Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Devastating Death Of Green Book Star Frank Vallelonga Jr.

"Green Book" star Frank Vallelonga Jr. has died, The New York Post has confirmed. The actor and restaurateur was 60. A spokesperson for the Vallelonga family has confirmed that the late actor is survived by his wife and 17-year-old son (via Buzzfeed News). "The Vallelonga family asks for privacy in their time of grief," the spokesperson requested. Police officers confirmed to The New York Post that Vallelonga Jr. is the victim whose body was dumped outside of a sheet-metal manufacturing building in the Bronx early Monday. His body was tossed out of a vehicle.

35-year-old Steven Smith was charged with concealment of a human corpse on Tuesday. A police spokesman says that Smith was caught on surveillance dumping the actor's body. "That dude was dead already," Smith said (via News10). Smith claims he had nothing to do with the "Green Book" star's death and did not know him. While Vallelonga Jr.'s cause of death is still being determined by officials, all signs point to the actor passing from an overdose. Buzzfeed News adds that he may have been facing homelessness. Details surrounding the actor's death continue the evolve. 

Following the release of Peter Farrelly's "Green Book," Vallelonga Jr. gracefully entered the spotlight, sharing a photo of himself and Lady Gaga at an Oscar party on his restaurant's Instagram page. The biopic ultimately jump started the late actor's career, with his small but personal role in "Green Book" standing out as one of his many accomplishments.  

Frank Vallelonga Jr.'s father inspired Green Book

Frank Vallelonga Jr. was the son of Tony Lip, the actor and bouncer who inspired the 2018 Oscar-winning hit "Green Book." Lip appeared in a number of significant American films, including "The Godfather," "Raging Bull," and "Goodfellas." He was eventually afforded the guest role of Carmine Lupertazzi Sr. in "The Sopranos," though his greatest contribution to entertainment remains the film based on his life. "Green Book" detailed Lip's (Viggo Mortensen) stint as the personal driver and bodyguard of musician Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) through the segregated South. While the film faced backlash and criticism from Shirley's family for accentuating the relationship and friendship between the employee and employer (via Black Enterprise), the film was generally well-received and holds a positive 77% on Rotten Tomatoes.

"Green Book" was co-written and produced by Frank Vallelonga Jr.'s brother, Nick. Frank's brother also starred in both "The Godfather" and "Goodfellas" like his father and eventually went on to make his screenwriting debut with the Nicholas Cage-starring "Deadfall." "Green Book" remains Nick's biggest success, nabbing him two Oscars. He also starred briefly in the film as a mafia boss. Vallelonga Jr., meanwhile, played his own uncle Rudy in the biopic based on his father. 

Apart from starring in "Green Book," Frank boasted appearances in "A Brilliant Disguise" and "The Sopranos," per IMDB. As a tribute to his father, Vallelonga Jr. owned and operated Tony Lip's Italian Restaurant & Pizza, which featured photographs and memorabilia from the actor's early days (via YouTube). The restaurant ultimately shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Per The Calgary Herald, the Vallelonga brothers were said to have started working on a brand new film, titled "That's Amore."