Danny Aiello dies at 86

Cher and Spike Lee lead tributes

by Amber Wilkinson

Cher led the tributes today to her Moonstruck co-star Danny Aiello, who is reported to have died last night.

Using a broken heart emoji and referring to their character names in the Norman Jewison film, Cher tweeted: "Goodbye Dear #DannyAiello Danny was a great actor, But a genius comedic actor. We laughed so much. Making #Moonstruck ..It was one of the happiest times in my life. He was a part of that happy time. Goodbye #JohnnyCammareri Loretta"

New Yorker Aiello, 86, was known for his strong supporting roles in films including Do The Right Thing, Once Upon A Time In America, Jacob's Ladder and The Purple Rose of Cairo,  and was reported to have died after a brief illness.

His film career began in 1973, when he appeared in baseball drama Bang The Drum Slowly, alongside Robert De Niro. Both stars went on to cement themselves in the public eye by appearing in The Godfather: Part II, with De Niro in the lead and Aeillo playing Tony Rosato.

Do The Right Thing director Spike Lee joined the tributes, posting a photo on Instagram. Mia Farrow also tweeted: "So very sad to hear that Danny Aiello has died. He was a superb actor and a lovely person. It was a joy and an honor to work with him (in Broadway Danny Rose)  Condolences and love to his family."

Michael Rappaport also tweeted his condolences and said Aiello was a "huge inspiration".

Aiello continued working up to his death, with recent films including Frank D'Angelo's Making A Deal With The Devil and he was in pre-production on more than one project.

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