..It was one of the happiest times in my life,& He Was apart of that Happy time,” Cher, who starred in “Moonstruck” with Aiello in 1987, wrote on Twitter.

“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,” “Do the Right Thing” director Spike Lee said of the actor.

“So so sad,” Michael Rapaport said of Aiello. “What a great actor. HUGE INSPIRATION for me personally.”

In a statement to TheWrap, Aiello’s family said: “It is with profound sorrow to report that Danny Aiello, beloved husband, father, grandfather, actor and musician passed away last night after a brief illness. The family asks for privacy at this time. Service arrangements will be announced at a later date.”

Aiello was best known for his role in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” as well as “Moonstruck” and “The Godfather Part II.” His other credits include “The Front” (1976), “Once Upon a Time in America” (1984), “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985), “Radio Days” (1987), “Harlem Nights” (1989) and “2 Days in the Valley” (1996).

He was Oscar-nominated for his supporting role in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” in which he plays an Italian-American character who has owned a pizzeria in a neighborhood in Brooklyn for 25 years and refuses to leave even as racial tensions amplify.

See the reactions below.

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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.????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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