'Sopranos' alum and Rao's co-owner Frank Pellegrino dead at 72

'Sopranos' alum and Rao's co-owner Frank Pellegrino dead at 72

'Sopranos' alum and Rao's co-owner Frank Pellegrino dead at 72

Frank Pellegrino, best known recently for his role in "The Sopranos" as the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief, has died at age 72 after a battle with lung cancer those close to him thought he was winning.

Pellegrino took over after Rao's, a 100-year-old Italian restaurant, after his aunt Anna Pellegrino and her husband Vincent Rao died in 1994.

"We really lost an icon", Dietl, who's running in the NYC mayoral race said.

Some know him as the restaurateur not shy about denying diners a seat at the table, while others know him as an actor who frequents mob dramas.

Sopranos star and owner of the exclusive restaurant Rao's in New York's East Harlem, died yesterday afternoon after a battle with lung cancer. The tables were given out to old time customers when the place became hot some years ago. Charlie took to Facebook to release the sad news. "He was one of the bravest men I ever met in my life".

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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.

Along with authoring four cookbooks, Pellegrino also produced the CD An Evening at Rao's, featuring music from Rao's jukebox.

Presiding over a hallowed NY establishment elegantly entrenched in a bygone era of Packards and Parodis, Pellegrino was an impeccable curator of the city's gritty, glorious past.

Actor and restauranteur Frank Pellegrino Sr., right, poses with his son, Rao's chef Frank Pellegrino Jr.in Las Vegas. "To say Frank was a New York legend is an understatement - he bled this city and its egalitarian promise".

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