Aiello, Danny 1933(?)–

views updated May 14 2018

Aiello, Danny 1933(?)–


Full name, Daniel Louis Aiello, Jr.; born June 20, 1933 (some sources say 1936), in New York, NY; son of Daniel Louis (a laborer) and Frances (a seamstress; maiden name, Pietrocova) Aiello; married Sandy Cohen, January 8, 1955; children: Rick (an actor), Danny III (a stunt coordinator), Jamie, Stacey.

Addresses: Agent—International Creative Management, 8942 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Manager—Untitled Entertainment, 331 North Maple Dr., 3rd Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Office—Manhattan Pictures International, 369 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10017.

Career: Actor, producer, and writer. Manhattan Pictures International, New York, NY, partner. Previously worked in a grocery store, in a bowling alley, as a shoe shiner, as a truck loader, and selling newspapers, 1940s and 1950s; worked as a baggage clerk, then a dispatcher, with the Greyhound bus company, New York City, 1957–67; was a bouncer at the Improvisation (comedy club), New York City; also worked as a pool hustler. Served as president of Local 1202 of the Amalgamated Transit Union; was formerly a union shop steward. Involved with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Hole in the Wall Gang, and the Frances Aiello Day Treatment Center. Military service: U.S. Army, 1951–54; served in Germany.

Awards, Honors: Theatre World Award, 1975, for Lampost Reunion; Obie Award, distinguished performance, Village Voice, 1978, for Gemini; Emmy Award, best performer in a children's program, and Variety Award, 1980, both for "Family of Strangers"; Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, c. 1985, for Hurlyburly; Gemini Award nomination, best guest performance in a series by an actor or actress, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, 1988, for Night Heat; Boston Society of Film Critics Award, best supporting actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Achievement Award, best supporting actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Award, best supporting actor, 1989, Academy Award nomination, best supporting actor, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a motion picture, 1990, all for Do the Right Thing; Career Achievement Award, Motion Picture Bookers Club, 1989; National Board of Review Award (with others), best acting by an ensemble, 1994, for Pret-a-Porter; Faberage Award and two Joseph Jefferson nominations for That Championship Season.


Film Appearances:

(Unreleased) The Godmother, 1973.

Horse, Bang the Drum Slowly, Paramount, 1973.

Tony Rosato, The Godfather II (also known as Mario Puzo's "The Godfather II"), Paramount, 1976.

Danny La Gattuta, The Front, Columbia, 1976.

(Scenes deleted) Annie Hall, 1977.

Hooch, 1977.

Butch, Fingers, Brut, 1978.

Artie, Blood Brothers (also known as A Father's Love), Warner Bros., 1979.

Sal Carvello, Hide in Plain Sight, United Artists, 1980.

Carmine, Defiance, American International Pictures, 1980.

Morgan, Fort Apache, the Bronx, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1981.

Johnson, Chu Chu and the Philly Flash, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1981.

Amityville II: The Possession, Orion, 1982.

Police Chief Aiello, Once Upon a Time in America (also known as C'era una volta in America), Warner Bros., 1984.

Mr. Brucker, Old Enough, Orion, 1984.

(Uncredited) Broadway Danny Rose, 1984.

Captain Mike Grasso, Deathmask (also known as Unknown), 1984.

Monk, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Orion, 1985.

Carabello, Key Exchange, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1985.

Vickers, The Stuff, New World, 1985.

Danny Garoni, The Protector (also known as Wei Long Meng Tan), Warner Bros., 1985.

Captain Mike Gress, Death Mask (also known as Unknown), Art Theatre Guild, 1986.

Conti, Man on Fire (also known as Absinthe and Un uomo sotto tiro), TriStar, 1987.

Rocco, Radio Days, Orion, 1987.

Phil, The Pick-Up Artist, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1987.

Johnny Cammareri, Moonstruck, United Artists, 1987.

Charlie Buick, Crack in the Mirror (also known as White Hot), Jubran-Rebo, 1988.

George Sherman, Russicum I Giorni del Diavolo (also known as Russicum and The Third Solution), Columbia, 1988.

Sal, Do the Right Thing, Universal, 1989.

