The French Connection star Tony Lo Bianco dies at 87

Matt Lo BiancoMatt Lo Bianco
Matt Lo Bianco | Other
The French Connection star Tony Lo Bianco has died at the age of 87 following a battle with cancer.

In the Oscar-winning action thriller, Lo Bianco played store owner and mobster Salvatore “Sal” Boca opposite Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider as fictional New York City Police Department detectives in the movie inspired by true events.

Lo Bianco was also known for another crime film, The Honeymoon Killers, when he played the “lonely hearts killer” Raymond Fernandez, an American serial murderer who operated as part of a team with his partner Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler).

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A statement from Lo Bianco’s representative on Wednesday said: “Tony Lo Bianco passed away last night at his horse farm in Maryland after a battle with prostate cancer. His wife, Alyse, was by his side. Tony was 87 years old.”

The American actor worked with Hollywood stars including Richard Gere, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore and Christopher Walken.

Born Anthony LoBianco in Brooklyn, New York, he was a boxer and baseball player before entering the world of acting in the 1960s.

He was also known for science fiction horror God Told Me To, coming-of-age story Bloodbrothers, crime film City Heat, Oliver Stone-directed Nixon as the gangster John “Handsome Johnny” Roselli, court drama The Juror, and thriller Kill The Irishman.

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His performance as Italian-American everyman Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge on Broadway earned him a Tony best actor nod in 1983.

On TV, Lo Bianco played heavyweight champion boxer Rocky Marciano in Marciano, and appeared in 1982 historical series Marco Polo, Lord Laurence Olivier-starring Jesus Of Nazareth, crime anthology Police Story, crime series Palace Guard, and police drama Jessie.

Lo Bianco was also seen in episodes of crime serials Law And Order and Murder, She Wrote.

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