Green Book actor Frank Vallelonga Jr.’s cause of death has been revealed. The 60-year-old whose body was callously dumped on a Bronx sidewalk died of an accidental overdose, an autopsy determined per the Chicago Tribune.
Vallelonga Jr.’s body was found at 3:50 a.m. on Nov. 28 on Oak Point Ave., an industrial street in Hunts Point. Police suspected when they saw the body that the actor died of an overdose. A medical examiner spokesman on Monday said Vallelonga Jr. died accidentally from “acute intoxication due to combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine.”
The publication reports that a man named Steven Smith was arrested a day after he allegedly dumped Vallelonga’s body. Smith was driving a Hyundai Elantra. He claimed a woman named Pam told him somebody had overdosed in the car and turned to him for help.
“That dude was dead already,” driver Steven Smith told cops, according to a criminal complaint against him. “He overdosed. I didn’t have anything to do with that.”
“I got the body out by pulling him out of the car” he added. “I don’t know the guy at all.”
According to court papers obtained by the outlet, the gray 2021 Hyundai Elantra carrying the dead Vallelonga was tied to his Academy Award-winning younger brother Nick Vallelonga. The brother had not given permission for anyone to use the vehicle.
Back in January, a warrant for Smith’s arrest was issued. Smith was charged with concealment of a human corpse, possession of a stolen vehicle, and grand larceny. He will be arraigned on the aforementioned charges once police locate and arrest him.
Vallelonga Jr. played Viggo Mortensen in the Oscar-winning Green Book. The film is inspired by the true story of a 1962 tour of the Deep South by African American pianist Don Shirley and Italian American bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga. The film also starred Mahershala Ali who won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film.
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