Sunday, February 12, 2017

Owner of iconic Harlem restaurant Rao's dies at 72

Frank Pellegrino Sr.
• From The New York Post  
Rao’s legend and “Sopranos” actor Frank Pellegrino Sr. died on Tuesday aged 72 following a cancer battle.

The famed Harlem restaurateur’s close friend Bo Dietl told Page Six, “We lost a part of New York today when we lost Frankie. There’s nobody like him, he’s an icon.”

Dietl, a former NYPD detective and now New York City mayoral candidate said Pellegrino passed away just before 2 p.m. at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital with his family at his side.

Dietl continued, “Rao’s may be over 100 years old, but the person who made Rao’s what it is, was Frankie. It is a place that is so unique because of him and it not going to be the same without him. He was big-hearted and generous and always took care of people. What a shining star and a big personality, I will miss singing along with him every Thursday night.”
Pellegrino appeared in a number of films, such as "Goodfellas," and TV shows in small character parts in addition to running the restaurant and recording vocal music.

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