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©Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com / Tony Lip
© Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com / Tony Lip
'Sopranos' actor Tony Lip dead at 82

WENN

Veteran actor Tony Lip has died at the age of 82. The actor, who was best known for his portrayal of mob kingpin Carmine Lupertazzi in hit TV show "The Sopranos," passed away in hospital in Teaneck, N.J., on Friday.

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The exact cause of his death is unknown, but family members told local newspaper The Record of Woodland Park that Lip's health had been failing in recent years. Born Frank Anthony Vallelonga, Lip played minor league baseball in North Carolina with the St. Louis Browns organization, then served in the American Army from 1951 to 1953 in Germany. During the 1960s, he worked as general manager of the famed Copacabana nightclub in New York City where he met "Godfather" director Francis Ford Coppola and casting director Louis DiGiaimo, who gave him a minor role in the movie as a wedding guest.

Lip went on to star in the films "Goodfellas," "Raging Bull" and "Donnie Brasco." In 2005, he co-wrote and released a cookbook titled "Shut Up and Eat!," in which he and Italian-American actors James Gandolfini, Danny Aiello and Chazz Palminteri shared their families' favorite Italian recipes. His funeral will take place on Tuesday in Franklin Lakes, N.J.