Frank Albanese, who played Tony Soprano’s uncle, the retired mobster Pat Blundetto, on “The Sopranos”, has died. He was 84.
Albanese, who appeared in 1990s “Goodfellas” and in uncredited roles in two of the three “Godfather” films, died on Monday at a Staten Island hospice facility in New York.
A hard-hitting heavyweight boxer, Albanese had to give up the sport at the age of 19 after he suffered a brain injury.
Middleweight champion Rocky Graziano helped him get an uncredited role in Martin Ritt’s Mafia drama The “Brotherhood” (1968), starring Kirk Douglas.
Albanese studied acting and appeared in “Plaza Suite” (1971) and in “Honor Thy Father”, a 1973 CBS TV film about the Bonanno crime family and “Goodbye, Columbus”, based on the Philip Roth novel.
On four episodes of HBO’s “The Sopranos” between 2004 and 2007, he portrayed Tony’s (James Gandolfini) Uncle Pat, who was suffering from dementia and could not remember where the bodies were buried on his farm.
Albanese played mobster Paul Castellano in a reenactment on a 1989 episode of “America’s Most Wanted” and showed up in yet another crime film, “Dead Presidents” in 1995.
He also guest starred on soaps like “As the World Turns” and “Loving”.