Frank Vallelonga Jr death: Green Book actor dies aged 60 as police identify dumped body

Frank Vallelonga Jr death: Green Book actor dies aged 60 as police identify dumped body
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Green Book actor Frank Vallelonga Jr has died aged 60.

On Thursday (1 December), the New York Police Department identified a body found dumped in the Bronx, New York as belonging to the actor.

Vallelonga Jr was best known for his role in the 2018 film, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2019.

He portrayed a relative of Viggo Mortensen’s character, bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga. The actor was the son of the real-life bouncer depicted in the movie.

Confirming his death, the actor’s representative said in a statement (via Fox News): “I’m very sad to confirm Frank’s death. It’s a terrible tragedy. He was an incredible guy and a great actor.”

On Monday (29 November), the NYPD responded to a call about an unconscious and unresponsive male. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the police, the body showed “no obvious signs of trauma”. A medical examiner will determine the cause of death, while the investigation remains ongoing.

The following day, after reviewing video surveillance and witness confirmation, police arrested Steven Smith, 35.

Frank Vallelonga Jr (middle) (Getty Images for AFI)
Frank Vallelonga Jr (middle) (Getty Images for AFI)

Smith has been charged with eight charges, including grand larceny and possession of a stolen vehicle alongside dumping the body.

However, according to the criminal complaint seen by New York Daily News, Smith claimed that Vallelonga Jr had died of an overdose and was “dead already”.

Vallelonga Jr’s most recent credits include 2021 crime drama The Birthday Cake, a 2018 episode of CBS sitcom The Neighborhood and a 2004 episode of The Sopranos.

His father, who went by the stage name Tony Lip, was also an actor who starred as crime boss Carmine Luppertazzi on The Sopranos.