NATIONAL NEWS

Actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. died from accidental overdose

Apr 11, 2023, 12:01 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Frank Vallelonga Jr., an actor who appeared in the Oscar-winning movie “Green Book,” died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl and cocaine, according to the New York City medical examiner’s office.

Vallelonga, 60, was found dead in November on a sidewalk in the Bronx. A 911 caller reported seeing his body near a factory.

Vallelonga was the son of one-time Copacabana bouncer Frank Vallelonga Sr., known as Tony Lip, who was portrayed by Viggo Mortensen in the 2018 film. Frank Vallelonga Jr. played a relative of Mortensen’s character in the movie, which won the Oscar for best picture.

Vallelonga has more than a half-dozen acting credits since 1994, including an appearance on “The Sopranos,” according to the IMDb website.

A 35-year-old man was charged with concealment of a human corpse the day after Vallelonga’s body was found. Police at the time said there were no obvious signs of trauma to the body. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Vallelonga died from “acute intoxication due to combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine.”

“Green Book” was based on a 1962 tour of the segregated Deep South by Black pianist Don Shirley and the elder Vallelonga, who was Shirley’s driver and bodyguard.

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