He was 60 years old. He was the son of Tony Lip, whose story is the basis of the film Peter Farrelly
New York police found him unconscious on a sidewalk in the Bronx and after help arrived, actor Frank Vallelonga Jr., 60, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police also confirmed the arrest of a 35-year-old man named Steven Smith on body-concealment charges. The police also declared that the investigation into the death of Vallelonga Jr., known for having played in the film ‘Green Book’, is still ongoing and that he will be a coroner to establish the causes of death.
Frank Vallelonga Jr. was the son of the late actor Tony Lip, whose real name was Frank Vallelonga. In director Peter Farrelly’s 2018 film ‘Green Book’, Vallelonga Jr. played his uncle, Rudy Vallelonga, while actor Viggo Mortensen played his father, Tony Lip, in the Best Picture Oscar-winning film. Vallelonga Jr. also appeared in the film ‘The Birthday Cake’ (2021) and in episodes of the television series ‘Gravesend’ and ‘The Neighborhood’.
‘Green Book’ tells the true story of a 1962 tour through the racially segregated US Deep South by black pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his Italian-American chauffeur and bodyguard Tony Lip. Vallelonga Jr. played real-life Uncle Rudy Vallelonga in the film, which was nominated for five Academy Awards at the 2019 ceremony and won three: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Ali, and Best Original Screenplay.
Lip worked in the 1960s at the Copacabana nightclub in New York, where he came into contact with artists of the time (Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett) and also with gangsters who later characterized his acting career. Throughout his acting career, he has played Carmine Lupertazzi in the TV series ‘The Sopranos’, Philip Giaccone in ‘Donnie Brasco’ and Lucchese family affiliate Francesco Manzo in ‘Goodfellas, as well as having a small role in ‘The Godfather’ by Francis Ford Coppola.