Why ‘Moonstruck’ actor Danny Aiello was a hero to late bloomers
( CNN) Danny Aiello, the Brooklyn-born, Oscar-nominated character actor who died at 86 Thursday, was, among many things, a paradigm of the late bloomer and an inspiration for anybody who imagines their best selves are never far removed from discovery , no matter how old-fashioned they are.
Aiello, after all, expended most of his adult times after the Army handling packs and playing public address proclamations for Greyhound before becoming a union official. His first screen credit came in 1973, when he was 40
, as one of Robert De Niro’s baseball teammates in “Bang the Drum Slowly.” More than 70 others would follow.
David Thomson, in his “Biographical Dictionary of Film” had Aiello nailed down
: “[ A] natural comic, a preferably good vocalist and a big soft show-off who likes to be the heavy.”