Green Book actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. found dead in the street
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Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo / Universal Pictures
Green Book actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. has been identified as a body dumped in the street in the Bronx.
The actor, who had a small role in a 2004 episode of The Sopranos, was found dead at the age of 60.
His body was discovered on Monday morning in the Bronx after a 911 caller reported seeing it near a factory.
Police found no obvious signs of trauma and the cause of death has not been determined.
Vallelonga was identified on Thursday and his manager later confirmed it was the actor.
"I’m very sad to confirm Frank's death," Vallelonga's rep said.
"It’s a terrible tragedy. He was an incredible guy and a great actor."
UNILAD have reached out to Vallelonga's representatives for further comment.
Police have arrested Steven Smith, 35, who's faced with eight charges including concealment of a human corpse and possession of a stolen vehicle.
The NYPD said in a statement: "The male had no obvious signs of trauma observed.
"EMS responded to the location and pronounced the male deceased at the scene.
"Upon arrival, police observed an unidentified adult male, unconscious and unresponsive, on the ground at the location.
"The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing."
Vallelonga has more than half a dozen acting credits since 1994, with Green Book being the most prominent. The film was based on a 1962 tour of the South by black pianist Don Shirley and Tony Lip, who was Shirley’s driver and bodyguard, and Vallelonga Jr's father.
Lip was played by Viggo Mortensen, while Vallelonga played his own real-life uncle Rudy Vallelonga.
Lip later in life became known as an actor and portrayed mob boss Carmine Lupertazzi on The Sopranos.
The full synopsis for Green Book reads: "Dr Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist, who is about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962.
"In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip, a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighbourhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation."
The film won three Oscars in 2019, including Best Picture.
Paying tribute to the actor, one person wrote: "He presented at my son’s film school before the pandemic. Seemed like a great guy. Very gracious! RIP."
"Rest In Peace this is such a tragedy!" another added.
Someone else tweeted: "RIP. Yes I saw that movie. Great, impactful movie."
"Blessing to his family and friends," another wrote.