Spike Lee leads tributes to Do The Right Thing star Danny Aiello

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Spike Lee has led the tributes to his Do The Right Thing co-star Danny Aiello following his death at the age of 86.

Aiello earned an Oscar nomination for his role of pizzeria owner Salvatore “Sal” Frangione in Lee’s acclaimed 1986 drama, which he directed and starred in.

Aiello died on Thursday following a “brief illness,” his family said in a statement.

Lee, 62, shared a picture of him and Aiello together and said he was”heartbroken” by his death.

He added: “Danny, We Made Cinema History Together With DO THE RIGHT THING. May You Rest In PARADISE.”

Cher starred alongside Aiello in 1987 rom-com Moonstruck and described him as a “genius comedic actor”.

“We Laughed so much,” she said. “Making Moonstruck. It was one of the happiest times in my life, and he was a part of that happy time. Goodbye.”

Hollywood star Mia Farrow worked with Aiello in 1985 fantasy comedy The Purple Rose Of Cairo.

Writing on Twitter, the 74-year-old said she was “so very sad” to hear of his death.

She said: “He was a superb actor and a lovely person. It was a joy and an honour to work with him.”

Actor Billy Baldwin also paid tribute to Aiello, tweeting: “They don’t make ‘em like Danny anymore. What a talent… a true one of a kind.”

Frozen star Josh Gad said: “Thank you for the iconic performances you left behind. You will be missed.”

Aiello’s other film credits include The Godfather Part II and Once Upon A Time In America.