Beloved actor Frank Adonis, best known for his role in Goodfellas, has died at the age of 83. Adonis has struggled with health problems for years as a result of kidney failure. His 62-year-old wife, Denise, announced the sad news of his death, saying he passed away Wednesday night in Las Vegas. She also revealed that he’d been on dialysis as well as a ventilator for nine days prior to his death. While his family wanted to wait until Christmas was over to take him off life support, the actor was tired of being in pain and knew it was his time to go, according to USA Today.
Adonis’ career spiked following his starring role in the 1990 mob film, Goodfellas. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film was based off a non-fiction book entitled Wiseguy, written by Nicholas Pileggi. Pileggi later worked alongside Scorsese and the movie’s starring actors to develop the screenplay and provide additional research materials to aid in the performance. The film portrayed the story of the Luccheses, a real New York family bonded together by crime and mafia activity. Upon its release, the movie gained world-wide recognition and was later nominated for six Oscars.
Although Goodfellas is the role he is most known for, Adonis has a long list of other credits dating back over two decades. In 1980, he starred alongside Robert De Niro in the boxing drama Raging Bull. In 1994, he took part in comedy film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective with Jim Carrey and Sean Young. The actor even made an appearance in a 2004 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Adonis’ family is heartbroken over his passing but has found comfort knowing that he is no longer in pain.
“He fought a good fight. It was rough. He was in too much pain and he wanted to go – he told us he wanted to go,” Denise Adonis told Fox.“We’re devastated,” she continued. “It’s going to be hard, but we’ll get through it.”
Adonis’ close friend, Phil Castellano, also spoke out regarding his death, posting a heartfelt tribute on Facebook.
“It is with a very heavy heart this morning to tell you of the passing [of] Frank Adonis,” he said according to the Daily Mail. “In his last few months he suffered like an animal. I will miss him forever. God Rest Your Soul Uncle Frankie.”
In addition to his wife, Adonis leaves behind their two children, 26-year-old Francesco and 24-year-old Brianna. He also had a third child from a previous relationship.
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