December 13, 2019

RIP: Danny Aiello, of Do the Right Thing fame, dead at 86.

While Do the Right Thing’s fatally flawed ending (violent looters — led by the character played by Spike Lee — destroying their favorite neighborhood pizza restaurant after a minor character in the film was killed by the police) garnered plenty of controversy for Lee, it was Aiello’s performance that gave the film its heft and made it watchable.

According to IMDB, Aiello “was a bus driver and the president of the Greyhound Bus union in his 30s before he pursued acting,” and quotes him as saying, “I was 40 when I did my first movie. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. My interpretation of acting at the time, because I didn’t know how to build a character, was pure energy. People call me an instinctive actor. I used to consider that an insult early on, only because I had never studied. Now… I love it.”

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