Danny Aiello starred in 1987's Moonstruck opposite Cher

By Alexia Fernandez
December 13, 2019 01:48 PM
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Cher is mourning the loss of Danny Aiello.

The singer, 73, shared her condolences on Twitter Friday following the news that Aiello, who starred with her in the 1987 film Moonstruck, had died on Thursday. He was 86.

The two played newly engaged couple Loretta Castorini and Johnny Cammareri. When Johnny leaves for Italy to visit his dying mother, he asks Loretta to visit his estranged brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage) to tell them of their engagement. When she does, Loretta finds herself falling for Ronny despite being engaged to Johnny.

“Goodbye Dear #DannyAiello Danny was a Great Actor, But a Genius Comedic Actor.We Laughed so much. Making #Moonstruck,” Cher tweeted. “It was one of the happiest times in my life,& He Was apart of that Happy time. Goodbye #JohnnyCammareri Loretta.”

Danny Aiello (back) with Cher, Nicolas Cage and the rest of the cast of Moonstruck

Aiello also starred in Spike Lee‘s 1989 film Do the Right Thing, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1990. He played the character of Salvatore “Sal” Fragione, the owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn.

Lee paid tribute to Aiello on Instagram, sharing a photo of the two from the movie and writing, “I'm ? Broken.”

“Just Found Out My Brother DANNY AIELLO Made His Transition Last Night. Danny,We Made Cinema History Together With DO THE RIGHT THING,” Lee wrote in the caption. “May You Rest In PARADISE.????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????.”

Aiello was also remembered by his former costar Mia Farrow, with whom he starred in Radio Days, Broadway Danny Rose and The Purple Rose of Cairo.

“So very sad to hear that Danny Aiello has died. He was a superb actor and a lovely person,” Farrow tweeted. “It was a joy and an honor to work with him (in Broadway Danny Rose) Condolences and love to his family.”

He also starred in other movies such as Hudson Hawk and Jacob's Ladder.

Aiello died on Thursday night at a medical facility in New Jersey, TMZ reported. According to the outlet, he was in the facility being treated for a sudden illness and had suffered an infection related to his treatment.

“It is with profound sorrow to report that Danny Aiello, beloved husband, father, grandfather, actor and musician passed away last night after a brief illness,” his family said in a statement to PEOPLE. “The family asks for privacy at this time. Service arrangements will be announced at a later date.”

The actor is survived by his wife Sandy Cohen, whom he married in 1955, and three children. His son, Danny Aiello III, died of cancer in 2010.