Danny Aiello role call
Since making his screen debut in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), Danny Aiello has become one of Hollywood’s top character actors. He has played enough cops and tough guys to last a lifetime, but recent roles — such as his Joe Bella in Once Around — find him branching out. His resumé still consists almost entirely of supporting performances, but that hasn’t kept him from leaving an indelible impression. These were especially memorable:
Fort Apache, The Bronx (1981) Playing bad cop to Paul Newman’s good cop, Aiello is at the center of this film’s most horrifying scene: In a racist rage he hurls an innocent Hispanic boy off a tenement roof.
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) The actor played Mia Farrow’s abusive husband in this Depression-era fantasy from Woody Allen.
Papa Don’t Preach (1986) He played the Papa to Madonna’s pregnant teen in her controversial video.
Moonstruck (1987) The wimpy Johnny Cammareri (Aiello) loses his fiancée (Cher) to his more hot-blooded brother (Nicolas Cage).
Do the Right Thing (1989) Aiello is restaurant owner Sal, whose pizzeria is trashed in the climax of Spike Lee’s much-talked-about film.
Jacob’s Ladder (1990) Aiello as you’ve never seen him before. He’s the doctor (read: guardian angel) who guides Tim Robbins through his nightmarish hallucinations.