Green Book Actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. Is Dead At 60, Someone Charged With Dumping His Body

Frank Vallelonga Jr. in Green Book as Rudy Vallelonga
(Image credit: Universal)

Frank Vallelonga Jr. has been found dead at 60. The actor known for his work in Green Book was found in the street, and now a man has been arrested for dumping his body. 

According to Fox News, Vallelonga’s representative confirmed his death, saying:

It’s a terrible tragedy. He was an incredible guy and a great actor.

According to Variety, the body was found on the ground, and police arrived on the scene at 4 a.m. Fox News reported that the police said there were no obvious signs of trauma, and Vallelonga Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The NYPD also explained that a 35-year-old named Steven Smith has been charged with concealment of a human corpse. It’s been reported by the New York Post (via Fox News) that video footage allegedly shows Smith dumping Vallelonga’s body in a car in the Bronx. 

According to the NY Daily News Smith had put Vallelonga Jr. into his brother, Nick Vallelonga’s leased car. Smith said in a criminal complaint: 

That dude was dead already. He overdosed. I didn’t have anything to do with that.

Smith faces eight charges including concealment of a human corpse, possession of a stolen vehicle and grand larceny according to the NY Daily News. 

It’s been reported that a medical examiner is determining the cause of death, and the investigation is ongoing. 

Vallelonga Jr. was the son of Frank ‘Tony Lip’ Vallelonga Sr. who was the subject of the 2019 Academy Award-winning movie Green Book. Viggo Mortensen played Tony Lip, while Vallelonga Jr. played his uncle Rudy Vallelonga. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, and won three of them, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. Green Book went on to hit major financial milestones, and following the Oscars, it skyrocketed at the box office

The story follows Tony Lip during his time as a bouncer in the ‘60s. He meets jazz pianist Don Shirley and drives him around to all his gigs in the South during the Jim Crow era. Along with Mortensen as Tony Lip, Mahershala Ali played Don Shirley. This movie was a family affair too, not only did Vallelonga Jr. play a character in the film, his brother Nick Vallelonga co-wrote and produced Green Book

Vallelonga’s father, Tony Lip died in 2013. He was known for his roles as a mafia crime boss in hit shows like HBO’s The Sopranos, Donnie Brasco, Goodfellas, and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. 

As for Vallelonga Jr., he also had an acting career, appearing in not only Green Book, but also The Birthday Cake and the series The Neighborhood. Along with acting, he owned Tony Lips’ Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria as well. 

We at CinemaBlend wish the Vallelonga family the best during this difficult time. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.