Having left behind his working class life in his late thirties to become a performer, actor Danny Aiello became one of Hollywood's busiest and most prominent character actors without really leaving his beloved native New York City. After establishing himself on various stages around his hometown, Aiello made his film debut as a baseball player in "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973), before uttering one of the more famous lines as a would-be assassin in "The Godfather Part II" (1974). He went on to essay several stage roles that earned him critical plaudits before winning a Daytime Emmy for his role as a widowed father in the "ABC Afterschool Special: A Family of Strangers" (ABC, 1980). Aiello soon grabbed the attention of filmmaker Woody Allen, who cast him for a role in "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1984), while he was all but lost in the shuffle of Sergio Leone's epic crime saga, "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984). But he soon came to the fore with two of his career best performances: playing the lovelorn Johnny in "Moonstruck" (1987) and the sympathetic, but insensitive pizzeria owner Sal in Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" (1989). Following a turn as an angelic chiropractor in "Jacob's Ladder" (1990), Aiello's career hit a down slope, with numerous indies, the failed television series "Dellaventura" (CBS, 1997-98) and occasional bright spots like a leading role in the hit miniseries "Mario Puzo's 'The Last Don'" (CBS, 1997) on his Résumé. Despite the late slump in his career, there was no doubt that Aiello remained a talented and versatile character performer capable of tackling a wide array of challenging roles.