Body of ‘Green Book’ & ‘Sopranos’ Actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. Found Dumped in Bronx
A body dumped outside of a Bronx sheet-metal manufacturing factory on Monday, November 28 has been identified as 60-year-old actor Frank Vallelonga Jr.
Vallelonga Jr. was known for playing a relative of Viggo Mortensen‘s character in the Oscar-winning Green Book. The film was based on Vallelonga Jr.’s father, Frank Vallelonga Sr. (known by his stage name Tony Lip) and written by his brother, Nick Vallelonga.
NYPD responded to a 911 call reporting an unconscious male left outside 1243 Oak Point Avenue in The Bronx on November 28. When officers arrived at the scene, the man was unresponsive, per Deadline. EMS pronounced the male dead at the scene and an investigation into the exact cause of death is still ongoing.
A 35-year-old man named Steven Smith has been charged with concealment of a human corpse for dumping the actor’s body. According to TMZ, Smith told NYPD authorities that Vallelonga Jr. died of a drug overdose.
Smith reportedly disposed of Vallelonga Jr.’s body by using brother Nick’s car. The screenwriter told police that Smith did not have permission or authority to drive his vehicle.
In the 1960s, Lip was a bouncer hired to drive and protect the musician Don Shirley as they drove throughout the Jim Crow South. Mahershala Ali won an Oscar for playing Shirley in the film, which also got Nick Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards. Vallelonga Jr. played his other brother, Rudy, in the movie.
In addition to inspiring the plot of Green Book, Lip (who died in January 2013) played mob boss Carmine Lupertazzi in The Sopranos. Vallelonga Jr. appeared in a small role in the HBO drama in 2004 in addition to a handful of other small TV and film roles. He most recently appeared in the film The Birthday Cake in 2021.