NEW YORK — Frank Vallelonga Jr., a character actor known for his roles in “Green Book” and “A Brilliant Disguise,” was found dead in New York City, authorities said. He was 60.
A man’s body was found on the ground in the Bronx on Monday and was later identified as the actor, WPIX-TV reported. Police said Vallelonga Jr. had suffered no obvious signs of trauma, according to the television station.
The medical examiner’s office was still determining an official cause of death.
In 2018′s Academy Award-winning film “Green Book,” Vallelonga Jr. played his real-life uncle, Rudy Vallelonga, Variety reported. Rudy Vallelonga was Viggo Mortensen’s bouncer character in the film, Deadline reported. Mortensen’s character, Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga, was based on Vallelonga Jr.’s real-life father, according to the entertainment news website.
“Green Book” portrayed an Italian-American bouncer (Mortensen) who becomes the driver for a Black classical pianist (Mahershala Ali) in the 1960s American South, according to IMDb.com.
Vallelonga Jr. also played a maitre d’ in 1994′s “A Brilliant Disguise.”
Steven Smith, 35, of New York City, is accused of concealment of a human corpse, WPIX reported. Police said Smith dumped Vallelonga Jr.’s body from a vehicle, but the Bronx resident denied the accusation.
“That dude was dead already,” Smith said, according to a criminal complaint.
Smith told police he did not know Vallelonga Jr. and had nothing to do with his death, according to WPIX.
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