Frank Albanese, a boxer-turned-actor who played Tony Soprano’s farm-owning “Uncle Pat” on The Sopranos and appeared in Goodfellas among other films, died Monday at a hospice on Staten Island, NY. He was 84. His death was confirmed by a local mortuary.
A protégé of former middleweight champ Rocky Graziano, Albanese won more than a dozen fights before he career was cut short by a brain injury. Graziano eventually got him a bit role in the 1968 Kirk Douglas mafia pic The Brotherhood. That opened the door to other roles in film, TV and theater, including a mob attorney Martin Scorsese’s 1990 crime classic Goodfellas.
Albanese also appeared in Neil Simon’s 1971 comedy Plaza Suite and as Gambino crime boss Paul Castellano in a re-enactment for a 1989 episode of America’s Most Wanted. He also had a small role in the 1995 crimo thriller Dead Presidents.
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