Most known for his role as FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso on the show The Sopranos, Frank Pellegrino has passed away at the age of 72. The actor, who appeared on The Sopranos for five years spanning 1999-2004 died on Tuesday in New York City after losing a battle to lung cancer. You might also remember Pellegrino in the film Goodfellas. He also appeared in the movies Mickey Blue Eyes, and Copland.
However, what Pellegrino is most known for by his peers is his ownership of the famous restaurant Rao’s. Rao’s is a celebrity packed restaurant known for having some of the best Italian food in all of the United States. In fact they even have their own sauce which is considered one of the best (sold at supermarkets). The restaurant is so exclusive that you actually have to own a table to eat there. So if you’re lucky enough to know an owner you might have gotten a seat.
The restaurant will be closing its doors all week to honor Pellegrino. His cousin and partner Ron Straci said he was the heart and soul of Rao’s.
“Frank made Rao’s his stage,” Straci said. “He was an entertainer. He had a singing group as a young man. Rao’s became the stage he performed on every night. He’s the only guy I know in 20 years whose never taken a vacation. His vacation was coming to work.”
Here’s a clip of Pellegrino doing a serenade (and what he truly loved) in his restaurant. He will be missed.