Phil Cantone, Harlem Nights, Paramount, 1989.

Captain Vincent Alcoa, The January Man (also known as January Man), United Artists, 1989.

Louis, Jacob's Ladder (also known as The Inferno and Dante's Inferno), TriStar, 1990.

He Ain't Heavy, 1990.

John Cunningham, Shocktroop (also known as Comrades in Arms and Shock Troop), Republic Pictures Home Video, 1991.

Frank Pesce, Sr., 29th Street, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1991.

Joe Bella, Once Around, Universal, 1991.

Chester Grant, The Closer, ION Pictures, 1991.

Tommy Five-Tone, Hudson Hawk, TriStar, 1991.

Carmine Rasso, Mistress (also known as Hollywood Mistress), Tribeca Productions, 1992.

Jack Ruby, Ruby, Triumph Releasing, 1992.

Harry Stone, The Pickle, Columbia, 1993.

Ben Katz, The Cemetery Club (also known as Looking for a Live One), Buena Vista, 1993.

Harry, Me and the Kid, Orion, 1993.

Major Hamilton, Pret-a-Porter (also known as Ready to Wear and Pret-a-Porter: Ready to Wear), Miramax, 1994.

Tony, Leon (also known as The Cleaner, The Professional, and Le professionnel), Columbia/TriStar, 1994.

Ronnie, Save the Rabbits, 1994.

Joseph Scassi, Power of Attorney, Prism Pictures, 1995.

Joe Lieberman, Lieberman in Love (short), Chanticleer Films, 1995.

Al, Mojave Moon, New Moon Productions, 1996.

Councilman Frank Anselmo, City Hall, Columbia/TriStar, 1996.

Gene Paletto, Two Much (also known as Loco de amor), Buena Vista, 1996.

Dosmo Pizzo, 2 Days in the Valley, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1996.

Narrator, Unforgotten: Twenty-Five Years after Willowbrook (documentary), Castle Hill Productions, 1996.

Danny Parente, A Brooklyn State of Mind, Brooklyn Pictures, 1997.

Mr. Rathbone, Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis, Goldcrest Films International/BBC Films, 1998.

Phil Devereaux, Wilbur Falls (also known as Dead Silence), 1998.

Noah, Prince of Central Park, 1999.

Vincent Dianni, Eighteen Shades of Dust (also known as Dust, Hitman's Journal, The Sicilian Code, and 18 Shades of Dust), MTI Home Video, 1999.

Joey, Mambo Cafe, Unapix Entertainment, 2000.

Louis Cropa, Dinner Rush, Access Motion Picture Group, 2000.

Noah Cairn, Prince of Central Park, Keystone Entertainment, 2000.

Fabrizio Bernini, Off Key (also known as Desafinado), 2001.

Himself, Cannes: Through the Eyes of the Hunter (documentary short), 2001.

Tony Santini, Mail Order Bride, Small Planet Pictures, 2003.

Nathan, Zeyda and the Hitman, 2004.

Voice of the Dummy, The Fool (short), 2005.

Frank Giorgio, Brooklyn Lobster, Meadowbrook Pictures, 2005.

Narrator, Harry: A Communication Breakdown (documentary), 2006.

Film Work:

Coproducer, Leon (also known as The Cleaner, The Professional, and Le professionnel), Columbia/TriStar, 1994.

Executive producer, Shorty (documentary), 2003.

Executive producer, UnConventional (documentary), 2004.

Television Appearances; Series:

Lieutenant Terrence McNichols, Lady Blue, ABC, 1985–86.

Anthony Dellaventura, Dellaventura, CBS, 1997–98.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Randy Powers, Blood Feud, syndicated, 1983.

Jack Ruby, A Woman Named Jackie, NBC, 1991.

Domenico Clericuzio, Mario Puzo's "The Last Don" (also known as The Last Don), CBS, 1997.

Don Domenico Clericuzio, Mario Puzo's "The Last Don II" (also known as The Last Don II), CBS, 1998.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Carl, The Last Tenant, ABC, 1978.

Bernie Serino, Lovey: A Circle of Children, Part II, CBS, 1978.

Martelli, A Question of Honor, CBS, 1982.

