Tony Lo Bianco Dies: ‘The French Connection’ & ‘Law & Order’ Actor Was 87

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Tony Lo Bianco, best known for his role as Salvatore “Sal” Boca in the 1971 film The French Connectionhas died of prostate cancer. He was 87.

The actor passed away June 11 at his farm in Maryland, his representatives confirmed with Fox News DigitalHis wife, Alyse Lo Bianco, was with him.

Son of Sicilian immigrants, Lo Bianco was born October 19, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended a vocational school and discovered his love for acting. Lo Bianco’s best-known film performance was in the Academy Award-winning action film The French Connection as Sal Boca, an Italian-American mobster who planned to distribute French heroin on the streets but was later caught by the police.

He was a Golden Gloves boxer, an American amateur boxing association, and founded and served as an artistic director for Triangle Theater in 1963. He continued to propel through New York’s Broadway theater scene, serving as an understudy in a 1964 Broadway production of Incident at Vichy, a supporting role the following year in Broadway’s Tartuffe, and lead as Fray Marcos de Nizza in Broadway’s The Royal Hunt of the Sun. In 1983, he earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Eddie Carbone in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller‘s A View from the Bridge. 

In film, Lo Bianco acted in 102 movies throughout his career, according to his website. He made his film debut in 1965’s The Sex Perils of Paulette and later starred in the cult classic The Honeymoon Killers; The Seven-Ups with Roy ScheiderBloodbrothers alongside Richard Gere and Paul Sorvino; and City Heat with Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds. He most recently appeared in the 2023 Ray Romano film Somewhere in Queens as Dominic “Pop” Russo.

Lo Bianco also appeared in TV shows including The Twilight ZoneMarco Polo, Jessie, Law & Orderand Jesus of NazarethIn 1984, he won a New York Area Television Academy Award and daytime Emmy for Hizzoner!

The actor’s directing credits include 1973’s Police Story, 1978’s Kazand 1984 feature film Too Scared to Scream.

He is survived by his wife Alyse and his three daughters Miramne, Nina, and Anna.