By Nick Romano
December 13, 2019 at 10:53 AM EST
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Danny Aiello, the actor from Spike Lee‘s Do the Right Thing and Norman Jewison’s Moonstruck, died on Thursday night after a reported sudden illness. He was 86.

Aiello’s literary rep confirmed his passing in a brief statement to EW: “Danny was my client and a dear friend. He passed away last night.”

According to TMZ, Aiello died from an infection while in a hospital in New Jersey while being treated for an illness. A rep for Aiello did not immediately respond to EW’s request for further comment.

Aiello landed his first movie gig in the 1970s when he featured in a small role opposite Robert De Niro in Bang the Drum Slowly. Soon after, he appeared as Tony Rosato in The Godfather: Part II. “Michael Corleone says hello” was his famous line from the acclaimed film saga.

He continued acting in various films and television shows, notably in Fort Apache the Bronx opposite Paul Newman, Once Upon a Time in America (again) opposite De Niro, The Purple Rose of Cairo opposite Mia Farrow, Moonstruck opposite Cher, Jacob’s Ladder opposite Tim Robbins, and Léon: The Professional opposite Jean Reno and Natalie Portman.

Aiello received one Golden Globe nomination and one Oscar nomination in his career, both for his supporting role in Do the Right Thing as pizza shop owner Sal.

He is survived by his wife, Sandy, and his four children.

In the wake of the sad news, Aiello’s Moonstruck costar Cher paid tribute to the late performer on Twitter.

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Do The Right Thing

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