Coach Jacobs, Daddy, ABC, 1987.

Chief, Alone in the Neon Jungle (also known as Command in Hell), CBS, 1988.

Master of Ceremonies, The Hustler of Money, 1988.

Detective Mike Sheehan, The Preppie Murder (also known as The Preppy Murder), ABC, 1989.

Duke, Brothers' Destiny (also known as Long Road Home and The Road Home), 1995.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Dominic Ginetti, "Family of Strangers," ABC Afterschool Specials, ABC, 1980.

Frank Caruso, The Unforgivable Secret, ABC, 1982.

Himself, Making "Do the Right Thing" (documentary), 1989.

Night of 100 Stars III, NBC, 1990.

Comic Relief IV, HBO, 1990.

Richard Lewis: "I'm Doomed" (documentary), 1990.

Narrator, "Pinocchio" (animated), We All Have Tales, Showtime, 1994.

Sinatra: 80 Years My Way, ABC, 1995.

The NFL at 75: An All-Star Celebration (also known as The NFL 75th Anniversary Celebration), ABC, 1995.

The Italian Americans II: A Beautiful Song (documentary), PBS, 1998.

Comedy Central Presents the New York Friars Club Roast of Jerry Stiller, Comedy Central, 1999.

Narrator, The Rat Pack (documentary), HBO 1999.

Comedy Central Presents: The New York Friars Club Roast of Rob Reiner, Comedy Central, 2000.

Himself, Last Laugh, 2003.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The 39th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1985.

The 22nd Annual NAACP Image Awards, NBC, 1990.

The 62nd Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1990.

The 63rd Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1991.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Frank Ravelli, Car Wash, NBC, 1979.

Lieutenant Terrence McNichols, Lady Blue, ABC, 1985.

Also appeared in Last Laugh at Pips, CBS.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Matty, "Black Thorn," Kojak, CBS, 1976.

The Andros Targets, CBS, 1977.

Nurse, CBS, 1982.

Florist, "Babies: Growth and Development," 3-2-1 Contact, 1983.

Tommy Vale, "The Odds," Tales from the Darkside, 1984.

Night Heat, CBS, 1988.

Later with Bob Costas (also known as Later), NBC, 1989.

Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1991.

Host, Saturday Night Live (also known as SNL), NBC, 1996.

The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1997.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 1997.

Himself, "The Two Hilton Lucases," Cosby, CBS, 1997.

Last Call with Carson Daly, NBC, 2004.

Dinner for Five, Independent Film Channel, 2004.

Good Day Live, syndicated, 2004.

Also appeared as himself, "The Films of Spike Lee," The Directors, Encore.

Stage Appearances:

(Broadway debut) Biggie, Lampost Reunion, Little Theatre (now Helen Hayes Theatre), New York City, 1975.

That Championship Season, Chicago, IL, 1975.

Chester Grant, Wheelbarrow Closers, Bijou Theatre, New York City, 1976.

Fran Geminiani, Gemini, Circle Repertory Theatre, New York City, 1977.

Damie Ruffino, Knockout, Helen Hayes Theatre, 1979.

Easy Money, 1980.

Max Pollack, The Floating Light Bulb, Vivian Beaumont Theatre, Lincoln Center, New York City, 1981.

Floyd, A Destiny with Half Moon Street, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, FL, 1982.

Phil, Hurlyburly, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1985.

Billy Einhorn, The House of Blue Leaves, Vivian Beaumont Theatre, 1986.

Night of 100 Stars III, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1990.

Mike Francisco, Breaking Legs, Pacific Theatre, Cerritos, CA, 1993.

Guy Akens, Adult Entertainment, Truglia Theater, Rich Forum, Stamford Center for the Arts, Stamford, CT, 2002, then Variety Arts Theatre, New York City, 2002–2003.

Also appeared as Phil, Hurlyburly, Westwood Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA.



I Just Wanted to Hear the Words, 2004.

Music Videos:

Appeared as the father in Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach," video, 1986.



Save the Rabbits, 1994.



International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, 4th ed., St. James Press, 2000.


Film Comment, July-August, 1991, p. 50.

