HUNTS POINT, The Bronx (WPIX) – Police in New York City have identified a man whose body was dumped in the Bronx as “Green Book” actor Frank Vallelonga Jr. The body of Vallelonga, 60, was found on the ground on Monday, according to the NYPD. He had suffered no obvious signs of trauma.
Vallelonga may have died from an overdose, police said. The Medical Examiner’s Office is determining an official cause of death. Steven Smith, 35, allegedly dumped Vallelonga’s body from a car, according to an NYPD spokeswoman. He was arrested Wednesday on charges of concealment of a human corpse. “That dude was dead already,” Smith said, according to the criminal complaint. Smith said he had nothing to do with Vallelonga’s death, and did not know the victim.
Vallelonga had appeared in only a handful of films before “Green Book,” the Oscar-winning 2018 film based on his own father’s life and relationship with classical pianist Don Shirley. In the film, Vallelonga played Rudy Vallelonga, his own uncle. His father, Frank Vallelonga Sr., was played by Viggo Mortensen, while Dr. Don Shirley was portrayed by Mahershala Ali. Frank Vallelonga Sr., who died in 2013, also became an actor in his later years, appearing in the HBO series “The Sopranos” as Carmine Lupertazzi.