Frank Pellegrino, 'Sopranos' star and restaurateur, dies at 72

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Frank Pellegrino, The Sopranos actor-cum-restaurateur, died Tuesday in New York after a battle with lung cancer. He was 72.

The native New Yorker had several notable film and television roles in an acting career that spanned over 25 years including Goodfellas (where he played racketeer Johnny Dio), Cop Land, Mickey Blue Eyes and multiple episodes of Law & Order.

Pellegrino's most famous role, however, was playing dogged FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso in The Sopranos who heads the agency's strategy in the long-runningSoprano/DiMeo case.

Read more: Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2017

See photos of Frank Pellegrino:

12 PHOTOS
Frank Pellegrino throughout his life
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Frank Pellegrino throughout his life
Frank Pellegrino during Deana Martin Book Party for 'Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughter's Eyes' at The Chambers Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
NOVEMBER 2: Lidia Bastianich and Frank Pellegrino attend CR&T's Cancer Survivors Hall of Fame Dinner Dance at The Hilton NYC on November 2, 2006. (Photo by Shane O'Neill/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NOVEMBER 2: Josephine Pellegrino and Frank Pellegrino attend CR&T's Cancer Survivors Hall of Fame Dinner Dance at The Hilton NYC on November 2, 2006. (Photo by Shane O'Neill/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NOVEMBER 2: Ken Langone and Frank Pellegrino attend CR&T's Cancer Survivors Hall of Fame Dinner Dance at The Hilton NYC on November 2, 2006. (Photo by Shane O'Neill/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: Larry Ruvo and Frank Pellegrino pose circa Octoberr 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Binn/WireImage)
Actors Frank Pellegrino, Aida Turturro and Vince Curatola as they visit backstage at 'Chicago' on Broadway at The Ambassador Theater on January 6, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18:Director Peter LeDonne (L) and actor/restaurateur Frank Pellegrino attend the premiere of 'The Soprano State' at Ziegfeld Theatre on October 18, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 11: Frank Pellegrino, owner of Rao's Restaurant and Dino Gatto, executive chef of Rao's filming on location for 'Wolf Of Wall Street' final day of filming on January 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: TV host Michelle Park and Rao's owner Frank Pellegrino attends the Famous Foodies Show with Frank Pellegrino at Rao's NYC on September 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Frank Pellegrino of Rao's restaurant attends the Famous Foodies Show with Frank Pellegrino at Rao's NYC on September 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 22: Restaurateur Frank Pellegrino speaks onstage at the City Harvest Bid Against Hunger tasting event on October 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for City Harvest)
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As well as acting, Pellegrino was a well-known personality in the New York restaurant industry. He co-owned the famed Italian restaurant Rao's in East Harlem, founded in 1896, that's frequented by the likes of Jay-Z, Jimmy Fallon, Martin Scorcese and Woody Allen and has featured in numerous Hollywood films including The Wolf of Wall Street.

Pellegrino also published several cookery books based on Rao's cuisine and opened sister restaurants in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Bo Dietl, Pellegrino's close friend and a New York mayoral candidate told Page Six: "We lost a part of New York today when we lost Frankie. There's nobody like him, he's an icon."


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