New York Times, January 21, 1990; February 10, 1991, pp. 13, 19.

New York Times Magazine, January 21, 1990, p. 24.

People, February 19, 1990.

Aiello, Danny

views updated Jun 27 2018


Nationality: American. Born: Daniel Louis Aiello, Jr., in New York City, 20 June 1933. Education: Attended James Monroe High School (two weeks). Military Service: U.S. Army. Family: Married Sandy Cohen, 1955, sons: Rick, Danny III, and Jaime, daughter: Stacey. Career: 1972—film debut in The Godmother (unreleased); 1973—first released film Bang the Drum Slowly; 1975—stage debut in Lampost Reunion, Little Theatre, New York City; 1985–86—in TV series Lady Blue. Awards: Theatre World Award, for Lampost Reunion, Little Theatre, New York City, 1975; Faberge Award, Straw Hat Award, Theatre World Award, Theatre of Reunion Award, for That Championship Season, Chicago production, 1975; Best Actor Award, L.A. Drama Critics Circle, for Hurly Burly, Los Angeles production, 1985; Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago Film Critics Awards, for Do the Right Thing, 1989; Career Achievement Award, Motion Picture Bookers Club, 1989. Agent: William Morris Agency, 151 El Camino Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, U.S.A. Address: 4 Thornhill Drive, Ramsey, NJ 07446, U.S.A.

Films as Actor:


The Godmother (Russo—unreleased)


Bang the Drum Slowly (Hancock) (as Horse)


The Godfather, Part II (Francis Ford Coppola) (as Tony Rosato)


The Front (Ritt) (as Danny La Gattuta); Hooch (Edward Mann); Kojak: Black Thorn (Dubin—for TV)


Fingers (Toback) (as Butch)


Bloodbrothers (A Father's Love) (Mulligan) (as Artie); The Last Tenant (Jud Taylor—for TV) (as Carl); Lovey: A Circle of Children, Part II (Jud Taylor—for TV) (as Bernie Serino)


Defiance (Flynn) (as Carmine)


Hide in Plain Sight (Caan) (as Sal Carvello)


Chu Chu and the Philly Flash (Rich) (as Johnson); Fort Apache, the Bronx (Petrie) (as Morgan)


Amityville II: The Possession (Damiana); A Question of Honor (Jud Taylor—for TV) (as Martelli)


Blood Feud (Newell—for TV) (as Randy Powers); Deathmask (Friedman) (as Mike Gress); Old Enough (Marisa Silver) (as Mr. Bruckner); Once upon a Time in America (Leone) (as Police Chief Aiello)


Key Exchange (Kellman) (as Carabello); The Protector (Glickenhaus) (as Danny Garoni); The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen) (as Monk); The Stuff (Cohen) (as Vickers)


Tales from the Darkside: The Odds (John Strysik—for TV) (as Tommy Vale)


Man on Fire (Absinthe) (Chouraqui) (as Conti); Moonstruck (Jewison) (as Johnny Cammareri); The Pick-Up Artist (Toback) (as Phil); Radio Days (Woody Allen) (as Rocco); Daddy (Herzfeld—for TV) (as Coach Jacobs); Russicum (The Third Solution; Russicum I Giorni del Diavolo) (Squitieri) (as George Sherman)


White Hot (Benson) (as Charlie Buick); Alone in the Neon Jungle (Command in Hell) (Georg Stanford Brown—for TV) (as Chief of Police); Crack in the Mirror (Do It Up) (Benson) (as Charlie)


The January Man (O'Connor) (as Capt. Vincent Alcoa); Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee) (as Sal Frangoni); Making of Do the Right Thing (Bourne—doc) (as himself); Harlem Nights (Eddie Murphy) (as Phil Cantone); The Preppie Murder (Herzfeld—for TV) (as Detective Mike Sheehan)


Jacob's Ladder (Dante's Inferno) (Lyne) (as Louis); Lost Idol (Shock Troop) (Chalong) (as John Cunningham)


The Closer (Logothetis) (as Chester Grant); 29th Street (Gallo) (as Frank Pesce Sr.); Hudson Hawk (Lehmann) (as Tommy Five-Tone); Once Around (Hallström) (as Joe Bella)


