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02nd Dec 2022

Oscar winning Green Book actor found dead on New York street

Ellen Fitzpatrick


A man who was discovered dead on a street in New York City earlier this week has since been identified as Frank Vallelonga Jr, an actor who starred in the Oscar-winning movie Green Book.

Frank was the son of one-time nightclub bouncer Frank Vallelonga Sr who was known as Tony Lip, played by Viggo Mortensen in the 2018 film.

In the film, Frank played one of Mortensen’s character’s relatives and it went on to win the award for best picture.

Frank’s body was discovered early on Monday morning in the Bronx after a passerby made a 911 call when they spotted him near a factory.

Police said there was no obvious signs of trauma and the cause of death is yet to be determined.

He was then identified on Thursday and Frank’s manager later confirmed it was the actor.

“It’s completely a tragedy and shocking,” said his manager Melissa Prophet.

A 35 year old man has since been charged with concealment of a human corpse only a day after the body was discovered and an investigation into his death is ongoing.

Frank also appeared in hit TV The Sopranos during his time acting, but made it big when he landed the role in Green Book.

Based on a 1962 tour of the South by black pianist Don Shirley and the elder Vallelonga, who was Shirley’s driver and bodyguard, Green Book tells the story of how the two become close as they experience huge amounts of racism at the time.

Frank’s father who is portrayed in the film later also became an actor in real life and went on to portray mob boss Carmine Lupertazzi on The Sopranos.