Spike Lee, Cher & More Co-Stars Pay Tribute To Danny Aiello Following His Sudden Death

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Hollywood is reeling over the death of Danny Aiello. The iconic movie actor, best known for his work in Moonstruck and Do the Right Thing, passed away at age 86 on Thursday while being treated for a brief illness. Now, fans and famous friends are remembering the happy times they had with the legendary actor.

Cher, who co-starred with Aiello in the Oscar-winning 1986 movie Moonstruck, took to Twitter to remember her longtime friend, who played her boyfriend Johnny in the classic film.

“Goodbye Dear #DannyAiello,” Cher wrote. “Danny was a Great Actor, but a Genius Comedic Actor. We laughed so much making #Moonstruck. It was one of the happiest times in my life, & he was a part of that happy time. Goodbye #JohnnyCammareri, Loretta.”

Spike Lee, who directed and co-starred with Aiello in 1989’s Do the Right Thing, posted several photo tributes to the late movie star. Lee referred to Aiello as his “brother” as he shared his heartbreak with his Instagram fans. Lee noted that the duo “made cinema history” together when they played Sal and Mookie in the Oscar-nominated film.

In a separate post, Lee shared a photo from the last time he and Aiello were together when they celebrated the 30th anniversary of Do the Right Thing in June of this year.

View this post on Instagram

I’m ???? Broken. Just Found Out My Brother DANNY AIELLO Made His Transition Last Night. Danny,We Made Cinema History Together With DO THE RIGHT THING. May You Rest In PARADISE.????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

A post shared by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on

In addition to Lee, Rosie Perez, who made her big-screen debut in Do the Right Thing, tweeted that Aiello was her very first friend when she started her career in Hollywood. In an emotional post, Perez revealed that Lee called her with the bad news.

“Heart’s breaking!” Perez wrote of her late friend. “Great talent! So kind! He was my 1st friend in the biz on my very 1st film. I was so scared but fronted. He saw right thru my fear, smile & said, ‘Come sit with me kid. This is your 1st right? You’ll be okay. I got you…’#RIPDanny Aiello.”

Mia Farrow, who worked with Aiello in the 1984 Woody Allen film Broadway Danny Rose — although he is uncredited — and 1985’s The Purple Rose of Cairo, also took to Twitter to say she had been honored to know the iconic character actor.

“So very sad to hear that Danny Aiello has died,” Farrow wrote. “He was a superb actor and a lovely person. It was a joy and an honor to work with him (in Broadway Danny Rose) Condolences and love to his family.”

Charlize Theron recalled working with Aiello in the 1996 film 2 Days in the Valley. Theron described the late actor as a legend.

Other stars, including Ben Stiller and actor Michael Rappaport, also took to social media to honor him and to say how much he inspired their careers.

Tributes continue to pour in as Aiello is remembered for his long career by his fans and many friends in Hollywood.