Mistress (Primus) (as Carmine Rasso); Ruby (Mackenzie) (title role)


The Cemetery Club (Duke) (as Ben Katz); Me and the Kid (Dan Curtis) (as Harry); The Pickle (Adventures of the Flying Pickle) (Mazursky) (as Harry Stone)


Leon (The Cleaner; The Professional) (Besson) (as Tony, + co-pr); Ready to Wear (Prêt-a-Porter) (Altman) (as Major Hamilton)


Lieberman in Love (Lahti) (as Joe Lieberman); The Road Home (He Ain't Heavy) (Hamilton); Power of Attorney (Himelstein) (as Joe Scassi)


City Hall (Harold Becker) (as Frank Anselmo); Two Much (Trueba) (as Gene Paletto); 2 Days in the Valley (Herzfeld); Mojave Moon (Dowling); Long Road Home; A Brooklyn State of Mind (Rainone) (as Danny Parente);


Unforgotten: Twenty-Five Years After Willowbrook (Fisher) (as Narrator); The Last Don (Clifford—mini for TV) (as Don Dmenico Clericuzio); Dellaventura (Rosenthal—series for TV) (as Anthony Dellaventura)


Wilbur Falls (Glantz) (as Phil Devereaux); Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis (Henderson) (as Mr. Rathbone); The Last Don II (Clifford—mini for TV) (as Don Clericuzio)


Mambo Café (Gonzalez) (as Mob Boss)


By AIELLO: articles-

"Beyond the Bronx with Danny Aiello," interview with Patrick Goldstein, in Los Angeles Times, 24 September 1989.

"Harlem Nights: Danny Aiello Is a Crooked Cop on the Take," interview with Charles Fleming, in American Film, November 1989.

"Case Study: Danny Aiello," interview with Kevin Koffler, in Hollywood Reporter, 8 May 1990.

"Danny Aiello: Hard Times to High Times," interview with Rod Lurie, in West Side Spirit (New York), 4 February 1991.

"Broadway Danny Aiello," interview with Gavin Smith, in Film Comment (New York), July/August 1991.

"Everyone's in The Pickle (and They Relish Their Roles): Danny Aiello Stars as Director Harry Stone, a Victim of Artistic Suicide," interview with Tom Provenzano, in Drama-Logue, 6–12 May 1993.

"The Natural: Danny Aiello Escapes into Acting while Enduring Real-Life Problems," interview with Michael Horowitz, in UCLA Daily Bruin (Los Angeles), 18 November 1994.

On AIELLO: articles—

Decker, John, "Call Him the Great Danny," in Soho Weekly News (New York), 14 June 1979.

Chase, Chris, "Danny Aiello, the Actor, Still a Working Man," in New York Times, 8 May 1981.

Loeser, Deborah, "Forget the Screen Image—Danny Aiello Is More Cream Puff than Hard Roll," in Chicago Tribune, 24 March 1985.

Tajima, Renee, "Say the Right Thing," in Village Voice (New York), 20 June 1989.

Van Gelder, Lawrence, "At the Movies: for Danny Aiello, Life Is Busy and Sal the Pizza Man Is Not a Bigot," in New York Times, 7 July 1989.

Goldstein, Patrick, "Beyond the Bronx with Danny Aiello," in Los Angeles Times Calendar, 24 September 1989.

Carcaterra, Lorenzo, "Making Room for Danny," in US (New York), 11 December 1989.

Norman, Michael, "His Bus Came In," in New York Times Magazine, 21 January 1990.

Carcaterra, Lorenzo, "Danny Aiello," in People Weekly (New York), 19 February 1990.

Flatow, Sheryl, "I Wanted to Be More," in Parade Magazine (New York), 2 December 1990.

Schweiger, Daniel, "Once Around with Danny Aiello," in Village View (New York), 18–24 January 1991.

Golden, Tim, "Danny Aiello Travels the Blue-Collar Route to Stardom," in New York Times, 16 February 1991.

Smith, Gavin, "Broadway Danny Aiello," in Film Comment (New York), 1 July 1991.

Current Biography 1992, New York, 1992.

