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Actor Frank Pellegrino Dead At 72

Actor Frank Pellegrino has died.

The Sopranos star died Jan. 31 in New York City after battling lung cancer, the Daily Mail reported. He was 72.

Pellegrino was best known for his role as FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso on the hit HBO series "The Sopranos" from 1999 to 2004. He also starred in "Mickey Blue Eyes" and "Goodfellas."

Frank also co-owned Rao's, a popular Italian Restaurant in Harlem, New York. The restaurant was known as difficult to get into, and was frequented by celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Martin Scorsese.

Charles Gasparino, a journalist at Fox Business and friend of Pellegrino, paid tribute to the late actor on Facebook:

To say Frank was a NY legend is an understatement - he bled this city and its egalitarian promise. People love to talk how no one can get a table at Rao's. Well, that’s true but it misses the point. The tables were given out to old time customers when the place became hot some years ago. New entrants needed to wait their turn to ‘own’ a table, and it didn’t matter who they were. Warren Buffett was one of those who wanted a table and faced Frankie's famous 'no.'

"You see, Frankie loved to sing to his patrons and that night, as he was belting out The Temptations’ classic My Girl, he turned to Buffett and sang: 'I don't need no money, fortune or fame… I've got all the riches, baby, one man can claim.' He did of course: His family, friends, his restaurant and his acting. Frank, I’m going to miss you screaming at me, that is, until we meet on the other side. RIP my friend.

Former New York City police detective and mayoral candidate Bo Dietl also paid tribute to Pellegrino. "We lost a part of New York today when we lost Frankie," Dietl told Page Six. "There’s nobody like him, he’s an icon. 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.

"I am going to miss my best friend, he was one of the bravest guys I ever met."

Sources: Daily Mail, Charles Gasparino/Facebook, Page Six / Photo credit: Shoreline Media

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