As reported by Variety, Sopranos actor and New York City restaurateur Frank Pellegrino has died after a battle with lung cancer. He was 72.
Pellegrino is probably best known for playing FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso on eleven episodes of The Sopranos, and like a lot of Italian actors from New York, he spent a lot of time appearing in mobster-related films and TV shows. In addition to The Sopranos, he played Johnny Dio in Goodfellas, appeared in three episodes across the Law & Order universe, and he had smaller roles in Cop Land, Mickey Blue Eyes, and Manhattan Murder Mystery. As Variety notes, he also had a recent guest appearance on Bravo’s Odd Mom Out.
Separate from his acting life, Pellegrino was a food buff and co-owner of iconic Italian eatery Rao’s in East Harlem, New York—a restaurant that has appeared in Jay Z videos, The Wolf Of Wall Street, and on season eight of Top Chef.
Pellegrino’s longtime friend Charlie Gasparino (a panelist on Fox Business) posted a tribute on Facebook, calling him a “legend” in New York and an “old school” guy who had a “tough exterior but a heart of gold.”