The actor, best known for his roles in Goodfellas, Mickey Blue Eyes and TV series The Sopranos, passed away yesterday afternoon after suffering from lung cancer.
As well as his screen credits, Frank also owned an Italian restaurant in Harlem, New York called Rao’s which was popular with celebrities including director Martin Scorsese and Hollywood A-listers Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Fox Business journalist Charles Gasparino announced the news on his Facebook page in a touching post in which he praised the late actor and his friend.
He wrote: “Sad day for me: My good friend Frankie Pellegrino died this afternoon after a bout with lung cancer.”
He went on to say in the tribute: “Frank was so old school – tough exterior but had a heart of gold and he fought cancer as you would expect a street-kid from East Harlem would – until he could fight not more. To say Frank was a NY legend is an understatement, he bled this city and its egalitarian promise."
Charles also spoke in the post about how “super exclusive” Frank’s restaurant was and that the establishment would honour loyal customers who had been regulars before it gained popularity.
Sopranos and Goodfellas star Frank Pellegrino has died
Sopranos star Frank Pellegrino was also known for his restaurant Rao's
Sad day for me: My good friend Frankie Pellegrino died this afternoon after a bout with lung cancer
Even renowned financier Warren Buffet had been turned away when he asked for a table and had to wait his “turn”.
“New entrants needed to wait their turn to "own" a table, and it didn’t matter who they were,” Charles wrote.
The poignant message ended: “Frank I’m going to miss you screaming at me that is until we meet on the other side. RIP my friend.”
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Stars we lost in 2017
Mon, January 30, 2017
Remembering the celebrities and famous personalities who passed away in 2017.
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The late actor played tough FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso in The Sopranos.
Frank is just another member of The Sopranos family to have died after fellow cast members James Gandolfini, Sydney Pollack, Nancy Marchand and Tom Aldredge have all passed away recently.
Another friend of Frank’s Bo Dietl told US publication Page Six: “We lost a part of New York today when we lost Frankie. There’s nobody like him, he’s an icon.”
He added: “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.”