Frank Pellegrino dies aged 72 after lung cancer battle
‘Sopranos’ star Frank Pellegrino has died aged 72.
The actor, who played FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso on the hit HBO series from 1999 until 2004, passed away on Tuesday (01.31.17) in New York City following a battle with lung cancer.
Frank also had roles in ‘Mickey Blue Eyes’ and ‘Goodfellas’, and was the co-owner of Rao’s restaurant in Harlem, New York.
Bo Dietl, a former New York City police detective and mayor candidate, has paid tribute to the late actor following his passing.
He told the New York Post newspaper: "We lost a part of New York today when we lost Frankie. There’s nobody like him, he’s an icon.
"He was big-hearted and generous and always took care of people. What a shining star and a big personality, I will miss singing along with him every Thursday night. He never complained once, he was always upbeat. I am going to miss my best friend, he was one of the bravest guys I ever met."
Meanwhile, Frank’s friend Charles Gasparino also wrote a touching tribute on Facebook.
He said: "To say Frank was a NY legend is an understatement – he bled this city and its egalitarian promise. People love to talk how no one can get a table at Rao’s. Well, that’s true but it misses the point. The tables were given out to old time customers when the place became hot some years ago. New entrants needed to wait their turn to ‘own’ a table, and it didn’t matter who they were. [Billionaire businessman] Warren Buffett was one of those who wanted a table and faced Frankie’s famous "no".
"You see, Frankie loved to sing to his patrons and that night [he denied Buffett], as he was belting out The Temptations’ classic My Girl, he turned to Buffett and sang: "I don’t need no money, fortune or fame … I’ve got all the riches, baby, one man can claim". He did of course: His family, friends, his restaurant and his acting. Frank, I’m going to miss you screaming at me, that is, until we meet on the other side. RIP my friend. (sic)"