"Inspirational Actor Danny Aiello. Set to Start 'Breaking Legs' in Cerritos," in Drama-Logue (Hollywood), 30 September–6 October 1993.

Mischel, Rick, "Smiling All the Way to Success," in Entertainment Today (New York), 11–17 November 1994.

"Film, Legit, TV Actor Carries Torch for N.Y.," in Variety, 29 September 1997.

Carson, Tom, "My Left Flatfoot: Prime-Time Dicks Trip Over Themselves," in Village Voice (New York), 21 October 1997.

Mitchell, Elvis, "T.V. Tough Love: Dellaventura is the Funniest New Series on Television, through Sheer Inadvertence," in New Times (Los Angeles), 13 November 1997.

Hamill, Denis, "That'll Be Two for Dinner: Danny Aiello and Bob Giraldi Cook Up a Movie in Tribeca," in New York Daily News, 13 February 2000.

* * *

In the Hollywood studio era Danny Aiello would have made a respectable living as a character actor representing the tough urban guy from the school of hard knocks. His urban upbringing has a definite bearing on his work in the theater and movies. He is a product of New York and can be considered a New York actor. Many of his films and television productions have a New York setting and theme.

He grew up in a large Italian family, with a father who was missing most of the time; his mother and siblings struggled. He had very little schooling, ran with street gangs, went into the Army, married, and found himself with a family at an early age. During a particularly desperate time in his life he resorted to criminal activity (which he freely admits) in order to pay the rent and feed his family.

He came to acting relatively late, more or less by chance, with virtually no training; even so he was soon working with important directors Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Ritt, and Woody Allen. Over the course of his career to date, his roles have ranged from the vicious murdering cop in Fort Apache, The Bronx (1981) to more compassionate cop roles such as in The Preppie Murder. He has played small roles in many important films: The Front; Bloodbrothers, an impressive, underrated New York film; and Jacob's Ladder. In more major roles he has shown a distinctive acting ability, such as the crude, insensitive husband of The Purple Rose of Cairo; and the Momma's Boy, Johnny Cammareri, in Moonstruck, which brought out his comedic abilities. He is quite successful as the lead in The Pickle, a film that may be absurd in its concept, but which shows him with a nasty streak, but also great comic talent as a Hollywood director struggling to overcome a string of flops.

He has also had leading roles as Jack Ruby in Ruby (1992) and Chester Grant in The Closer (1990; a role recreated from the 1976 Broadway play Wheelbarrow Closers), but while these parts share the same characteristics—small-time loser and hood and paid FBI informer in the first; hard-driven, bitter, and nasty man alienated from his family in the second—the films themselves are not successful. In many ways this underlines the dilemma in his acting career. If Aiello has good writers and directors, he can shine; if not, he will fall into a characteristic mold: a loud-mouthed and profane persona with a trademark laugh that is not always pertinent to the action of the film.

His most important film to date, the one that has gained him the most fame and recognition, is Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. He is excellent in this film as the embattled Sal Frangoni, holding on to his pizza parlor in an all-black Bedford-Stuyvesant. Some of his best acting occurs in the interchanges between father and sons, and this type of relationship, both in real life and on the screen, has great importance to him. While vituperative, angry, opinionated, and frustrated to the point of violence, he is still able to convey warmth and compassion for the African Americans that he lives with. He says to his bigoted son: "Why is there so much anger in you? I never had trouble with these people. They grew up on my food. I'm very proud of it. Sal's is here to stay. I'm your father and I love you." Aiello claims that there is about 85 percent of himself in the film. His wife in real life claims that there is 100 percent.

While this film has been the most important of his career, his most successful films have been the ones in which he portrays a family man, a loving father and husband, working hard to keep his family together. The two films that show him with this wonderful range of acting ability, along with his characteristic hard edges, are 29th Street and Once Around. The essence of Aiello's acting may well be found in these films; his performances show great depth, compassion, sympathy, and humor. The films are moving and successful in large part because of him—probably due to the opportunity they offer Aiello to act out much of what he lacked as a child when his father was not around, and there was not much love and support from his father for his children. Danny Aiello is making up for those hard times, and being quite successful at it.

—Allen Cohen