Tags: frank pellegrino | the sopranos | raos

Frank Pellegrino, 'Sopranos' FBI Chief Who Owned Rao's, Dies

Image: Frank Pellegrino, 'Sopranos' FBI Chief Who Owned Rao's, Dies

Actor and Rao's restaurant owner Frank Pellegrino. (Screengrab of Twitter post)

By    |   Thursday, 02 Feb 2017 07:09 AM

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

The actor and owner of famed Harlem restaurant Rao's died Tuesday, Fox News reported.

“We lost a part of New York today when we lost Frankie," said former NYPD detective Bo Dietl, a close friend to Pellegrino. "There’s nobody like him, he’s an icon.”

Dietl said the Rao’s owner died just before 2 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.

The native New Yorker was a film and television actor for over 25 years, and had quite a resume, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Over the years he appeared in “Goodfellas,” “Cop Land,” “Mickey Blue Eyes,” and episodes of “Law & Order.” He played FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso on “The Sopranos.”

Pellegrino's Italian restaurant in East Harlem has been an important stop for many celebrities including Jay Z, Jimmy Fallon, Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen, Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio. Former President Bill Clinton also has eaten at the restaurant.

“Rao’s may be over 100 years old, but the person who made Rao’s what it is, was Frankie,” said Dietl. “It is a place that is so unique because of him and it not going to be the same without him. He was big-hearted and generous and always took care of people. What a shining star and a big personality, I will miss singing along with him every Thursday night.”

“He never complained once, he was always upbeat,” Dietl said. “I am going to miss my best friend, he was one of the bravest guys I ever met.”

Pellegrino was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, but those close to him believed he was winning in the battle, according to the New York Daily News.

Daily News columnist and author Linda Stasi said Pellegrino will be in her upcoming “The Book of Judas.”

“The last chapter of my upcoming book takes place between the protagonist and Frankie Pellegrino at Rao’s,” said Stasi. “He was my dear friend for many, many years. I’m devastated.”

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Frank Pellegrino, best known recently for his role in “The Sopranos” as the FBI chief, has died at age 72 after a battle with lung cancer those close to him thought he was winning.
frank pellegrino, the sopranos, raos
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2017-09-02
Thursday, 02 Feb 2017 07:09 AM
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