The Godfather actor Carmine Caridi has died at 85.
The actor, who was best known for his role as Carmine Rosato in The Godfather II, passed away at Cedars Sinai hospital on Wednesday after falling into a coma.
Caridi’s friend, actor and director Chazz Palminteri, confirmed his death to TMZ.
Sad news: The Godfather actor Carmine Caridi, pictured here in 2012, has died at 85 after falling into a coma at a Los Angeles hospital, according to TMZ on Wednesday
The outlet reports that the veteran actor was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles where he slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness.
A rep explained that the actor had been hospitalized for over a month after suffering a bad fall.
While in doctors care, Carmine fell ill with pneumonia and TMZ reported that he ‘was diagnosed last Thursday, and although doctors felt he was stable enough for release on Friday … his health started going south on Saturday.’
Caridi played two different roles in The Godfather franchise as Carmine Rosato in Godfather II and then Albert Volpe in The Godfather III.
On screen: Caridi played two different roles in The Godfather franchise as Carmine Rosato in Godfather II and then Albert Volpe in The Godfather III (pictured next to Al Pacino and Andy Garcia center right)
The actor was director Francis Ford Coppola’s fist choice for the lead role of Sonny Corleone in the famed trilogy.
Ultimately, the gig went to actor James Caan because Caridi was ‘too tall’ to play opposite 5′ 7″ Al Pacino, according the autobiography The Kid Stays in The Picture.
Following his stint in The Godfather, Caridi went on to have a lustrous television career landing roles in shows like NYPD Blue, Fame and Taxi.
Born and raised in New York, Cardi said in the past that nearly everyone he grew up with went into the mob but he cut a different path for himself by going into acting.
Medical care: After being hospitalized following a bad fall in April, Carmine fell ill with pneumonia (pictured with Lee Curreri in Fame 1984)
Following the blow that he’d lost one of the lead roles in The Godfather, Caridi fell into a life of addiction and was arrested for selling cocaine.
He spent time in prison and went he got out, Coppola offered him the smaller roles in the Godfather sequels.
He is perhaps most infamously known as the first person to be expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Caridi was booted for illegally sharing screeners of Oscar contenders which were sent to him as an Academy voter.
Acting: Following his stint in The Godfather, Caridi went on to have a lustrous television career landing roles in shows like NYPD Blue, Fame and Taxi
In 2004, the Academy announced that it had identified markers in a bootleg copy of the Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton rom-com Something’s Gotta Give that was being shared online as one sent to Caridi.
Similarly, copies of The Last Samurai, Mystic River, Big Fish and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World were also traced back to the actor.
An FBI investigation into the copyright infringement, revealed that Caridi had been allegedly sending dozens of Hollywood screeners to an Illinois man via FedEx.
That man turned out to be Russell Sprague, one of the largest film pirates in the business.
Sordid past: Caridi was the first person to be expelled by the Academy for pirating screeners in 2004 (The Gambler 1974)
Sprague died while facing charges and Caridi was later cleared of criminal wrongdoing. The pair were also sued by Sony and Time Warner for copyright infringement.
Carmine opened up about the ordeal in 2017 during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
‘Let me tell you something,’ he told the outlet. ‘Everybody does it, OK?’
Adding: ‘I was doing a guy a favor and he screwed me.’
‘His talent, wit, warmth, and charm will be missed. Carmine passed peacefully, surrounded by friends and family,’ a rep said in a statement. ‘Perhaps Carmine’s biggest regret was his involvement in a scandal that left him expelled from The Motion Picture Academy.’
‘From Broadway, to film and television, Carmine spent over six decades entertaining audiences, and nothing made him happier,’ Caridi’s manager told TMZ in a statement.
‘His talent, wit, warmth, and charm will be missed. Carmine passed peacefully, surrounded by friends and family.’
‘Perhaps Carmine’s biggest regret was his involvement in a scandal that left him expelled from The Motion Picture Academy.
‘While exonerated by police and the FBI, Carmine was always deeply saddened by what had transpired.’
Heartbroken: Actor Chazz Palmintieri confirmed the actor’s passing to TMZ on Wednesday