“Green Book” actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. has been identified as a probable drug overdose victim whose body was found dumped in the Bronx, police said Thursday.
The body of the 60-year-old actor was discovered outside a tin factory in Hunts Point early Monday after he was thrown from a vehicle, police officers said.
His cause of death is still being determined, but preliminary results point to an overdose, law enforcement officials told the Post.
The actor is the eponymous son of the Copacabana bouncer – known as “Tony Lip” – who was portrayed by Viggo Mortensen in the film Green Book, which tells the true story of the elderly Vallelonga’s 1962 road trip through the segregated South with black people says pianist Don Shirley.
Vallelonga Jr. also starred in the Oscar-winning film, playing the role of his uncle, Rudy Vallelonga.
His body was discovered just before 4 a.m. Monday when an 911 caller reported finding the body outside the factory, police said.
A day after the grim discovery, police grabbed 35-year-old Steven Smith and charged him with hiding a human body.
Smith was allegedly caught on surveillance video throwing the body of Vallelonga Jr. out of the car, a police spokesman said.
The perpetrator is said to have confessed while being questioned about another case that police are investigating, the spokesman added. The details of the other case were not immediately known.
Vallelonga Jr.’s body showed no signs of apparent trauma and the coroner is still working to determine his official cause of death.
Before his death, a source said Vallelonga Jr. was collaborating in some capacity with his younger brother, filmmaker Nick Vallelonga, to produce a film titled That’s Amore.
Nick Vallelonga wrote the screenplay Green Book, about her father’s road trip down south, which controversially won Best Picture at the 2019 Academy Awards.
Some critics slammed the Oscar win, claiming at the time that the film perpetuated white savior stereotypes.
Vallelonga Sr., on whom “Green Book” was based, went from bouncer to actor later in life – he played Carmine Lupertazzi on “The Sopranos” when he was in his 70s.
Meanwhile, Vallelonga Jr.’s other acting credits have included a handful of smaller roles, including an episode of The Sopranos, the 2018 television series The Neighborhood, and the 2020 series Gravesend.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/01/body-of-green-book-actor-frank-vallelonga-jr-found-dumped-in-bronx/ The body of “Green Book” actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. was found dumped in the Bronx