This is a beta version of NNDB
Search: for

Danny Aiello

Danny AielloAKA Daniel Louis Aiello, Jr.

Born: 20-Jun-1933
Birthplace: Manhattan, NY
Died: 12-Dec-2019
Location of death: Undetermined Location, NJ
Cause of death: Infection

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Last Don

Military service: US Army (1954-54)

Danny Aiello was born to a working class family during the Depression. His father having abandoned them, he found it necessary as a child to deliver papers and shine shoes in Grand Central Station. Aiello dropped out of high school, and served in the Army. By his mid-30s, he had been with Greyhound for 10 years, and was elected president of Local 1202 of the Amalgamated Transit Union. He lost his union post after an argument with the union's national office over an unauthorized "wildcat" strike. After that, he said, he did not know what to do: "I had my success, and then I was floundering with nothing."

In 1972 he was working as a bouncer at a night club when one night he filled in as emcee for a comedy competition one night when the regular master of ceremonies didn't show up. He began introducing the performers regularly, and singing occasionally. A friend convinced him to try acting, and although he had never even seen a play, Aiello made his acting debut in Lamppost Reunion, which garnered him a Theatrical World Award for Best Debut.

He worked steadily in theater after that, and made his film debut in 1973's tearjerker for men, Bang the Drum Slowly. He mostly plays Brooklyn born Italian-Americans, in films like Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo, Cher's Moonstruck, and Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. He also played the father in Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" video, which he later regretted, deciding that the song promoted single motherhood.

He continues to play Italian-Americans on film, but in recent years most of his movies have been less-than-classics, including such sludge as Mail Order Bride with Artie Lange and Zeyda and the Hitman with Mercedes Ruehl. His last major success as an actor was the miniseries The Last Don in 1997. In 2004 Aiello realized a dream when he released his first album, I Just Wanted to Hear the Words and began touring as a singer.

During Bill Clinton's presidency, life-long Democrat Aiello became a Republican out of disgust for the behavior of the Commander-in-Chief. "I turned in my card to become a Republican because I did not want to be known as a Democrat under that person's regime. I'm a traditionalist. I have certain values that I live by, and he practices none of those things".

In 2003 Aiello joined a group of New York businessmen who sued the city, stating that it had "sabotaged" their efforts to begin a new film studio on the Staten Island waterfront. The city claimed they had failed to obtain proper permits and insurance, and Aiello's group ultimately lost the lawsuit.

Father: Daniel Louis Aiello, Sr.
Mother: Frances Pietrocova
Wife: Sandy Cohen (m. 1955, three sons, one daughter)
Son: Danny Aiello III (stuntman, b. 27-Jan-1957, d. 1-May-2010 pancreatic cancer)
Son: Rick Aiello (actor, b. 21-Sep-1955)
Son: Jamie Aiello
Daughter: Stacy Aiello

    High School: James Monroe High School, Bronx, NY (dropped out after two weeks)

    Greyhound (mid-1960s to early-1970s)
    Italian Ancestry

    Dellaventura Anthony Dellaventura (1997-98)
    Lady Blue Lt. Terry McNichols (1985-86)

    Lucky Number Slevin (24-Feb-2006)
    Brooklyn Lobster (9-Sep-2005) · Frank Giorgio
    Running with the Hitman (20-Nov-2004)
    18 Shades of Dust (26-Jan-2001)
    Prince of Central Park (22-Sep-2000) · Noah Cairn
    Dinner Rush (1-Sep-2000)
    Wilbur Falls (4-Sep-1998)
    The Last Don II (3-May-1998)
    Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis (Jul-1997)
    The Last Don (11-May-1997)
    A Brooklyn State of Mind (1997) · Danny Parente
    2 Days in the Valley (12-Sep-1996) · Dosmo Pizzo
    Two Much (15-Mar-1996)
    City Hall (16-Feb-1996) · Frank Anselmo
    Mojave Moon (1996) · Al
    Power of Attorney (1995)
    The Road Home (1995)
    Prêt-à-Porter (25-Dec-1994) · Maj. Hamilton
    Léon the Professional (14-Sep-1994) · Tony
    Me and the Kid (22-Oct-1993)
    The Pickle (30-Apr-1993)
    The Cemetery Club (3-Feb-1993)
    Mistress (29-Apr-1992) · Carmine Rasso
    Ruby (27-Mar-1992)
    29th Street (1-Nov-1991)
    Hudson Hawk (24-May-1991) · Tommy Five-Tone
    Once Around (18-Jan-1991)
    The Closer (Dec-1990)
    Jacob's Ladder (2-Nov-1990)
    Harlem Nights (17-Nov-1989) · Phil Cantone
    The Preppie Murder (24-Sep-1989)
    Do the Right Thing (14-Jan-1989) · Sal
    The January Man (13-Jan-1989) · Vincent Alcoa
    The Third Solution (17-Mar-1988)
    Alone in the Neon Jungle (17-Jan-1988)
    Moonstruck (18-Dec-1987) · Mr. Johnny Cammareri
    The Pick-up Artist (18-Sep-1987) · Phil
    Man on Fire (4-Sep-1987)
    Daddy (5-Apr-1987)
    Radio Days (30-Jan-1987) · Rocco
    Key Exchange (14-Aug-1985)
    The Protector (15-Jun-1985)
    The Stuff (14-Jun-1985)
    The Purple Rose of Cairo (1-Mar-1985)
    Old Enough (24-Aug-1984)
    Once Upon a Time in America (17-Feb-1984)
    Death Mask (1984)
    Chu Chu and the Philly Flash (28-Aug-1981)
    Fort Apache the Bronx (6-Feb-1981)
    Hide in Plain Sight (21-Mar-1980) · Sal Carvello
    Defiance (14-Mar-1980)
    Bloodbrothers (15-Sep-1978)
    Fingers (26-Aug-1978)
    The Front (17-Sep-1976) · Danny LaGattuta
    The Godfather: Part II (12-Dec-1974)
    Bang the Drum Slowly (26-Aug-1973)

Official Website:

Create a map starting with Danny Aiello
Requires Flash 7+ and Javascript.

Do you know something we don't?
Submit a correction or make a comment about this profile

Copyright ©2021 Soylent Communications