On Thursday December 12 acclaimed NJ actor Danny Aiello passed away. He was known for such films as “The Godfather Part II”, “Moonstruck”, and an Oscar-nominated performance in “Do The Right Thing.” Most people would recognize Aiello as a big screen tough guy, but did you know that he also had a beautiful singing voice? Something of a late bloomer, Danny Aiello made his film debut at the age of 40, and his singing debut in his 60’s.
In the Fall of 2003 I interviewed Danny Aiello for Monmouth University’s student-run radio station WMCX. He was one of the first people I ever interviewed as News Director of the station. It was supposed to be a 5-minute phone interview to promote an upcoming on-campus performance. I ended up spending over a half hour speaking with him on the phone. He shared stories, words of wisdom and even cut an ID for my Saturday night Hair Metal show. He was incredibly personable, and a true pleasure to interview. It was an experience that I will not forget.
Over the last 20 years Danny Aiello recorded music and performed at venues across NJ. Though his music career may have stood in the shadow of his acting career, it still shined incredibly bright. Check out Danny Aiello’s music HERE.
A public memorial service for Danny Aiello will be held this Thursday 12/19 at The Riverside Memorial Chapel on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Check out Danny Aiello’s video for “This River”!