Thursday police announced that the body found dumped in the Bronx was 60-year-old “Green Book” actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. believing him to have been the victim of an apparent overdose.
Vallelonga Jr.’s body was discovered outside of a sheet metal manufacturing facility in Huts Point early on Monday police said.
Police say the corpse had been tossed out of a vehicle as well. While the cause of death still remains undetermined at this time, preliminary discoveries point to an overdose, law enforces sources said.
The actor is the son of Frank Vallelonga Sr., a Copacabana bouncer known as “Tony Lip.”
He was portrayed by Viggo Mortenson in the “Green Book” film, which tells the story of the elder Vallelonga’s 1962 raid trip through the segregated South alongside black pianist Don Shirley.
Vallelonga Jr. had a starring role in the Oscar-winning film, playing the role of his uncle Rudy Vallelonga.
The body was discovered just before 4 a.m. on Monday when a 911 caller reported finding the body outside of the sheet metal factory, according to the police.
One day later police arrested Steven Smith, 35, charging him with concealment of a human corpse.
Smith was allegedly seen on surveillance video, dumping Vallelonga’s body from a vehicle.
Smith reportedly confessed while he was being interrogated on another case police were investigating, but the full details are not known yet.
“That dude was dead already,” Smith told police, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the New York Daily News. “He overdosed. I didn’t have anything to do with that.”
Citing witnesses and surveillance footage, police say a car with New Jersey license plates stopped outside a Hunts Point factory at 1243 Oak Point. Someone pulled Vallelonga’s body from the passenger seat and left him on the sidewalk, per the Daily News. Vallelonga’s body was found at 3:51 a.m. Monday.
“I got the body out by pulling him out of the car on the floor,” Smith told police, according to the criminal complaint.
According to reports, Vallelonga Jr.’s body showed no signs of external trauma, and a medical examiner is working to determine the cause of death. He had been working in some capacity with his younger brother, Nick Vallelonga, on a film called, “That’s Amore.”
Nick was the writer behind the “Green Book” screenplay, which won best picture in 2019 Academy Awards.
His father Vallelonga Sr. appeared in classic mob hits like “The Sopranos” and movies like “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas” and “Donnie Brasco.”
“He was a nice guy. He was a very fun guy,” Lydia Pagano, who lives on Vallelonga’s former block, told the Daily News. “He loved being with people. He would sing all the Frank Sinatras and all the old songs at the restaurant.”
“I loved the guy,” Vincent Pastore, Vallelonga’s “Sopranos” co-star, told the outlet. “The last time I saw Frankie, he came to one of my acting classes in the city about six months ago.”
Vallelonga is survived by his wife, Angela, his son, Frank, and his brother, Nick, according to Deadline.
Thanks to our friends at Bore News, Yahoo News, and Huffpost for contributing to this article.
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