RIP: Sopranos actor Frank Pellegrino, pictured here in 2013, has died following a battle with lung cancer. He was 72

The Sopranos have lost another member of their family.

It’s been confirmed actor Frank Pellegrino died on Tuesday afternoon in New York City following a battle with lung cancer.

The 72-year-old actor played FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso on the hit HBO series from 1999 until 2004.

As the dogged FBI Chief, Frank was on a determined mission to nab mob boss Tony Soprano, played by the late James Gandolfini.

Other roles for the actor included parts in Mickey Blue Eyes alongside Hugh Grant, and Goodfellas opposite Robert De Niro.

He was also the co-owner of Rao’s – an Italian restaurant in Harlem, New York, frequented by celebrities such as Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Insiders say the popular eatery will be closed for a week to mark his death.

Fox Business’ Charles Gasparino, a friend of the late actor, took to Facebook to post a heartfelt tribute shortly after Frank’s passing.

‘To say Frank was a NY legend is an understatement – he bled this city and its egalitarian promise. People love to talk how no one can get a table at Rao’s. Well, that’s true but it misses the point. The tables were given out to old time customers when the place became hot some years ago. New entrants needed to wait their turn to ‘own’ a table, and it didn’t matter who they were. [Business mogul] Warren Buffett was one of those who wanted a table and faced Frankie’s famous “no”,’ he wrote.

‘You see, Frankie loved to sing to his patrons and that night [he denied Buffett], as he was belting out The Temptations’ classic My Girl, he turned to Buffett and sang: “I don’t need no money, fortune or fame… I’ve got all the riches, baby, one man can claim”. He did of course: His family, friends, his restaurant and his acting. Frank, I’m going to miss you screaming at me, that is, until we meet on the other side. RIP my friend.’

Meet the mob: Frank was most famous for his role as FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso in hit series, The Sopranos, opposite James Gandolfini

On the hunt: As FBI Chief Frank Cubitoso was on an obsessive mission to nab mob boss Tony Soprano

Another friend paying tribute to the late star is former New York City police detective and mayor candidate Bo Dietl.

‘We lost a part of New York today when we lost Frankie. There’s nobody like him, he’s an icon,’ he told Page Six. ‘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. He never complained once, he was always upbeat. I am going to miss my best friend, he was one of the bravest guys I ever met.’ 

Frank is just the latest Sopranos star to have sadly passed away, with cast members Nancy Marchand, Sydney Pollack, Tom Aldredge and James Gandolfini having all died in the previous years.

James, who played head honcho Tony Soprano in the award-winning series, died in 2013 from a heart attack during a holiday in Rome with his teenage son.

Farewell Frank: The respected actor and restaurateur passed away on Tuesday in New York City

Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

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